Monday, May 18, 2015

Keelung (基隆) - Fairy Cave (仙洞巖) - Buddha's Hand - Baimiwong fort (白米甕砲台) - Zhongzheng Park (中正公園) - Miakou Night (基隆廟口夜市)[Taiwan Day 624: The Five Senses of Keelung - May 17, 2015]


Keelung, Taiwan's harbor city is just 40 minutes away from Taipei. Large cruise ships adore its pier not to mention the blue color of the sea and the sky on a bright sunny day. This city is abundant with man-made attractions and natural scenic spots. There is the cave that is said to be once a home of a fairy, a large imprint of a hand inside a cave and an Old Dutch fortress. These and other places make this city fit for my “Month-long Birthday Celebration”. 

















Ciara and Bryan joined me in this travel adventure. We boarded a train from Nangang Station to Keelung Station. We then took Bus 301 for our first destination. Hidden behind a pier, Fairy Cave was turned into a temple and it always welcomes its visitors. The attractive cave entrance has a large golden Buddha and it watches over us. We entered the cave and there were carvings of gods and goddesses along the walls. There were also Taiwanese praying to the idols one by one like the Stations of the Cross of the Roman Catholics. 





Some writings on the walls of the cave

On the left side of the temple was a small alley. We entered it and then it becomes smaller and smaller. I felt that at one part that I am already being squeezed by the walls of the cave like clay being pressed by two hands. Luckily, we were able to pass through and just we laughed. It was really scary though. Inside was a small chamber where one can kneel and pray to a god. Going back is another struggle to the small alley. If you have claustrophobia, don't ever attempt to enter this part of Fairy Cave.
We climbed this staircase and it led us to a temple and a view of Keelung harbor.









Beware of snakes!












Outside the Fairy Cave were food stalls selling various foods.


Entering the Cave of Buddha's Hand is like getting inside a maze.





It was a bit scary to go down!




I gave the Buddha's hand a high five.





exit

An ice cream with pineapple tidbits with a familiar taste of Chocnut replenished our energies. The memories of my taste buds didn't remember anything like this. It was the most unique ice cream I have ever tasted so far in my 624 days of stay in Taiwan. After a rest, we looked for Buddha's Hand Cave. We were surprised that it has lots of chambers and at one end is the large imprint of a hand called the Buddha's Hand. When we found the it I raised my hand and gave Buddha a high five.  
 


My friends were looking at me from afar and taking my photos.

I was also looking at them on the other side and taking their pictures.







Keelung islet was visible from the fort.


















a power plant in Keelung

Ciara enjoys her ice cream.



Another bus ride took us to an Old Dutch Fortress. The Baimiweng Fort overlooks the sea. Large cannons place here before can shoot ships attempting to enter Formosa. I used my binoculars to see the fishing boats in the East China Sea which my eye cannot see. A rest at its green lawn allowed us to enjoy the view.

Bus 301 or 302 can take you to Baimiweng Fort from Keelung Station

We just walked from Keelung Station to Zhongzheng Park and observed the scenery around the city.


Looking at the stairs leading to Zhongzheng Park.  It was so high!


And another set of stairs


Hugh! We were already tired.



Keelung Harbor

There is a museum at the first floor of this temple and it is all about the ghost festival.

We walked this road until we finally reached Zhongzheng Park.







Bryan with the giant bell


We saw a squirrel while going to the direction of Keelung Plaza.

The walk to Zhongzheng Park from Keelung Plaza was very tiring especially the stairs. The large statue of Guanyin stood gracefully with the two large golden lion dogs. A large metal bell was being hit creating a ringing sound. The sound waves escaped and traveled to my ear drums. I listened and it became music to my ears.
 







Our empty stomachs were filled by the food that we bought at Miakou Night Market. The odor of the food acted like a fishing bait to our noses. It's difficult to escape once you get caught. The orange color of the shrimps, the smell of the sausages, the noisy street, the hot barbeque stand and the collision of the people with each other completed our adventure.


A trip to Keelung is really memorable. My eyes, ears, lips, nose and hands got very busy. When you go to Keelung just open your eyes, lend your ears, hold tight inside the bus, smell the food and eat a lot. The harbor city will awaken your spirit and let you experience the five senses of Keelung.
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