Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Yangming Cruise Ship and Keelung

The new port near Bali northwest of Taipei.

The government of Taiwan is currently building a port at the mouth of the Tamsui River, upriver from Taipei. The long-term plan is to shift the container traffic to that port, and use the picturesque port of Keelung for tourism. Yesterday Yangming, a major Taiwan shipper and shipbuilder, announced that it would be constructing a luxury cruise ship to tap local and foreign tourist markets.

A local shipping company will build Taiwan's first luxury cruise ship by the year 2012, officials with the company said yesterday.

Yangming Marine Transport Corp. (Yangming), a Keelung-based shipping company with over 90 years of history, said this endeavor is part of their effort to promote oceanic culture and marine ecology in the country.

Sea tours for the company's "Formosa Blue Highway" luxury cruise package are expected to start at the time of the Yangming cruise ship's completion.

In the past few years, Yangming has made a great effort to make the public aware of oceanic life and culture, said Huang Wan-hsiu, the company's chairman.

In 2003, Yangming started construction of the Oceanic Culture & Art Museum which opened to the public on Dec. 28, 2004. The museum has since displayed numerous international oceanic culture exhibits, and enhanced Taiwan's image on the global arena in this area, according to the company.

Keelung and its port, looking northeast from the ridge overlooking the city.

Slowly Keelung's tourism potential is being developed. If you haven't visited Keelung, it makes a wonderful day trip out of Taipei (buses leave from many places along Chunghsiao E. Rd.; commuter train takes about 45 minutes).

Related links:
Yangming Oceanic Museum


Haitien said...

About time we started taking maritime stuff more seriously, this is an island after all. When I first came back to Taiwan in the 5th grade I was amazed that most of the kids in my class couldn't swim.

Anonymous said...

If you checkout this thread at the skyscraperforums site, there are several artist renderings of what the new Keelung Port will look like:

Anonymous said...

Wait. Is this serious? Just for the purpose of using Keelung as a tourist port they are building a new one in Taipei?

Surely... there are reasons like... the location is better or the port is a higher quality port or something? Right? Right?

Unknown said...

do you think maybe that the more important thing about this article is those 'mounties' (police) on the horses? i've seen them before in yingko.

i'd like to know more about that mounted police program so if anyone has any info, please write me.

here's a link to a nice close up ppic of them, with a female rider to boot!

skiingkow said...

I lived in Keelung for 5 years, and I can tell you that the KMT government has made that place the armpit capital of Taiwan.

My wife's family told me that it was very beautiful about 40+ years ago. But with the corrupt local governments and the absence of any meaningful urban planning -- it is just plain tacky. I mentioned it before, but I shook my head wildly when they built a huge parking lot right in front of the harbourfront -- obstructing the fairly nice view in the downtown area.

Then they decided to put lighted seating beside the canal that smells and noone can use because its so polluted. The glass box seating looks like a series of spooky coffins at night (and I'm not the only one who says that).

The night market is worth the visit, though. Yummy seafood is easy to find. The outskirts of Keelung is also beautiful.

The idiocyncracies are interesting as well. But it's going to take a long time and a lot of money to make Keelung what it once was.

Don't get me wrong, though. The city grew on me and I learned to love it.