Sandiaojiao Lighthouse (三貂角燈塔), also known as the Santiago Cape Lighthouse, marks the easternmost point on Taiwan's mainland. You cannot go inside, but you can enjoy the views from the top of the hill there and the museum inside. Overall, it is a great place to relax and enjoy the coastal views nearby.
The area around Fulong was originally inhabited by the Basay indigenous tribe who has a village and hunting grounds there.
In 1626, the Spanish landed near Fulong and renamed the location Santiago (transliterated from Taiwanese as Sandiao 三貂, as in Sandiao Cape). After the Qing colonized Taiwan, many Fujianese fisherman relocated to the area and began to build the iconic stone houses you can see today.
The Old Caoling Tunnel was built in 1924 during the Japanese occupation of Taiwan, and is 2,167 meters long. At the time it was built, it was the longest tunnel in Taiwan.
The tunnel took 3 years to build due to delays from Malaria, remoteness of the location, and digging accidents killing 11 people and injuring over 300.
The tunnel was only one lane wide, too narrow for electric trains, and so was decommissioned in 1985 and lay waste for 22 years.
The tunnel was reopened when the Coaling Bicycle Loop was created in 2007, using the old Caoling Tunnel as its main looping point.
Sandiaojiao Lighthouse (三貂角燈塔), also known as the Santiago Cape Lighthouse, built in 1935 by the Japanese. You cannot go inside, but you can enjoy the views from the top of the hill there and the museum inside. The Fulong-Coaling-Sandiao Cape- bike route is one of the most biker friendly routes in Taiwan, the roughly 2 hour loop is something that the whole family can enjoy. It includes a 2KM ride through the Old Coaling Railroad Tunnel, as well as a ride along the Sandiao Cape coast on an enclosed bike path, where one can enjoy great views of the ocean, Turtle Island, wavy geological features on the coastline, and historical stone villages along the way. This bike route is highly recommended for people of all ages.
Tours and Activities:
You can book a tour to the lighthouse on KKday here or Klook here.
Hotels on Taiwan's Northern Coast:
We recommend Fullon Hotel which has locations in Tamsui and Fulong near the beach (book on Booking.com here, Tripadvisor here, Agoda here, or Hotels.com here).
We have also stayed at and recommend Hai Xia Your Home which is right in front of Fulong Beach (book on Booking.com here, Tripadvisor here, Agoda here, or Hotels.com here).
Looking for a hotel? We recommend booking through Booking.com here, which provides the best quality selection of accommodation in Taiwan.
Find out where to stay in our Taiwan hotels guide or search for the best hotel deals in Taiwan here.
How to get there:
By Train: Take the TRA train to Fulong Station. Walk straight from the station and you will see tons of bike rental shops. You can book tickets to travel to Yilan via inter-city bus on Klook here. You can book tickets to Yialn via high speed rail (HSR) on Klook here or KKDay here. Book tickets via the normal train (TRA) on Klook here.
Bicycle rental: Cycling is the best way to enjoy Taiwan's landscapes if you have the time and energy. Looking for bicycle rentals in Taiwan? You can search on KKday here and search for tours on Klook here. You can also check out our Taiwan cycling guide here.
By Car/Scooter: Take provincial highway 2 from Qidu in Keelung through the mountains past Shifen and Shuangxi until you reach Gongliao on the coast. The beach is right in front of the train station, and there is free parking in front of Dongxing Temple. From there you can walk to the train station where there are bike rentals everywhere. Looking for scooter rental in Yilan? You can search Klook here or KKday here to look for options. You can also check out our scooter rental guide here.
If you are looking for car rentals in Yilan, you can also search Klook here or KKDay here. You can also check out our car rental guide here.
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Guosheng Lighthouse is the most western point of the main island of Taiwan. It looks like an electricity transmission tower and is surrounded by sand dunes. It’s deep in rural Tainan's Taijiang National Park, but it’s worth the trip.
Guosheng Lighthouse was built on the Dingtoue Sand Dune (頂頭額沙洲), which is the westernmost point on the island of Taiwan. During the Qing Dynasty, this area was once home to one of the largest salt drying fields in Taiwan, as well as home to fisherman.
It is said this spot is the first place that Koxinga landed in Taiwan, however this is not clear to be true or not.
During the Japanese era, a lighthouse was built on this spot, called Zengwen Lighthouse 曾文燈塔, which was later totally destroyed during allied bombing raids in WWII.
Later, the ROC government built a wooden lighthouse on the Dingtoue Sand Dune in 1957 that was 20 meters tall, but it was often hit by waves and nearly fell into the ocean, and was finally destroyed completely by Typhoon Viola in 1969.
A new lighthouse, the one that stands today, was built from concrete and steel in 1969, and stands 32 meters high. It needs constant maintenance such as paint to stop corrosion to its frame.
In September 2022, the tower was closed for maintenance and renovations, and is expected to open again by the end of 2022.
How to get there:
By car/scooter: From provincial highway 17 in Qigu District of Tainan, turn west on highway 173 toward the ocean. Just keep going and don't stop until you reach the lighthouse at the end of the road. Looking for scooter rental in Tainan? You can search KKday here or Klook here to look for options. You can also check out our scooter rental guide here.
If you are looking for car rentals in Tainan, you can also search Klook here or KKDay here. You can also check out our car rental guide here.
By bus: There ain't no public transportation to this location. You can book tickets to travel to Tainan via inter-city bus on Klook here. You can book tickets to Tainan via high speed rail (HSR) on Klook here or KKDay here.
Book tickets via the normal train (TRA) on Klook here.
Where to stay?
Most of the accommodation you will find is near the city center. If you only want to visit old Tainan, you can book a hotel near the west part of downtown and consider walking or cycling around the city.
We have stayed at and recommend Liho Hotel, a quality hotel right next to Chikan Tower, and Famouse Hotel, which is another great hotel also within walking distance of Chikan Tower in old Tainan.
You can find out where to stay in our Taiwan hotels guide or search for the best hotel deals in Taiwan here.
Need travel insurance? Compare prices on Insubuy here.
You can also book Wifi and SIM cards for Taiwan on Gigago here.
You can find more tours and activities in Tainan such as SUPing / Paddle Boarding, Oyster Harvesting , Wind Surfing, Glamping and more on Klook here or KKday here.
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Baimiweng Fort is an abandoned fort in Keelung that is now open to the public, dating back to the Dutch colonization of Taiwan. Here you can learn more about Taiwan's colonial history, and enjoy amazing panoramic views of Keelung and the surrounding area. Keelung Lighthouse is also within walking distance.
Baimiweng Fort is thought to have been built over the ruins of either Milaen Fort or Fort Clement, which were Dutch Forts built in the 1600s, seen on maps at the time. It was later used by the Qing forces, and was occupied briefly by French forces during the Sino-French war. The current fort that you see today was built during the Japanese era in Taiwan in 1900 to defend against Russia, in response to the Russio-Japanese War. It had some of the first artillery emplacements in Keelung and acted as a first line of defense. During the Japanese era, the fort was occupied and renovated in 1927 and expanded in 1931.
After the ROC took control of Taiwan, the fort no longer stationed troops and was abandoned, and used as a public restroom for local residents. The fort then underwent restoration work in 1980, and a later restoration was completed in 2021 including hiking trails to connect with Keelung Lighthouse. Keelung Lighthouse was built during the Qing Dynasty in 1900 and refurbished in 1962. It is still an important lighthouse for ships in the area.
The Fort is a popular location for tourists especially on weekends and holidays.
7 AM to 7 PM every day
Tours near Keelung:
There are many tour itineraries that you can enjoy in Keelung that will take you to multiple destinations and arrange transportation. For more information, you can check out Tripadvisor here, KKday here or Klook here, which are both great tour websites that can connect you with the right tour and tour guide for you.
Here are some of the post popular tours of Taipei on Tripadvisor:
Attractions around Keelung:
There are many attractions that you can enjoy in Keelung such as Heping Island Park, Miaokou Night Market, Chaojing Smart Aquarium, Kanziding Fish Market, National Museum of Marine Science and Biology, Yehliu Ocean World, Yehliu Geopark, Jiufen, Elephant Trunk Rock, Ju Ming Museum, New Taipei Gold Museum, Bat Cave, Candlestick Islet, and many more attractions on Tripadvisor here, Klook here, or KKday here.
Activities in Keelung:
Yachting, Fishing, Surfing, SUP / Paddle Boarding, Diving, Snorkeling Kayaking, Canoeing, Water Biking, River Tracing / Canyoneering, Glamping, Motorcycling, Motorbike Tour, Shen'ao Rail Bike, Night Fishing, Instagram Tour, Metaverse VR experience, Seaside Picnic, and more on Tripadvisor here, Klook here, or KKday here.
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You can click here to receive $5 USD on your first Klook purchase.
Hotels in Keelung:
We recommend Just Live Inn-Keelung and Yung Feng Hotel, which are two great quality hotels for a reasonable price in Keelung's City Center.
You can book Just Live Inn-Keelung on Booking.com here, Agoda here, Klook here, Hotels.com here, Trip.com here, or Kayak here.
You can book Yung Feng Hotel on Booking.com here, Agoda here, Hotels.com here, Trip.com here, Klook here, or Kayak here,
How to get there:
By Car/scooter: From Keelung Station, take Zhongshan First Road to Guanghua Road Lane 37, and then go up the hill to the fort. The hill may be hard to drive a car up, and there is limited parking at the top.
If you are looking for car rentals, you can also search Qeeq here, Klook here, or KKday here. You can also check out our car rental guide here.
Looking for scooter rental in northern Taiwan? You can search on Klook here or KKday here to search for options. You can also check out our scooter rental guide here.
By Bus: From Keelung TRA Station, you can take bus 301 to Taibaizhuang Station, from which the fort is about a 10 minute walk. You can purchase a discount easy card to use on the MRT and buses from Klook here or KKday here. You can also book an MRT travel pass on Klook here.
By Bicycle: Cycling is the best way to enjoy Taiwan's landscapes if you have the time and energy. Looking for bicycle rentals in Taiwan? You can use Taiwan's many Youbike sharing stations, or search for rentals on KKday here, and search for tours on Klook here. You can also check out our Taiwan cycling guide here. You can also book a cycling tour on TripAdvisor here.
For more information, check out our Taiwan transportation guide here.
We are US Expats that have extensive experience living, working, and travelling in Taiwan. In our day, we had to learn many things about Taiwan the hard way. But we have come to learn that Taiwan is one of the best places in the world for Foreigners to live. Our blog does not represent the opinions of every foreigner in Taiwan. We are just trying to help others learn more about this beautiful country.