March 17, 2023 (AKA Patrick’s Day)
We sailed into the port city of Keelung Taiwan on March 14 bypassing a scheduled port-of-call a day earlier because of bad weather. After Keelung we sailed into the port city of Kaohsiung. Keelung, the second largest port in Taiwan, has a population of about 360,000; Kaohsiung with a population of 2.77 million is much larger and more modern.
The captain of the ship has told us that we are sailing in Chinese waters by permission. That might explain why our internet connection has once again become an on-again, off-again proposition. The Chinese government of the Peoples Republic of China (PRC), an authoritarian surveillance state, is not exactly cooperative when it comes to providing access to information sources outside of its control.
Be that as it may, Taiwan is a land of Temples. Lots of them. In Keelung we visited a giant Buddha and temple; in Kaohsiung we stopped in at the iconic Chi Ming Tang Temple; a Confucian temple and numerous Pavilions at Lotus Pond.
It wasn’t all temples all the time though. For instance, we visited Yehliu Geopark near New Taipei City and saw some amazing rock formations created over the centuries by the ocean washing over the hoodoo stones there. Pagodas and Pavilions surrounded Lotus Pond—a man-made pond that we visited across the street from The Chi Ming Temple.
All in all it was pretty interesting. That said, the architecture was pretty uneven. Some places were new and modern especially in Kaohsiung. In others, like the port city of Keelung, the architecture was unappealing, to say the least.
And now it’s off to Vietnam. First stop is scheduled for March 18 at Halong Bay.
Some photos are below.