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Setting sail from Keelung (Taipei)
Keelung is a fairly unremarkable port city close to Taiwan's capital, Taipei. The city is best known for its night market, where a mouthwatering array of food is on offer in an atmospheric setting. Otherwise, you are best off heading for Taipei if you want to prolong your stay on the island; the capital draws on an interesting mix of Chinese, Japanese and Western influences, and is home to attractive temples, a burgeoning street food scene and Taipei 101, which was the world's tallest building until it was eclipsed by Dubai's Burj Khalifa in 2010.
Taiwan is a number one destination for foodies, so if this is your thing, plan ahead to make the most of it.
Japan: Ishigaki Island
Ishigaki is the most developed of the Yaeyama islands, an idyllic tropical archipelago located closer to Taiwan than mainland Japan. The offshore coral reefs make this a popular spot for diving and snorkelling, while the jungle interior offers some great hiking opportunities.
Japan: Taketomi Island
Japan: Tsuki-ga-hama Beach (Iriomote-jima)
The crescent-shaped Tsuki-ga-hama is one of the best beaches on the jungle-clad island of Iriomote-jima, part of the idyllic Yaeyama archipelago. The islands are known for their fantastic coral reefs, perfect for diving and snorkelling, while ashore you can explore on foot or on a river kayaking expedition.
Situated 60 miles to the west of Okinawa’s main island, Kumejima is blessed with beautiful beaches and varied landscapes. The four-mile-long Hatenohama beach is particularly stunning, while the rocky Tatami-ishi plateau, formed by an ancient volcanic eruption, is so named because it is said to resemble a traditional tatami mat.
The island of Amami-Oshima is rich in flora and fauna thanks to a mild subtropical climate, and a number of whale species can be spotted in the surrounding waters during the winter. The island also has some lovely white sand beaches, and is known for producing high quality hand-made silk.
The island of Yakushima is an unspoilt natural paradise, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site thanks to its primeval temperate rainforest. The mountainous interior is a magical landscape of waterfalls, ancient cedar trees and winding trails, and provided the inspiration for Studio Ghibli’s acclaimed anime ‘Princess Mononoke’.
Arriving in Kagoshima
Your home from home
Sleek and stylish, Ponant's wonderful Explorer yachts blend luxury and intimacy with a discreet elegance and tasteful décor.
What we love
Named after six of France's most famous explorers, Le Champlain, Le Lapérouse, Le Bougainville, Le Dumont d'Urville, Le Bellot and Le Jacques Cartier offer exciting and adventurous itineraries in the utmost comfort. Technologically advanced, with the latest in environmentally friendly hardware, the new ships embody Ponant's trademark élan and flair, with just 92 spacious rooms and suites, a stylish pool deck and an intimate, refined onboard ambience.
|Refined with a wonderful mix of a modern super yacht and nautical tradition, all with a French flair.
Tailor-make your trip
Where to stay in Keelung
To be honest you would probably be better off staying in Taipei, but if you need a Keelung hotel, we would choose the Evergreen Laurel.
Excursions from Keelung
Visit the Yeliou Geopark to see its unique rock formations formed by sea erosion and earth movements.