There’s not a whole lot to do at Lotus Pond — a big man-made body of water surrounded by colourful temples and pagodas — other than marvel at all of the pretty buildings, but it’s still absolutely worth a visit.

Why?  Well, I think I’ll let the pictures do the talking.  It’s an impressive place to walk around.

Though I think the Keelung night market is a compelling enough reason to visit Keelung on its own (the fact that it’s so easy to get here from Taipei makes this a no-brainer), you might want to do some other stuff while you’re here.  I mean, you’re here already, you may as well.

Or you could just eat.  That works too.

But if you want to walk off some of that food, there are a few interesting things around the city that you could check out.

I almost didn’t even bother going to see the Great Wall of China.  I figured it’s cold, it’s expensive, I’d have to wake up early, and wouldn’t it be easier to just… not go?  I mean, it’s a wall.  What’s the big whoop?

The whoop, as it turns out, is pretty big.  The Great Wall might have been one of the most awe-inspiring things I’ve ever seen.

I’ve been almost entirely eschewing organized tours on this trip — partially because I like wandering around on my own, and partially because that stuff isn’t cheap.  If you’re only travelling for a week or two, it makes complete sense to pay for stuff like that, because why not?  You may as well cram as much as you can into the days that you have, and then worry about the money when you get home.

But when you’re travelling for several months, your budget is drastically different.  Every cent counts, and if you’re taking pricey tours everywhere you go, that’ll add up fast.

Still, exceptions have to be made, and in Scotland — which is known just as much for its scenic countryside as anything else — I figured I’d be remiss if I stayed entirely in the city.  Since renting a car was out of the question, a tour was really the only option.