Badouzi Station, huh? What is it good for? Absolutely… well quite a lot actually.
A History in Coal
Badouzi (八斗子) is an area on the north east cost close to Keelung (Google map). It is still an active fishing harbour, but it used to be known for coal. On old maps, it is even marked as “Coal Point”, and there used to be a coal-fired power station located in this area, which is now the excellent National Museum of Marine Science and Technology.
When the power station was operational, coal was brought via the Senao branch train line, but when the power station was decommissioned the train line was also abandoned.
Rebirth of the Senao Branch Train Line
The Senao Line was then partially brought back to life when the museum was opened, but it stopped at the museum (Haikeguan Station). However, the local residents complained of the noise of the idling trains at the museum stop, and so Badouzi Station (八斗子車站) was renovated, finally (re)opening on December 31st 2016.
So the Senao line now runs from Ruifang Station to Badouzi Station. The same train actually runs along the Pingxi Line with Ruifang being in the middle. Many trains run from Taipei Main Station to Ruifang, and you can use your EasyCard for the whole journey.
Badouzi Station Today
Badouzi Station is really a platform more than a station, and it brings you right out onto the coast [Google map]. The scenery was apparently one of the reasons for the renovation, and it is very pretty. In fact a fair number of people seem to take the train, stand on the platform, take selfies, then get back on the same train and leave.
And to be fair it is quite a small area. There are a couple of coffee shops, one with great views over the ocean, a couple of restaurants (one of which is very well-known, although is essentially in someone’s living room; the other selling an elaborate seafood hotpot), and a small grassy knoll.
The obvious draw is the scenery, and it is lovely, on a nice day. It does tend to rain a fair bit up here though, so check the forecast as it can be a bit grim in the rain.
Beyond Badouzi Station
The northeast coast is very scenic, but without a car not that easy to access. So this station is an easy way to experience the northeast coast, and that alone makes the trip worthwhile in my opinion.
It is worth going beyond the selfies, however, as you can walk to the Badouzi Coastal Park, Wangyou Valley [Keelung government site, Tourism Bureau site], and the National Museum of Marine Science and Technology. The route is paved and easy to follow (to the museum), but the coastal path itself would be a challenge with young children and the elderly (it is over 100 m at its highest point). For an excellent review of the area check this page from SYNAPTICISM.
If you are looking to get some sea air and escape the city then this is a quick (about 1 hour from Taipei Main Station) and easy trip. There are no convenience stores in the immediate vicinity as yet so bring water, and watch the weather. Also, as the official site states, “visitors had better pay attention to the sea”.
Badouzi Train Station map: https://goo.gl/maps/ejNwtmfnXrB2
Official Keelung site
Tourism Bureau site