Hobe Fort (滬尾礮臺) is one of the main historical sites in Tamsui. Built on a hill overlooking the mouth of Tamsui River, it was set up after the Sino-French War when the Qing Dynasty realized how vital the river was for trade and transportation. It was also believed by some commanders that the best way to stop an attack on Taipei was to first sink the enemy’s boats, before they got to the city center down the river.
Actually based on western forts of the time, the construction was led by a German engineer, Lieutenant Max E. Hecht, and originally had four cannons imported from his homeland. While these cannons and much of the outer area’s features have since disappeared, the main structure is still very much intact. In fact, Hobe Fort is often used on Taiwanese movie shoots because of this.
The exhibitions inside the old ammunition depots and such are reasonably detailed with large displays detailing the various wars that Taiwan has been through, as well as old photos of what the fort and the area surrounding it looked like back in the days. Any military geek will also enjoy checking out the tunnels and cannon emplacements as they explore the complex too.
How to get there
The nearest station is Tamsui, at the top end of Taipei Metro’s red line. Most people get the train here from Taipei Station (38 minutes, NT$50). From here take the R26 bus to Huwei Fort (12 minutes, MT$15), then walk up the road to the fort.
If you are on a YouBike or walking from Tamsui Station, just head up the main road along the coast (Zhongzheng Road) and follow signs. Hobe Fort is just past Fort San Domingo and takes half an hour on foot or about 10 minutes on bicycle from Tamsui Station. There is a large YouBike station outside Tamsui Station. The fort does not have any outside, but there should be space to park.
Hours and fees
Hours: 9am to 5pm weekdays, 9am to 6pm on Saturdays and Sundays