The Khóo Tsú-song Old House (許梓桑古厝) is named after its former resident Khóo Tsú-song (in Mandarin, Xu Zi-sang), mayor of Keelung and Taipei Council Member during the Japanese colonial era. Ranking among Taiwan’s elite, he was actively involved in literary circles, and was well known for composing poetry.
The architecture of the house is telling of its time and influences. The red brick recalls fortifications of Dutch and Spanish build, and the two-story structure draws on western baroque styles preferred by the Japanese colonists at the time. The house maintains a traditional Fukien layout and courtyard, with Chinese embellishments such as bamboo round windows.
During World War II, Khóo Tsú-song and his family moved out of the house to avoid US airstrikes, and remnants of this can still be seen in the area. For example, on the walk up to the house, you can see many air-raid shelters dug into the hillside. Khóo Tsú-song passed away shortly after the war.
The house sits on the hillside southeast of Keelung harbor, and overlooks downtown Keelung. Long abandoned, today there are only remains of the structure that once existed. Plants, vines, and the roots of banyan trees have claimed the house, giving it a mysterious and almost magical air. The Khóo Tsú-song Old House is a vestige of Keelung’s colonial past, and is worth visiting for its enchanting ruins and great views of the city. Since it is so close to the famous Miaokou Night Market, be sure to make a stop there for some tasty snacks afterwards!
How to get there
Situated at No. 15, Lane 2 Aisi Road, the Khóo Tsú-song Old House is accessible on foot from central Keelung. From the intersection of Aisi Road and Rensan Road (at the eastern end of Miaokou Night Market) there are two ways to walk here. The first is to walk south down Aisi Road (愛四路) about half a block, then turn onto Lane 2 (an unassuming staircase tucked between the Apple repair store and a restaurant with the 張仙燴飯 characters). Follow the narrow path past Taiyi Temple (太乙宮) all the way to the house. The second way is to walk down Rensan Road (仁三路), turn down the narrow alley between the 7-11 and Adidas stores, and then follow the stairs all the way up to the house.
Hours and fees
Open: 24 hours
Official website: tour.klcg.gov.tw