Situated in the northern part of Taiwan island, Keelung used to be called Jilong, which means hencoop. The name was later changed to Keelung which means "rich and prosperous land".
The city occupies 132.7589 square kilometers of land, 95% of which are hills. The city is separated from the neighboring counties and cities by the mountains in the east,west and south.
The northern part of the city faces the ocean and is a great deepwater harbor since early times.
As the city is surrounded by mountains, communications between Keelung and other places were not very convenient in the past when transportation was not well-developed. Gradually, the isolation gave Keelung a chance to develop its own marine culture.