Taiwan‘s Matsu Islands consists of a cluster of islands – Nangan and Beigan are its two primary islands as a result of they’ve airports that join them to Taiwan’s primary land. Beigan feels to me just like the quieter of the 2 islands – right here’s my listing of issues to do in Beigan and what to see while you go to.
This text is a information to Beigan, you may as well take a look at my Nangan information, or take a look at my general Matsu Islands information in case you are planning a visit to those Taiwan offshore islands. I like to recommend coming through the Blue Tears season for those who can, it’s an actual magical sight.
How a lot time do you’ll want to discover Beigan?
I spent 2 nights in Beigan – I took a ferry over from Nangan on Sunday which stopped over at Daqiu island alongside the way in which, after which flew out of Beigan airport to Taipei on Tuesday morning.
Day 1: Daqiu Island (2 hours) – Beigan (round midday) – Qinbi Village – Bishan – Tanqi Village, Conflict and Peace Memorial – Luoshan Nature Path – Blue Tears Boat Experience (night time)
Day 2: Broadcast Station – Banli – No 6 Stronghold – Qinbi
Day 3: Morning flight to Taipei Songshan
I feel Beigan has much less issues to do in contrast with Nangan, so 2 nights was undoubtedly sufficient time for a leisurely go to. I used to be a bit drained so I didn’t hike as a lot as I might have, however I feel 2 days was about the correct amount of time to spend in Beigan, which included a 2 hour visit Daqiu Island.
Once more I had my very own transport so getting round shortly was fairly simple. Like Nangan, there are spherical island buses for individuals who don’t trip scooters or lease a automobile, however you may have to buffer extra time for that.
Can you are taking a day journey to Matsu Island’s Beigan?
Like Nangan, there may be an early morning flight round 620/645am relying on the day which lets you attain Nangan good and early about 730/8am. The newest flight departing Beigan leaves at about 510pm and reaches Taipei Songshan at round 6pm.
So the reply is sure, you’ll be able to take a day journey to Beigan from Taipei, however it’s a must to hope that there aren’t any delays (fog and climate can imply cancellation/delays) and that the final flight out doesn’t get cancelled. I’d suggest staying at the very least 1 night time in Beigan.
See extra particulars about easy methods to get to the Matsu Islands in my Matsu Islands planning submit.
Necessary locations in Beigan
Beigan Airport 北竿機場 (MFK)
Whereas Nangan Airport is busier, Beigan Airport was really the first airport to be constructed within the Matsu Islands in 1994 and the one airport till Nangan Airport was inbuilt 2003. It’s a cute tiny airport which sees simply three flights a day.
One factor you’ll discover concerning the Matsu Islands is how rattling hilly the place is. With slopes and steep inclines in every single place, the unique airport might solely service very small planes, so that they needed to relocate the airport once more in 2005, reclaimed some land and blew up some hills to constructed the airport as we see it at this time.
Avid aircraft spotters can head to the best level of Beigan (Bishan), Duanpo or the pavilion on Luoshan Nature Path to look at the planes flying out and in of Beigan Airport.
The Beigan Airport is situated in Tangqi Village. Location on Google Maps
Baisha Harbour 白沙港
Baisha Harbour on the south western shore of Beigan is way smaller and fewer busy than Nangan’s Fu’ao Harbour as the one route it serves is the Nangan-Beigan connection. You’ll have to pop over to Nangan if you wish to take a ferry to some other island in Matsu.
If you wish to go to Daqiu Island, you’ll have to go to Qiaozi Village as an alternative within the northern a part of the island, proper throughout the water from Daqiu. That is additionally the place you’ll be able to take the blue tears boat trip from.
Beigan Customer Centre 北竿遊客中心
The Beigan Customer Centre is situated in Banli not removed from the temple and what you’ll be able to charitably name Banli Village’s primary road. Cease by in case you are coming from Baisha Harbour and decide up some maps right here to kickstart your exploration of Beigan.
Open each day 830am – 5pm. Location on Google maps
I’ve categorised issues to do in Beigan in accordance with the principle areas they are often discovered that can assist you plan your itinerary for the day, however actually this island is kind of small.
Banli Village 坂里聚落
Banli is the closest primary village to the Baisha Harbour and the place the Tourism Centre is situated together with different facilities.
Banli Breakfast Store 坂里早餐店
This literal gap within the wall store is the place you’ll be able to decide up some Taiwanese breakfast and the local-style Jiguang Hamburger. I bought mine with just a few fried egg inside, however you’ll be able to add in meat as effectively.
Banli Breakfast Store 坂里早餐店 is open from 7am – 11am on a regular basis and closed on Tuesdays. [Google Maps location]
Banli Tianhou Temple 坂里天后宮
Matsu Tourism calls this temple the world’s smallest Mazu temple and whereas it’s certainly very compact, it’s been effectively taken care of and is a brilliant addition to Banli Seaside’s shoreline. Proper behind the temple is a small and vibrant flower area, and you may spend a while strolling alongside the boardwalks right here. The seaside is kind of expansive and I feel can be highly regarded in the summertime time.
Totoro Tunnel (Mount Nigu Stronghold 42) 龍貓隧道 (尼姑山42據點)
I used to be interested by what was on the southern tip of Beigan Island as a result of whereas there was a highway that lead there, Google didn’t have some other info in any respect. Indicators indicated this space was Mount Nigu or Stronghold 42, and a little bit Googling turned up a spot the locals used to name Totoro Tunnel as a result of it regarded fairly mysterious.
It most likely is safer I suppose. This stronghold may be very a lot deserted and overrun by vegetation however has a stunning coastal view.
There’s one other smaller, steeper stairway that it’s a must to squeeze via some foliage to entry, and this one leads you all the way down to the rocks by the ocean.
This Totoro Tunnel isn’t formally named or listed on the map neither is there any signage, however there’s a highway that leads there and a small space to park your automobile/bike. Right here’s a pin to it on Google Maps. It’s situated within the far southern tip of Beigan island (Take the proper fork, the left was blocked once I visited).
Qinbi Village 芹壁聚落
Qinbi Village is the place I stayed and likewise one of many prettiest villages in Beigan. Much like Jinsha Village in Nangan, there are many unique Matsu-style stone homes right here in Qinbi that make it highly regarded for photographers, particularly throughout sundown.
Qinbi Village is constructed alongside the hillside so count on to climb a number of stone steps as you discover the slim alleyways. In case you are actually intrepid, two staircases lead you to the highest finish of the village through the Anning Path 安寧步道 and Qinbi Path 芹壁步道.
Qinwo Bakery 芹沃咖啡烘焙館
There are a selection of eateries in Qinbi value trying out. Qinwo Bakery 芹沃咖啡烘焙館 is a extremely cool hipster eatery situated with an incredible view of the bay and Turtle Island. Not low cost by Taiwan requirements – it’s like Singapore cafe costs, however I actually loved my time right here and ate right here twice.
Yunji Ice Store 雲記冰店
If you need one thing a little bit lighter, Yunji Ice Store 雲記冰店 sells a Matsu Island basic known as Golden Dumpling which is mostly a fried candy potato dumpling 地瓜餃 and whereas I’m not often a fan, this was fairly yummy. It was a sizzling day so I bought a pleasant shaved ice dessert with extra candy potato, inexperienced bean and crimson bean to chill down.
Open 10am – 6pm. Location on Google maps
Qinbi Wanghailou 芹壁望海樓
I additionally had the well-known Laojiu Noodles on the Qinbi Wanghailou 芹壁望海樓 which has beautiful views of the bay. It’s a guesthouse but in addition a restaurant and eatery too. Laojiu is the native liquor that’s put into a number of meals for flavour, however most popularly seen within the vermicelli soup.
Matsu Broadcast Station 馬祖播音站
For those who’ve been to Kinmen Island which is one other of Taiwan’s offshore islands that’s nearer to China than Taiwan’s mainland, you is perhaps acquainted with the usage of the published station throughout warfare time, the place the international locations fought psychological warfare with one another by broadcasting propaganda messages and music at one another through loudspeakers.
Beigan’s broadcast station was inbuilt 1979 and utilized in an identical manner, and whilst you can’t climb the construction, you’ll be able to see it from under and inside and it’s additionally a terrific place to get a pleasant aerial picture of the close by Qinbi Village.
The perfect viewpoint on Beigan is after all at its highest level Bi Shan. 298m tall, Bi shan is not only Beigan’s highest peak but in addition the tallest in all the Matsu Islands.
The view right here isn’t fairly 360 however it’s the excellent lookout level eastwards with a terrific view of the airport, Tangqi Village in addition to the Luoshan Nature Path. Like I discussed earlier, this can be a great place for aircraft spotters as a result of the airport is correct under.
Qiaozi Village 橋仔聚落
Qiaozi Village (or Qiaozai – that individual character 仔 might be both zai or zi) is Beigan’s northernmost village. There are some temples right here which you could take a look at, nevertheless it’s largely a small quiet village.
This explicit village was as soon as the most important village in Beigan from its industrial fishing exercise with close by China and bought its title from the numerous bridges crisscrossing it. At the moment it’s a lot quieter however recognized for having numerous temples (8!) regardless of its small measurement.
My largest reminiscence of Qiaozi was having a completely unimaginable night time trying on the Blue Tears alongside the seaside right here, and taking the boat trip out to see extra of the Blue Tears. The SO LOHAS B&B [booking.com affiliate link] that my pals stayed at bought tickets for the Blue Tears Boat Experience, however you’ll be able to learn extra about this in my Matsu Islands Blue Tears submit – I feel I’d like to remain right here if I ever come again to Beigan!
Tangqi Village 塘岐聚落
Tangqi Village might be thought of Beigan’s primary village as a result of it’s proper subsequent to the airport, the island’s sole submit workplace (and ATM which doesn’t settle for international playing cards) is situated right here together with not one however two entire 7-11 retailers.
A Po Fish Noodles 阿婆魚麵店
One other well-known Matsu meals to strive is the fish noodle, and this noodle soup dish doesn’t simply have fish in it, however the noodles itself are made out of fish. Fish after all is plentiful within the Matsu Islands, so through the winter season once they wanted a method to protect the fish, makig fish noodles was one of many methods to take action.
A Po Fish Noodle is kind of well-known as a result of their noodles are all handmade, so I popped in at a barely odd time to seize a meal. Very hearty bowl of noodle soup – the fish noodle is thicker and extra springy than regular rice noodles nevertheless it wasn’t overly fishy, general a satisfying meal.
Contemporary Jianbing Store 鮮美廉餅店
Jianbing which is mainly bread with sesame seeds is a really fundamental bread however right here in Matsu they name them Jiguang Biscuits or 繼光餅 named for the final who used these as military rations again within the day. I purchased these on the day I used to be very low in money as a result of they have been tremendous low cost – simply 15 NTD (60 cents) for 1. I purchased two simply in case as snack backups.
Since Tangqi’s Foremost Avenue is a brief stroll away from the airport, I popped out for a fast breakfast and final minute memento procuring right here earlier than checking in on the airport.
As with many of the spots in Matsu Island, this stronghold on Mount Duanpo was additionally a navy base that was transformed right into a scenic viewing space.
This spot offers you even nearer views of Beigan Airport as it’s decrease than Bishan, they usually’ve additionally stored among the artillery weapons used previously intact right here so you’ll be able to see for your self what the gunners life might need been like again within the day.
The opening hours are a bit erratic because it’s nonetheless in use by the navy. Open 8am – 11am (830am in winter), 2pm – 5pm (430pm in winter). Closed final week of each month and through main coaching classes. Google Maps Location
This space connects the Beigan island to Houao is product of reclaimed land. It’s suposed to be a great place for Blue Tears relying on the present, however we didn’t see any whereas we eere there. It’s title interprets into ‘Horse Nostril’ due to its form!
Houao really was a separate island till they constructed the brand new Beigan airport in between the islands and related them. The village right here may be very tiny and most of the people pop by due to the Conflict and Peace Memorial and Luoshan Nature Path.
Conflict and Peace Memorial Memorial Centre 戰爭和平紀念公園主題館
This little museum is a good place to be taught concerning the Matsu Island’s historical past and why it had such a robust navy presence for over 4 a long time, together with the numerous occasions that formed its previous. The museum is just not very massive however the house is effectively curated and there are panels in each English and Chinese language so you’ll be able to be taught extra about Matsu’s historical past.
For those who’re beginning off your Matsu Island tour with Beigan, visiting this museum first may offer you extra context to the issues that you simply see across the islands. Additionally be certain to go as much as the roof the place there’s a good viewing platform for some surroundings.
Open 830am – 1230pm, 130pm – 530pm. Closed on Wednesdays. Google Maps Location
Luoshan Nature Path 螺山自然步道
Proper subsequent to the Museum is a path that results in the Luoshan Nature Path. Simply 700m lengthy, the slim path was the trail locals used to take to go fishing or selecting oysters, however for guests it’s a reasonably brief hike and a pleasant method to see Beigan’s scenic magnificence.
You don’t must be an skilled hiker for this, however be ready for a good bit of stair climbing and uneven floor. The paths are actually slim and there’s one spot you kinda must clamber over a small rocky space, however general I’d say it’s fairly doable. Right here’s a greater take a look at the path on this video clip on my IG.
There’s a viewing pavilion right here you’ll be able to catch the planes flying out and in of Beigan Airport, and I additionally noticed a number of crimson tide on the day that I visited. Not many bushes as this place will get actually windswept – you need to keep away from it when its gusting as a result of there’s no room for error with these slim paths!
Confucius on the Sea 海上孔子像
The Luoshan Nature Path ends with a view of two islands – Luoshan and Bangshan. It regarded such as you may be capable of stroll over to Luoshan if the tide is low, however I wouldn’t threat it! Right here you’ll be able to see a somewhat uncommon rock often called the Confucius Rock.
The doorway to the Luoshan nature path is simply subsequent to the cafe on the Conflict and Peace Memorial Centre. Google map location
No. 6 Stronghold 06聚點
Wanting on the map of Beigan, Google didn’t have a lot data for the highway that went northwards however on the Beigan Tourism Map it confirmed No. 6 and No. 8 strongholds listed, so off to see extra deserted navy constructions!
The highway to No. 8 was closed, so I headed all the way in which to the northern tip of Houao Island to see No.6 Stronghold. This explicit stronghold faces northwards to different uninhabited islands just like the Lion Islets (Shiyu), Daqiu Island and Gaodeng Island.
It entails a little bit of a stair climb down the slope however has beautiful coastal and island views. You may pop right into a tunnel or two, in addition to climb a little bit bit nearer to the rocky coast by the water.
On the lookout for extra concerning the Matsu Islands? Go to neighbouring Nangan or take a look at my Matsu Island Information to plan your journey or easy methods to see the Blue Tears within the Matsu Islands.
Or take a look at extra about Taiwan’s offshore islands under: