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Sunday, December 3, 2023

Taiwan Matsu Islands: Issues to do in Nangan 南竿

Nangan is likely one of the Matsu Island’s predominant locations and one of many locations I visited on my current journey to the Matsu Islands. I spent 2 nights there and put collectively this little submit on my suggestions and issues to do in Nangan if you’re planning to go to these Taiwan offshore islands for your self.

This text seems on the sights and issues to do in Nangan. Try my Beigan information for issues to do on the neighbouring island. This different submit has extra sensible info on the best way to get to the Matsu Islands. I’ve one other submit all about Matsu Island’s Blue Tears as properly.

Matsu Nangan Map
Matsu Tourism’s official Nangan map

I’ve organized this text in accordance with the 2 main bus routes in Nangan Island for many who may be planning to take the bus round. Each routes begin from Nangan airport – the Sea Route covers the north of the island whereas the Mountain Route hugs the southern coast.

How a lot time do it’s good to discover Nangan?

I spent 2 nights in Nangan Island, flying in from Songshan Airport within the afternoon on a Friday, after which taking the ferry to Beigan by way of Daqiu Island on Sunday morning.

Day 1 (late afternoon + night): Iron Fort, Dahan Stronghold, Beihai Tunnel Blue Tears Boat Tour, Jinsha Village + Seaside

Day 2 (full day): every thing else on this article, together with a return to Beihai Tunnel to stroll round within the morning

I had my very own transport to get round in order that positively made issues quicker, and finally the island itself isn’t that large so I believed this was enough time, however if you happen to’re taking the general public bus to get round or simply desire a extra enjoyable time, an extra day may not damage.

Matsu Nangan Fuao Harbour Sign
Scootering round Nangan

Can you are taking a day journey to Matsu Island’s Nangan?

When you flew in from Taipei on the earliest flight and reached Nangan at about 730am and departed on its newest flight at 645pm (assuming no flight cancellations), you most likely may see Nangan’s predominant sights, however if you happen to’re already going all the way in which there you would possibly as properly staya little longer.

Individuals usually don’t day journey to the Matsu Islands regardless that it takes nearly an hour by airplane to get there. The usual package deal that I’ve seen for Matsu Island lights is for 3 days which is sufficient to see Nangan and Beigan in a whirlwind.

Vital locations in Nangan

Nangan Airport 南竿機場 (LZN)

Nangan Airport is the busier of Matsu Island’s two airports and situated on the japanese fringe of the island – you’ll be able to learn extra particulars about flying to the Matsu Islands from Taipei on my Matsu Islands planning submit.

It’s a really small airport! When you haven’t already made transport preparations, you’ll be able to simply get a taxi from the queue exterior the airport.

Matsu Nangan Airport Entrance
Taxis ready exterior Matsu Nangan Airport

Nangan Fu’ao Port 南竿福澳港

Nangan’s Fu’ao Port is the primary port not only for Nangan however connecting the primary Matsu Islands (Beigan, Juguang Islands and Dongyin) in addition to to Taipei mainland (Keelung, Bali).

You should purchase your ferry tickets from the ticket workplace right here, or by way of on-line at eMatsu – extra element in my Matsu Islands planning submit on the best way to get to the Matsu Islands by ferry in addition to island hopping.

Matsu Nangan Fuao Harbour Ticket Counters
Ticket counters at Fu’ao Harbour. There’s a comfort retailer in addition to a small espresso outlets/bakery right here.

Nangan Customer Centre 南竿遊客中心

The Nangan Customer Centre is situated on the entrance to the Beihai Tunnel and Dahan Stronghold. You possibly can decide up maps from there, ask questions and naturally use the bathroom.

Nangan Sea Route 南竿海線

The ocean route begins from Nangan Airport within the east and runs alongside the northern shoreline.

Baba Tunnel 八八坑道

Proper across the nook from the airport exit is the well-known Baba Tunnel with its distinct rows of wine jars lining the doorway.

Matsu Nangan 88 Tunnel Entrance Jars Me
Matsu Nangan 88 Tunnel Entrance Jars Me

The tunnel was first a hideout from pirates and when the army got here alongside, expanded for army use and named Baba (8-8) to commemorate Chiang Kai Shek’s 88th birthday which was its day of completion.

After demilitarisation, it was used to retailer the Sorghum wine that Matsu Islands are well-known for. As you stroll by the tunnel, it seems like you might get drunk simply by respiration due to the sturdy wine scent within the air!

There may be wine saved in conventional earthen jars in addition to extra fashionable storage tanks in a parallel chamber. The manufacturing of the jar wine has apparently been discontinued so ultimately what you see saved right here will run out!

Matsu Nangan 88 Tunnel Interior
Jars containing wine
Matsu Nangan 88 Tunnel Jar Me
A few of these jars are fairly massive. This one has the branding of Matsu Distillery
Matsu Nangan 88 Tunnel Storage
Extra fashionable wine storage

If you’re concerned about buying Matsu Island wine, the Matsu distillery and store is simply down the highway. I wished to see different issues and didn’t plan on shopping for something so I didn’t hassle popping in.

Opening Hours: 840am – 1130am and 140pm – 5pm

The Thorn Birds Cafe 刺鳥咖啡獨立書店

One factor you’ll discover a number of on the Matsu Islands are army constructions and bunkers, largely due to its proximity to China (just like Kinmen). Whereas the army presence shouldn’t be as overt because it was once, many of those outdated constructions had been both was visitable points of interest or left deserted.

Stronghold No. 12 on Nangan is sort of an uncommon instance – on the northeastern finish of the island close to Niujiao Village, this construction was transformed right into a cute and hip cafe + bookstore with a beautiful coastal view often called the Thorn Birds Cafe. It’s received fairly an attention-grabbing historical past if you wish to learn extra about it.

Matsu Nangan Thorn Bird View
Strolling down the hill to the doorway and having fun with the coastal view
Matsu Nangan Thorn Bird Exterior
As soon as utilized by troopers, now welcoming all forms of friends

The cafe itself covers 2 flooring and the workers will assign you seats, although the home windows in fact have one of the best view. Since I used to be solo, they put me in one of many interior rooms which was like a research the place there have been bench seats and a wonderful window view. Plenty of Chinese language books and outdated knick knacks throughout so you actually do really feel such as you’re in somebody’s house.

Matsu Nangan Thorn Bird Cafe
The primary room on the bottom ground

There’s a minimal order of 200 NTD (about S$8.50) although that’s not too arduous to hit if you happen to’re ordering a drink and a few snacks. The menu is usually tea/drinks and a few toast/dessert pastries.

Matsu Nangan Thorn Bird Study Window Food
I had the Thorn Chook Candy Dessert (a macaron, cake and a few dried fruit) and a milk tea with this view

What’s actually particular although is within the basement – Descend some stairs and stroll by a tunnel and as an alternative of the standard army watch submit, this one has been jazzed up with artwork and artefacts and was mini artwork gallery of kinds.

Matsu Nangan Thorn Bird Tunnel Table
You possibly can see the steps main down right here on the proper
Matsu Nangan Thorn Bird Tunnel Gallery
Showcasing artwork within the former stronghold tunnel

Opening Hours: They usually open 10am-6pm. A reservation MUST be made both by way of their social platforms (IG or FB) or by telephone, they don’t permit walk-ins in any respect even when the place is empty. Solely cafe friends can entry the artwork tunnel.

The Thorn Birds is briefly closed for renovations till Nov 2023, keep tuned to their socials for his or her reopening!

Zhenge Daidan Memorial Park 枕戈待旦牌樓

When you take the ferry to Nangan from the opposite Matsu Islands or from Taipei, you’ll positively see this massive signal as you strategy the Fu’ao Ferry Terminal.

The phrases are learn Chinese language model from proper to left: 枕戈待旦 zhěn gē dài dàn, which is a Chinese language idiom that actually interprets as ‘Spear on pillow, ready for daybreak’ and has a which means of at all times able to battle the conflict – it was phrases written by the president Chiang Kai Shek as a reminder for the troops and residents to spur them on throughout their battles with China.

I took the straightforward route and rode up right here, however it’s also possible to climb the steps for a scenic climb. There are extra phrases behind the signal that faces the ocean!

Matsu Nangan Zhenggedaidan Sign
枕戈待旦 from up shut
Matsu Nangan Zhenggedaidan Sign Back
The again of the signal tells when and the way this signal took place
Matsu Nangan Zhenggedaidan View
Right here’s the view from the signal of close by Fu’ao Harbour
Matsu Nangan Chiang Kai Shek Statue
Alongside the highway, there’s a small cease level the place you’ll be able to see a Chiang Kai Shek statue

Matsu Folklore Tradition Museum 馬祖民俗文物館

Simply previous Qingshui Village is the Matsu Folklore Tradition Museum and it’s an amazing place to get a fast overview of the historical past and tradition of the Matsu Islands.

The 2nd degree was closed so I solely received to see the first degree, nevertheless it was visually engaging and properly put collectively. There have been even English translations for the reveals, so it’s good for foreigners too. It was a pleasant post-lunch break to simply escape the midday warmth and study some historical past of the islands.

Matsu Nangan Folklore Museum Exterior
Exterior the museum
Matsu Nangan Folklore Museum Exhibit
Fairly reveals meant to imitate Matsu’s hilly panorama
Matsu Nangan Folklore Museum Exhibit Zhengge Daidan
The museum model of Zhengge Daidan. A lot of the predominant reveals had English and Chinese language textual content

Opening Hours: 9am – 5pm (Closed on Mondays)

Mazu Statue 媽祖巨神像

The Matsu Islands are named for the ocean goddess Matsu or Mazu 媽祖 because the Chinese language say it, and naturally since these are the Matsu Islands, there’s a large ass Mazu statue right here subsequent to the Tianhou Temple on the western finish of the island.

Inbuilt 2009, the measurements of this statue maintain a number of significance – 365 granite rocks had been used to signify days of peace all year long, and the peak of the statue is 29.6m as a result of the whole land space of the Matsu Islands is 29.6 sq km.

Matsu Nangan Mazu Statue 2
Big Mazu

These on bikes can journey as much as the highest of the hill so there’s much less strolling, however the religious (and automobile drivers) can climb these stairs to get to the viewing platform on high.

Matsu Nangan Mazu Statue Stairs
so many stairs

From the platform, you’ve got a chicken’s eye view of Mazu Port the place there are army ships berthed.

Matsu Nangan Mazu Statue View
Beautiful view of the western shoreline from up right here!

Matsu Blue Tears Expertise Centre 藍眼淚生態館

If you need a assured sighting of Matsu Island’s well-known Blue Tears, this expertise centre will help you see the Blue Tears up shut in any climate, albeit in a lab setting of kinds. It’s situated close to the enormous Mazu statue.

Matsu Nangan Blue Tears Experience Centre Exterior
Entrance to the Blue Tears Expertise Centre
Matsu Nangan Blue Tears Experience Centre Projections
Half 1 is a video present projected on the partitions and an AR surroundings for enjoyable pix

Learn this submit for full particulars concerning the Matsu Blue Tears Expertise Centre.

Opening Hours: 10am – 5pm (Classes begin each half hour)

Admission Ticket: 350 NTD. You possibly can e-book your Blue Tears Expertise Centre Tickets by way of KKday [affiliate link] or purchase on the door topic to availability.

Furen Cafe 夫人咖啡館

Since I used to be within the northwestern nook of the island, I made a decision to discover this space somewhat extra. Right here I discovered Furen Cafe which can be somewhat guesthouse by the ocean. I positively wasn’t anticipating to seek out so many cute cafes right here within the Matsu Islands!

It was a bit uncommon in that they impose a ‘minimal spend’ by charging a ticket worth on the door, however in any other case it’s a charming little conventional stone home with a number of crops and an amazing view.

Matsu Nangan Furen Cafe Entrance
Entrance is down the steps…
Matsu Nangan Furen Cafe Yard
The yard to sit down and chill in

This was a little bit of a bizarre time however I made a decision to have a late lunch/early dinner and had their cheese fried rice with purple yeast. Plenty of cute cats throughout to maintain you firm!

Matsu Nangan Furen Cafe Table
My lunch companion and a sea view

This cafe can be a guesthouse that you would be able to keep at, although it’s somewhat bit too distant for me however if you would like peace and quiet it is a excellent place.

Matsu Nangan Furen Cafe Shop
Matsu Nangan Furen Cafe Store

Opening Hours: 10am – 10pm. Try their web site or e-book a mattress (they’ve a 8-pax dorm) at Furen Homestay [booking.com affiliate link]

Admission Ticket: there’s a 150 NTD ‘admission ticket’ or minimal spend that it’s a must to pay on the door however you need to use that quantity to offset your invoice on the cafe.

Qiugui Pavilion 秋桂亭

Not removed from Furen Cafe is Qiugui Pavilion, which is nothing notably particular nevertheless it does have an amazing view and a desk with some seats that you would be able to cease and relaxation at.

Matsu Nangan Furen Qiugui Pavilion
Qiugui Pavilion
Matsu Nangan Furen Qiugui Pavilion Benches
Have a seat – the design does kinda appear to be the army strongholds no?
Matsu Nangan Furen Qiugui Pavilion View
It’s a bit arduous to inform, however you’ll be able to see the Zhengge Daidan signal on a transparent day throughout the water!

Nangan Mountain Route 南竿山線

This route covers the stuf you’ll be able to see alongside the southern highway that cuts throughout Nangan.

Jieshou Shizi Market 介壽獅子市場

Jieshou Village is the closest to Nangan Airport and the Shizi Market is meant to be an amazing place to seize breakfast in Nangan. Sadly I solely went within the early afternoon and every thing was closed by then. Hopefully I get the prospect to go to in future!

Matsu Nangan Jieshou Shizi Market
Jieshou Shizi Market

Opening Hours: 6am – 10am

Dahan Stronghold 大漢據點

Dahan Stronghold and Beihai Tunnel are literally situated in the identical space within the south of the island, simply on reverse sides of the bay. You possibly can enter this previous army stronghold and discover its tunnels, although it’d really feel a bit claustrophobic for some.

Matsu Nangan Beihai Tunnel Indian Rock
On the way in which to Dahan stronghold is a particular rock – are you able to see the Native American chief’s profile with the headdress?
Matsu Nangan Dahan Stronghold Entrance
Entrance to Dahan Stronghold
Matsu Nangan Dahan Stronghold Tunnel
Vivid lights and slender tunnels
Matsu Nangan Dahan Stronghold Flag
Some outdated pix of the army presence and weapons prior to now
Matsu Nangan Dahan Stronghold Gunnery
Taking within the view from the place they used to shoot weapons from

Opening Hours: 8am – 5pm

Beihai Tunnel 北海坑道

The Beihai Tunnel is one other place within the Matsu Islands the place you’ll be able to assure a 100% Blue Tears sighting, although it may not be what it seems like in pix. Learn extra concerning the Beihai Tunnel Blue Tears boat journey that takes place after hours (6-9pm often, although I used to be there throughout peak in order that they opened a 530pm slot and 10pm slots).

Matsu Nangan Beihai Tunnel Entrance
The doorway is hidden behind this massive statue
Matsu Nangan Beihai Tunnel Exterior
Coming into the tunnel

Imagine it or not, this tunnel which runs in a sq. is totally artifical and was once the place they hid army boats. Sadly, a number of troopers and builders died within the creation of those tunnels again within the day.

Most individuals come right here for the Blue Tears boat journey within the night, however within the day time throughout low tide, you might be allowed to stroll in and stroll across the total perimeter by yourself. It’s a bit damp and funky however the reflections of the rock within the water make all of it fairly majestic.

Matsu Nangan Beihai Tunnel Water Reflection
iPhone 14 Professional’s night time mode doing an amazing job
Matsu Nangan Beihai Tunnel Boats
Boats tied up through the day
Matsu Nangan Beihai Tunnel Diorama
Diorama concerning the constructing course of close to the doorway

Opening Hours: To stroll round, throughout low tide from 8am-5pm. Click on right here to test the Beihai Tunnel opening hours. Boat journey occurs from 6pm-9pm usually.

Admission Ticket: It’s free to stroll across the Beihai Tunnel, however if you happen to intend to take the boat journey, that prices 350 NTD. Extra in my Blue Tears submit.

Ren’ai Seaside 仁愛沙灘

This seashore could be very near Beihai Tunnel and one of many locations that I noticed the Blue Tears within the wild! Some Taiwanese pals I made had been staying in a guesthouse that missed this seashore.

Random tip for you: if you happen to’re headed to Ren’ai Seaside from Jinsha Village, don’t take the coastal Jinban highway at night time as a result of it’s not lit!

Matsu Nangan Renai Beach View
Ren’ai Seaside from the close by Guanmaoshan path

Iron Fort 鐵堡

Out of all of the army constructions, I feel the Iron Fort is likely one of the prettier ones value visiting as a result of you can’t solely stroll by the tunnels however on its roof as properly. When you look intently on the rocks round right here, they’re lined with glass to cease enemy frogmen from climbing up them simply.

Matsu Nangan Iron Fort Stairs
Taking place to the Iron Fort
Matsu Nangan Iron Fort Entrance
Entrance to the Iron Fort

You begin by strolling inside and see the quarters the place troopers used to stay and watch from, after which climb out to the roof to stroll again.

Matsu Nangan Iron Fort Window
Some bits inside
Matsu Nangan Iron Fort Roof
Wanting again on the stairway main right here on the roof

Opening Hours: 8am – 5pm

Yuntai Mountain 雲台山

Head to Nangan’s highest level on Yuntai Mountain for a splendid view from 248m above sea degree! There’s a pleasant viewing platform to sit down and relaxation in.

There’s a army submit right here that sadly obstructs the 360º view – it’s good to apply for a allow if you wish to go to it.

Matsu Nangan Yuntaishan Sign Pavilion
Yuntai Mountain
Matsu Nangan Yuntaishan View Lion
Lion posts guard Yuntai Mountain
Matsu Nangan Yuntaishan View
The north dealing with view reveals Beigan island and on a really clear day you would possibly even see China’s shoreline

Jinsha Village 津沙聚落

Jinsha Village sits on the foot of Yuntai Mountain within the south western nook of Nangan and is likely one of the island’s most historic villages with a number of conventional stone homes. That is the village that I stayed in for 2 nights (learn extra in my Matsu Islands planning submit), although many different guests do pop by to go to through the day.

Matsu Nangan Jinsha Village View
Jinsha Village from above
Matsu Nangan Jinsha Village Houses
Conventional stone homes – they had been doing a number of development works after I was there

Jinsha Village has its personal seashore, sadly no Blue Tears had been current after I was there. I noticed some SUP paddlers right here within the afternoon.

Matsu Nangan Jinsha Village Beach
Jinsha Seaside
Matsu Nangan Jinsha Beach
Some development taking place out on the breakwater, and SUP paddlers

A notice that it’s good to eat dinner pretty early when in Matsu Islands, or make prior preparations if you happen to plan to eat late. In Jinsha itself there are simply two locations which might be open for dinner, one among which is Below the Banyan Tree (Rongshu xia Xiaochi 榕樹下小吃) the place I had dinner the primary night time and made some new Taiwanese pals.

Matsu Nangan Jinsha Rongshuxia Food
I ate Matsu Island’s well-known Laojiu Mianxian right here, however as a result of there was a 200 NTD minimal order to eat in, I added on a bowl of soup which was method an excessive amount of. Fortunately a bunch of Taiwanese pals joined my desk and we ended up sharing dinner!
Matsu Nangan Jinsha Village Temple
Jingtian Hougong in Jinsha Village
Matsu Nangan Jinsha Vanilla Exterior
A few of Jinsha’s outdated buildings – that is my guesthouse Jinsha Vanilla

Searching for extra concerning the Matsu Islands? Try my Beigan Guide, Matsu Island Information to plan your journey or the best way to see the Blue Tears within the Matsu Islands.

Or try extra about Taiwan’s offshore islands under:

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