Welcome to the magical blue waters of Matsu, an island chain off the coast of Taiwan.
Every summer, Matsu’s shore glitters with a display of glowing algae known as “Blue Tears.”
The mesmerizing blue along the coast of Matsu Island is caused by “noctiluca scintillans”, highly buoyant, balloon-like cells that glow.
Geographically Matsu islands and Kinmen islands are closer to China (PRC) than Taiwan, but they are under Taiwanese (ROC) territory and since they are so close to China, they used to be the most important military bases for ROC and back in the days no local tourists were even allowed.
The Matzu islands – named after the goddess Matsu – is composed of 19 islands and islets: five major islands, which are Nangan, Dongju and Xiju, Beigan and Dongyin and some minor islands include Liang, Gaodeng, Daqiu and Xiaoqiu .
Matsu Islands are connected by flights with Taichung and Taipei and by ferry with Keelung Port.
Nangan, also known as Matsu Island is the largest of Matsu’s four townships and five islands.
The highest point of the island is the Yuntai Hill peak at 250m.
It is the most developed of the islands. Fuao Harbor at Fuao Village is where the Taiwan-Matsu Ferry and the Island Express Ferry arrives.
How to go to Nangan?
By flight: Nangan is connected with Taiwan with daily flights from Taipei and Taichung.
Flights duration is approx. 50 minutes.
By sea: The ferry leaves from Keelung Harpour in the evening and arrives at Fuao Wharf on Nangan early the next morning.
Nangan is also a hub for travel by ferry to Beigan, Juguang, and Dongyin.
Things to do:
⭐ Nioujiao (Fuxing) Village: Beautiful granite village built at the edge of a mountain on the sea. Check out the temple on the harbor and spend hours getting lost in its tranquility.
⭐ Tunnel 88: 9-11am. This tunnel was built centuries ago to defend the locals from pirates. It was used as a hiding place for military boats and is supposedly large enough to hide 120 small vessels in case of attack. Later it was used by the military and now it is used by the Matsu Distillery. Kayaks are available for rent (NT$350)
⭐ Gaoliang: 9-11am. Matsu is known for its Rice Wine, Gaoliang.They will have you watch a movie and then provide you with shots.
⭐ Matsu Temple: considered one of the most sacred spots in Taiwan.
Beigan is approximately 30 kilometers northeast of Nangan, and has the second largest population and land area of the Matsu Islands.
Beigan’ shape is long and narrow, with tall mountains its highest peak, Bishan is 298 meters. Beigan is also characterized by its large number of sandy beaches and outlying islands. The colors of the stone houses appeared to change with the rising and setting of the sun.
How to go to Beigan
By flight: Beigan is connected with Taiwan with daily flights from Taipei. Flights duration is approx. 50 minutes.
Things to do:
⭐ The Village of Qiebi on a hill facing the sea. and its traditional Matsu architecture.
⭐ Beihai Tunnel: The tunnel may be entered only when the tides are favorable.
⭐ Qiaozai Village: the biggest village on Beigan.
⭐ War and Peace Memorial Park Exhibition Center: The main theme of the hall is “emotions and memories” reproducing the almost 50 years of military rule that the ROC military and Matsu residents spent living side by side.