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Hello, everybody!
Welcome to Travel in Taiwan!
Let’s go to the Matsu islands.
In the summer of 2012,
we went to the islands of Matsu
for a 2-day trip.
And it was a really great trip.
We had a lot of fun.
We started at the Taipei Railway Station
and took the train to Keelung.
And we went to the ferry terminal there.
There were already people waiting.
And soon we were on the Tai-Ma ferry.
Tai-Ma for Taiwan to Matsu ferry.
A little boat (ship).
And then we checked out the harbor.
Saw a big cruise liner there.
Much bigger than our ship.
And soon we were on the water,
leaving Keelung harbor.
You can see the full moon there.
It was very nice weather.
We checked out the harbor there.
Some of the harbor facilities.
Keelung is a very important harbor of Taiwan.
And it’s quite pretty at night.
The reflections there, and the ship was moving
slowly out of the harbor.
It was a great start to the trip.
We were looking forward to see Matsu
for the first time.
The weather was perfect,
no clouds, no waves.
Very smooth sailing.
We didn’t have to throw up overboard.
The trip from Keelung to Matsu
takes about 8 hours.
And after eight hours,
we saw the first island of Matsu,
and that is Dongyin.
A small island,
and the ship was stopping there
for a brief time
to allow passengers to get off board
and others to get on board.
We didn’t have enough time
to check out Dongyin.
Maybe next time.
It’s supposed to be a nice place.
A small island with some nice scenery as well.
And here we are approaching
the harbor. Early in the morning.
The sun was still behind the mountains.
There were some soldiers there waiting.
Some people were up already.
It was about six o’clock in the morning, I think.
That sign says: Welcome to Dongyin!
You see some people leaving.
Quite a few tourists.
As I said, it was in the summer.
So there were families with children
on vacation.
Leaving for Dongyin.
Some people left the boat,
some people came on board.
Headed for Nangan Island,
our final destination.
You can see the island is quite small.
There you can also see the sun is
behind the horizon.
And soon we were leaving Dongyin.
And from Dongyin to the next island, Nangan,
it took us two hours.
A nice, refreshing two hours on the ship.
Watching the waves and ships in the distance.
And then we saw the first mountains
of Nangan or was it Beigan?
I can’t remember.
Anyway, we soon were approaching
Nangan Island.
Everyone was looking forward to
getting on land and see
what Matsu is like.
So you can see, it’s quite hilly.
Quite a few mountains there.
And it’s very green, actually.
A lot of trees.
Very pleasant place.
Surprisingly, we were very surprised about
how nice Matsu is.
It's a recommended place to go.
That’s the main harbor.
Now the sun was up. And we left the boat.
There you can see Sunny and Rick.
We were a group of four.
Sunny, Rick, A-Guo, our photographer, and me.
And then we went on land,
and we met our guide,
a very nice lady of the
Matsu National Scenic Area Administration.
And soon later we were on a boat again.
This time to go on a bird-watching trip.
Matsu is known for water birds.
And they are attracted by these
small islands.
And we took a small boat north
to the island of Beigan.
There you can see some birds already.
We had to put on life vests,
and it was very hot.
So, if you go on this kind of trip
in the summer, make sure
that you get to the upper level
of the boat.
It’s much cooler there.
There’s a tip for you.
The boat is quite quick, and soon
we were at Beigan Island.
It’s also mountainous.
You can see the coastline.
The dot on the screen is not a bird,
but dirt on the lens.
And then we made a stop here,
to see Qinbi Village.
That’s actually the place
where we stayed later in the day,
at night.
There you can see a rock,
it’s called Turtle Island,
a small island in front of Qinbi Village.
Then we went on
to see some other islands.
There are quite a few islands actually there.
There are four main islands, but a lot more
smaller ones, uninhabited for most part.
Only inhabited by birds.
There you can see the famous, eh... not famous,
maybe famous for birds, a bird island.
And we couldn’t get any closer,
because it’s not allowed.
So, if you want to see some birds clearly,
you have to make sure to bring
binoculars or a tele lens.
If you look closely, you can see some birds
flying about. Not the dirt on the lens there.
Then it was back to Nangan.
Very quick, very nice.
Those boats are quite fast.
Like I said, the sun is very strong.
You have to make sure
that you have a good sun blocker,
when you go there in the summer.
And then we were on land,
and our guide took us to this village,
and this is called Matsu Village actually.
And there we had lunch
at a very nice restaurant,
serving Matsu specialties.
There is the owner,
a very nice guy, very talkative,
but we didn’t understand a lot
because he was talking
with a very strong Matsu
or southern Fujian accent.
There you can see other tourists,
and there you can see the food, mmhhh...
Very delicious.
People enjoyed their meal.
There you can see the Matsu hamburger.
That's my favorite.
It's filled with eggs.
The red rice is made with red yeast,
a by-product of the liquor production
on Matsu. There you have mussels, black ones.
Clams, and in front we had fish soup.
And then, those are fish noodles,
made with fish paste. A Matsu specialty.
There you can see the Matsu hamburger.
And there is fish. Matsu is an island
and of course, an island has
a lot of seafood to offer.
That was our meal for today.
And those are the fish noodles.
And those are made by and old lady
called A-Po.
And we visited her store later on
to learn about fish noodles making.
And then we went to this statue of Mazu,
the highest statue of Mazu in Taiwan.
And we visited this temple, the Tianhou Temple,
dedicated to Mazu.
And both sights are in Matsu Village.
There's also a little harbor there,
some navy vessels.
And there you can see the statue
on the top of the mountain.
That's Matsu Village.
And here we have
the Tianhou Temple. A Mazu temple.
Quiet a nice site.
Not many people there.
And then we went on to see this village.
It looks a bit Mediterranean.
Matsu is famous for old traditional stone houses.
And close to this village is the Iron Fort.
There are many military installations on Matsu.
And those are among the tourist attractions.
You can see here,
there is the entrance to a tunnel there.
And then we went down this path
to the entrance of a tunnel.
A military tunnel, called Beihai Tunnel
on Nangan Island.
And there is a monument there.
Dedicated to the soldiers
who built the tunnel
virtually by hand, with picks.
And then, the entrance to the tunnel
is behind this wall.
Here is the sculpture again.
And then we went down there.
It's a bit dark.
There is some display of soldiers
building the tunnel.
And then we went further down the tunnel.
There is the water.
And you can go on a short boat trip.
Or you can go kayaking.
There are also swan boats,
a bit out of place for my taste.
And we took the kayaks
and went for a little trip down there.
It takes about 20 minutes
to explore the tunnel.
It's very silent, calm down there.
There you can see the kayaks.
The light at the end of the tunnel is daylight,
an opening in the tunnel.
Oh, that's actually the way
where we came down.
And then we had to rush,
because we wanted to
go from Nangan to Beigan Island,
where we would stay for the night.
So we took the boat.
It takes about 20 or 30 minutes
from Nangan to Beigan.
It's quite quick.
The boats are quite quick there, the ferries.
And we looked at Nangan Island
and then Beigan Island.
Both are quite hilly, mountainous.
And then we approached the harbor of Beigan.
A small harbor.
Not much going on there.
All in all, Matsu is a very relaxing place.
There you can see some fishing boats.
And then we went to this place.
A village at the northern end of Beigan.
Famous for its temples.
There are quite a few of them,
in a very small village.
There seem to be more temples
then houses, actually.
And some of the temples have
dragon on their roofs.
And this is the village again,
from the distance.
A few temples, at least,
I can see three temples.
And then we made it to
Qinbi Village, also on
the northern side of Beigan Island,
in time to catch the sunset there.
And it was a very nice sunset.
The people there, enjoying the view.
There is a little beach down there.
And you can see, the sea was calm.
The sun was setting.
There you can see the Turtle Island again,
we saw from the boat.
And in the distance, that's actually
the mainland Chinese coast,
in the distance.
It's quite close.
And we made photos there.
Sunny, in front of the sunset.
Then, this is actually in the morning already.
I got up early and went to the beach
to check out the beach.
No one was there, it was very calm.
And the sun was slowly coming up
behind the mountains.
There you can see the Qinbi Village.
And then Sunny came to check out the beach.
Which is nice, nice soft sand
and some huge boulders.
We did stay in a very nice guesthouse.
The name of the guesthouse is Qinbe No. 25.
It's in an old house,
but has modern facilities.
And the interior design is quite new.
And then Sunny checked out the water.
And she did actually go for a swim there.
Quite refreshing in the early morning hours.
As I said, during the summer
the temperatures were very high,
so it was a great start to the day,
taking a dip in the refreshingly
cool water.
Then I went for a short hike
up the mountain behind the village.
There's a trail there.
And you have great views of the village.
And we had breakfast
in front of the guesthouse with nice views.
Here is the guestroom with a view of the sea.
And then we went to make some photos
in the village.
You can see the interesting wall design there.
So we did make pictures.
There you have Ah-Guo, our photographer,
making pictures of Sunny.
Sunny is pretending to read a map.
Here you can see some of the houses.
Interestingly, they have bricks on the roofs
as protection against the wind.
Very interesting architecture.
Later in the morning, there were
some tourist groups coming
to visit Qinbi Village.
And they enjoyed a coffee up there.
There's a coffee shop.
Sunny and Rick.
And you can sit there under a sunbrella
and enjoy the view.
There is a temple back there, a small temple.
Inside the temple they had some kind of ceremony.
I have no idea what they were doing.
Some kind of ceremony.
That's the temple from the outside.
It's also a Tianhou Temple,
dedicated to Mazu, the Goddess of the Sea.
There is the final view of the bay
where Qinbi is located.
You can see the Turtle Island there
and the old houses. A nice place.
Then we went to another tunnel.
Interestingly, this tunnel is also
called Beihai Tunnel, like the one
on Nangan.
We were actually looking forward to
going inside, because it was already
very hot outside.
Inside the tunnel, it's cool and dark
and refreshing.
There are some interesting rock formations.
This tunnel is smaller than the other one.
There are no boats or kayaks inside.
You walk for a few hundred meters
on a path through the tunnel
from one end to the other.
They have very nice light in there.
So the walls are looking orange.
You cannot see much on this image.
There you can see the path along the water.
And at the other end of the tunnel
the waves were crushing in.
You can imagine how difficult it must be
if you want to hide boats in this tunnel.
This is at the other end of the tunnel.
So the tunnel visits are a must-do on the islands.
Then we had some refreshments.
Those are sweet-potato dumplings
with ice-cream. Very tasty.
And then we had some Matsu pastry.
Also very delicious.
This is the Luoshan Peninsula
on Beigan Island.
There is a War and Peace Park
Exhibition Center near this peninsula,
which we did check out.
There is a trail on this peninsula
where you can go up to the very end.
But we didn't have time to go down there.
We just enjoyed the nice panoramic views
from up there.
Down there you can see the trail.
Was quite windy up there.
And there you can see a building,
this is actually a toilet,
a camouflaged toilet.
And further to the right there is the
Beigan Airport, where we would take off
a bit later.
Then, our final stop was this temple
in the south of Beigan and it's close
to the Banli Beach. A sandy beach.
As you can see, it's a typical temple of Matsu.
And we went on the beach, not the cleanest beach,
but not bad.
And that was already our final moment.
We had to rush to the airport to catch
the flight back to Taipei.
This is the airport.
This is Ah-Guo and Rick, waiting for the plane.
And then we were taking off already.
What a shame. It is so nice in Matsu.
We should have stayed much longer.
But surely we will go back in the future.
So, all in all this was a great trip.
We had a lot of fun and we enjoyed everything there
and hopefully you can make it there too.
Thank you for watching and see you again soon.
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Trip to the Islands of Matsu/馬祖之旅

3935 Folder Collection
Ashley Chen published on August 26, 2014
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