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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.