Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles 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.