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Landscape resources

The natural landscapes
Matsu is well-known for its diversity of coastal landscapes which are mostly vertical and precipitous with capes and joints. In which, tombolos can be seen in Tanghoudao in Beigan and Xiniu Islet and Yongliu Islet in Dongju. Sandbars or gravel bars connecting the tombolos and the islets are especially characteristic. Beaches in Matsu are also famous for their transparent or translucent quartz sands, which make the beach golden and shimmering under the sunshine, is particularly striking. Matsu has 4 townships and each of them possesses their own attractions of both nature and culture landscapes.

Attractions of Dongyin
Located on the Northeast of the Matsu Islands, the island of Dongyin is primarily composed of greyish-green diorites which were formed about 1 billion to 8,500 years ago. Dongyin landscapes are interwoven with hills and valleys and surrounded by abrasion cliffs. The En’ai Mountain is 173 meters above the sea level, and the well-developed diorites here make the coasts fairly steep. The mother nature blesses this area with abundant fishery resources and it becomes a great place for seashore fishing by the cliffs and on reef rocks.
 The Suicide Cliff, Thread of Sky, and Yanxiu Tidal Cave of Dongyin with classical sea ditches that look even more impressive when being observed from the seas. With a boat trip, visitors can enjoy fully the beauty of squirrel and chameleon-shaped landforms.

Attractions of Daqiu
Daqiu is famed for a rich flora and fauna ecology and abraded coastal rocks. The Northeast part of Daqiu is the best spot of to observe the island’s abrasion landforms, such as sea ditches, sea caves, sea stacks in Xiaoqiu and between Xiaoqiu and Daqiu which might have formed due to eroding waves. There are plenty of sea ditches and sea caves on the Northwest of Daqiu, as its granite coasts are continuously being eaten up by the waves. Parallel to the immense view of the coasts, along Daqiu’s hiking trails, visitors can explore old military facilities and wild Formosan Sika Deer.

Attractions of stone
Along the Dongyong Lighthouse Trail which was built quite some years ago, visitors can pass by many amazing coastal scenic sites such as Leigu Rock, Taibai Tiansheng and fog cannons. The textures and layers of the trail-side rocks can be easily appreciated under the Sun. As visitors can easily observe the textures and mineral layers of rocks in the old military tunnels and thereby rock-watching tours are often inside the tunnels.

The “Iron Fort” of Nangan is a protruding reef rock on the seas. Three sides of it are surrounded by the ocean; only the east side serves as the outlet of Tieban Village and Ren’ai Beach, leading to the East Sea. Hence the Iron Fort was a crucial spot in war time. Due to tidal difference, only the lower half of the rock has been constantly hit by waves. As a result, the upper and lower halves of the rock are each eroded to a different extent, and their colors are different. On this rather tattered-looking giant rock are neatly built military facilities, forming an interesting visual contrast, almost like a geometric picture.

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Culture landscapes
Besides on the breathtaking beauty of nature with recessed cliffs, sea stacks and sea caves, Matsu is also famous for the largest and most amazing military tunnel systems which are relics of its war history.

Wartime heritages
In the wartime, Matsu stood at a critical strategic position, therefore it had been closed to civilians for decades until 1992 when the Military administration was dismissed and in 1994 it was accessible to general visitors. Matsu has a high density of tunnels. Beside on the North Sea Tunnel, Wusha Tunnel, and Andong Tunnel, there are still more tunnels and military guarding garrisons unrevealed and unknown to the public, hiding the blood and tears of the soldiers.

Nangan’s Beihai Tunnel and Dongyin’s Andong Tunnel are highly recommended for those having a fancy for immersing in wartime remains. The tunnels are made out of granite caves with plenty of interesting and touching stories surround the rocks. It is these rocks that make the Matsu Geopark special.

Used to be isolated from the rest of the world, the simple characteristics of the locals and original lifestyle of Matsu add extra charm to the landscape. In which, Mindong architecture is the highlight of Matsu’s cultural landscape. Qinbi Village of Beigan is the most well-reserved and most representative Mindong settlement. The four-section red-roofed houses made with thick granites look like seals and are therefore called “seal-shaped architecture.” They lean against the mountains and face the seas. The walls are constructed with the “up-side-down V” method, thereby making the stone plates neat and tight, while still leaving room for ventilation. Hence the houses are also known as “houses that breathe.”

With gastronomy traditions kept in various villages and households, Matsu is famous for many traditional repasts and snacks. Among them are famous Tunnel 88 Kaoliang Liquor, Thin Noodles with Old Wine, Fish noodles, Jiguang Cakes etc.

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