The Matsu Distillery and Tunnel 88

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We could smell the Matsu Old Wine from the van as we drove up to the Matsu Distillery which was established in 1956 and moved to its present location in 1970. The island’s sweet-water springs and clean air are said to be the major reasons for its ability to create such a fine rice wine.
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The Iron Fort

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Nangan’s [南竿] Iron Fort [鐵堡] sits on a small island barely separated from the shore near Ren-ai Village [仁愛村]. The fort was originally the training base for special amphibious forces.
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The Beihai Tunnel

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A short walk from the Dahan Stronghold, Nangan’s [南竿] Beihai [北海] Tunnel is a multi-channeled tunnel 18 meters high, 10 meters wide, and 640 meters long. Soldiers worked for 820 days to complete the project using just blasting powder and hand tools to tunnel through solid granite.
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The Dahan Stronghold

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Naturally, the best weather we encountered was on our last [half] day in Matsu. Excavation for Nangan’s [南竿] Dahan [大漢] Stronghold began in 1975 by soldiers using basic equipment. Work was completed on March 29, 1980.
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Cinbi Village, Matsu

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Beigan’s [北竿] Cinbi Village [芹壁村] is the most completely persevered group of traditional buildings in Matsu. Since most of its residents have moved out, the county government has undertaken efforts to preserve the buildings to make this Beigan’s most popular tourist attraction.
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Biyuan and Ciaozai Village, Matsu

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Ciaozai Village [橋仔村] is located in northern Beigan [北竿]. Despite the small population, Matsu hosts many temples because throughout its history most of its residents made their living on the ocean. Religious faith is strong because of the unpredictability of the sea.
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Houao Village, Matsu

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Houao Village [后澳村] on Beigan [北竿] shows off some of the traditional buildings found in Matsu. Most of the houses are constructed of granite, since they are upright and foursquare they look like stamps, so they are sometimes referred to as “one-stamp” buildings.
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The Peace Memorial Park

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The Peace Memorial Park is located on Beigan [北竿], Matsu’s second largest island. Here you can find a slew of tanks, combat vehicles, cannons, and other weaponry while enjoying the view from Daaoshan [大澳山].
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Sleeping on Spears, Awaiting the Dawn

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If you approach Nangan’s [南竿] Fuao Harbor [福澳港] you really can’t help but notice the giant inscription rising out of Fuao Village [福澳村]. The inscription, “Sleeping on Spears, Awaiting the Dawn [枕戈待旦],” was written by General Chiang Kai-shek during a visit to Matsu in 1958.
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