Beigan Island is a one of the two largest Islands in Matsu (officailly Lienchiang County, Taiwan), and has some of the best preserved traditional stone made fishing villages on the islands. There are also many historical military sites, as the islands were part of the front line during the Chinese Civil War. It is easily accessible via airplane or boat from Taipei.
Thousands of years ago, stone aged peoples once inhabited the Matsu Islands, including Beigan Island itself. These stone aged people later disappeared.
The Matsu islands were inhabited again around the Song Dynasty (990 - 1200 AD) by Chinese Fisherman, the descendants of whom still inhabit the islands today.
During the Chinese Civil War, Matsu was used as a military outpost for the retreating ROC. During the years that followed, it withheld shelling and threats of invasion from China, helping to keep Taiwan free of communist control.
In 1992 after cross straight relations had warmed up, martial law was lifted on the islands and tourists were allowed to visit.
In 1994 Beigan Airport was opened, and was the only airport in Matsu for 9 years. In2003, the Nangan Airport was opened, which significantly lowered the number of travelers to Beigan. However fast and convenient boat travel has made it so that most tourists travel to both islands.
Beigan Island is the second largest island in Matsu (behind Nangan), and a population of about 2,500.
How to get there:
By Boat: There are boats from Nangan Fu'Ao Harbor (南竿福奧港) to Beigan Baisha Harbor (北竿白沙港) every hour from 7 AM to 5 PM. There are no daily routes to Beigan from other islands (except Daqiu).
By Plane: There are flights to and from Taipei Songshan Airport three times a day via Uni Air.
By Boat: 160 NT per person (one way from Nangan)
By Plane: About 2000 NT (one way from Taipei)
How to get around on the island:
Beigan is a large, hilly island and it would be very hard to get around on foot or bicycle. We recommend one of the following
By Scooter: We recommend riding a scooter as your #1 choice. It's fast, convenient, and there isn't much traffic on the island. A scooter will cost about 500 NT per day to rent.
When braking on hills, use both brakes, otherwise you could lose traction on one tire and skid. Don't stop or park on a slope. Also, some hills that are too steep are closed off for scooters.
By Car/Taxi: You can rent a car or hire a taxi for 200O NT per day.
By Bus: There is a bus that goes around the island, but wait times can be 30 minutes or more.
When to go:
We recommend going between April and June when the "blue tear" phosphorescent microbes in the water will be the most visible at night. Also, winters can be cold and windy and summers very hot, and there could also be typhoons in the summer and fall.
Please see below:
Daqiu Island is a small island in Matsu (Lienchiang County), Taiwan that is home to hundreds of wild Sika Deer, and is a "deer watching paradise.“ Once home to a small village, then ROC military base, this island is now home to only one man that takes care of the hundreds of deer on the small island. It is a worth while day trip for anyone visiting the Matsu Islands.
Thousands of years ago, stone aged peoples once inhabited the Matsu Islands, including Daqiu Island itself. These stone aged people later disappeared.
The Matsu islands were inhabited again around theSong Dynasty (990 - 1200 AD) by Chinese Fisherman, the descendants of whom still inhabit the islands today.
Daqiu Island literally means "Big Hill" in Chinese. This is because the entire island is one big hill.
Around 200 years ago, these fisherman started to inhabit Daqiu Island. At its height in 1970, the island had 45 households and 280 inhabitants.
Due to poor quality of life, over fishing, and inconvenient transportation, most the of the inhabitants slowly moved to other islands in Mastu or Taiwan.
In 1990, the last family on the island, surnamed Chen, moved off the island, leaving only soldiers and a military base as inhabitants.
In 1996, the military base on Daqiu Island closed down, leaving it an uninhibited ghost island.
In 2009, one man decided to move back to the island and start a tourist business based on the deer living on the island.
Currently there are regular ferry boats to Daqiu from Nangan during the summer, but in winter the boats must be chartered.
Why are there Sika Deer on Daqiu Island?
Sika Deer were originally raised in Matsu during the Chinese Civil War (1950-1970s) as a food supply for soldiers to eat. However the soldiers did not like deer meat that much, and as tensions with China eased, the practice was discontinued. The 13 deer that remained were sent to Daqiu Island in 1981 and left to become wild. Now there are around 200 deer living on the island.
When to go:
We recommend going In Spring to early Summer (April to June). If you go earlier it will not be so hot during the day, and you will be able to see the Blue Tear phosphorescent microbes in the water at night all around Matsu.
In the winter it is cold and windy, so we do not recommend going then.
How to get there:
Public Ferry from Nangan Fu'Ao Harbor (福澳港) (April to October):
350 NT round trip per person （Stops at Baisha Harbor in Nangan)
Nangan departure times: 9:50 AM, 1:30 PM, Daqiu departure times: 12:10 Noon, 3:40 PM
Trip takes about 20 minutes.
Public Ferry from Beigan Qiaozi Harbor (橋仔港) (May to October):
300 NT round trip per person
Beigan departure times: 8:30 AM, 2:30 PM, Daqiu departure times: 10:30 AM, 4:30 PM
Trip takes about 10 minutes.
Chartered ferries: Around 300 NT per round trip.
Ask your hostel in Beigan (like we did) or try the following phone numbers (in Chinese):龍福號娛樂漁船：馬祖北竿鄉塘岐村273-8號
Please see below:
We are US Expats that have extensive experience living and working in Taiwan. In our day, we had to learn many things about Taiwan the hard way. But we have come to learn that Taiwan is one of the best places in the world for Foreigners to live. Our blog does not represent the opinions of every foreigner in Taiwan. We are just trying to help others learn more about this beautiful country.