Nangan is the largest Island in the Matsu Archipelago. Besides being the main transportation hub to the other islands in Matsu, it also has traditional stone house villages, military museums, a giant statue of Mazu, a variety of local food, and much more to explore.
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.
Because the Goddess Mazu's corpse washed ashore on this island, Nangan is also known as Matsu Island.
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 the year 2000, a ferry link with Fuzhou started to provide constant China Mainland visitors to the island, as part of the three links with China.
In 2003, the Nangan airport was completed, which made Nangan the true transportation hub of Matsu.
Nangan has a population of 4,000 people, and is the largest island in Matsu in terms of population and geographical size.
How to get there:
By Boat: There are daily ferries from Keelung Harbor that usually take an overnight trip to Nangan, passing through Dongyin Island.
There are boats from Beigan Baisha Harbor (北竿白沙港) to Nangan Fu'Ao Harbor (南竿福奧港) every hour from 7 AM to 5 PM.
By Plane: There are flights to and from Taipei Songshan Airport three times a day via Uni Air.
500-2000 NT per person (one way from Keelung)
160 NT per person (one way from Beigan)
About 2000 NT (one way from Taipei)
How to get around the island:
Nangan 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:
Tonghua Street Night Market (aka Linjiang Street Night Market) is a large night market in Da'an District of Taipei City. It's not as touristy as other night markets in Taipei, and you can find almost anything to eat here, along with cheap clothes and accessories. If you want to experience an authentic night market experience while in Taipei, Tonghua is the place to go.
Before1964, the area known as Tonghua Night Market was just rice paddies. In 1965, a military dependents village was built on Tonghua Street. In 1979, Linjiang Street was created as an asphalt road, and has since become what we know today as Tonghua Street Night Market.
The name of the night market was officially changed to Linjiang Street Tourist Night Market (臨江街觀光夜市) in 2001.
The night market sits between Tonghua Street and Keelung Road. It is roughly 300 meters long and has over200 food stalls.
Popular foods that the night market is known for include dry noodles, oyster omlettes, suasages, brazed meat, among others.
With competition from Raohe Street, Shihlin Night Market, Ximending, and Ningxia Night Market, not as many foreign tourists end up visiting Tonghua Street.
Roughly 6:00 PM to Midnight.
How to get there:
By MRT: Take the red line to Xinyi Anhe Station, then get off at exit 3, then take a left down Toinghua Street for four blocks until you reach Linjiang Street, the entrance to the night market.
By car/scooter: Go East on Xinyi Road and then turn right on Tonghua Street until you come to Linjiang Street. There is some scooter parking on Tonghua Street and in the alleys, but for a car you need to park in a nearby parking lot or garage.
Please see below:
Keelung's Miaokou Night Market is a large night market in northern Taiwan, full of all kinds of delicious Taiwanese street food considered by some to be the best in Taiwan. The market consists mostly of food stalls in front of the Dianji Temple in Keelung, streching on both sides down the street. It is said to be a must see night market and one of the busiest in Taiwan.
The Miaokou Night Market started up after completion of the Dianji Temple (奠基宮) during the Qing Dynasty in 1873. At the time the temple was surrounded by rice fields, but by the Japanese Era the area around the temple began to be developed.
Food stalls really started to spread out at the entrance of the temple at the end of the Japanese Era. Since then, the famed food at Miaokou has brought more and more tourists to the area seeking delicious snacks.
In recent years (since 2017), many stalls at the night market have become vacant due to high rents, and there have been notably less people visiting the night market. Some say that this is because of the advent of online shopping and food delivery apps. However another big factor is overpriced properties and stingy landlords. The night market is not going to close down anytime soon, but Taiwan is going through an economic transition period that is not only affecting the rental market but also consumer trends. Despite this, you will still be able to find delicious food on the street any night of the year.
Every day 12:00 noon to 12:00 midnight.
How to get there:
By Train: Take the TRA to Keelung Station, then walk east on Zhongyi Road (忠一路) until you reach the night market.
By Bus: Taking Keelung Bus (intercity bus) or K-Bus from Taipei Main Station or City Hall to Keelung.
By Car: Take National Highway 1 north to the end of the highway until it becomes central Keelung, then turn right. There is plenty of parking to the south of the night market underground.
By Scooter: Take provincial highway 5 to central Keelung. There is parking along the street but you might have to walk a ways to be able to park in a legal spot.
Please see below:
Shilin Night Market (aka Shihlin Night Market) is the largest night market in Taipei and also one of the most popular. Full of delicious street food, small hole in the wall restaurants, souvenirs, and clothes, it is a great destination to experience Taiwan's night market culture.
Shihlin Night market lies next to Jiantan MRT station, surrounded by Wenlin Road (文林路), Jihe Road (基河路), and small alleyways Xiaobei Street (小北街), and Xiaoxi Street (小西街), forming a giant triangle making it the biggest night market in Taipei City by area.
Shihlin may have the most food stalls and restaurants of any night market in Taiwan, and is often regarded as the best or one of the favorite night markets in Taiwan by both locals and tourists alike.
The night market features multiple alleyways as well as an underground food court and underground parking garage.
Located next to Mingchuan University, Soochow University, China Culture University, and Shih Chien University, it has a constant supply of hungry university students visiting every day.
Shilin Market was first established in 1909 near the Matzu Cicheng Temple, which now lies at the center of the night market. Before that is was a resting stop for cargo on the way to Dadaocheng.
In 1998, Shilin Market was named as a historical monument. After that from 1999-2011, the market underwent multiple renovations, and relocated to a temporary structure near Jiantan MRT station, until renovations were completed in 2012.
Around 4 PM until 12 Midnight, every day.
How to get there:
By MRT: Take the Red Line to Jiantan Station and then take exit 1 north out of the station. The night market is right across the road.
By Scooter: Take Zhongshan North Road out of Taipei and wind around Yuanshan Hotel into Shilin. You can park on the right side of the road next to Jiantan Station.
By Car: Take Zhongshan North Road out of Taipei and wind around Yuanshan Hotel into Shilin. There are many parking garages around the night market.
Map: Please see below:
The first time I heard of Neiwan old street was when I asked my Mioali native coworker what there is to do in Miaoli. She told me there was a fun place called Neiwan. It turns out, Neiwan isn't even in Miaoli, its in Hsinchu, but obviously it is one of the most popular places in north-central Taiwan. I am not an expert about this location, but I would like to share my experience here with the world.
During the Japanese rule of Taiwan, Neiwan was mainly a lumber driven town, as well as other industries such as mining and mineral extraction. Many Japanese era buildings still remain in the city, such as the well preserved police station. The main ethnicity here is Hakka, and you can still find lots of traditional Hakka food in Neiwan like their famed Zongzi.
Some popular destinations for tourists are the Neiwan Theatre (内灣戲院）, built in 1950 and and now converted into a restaruant, as well as Neiwan Suspension bridge （pitcured above).
The Neiwan railway was started in 1944 by the ruling Japanese, but construction was interrupted by WWII. It was completed by the ROC government in 1951 to help transport mainly lumber and lime. Now it is used as a commuter train for the suburbs of Hsinchu as well as a destination for tourists.
How to get there:
Get off at Zhudong station and then take the Neiwan Liujia line.
This takes about an hour from Hsinchu.
From Taipei, take National Highway 3 to the Guanxi Exit and travel down provincial highway 3 to Neiwan.
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.