The Kinmen land mine museum lies on the island of little Kinmen (Lieyu), and uses space from the disused bunkers of "Tiehan Fort and “Yongshi Fort." The exhibition provides a full explanation of the history of landmines not only in Taiwan but in the entire world. It also provides a real life, and rather frightening, experience for its visitors.
The Land Mine museum was finished in 2014, using tunnel space in the old "Tiehan Fort" (鐵漢堡) and “Yongshi Fort" (勇士堡). These two forts were fitted with anti-aircraft cannons, artillery storage, and tank storage. They both survived bombing raids from the mainland.
The exhibit takes you through underground tunnels that connect these two forts.
After the Chinese Civil War, there were many land mines left over in and around Kinmen. Most all of these land mines have been carefully removed. However land mines still cause casualties to innocent people worldwide; this museum goes on to explore these problems as well as land mine cleanup efforts throughout the world.
How to get there:
From Kinmen, take the ferry from Shuitou Harbor to little Kinmen. You can drive your scooter onto the ferry, or take a taxi once you get to the other side. The fort is on the northeast corner of the island.
Hours: 8:00 - 5:00 very day
Map: Please see below:
First we tried to enter the museum from the back, but we decided that was not a good idea. Whichever way you enter, you eventually have to circle back around and walk about 1 KM back to wherever you parked, unless you take a taxi.
Around the museum are a bunch of abandoned houses, which is not surprising because are tons of abandoned houses all over the island.
Abandoned and roof-collapsed ancient house. Before tourism became popular on Kinmen, young people left in droves, leaving tons of empty houses on the islands behind.
Anti-aircraft guns on display in front of the museum.
The main entrance to the land mine museum.
The entrance to Yong Shi Bao, with a green roof over the walkway.
Before you walk in though, a pair of manikin soldiers are there to freak you out when you pass by.
Under the green tunnel.
Inside the tunnels of Yong Shi Bao.
Explanation of de-mining equipment and techniques in Taiwan.
De-mining manikin on display.
More sloping tunnels inside.
"Those who steal or sell off weapons and ammunition can face the death penalty, life in prison, or 10 years or more in prison."
Mural inside one of the tunnels.
More explanations of mine removal.
"Landmine Harm: Direct Harm"
"Most of the victims of landmines are civilians, and these harms are often difficult to recover. More victims could lose their life or lose their ability to work, makings living very difficult for many adult mine victims."
"At the same time, many children in third world countries living by selling scrap metal, often who were injured due to inadvertently activating mines. Some of them dies because of excessive blood loss. Poor health care environment, others would also hurt badly. These victims lost their childhood and freedom to study. So that these children grow up in the process, was the face of economic, social and psychological numerous challenges."
"The Story of Song Kosal"
"Song Kosal, born in 1985. When she was 5 years old, she became a landmine victim and facing amputation. It gave her a pain, despair, helpless childhood."
"After she had amputated, she often dreamed she has both legs again, but it's only a dream brought her tears."
"Fortunately, when Song 12 years old, she met Spanish priests Kike who is running for landmine banning. The priest put her picture to the internet, the ICBL invited her to serve a ambassador. IT opened another life for her."
"Now she traveled around the world to promote and vindicate the concept of banning mines with one leg."
Kinmen could really use a native English speaker to fix these signs.
"Why We Anit-mine?
"1. Civilian Casualties"
"The world is still 180 million mines, but the most victims of landmines are civilians. According to statistics, the number of casualties due to landmines, civilians accounted for 70% to 80% and the vast majority of these injuries are peace time, not during wars or conflicts."
"There are 28 thousands casualties due to landmine, nearly half occur in children, in other words there will be one more person suffer because of landmine every 22 minutes."
"Landmine victims often face the fate of amputation and hit mark in face with those who caused the damage can not be restored."
"2. Economic Harm"
"Mines will cause casualties, and the land laid mines can't be used without sweeping. There are more than one third farm land can not be cultivated because of landmines. And it is difficult for these farmers for a living. The cost of sweeping mines is much more than manufacturing and layout them. That's why mine sweeping in these countries is very slow."
"The cost of treating landmine victims is also huge, and become heavy burden on society."
"Without sweeping, mines will always threat local residents. In Europe and North America, there are still mines left since the First World War."
"The Mines Harm of Kinmen"
"After cross-strait situation have become more peaceful, Kinmen is no longer a front-line, and starting demining operations. But Kinmen is still affected by the mines."
"April 25, 2005, the demining operation in Xiahu became tragedy. The mines exploded accidentally and caused two Zimbabwean deminers death and one injury."
"There are more one hundred and ten settlement houses damaged nearby. After the "Anti-Mines Control Ordinance Regulation" has been legislated, Kinmen started massive demining operations, the explosions are still heard, so that the residents are worried."
"Besides, to remove mines completely, cleaning land field mines is necessary. But it also spoils Kinmen coastal terrains. And the reject of demining would also pollute local environment without dealing with carefully."
Map of landmine fields in Kinmen.
Different landmine warning signs from around the world.
This is probably the scariest part of the experience. In this tunnel it gets dark and there are very loud exploding noises in the background. You will feel like you are in a war zone. And there are landmines on the ground.
Canon exhibit in Tie Han Bao.
Map of Kinmen on top of Tie Han Bao.
Anti aircraft gun on top of Tie Han Bao.
And now we have come full circle back to the entrance of Tie Han Bao!
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