Maoshan Tower is an ancient pagoda dating to the 14th century AD that sits on top of a hill on the southwest side of Kinmen Island. From the top of the hill, one can see pristine views of the Xiamen Harbor, the Taiwan strait, and Kinmen Island. The hike takes about 10 minutes and is definitely worth a stop on your trip to Kinmen.
Brief Historic Background:
There are three ancient towers in Kinmen: Wentaibao Tower, Daoying Tower, and Maoshan Tower. The towers were originally built in the Ming Dynasty by Jiang Xiahou 江夏侯 under the Hongwu Emperor (1368-1398 AD) for military purposes to ward off pirates, and to act as landmarks for ships (kind of like lighthouses). Maoshan Tower was built in 1387 AD.
The tower also served as target for the PRC during the 823 Artillery War in 1958, killing many soldiers stationed around the tower. To make it less of a target for the communists, it was taken down for a few years. During deconstruction, a few people were crushed by the stones (the local people said this was due to the wrath of the ancestors). However, sometime around the end of martial law in Taiwan, the tower was rebuilt to its current form.
The tower was struck by lightning in 1997 causing some damage, so the Kinmen City Government installed a lightning rod on top of the tower.
There are many tours and activities available on the islands, such as fishing, clamming, traditional Chinese Costume Experience, Water Gun Shooting, Night Otter Spotting, SUPing / Paddle Boarding, Intertidal Eco Tour, Handmade Metalworking DIY, and many others. For more information, look at other tour/ferry sites or book a personalized tour with Klook here or KKday here.
We stayed at and can recommend Sihai Hostel, which is a quality hostel with spacious and clean rooms. They also arranged transport to and from the hostel for free. You can book Sihai Hostel on Agoda here, Klook here, or Trip.com here.
Looking for a hotel? We recommend booking through Agoda here, which provides the best quality selection of accommodation on the islands.
You can also find out more about where to stay in our Taiwan hotels guide here.
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How to get There:
By Scooter or Car: On Kinmen Island, take Xihai Raod Section 1 西海路一段 south past Shuitou Village and you will see it on top of a prominent hill.
You can book a scooter rental for Kinmen Island on Klook here or on KKday here. You can also check out our scooter rental guide here.
You can rent a car for Kinmen on KKday here or charter a car on Klook here. You can also check out our car rental guide here.
You can book a discount tourist shuttle bus pass on KKday here.
Bicycle Rental: Cycling is the best way to enjoy Taiwan's landscapes if you have the time and energy. Looking for bicycle rentals in Taiwan? You can search on KKday here and search for tours on Klook here. You can also check out our Taiwan cycling guide here.
Map: Please see below:
While driving to our hotel along Xihai Raod Section 1 西海路一段 the tower was very obvious and prominent, so of course we had to go check it out. The picture above is the entrance road to the tower off of Xihai Raod.
The tower sits very prominently on a hill above Shuitou Village. It would be very hard to miss.
At the bottom of the hill is a parking lot, from which you can hike up a very nicely paved trail to the top.
Near the top of the hill is someone's grave.
The landscape here on Kinmen is significantly different than Taiwan. The ground is barren, almost desert like.
A view of Kinmen Island near the top.
More background information about the tower: it is 11.52 meters high, is seven levels high and has six sides. In 1961 it was taken down, built was rebuilt. The park around the tower was opened in 2004 to encourage tourism in the area.
View from the top of the hill toward Kincheng.
Some remnants of the original tower before it was taken down by the military.
View of the tower back side.
View of the ocean behind the tower.
At the bottom of the rock it sits on there is a carving which I'm sure is ancient. But I can't quite make out what it is saying.
Sunbeams over the ocean as seen from the tower.
Closeup of Kincheng as we left.
There are many tours and activities available on Kinmen, such as SUPing / Paddle Boarding, Intertidal Eco Tour, fishing, clamming, Night Otter Spotting, Handmade Metalworking DIY, and many others. For more information, look at other tour/ferry sites or book a personalized tour with Klook here or KKday here.
For more of Taiwan's outer Islands, check out our ultimate guide to Kinmen here.
You can also check out our full guide to all of Taiwan's outer islands here.
You can also check out our full travel guide to Taiwan here.
We are US Expats that have extensive experience living, working, and travelling 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.