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.
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.
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.
Thanks for reading! More of our adventures will be posted soon.
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.