Best places to visit in Kinmen

Situated just off the coast of Mainland China, Kinmen (also known as Quemoy) is a small island with a very big reputation. It was the site of fierce fighting between Communist and Nationalist forces when the latter withdrew from the mainland in 1949.

In the earlier times, Kinmen Islands were known as Wuzhou. In 1387, the Marquis of Jiangxia Chou Te-hsing erected walls to defend the Kinmen Island against pirates. Because of its geographic position, the Kinmen Wall became known as the "impregnable fort guarding the gate to the sea," from which the name "Kinmen," or "Golden Gate," derives. 

Kinmen has been a battlefield in Taiwan's protection against the mainland forces for nearly half a century.Kinmen's military administration was lifted in 1992, marking the beginning of the island's emergence as a destination for tourism. Direct cross-strait connections were launched in mainland China in January 2001 between Kinmen and Xiamen, placing the island in a key position for cross-strait interactions.

The troops and civilian inhabitants of Kinmen lived in stoic circumstances during the military administration era and worked together to create the island infrastructure.The military facilities established at the moment have now become an invaluable island tourism resource.

Since 1950, major army reforestation initiatives have further endowed Kinmen with lush greenery and roadside flowers, creating a reputation for the islands as a "park in the sea."

Government conservation initiatives and increased eco-consciousness among the inhabitants of the island have helped the bird population of Kinmen to grow rapidly in numbers and species in latest years.There are also several rare and protected species in Kinmen's coastal waters, including the Chinese otter and the horseshoe crab "living fossil."

Knives made from ancient mortar shells, peanut candy, sorghum wine, vermicelli, sorghum vinegar, porcelain and pottery are among the best-known specialty products from Kinmen. Government conservation initiatives and increased ecological awareness among the island's inhabitants have helped Kinmen's bird population grow rapidly in numbers and species in recent years.

Kinmen's snack culture has southern Fujian origins as well as a distinctive local touch. Seafood specialties include oyster omelets, oyster vermicelli, and fried sandworms, and for a light snack you can choose from savory bite-sized pastries, date candy, Cantonese congee, stuffed clay-oven rolls, and other delicacies



Here are some of the must visit places in Kinmen

1. Deyue Tower

Shuitou Village prospered from the trading business in the early 1900s. It's been a relatively easy target for pirates being close to the sea. So the villagers decided that they should be warded off. The construction of this distinctive defensive tower was commissioned by a Fujianese architect in 1931.


 Special defensive characteristics include holes in the 3rd and 4th floor walls that are just large enough for weapons to target invaders. There is also a secret emergency escape route between the tower and the next door house.


 Except for the Chinese New Year's Eve, free guided tours (in Mandarin Chinese) lasting 20-30 minutes are offered daily.


Guided tour schedule: 09:0010:0011:0014:0015:0016:00

Information
TEL +886-82-321103
Opening Hours 08:30-17:00, daily except for Chinese New Year's Day
Admission charge Free

2. Cihu

In 1969, the army constructed Cihu, a big lake by the ocean facing Xiamen, for strategic activities. Now it's a famous place to look at Xiamen's skyscrapers and watch the sunset and migrate birds.



Ci Lake and Sunset Seaview Observation Deck The anti-landing spikes that used to be on all the beaches of Kinmen create a unique and poignant scene. Ci Lake and Sunset Seaview Observation Deck Flocks of migrating cormorants return to the forests around Cihu sometime in November each year.

The best time to be at the observation deck during the winter is at dusk. Seeing up to 4000 birds flying in the form of v-shape is really a sight to see!


Information
TEL +886-82-332528
Opening Hours Please refer to the Jiangong Islet Tide Chart
Admission charge Free


3. Ever Rich Golden Lake Plaza duty free shopping mall

Next to Tai Lake and Golden Lake Hotel, Ever Rich's Golden Lake Plaza is Kinmen's largest duty-free store with a property area of 320,000 ft2.







At the plaza, they carry selections such as fragrances, cosmetics, souvenirs, the latest electronics, and creative and cultural products as well as over 500 luxury fashion brands on the plaza.

Address No. 218, Sec. 2, Taihu Rd., Jinhu Township, Kinmen County 891, Taiwan



4. Jiangong Islet

"Oystermen" was built in 2013 as part of a Kinmen County Sculpture Festival by Finnish architect Marco Casagrande. The numbers are made of sand-blasted stainless steel, 6 meters high. 



Take the moment to imagine your life here ... You may also appreciate looking down and around at this intertidal zone's wealthy biodiversity.



The island's tall statue is Zheng Chenggong, the renowned military leader confronting his hometown across the seas in Fujian Province.


 The "Oystermen" seem to be walking on water when the tide is at its greatest stage. In 1949, to protect the waterway between Little Kinmen and Kinmen's primary island, troops were deployed on this tiny islet. 



5) Juguang Tower


A trip to Kinmen wouldn't be complete without a visit to Juguang Tower, the landmark from the Chinese civil war period. Built in 1953 as a memorial for Kinmen's fallen soldiers in the Battle of Guningtou 4 years earlier, it's also a token of Kinmen's spirit.



The tower's distinctive architecture combines a traditional Chinese tower on top of a contemporary base. Two small cannons at the front date from the Ming and Qing dynasties


Juguang Tower was featured in stamps issued by the post office of the Republic of China from 1959 to 1964. Letters were sent all over the globe with Kinmen's known landmark on them, supporting Kinmen's beauty and historical importance.

Exhibits
1st Fl: Wind Lion Gods, local foods, traditional village architecture, Kinmen kaoliang, Kinmen steel knives.

2nd Fl: Photos of one of Kinmen's most colorful and distinctive annual events, the City God Parade.

3rd Fl: Memorabilia related to Chinese Nationalist General Hu Lien who, as commander of Kinmen Defense Command, defeated Communist invasions in 1949 and 1958.



Tourism Video 

"Introduction to Kinmen Tourism", 15 min, screening on the 1st Fl daily at:

08:40 / 09:20 / 10:00 / 11:00 / 13:00 / 14:00 / 15:00 / 16:00 / 17:00

Information
TEL +886-82-325632
Opening Hours 08:00-22:00, daily except for Chinese New Year's Day
Admission charge Free





6. Shanhou Folk Culture Village


Shanhou Folk Culture Village is a must if you're interested in architecture at all! Built between 1876 and 1900, it has the most full variety of traditional Minnan-style buildings. There is also a school building from that moment and the ancestral shrine of the Wang clan.




The three symmetrical rows of houses built on the side of the hill facing the sea. Take time to see the exquisite details of architecture. It's a particular feature to have two courtyards.




There are many photo opportunities.

Information

TEL +886-82-355347



Opening Hours 8:00-17:00, daily except for Chinese New Year's Day

Admission charge Free



You can walk through two buildings. One is decorated in the era-style of the Qing Dynasty, with a traditional Chinese bed, typical ancestral hall and kitchen as used before gas and electricity.

The other house shows pictures and data about comparable Overseas Chinese sets of buildings constructed around the same moment as Shanhou in Mainland China.



7. Houlin Military Base and Shooting Simulator



Located inland from the General's Fortress in Houtou (Hòu tóu) Village, this former military camp is Taiwan's first location to give a simulation rifle shooting experience to the public.


Information

TEL +886-82-363455



Opening Hours 08:00-12:00; 13:30-17:30, daily except for Wednesdays


Admission charge Full fare: NT$350
IMPORTANT!

*Minimum age is 13 years old. 

*Advance registration is required. Call +886-82-363-455. 


*Open the following times:

  8:00-12noon; 1:30-5:30pm; 6:30-9pm

  Closed on Wednesdays.

*The experience takes 30-40 minutes.

*Ticket prices (currently free of charge!):
  NT$350 per person
  
For groups of more than 12 people: NT$250 per
  person
  Kinmen residents: NT$100 per person

*Currently all services are FREE!
Group fare(for groups of more than 12 people): NT$250
Kinmenese fare: NT$100
The simulation for visitors over 12 years old only.
*Currently all services are FREE!



8. Houhu Seashore Park


A clean, white sandy beach that is so large it never feels crowded ... cool breezes coming out of the water, a perfect summer swimming temperature.



Kinmen has many lovely beaches, but Houhu is the only one where you can swim, as strong currents and rip tides affect the others. Lifeguards are in duty here from 2 pm to 6 pm between mid-June and mid-August.



The annual Music Festival, usually in July , is held here.

Information


Opening Hours Open all day

Admission charge Free


9. Beishan Broadcasting Wall



A real "wall of sound", this structure was part of this side's cross-strait psychological warfare efforts. Every day, the popular female Taiwanese singer Deng Li-Jun broadcast to audiences 25 kilometers away in China. Her opening remarks "Dear compatriots in Mainland China, I am Deng Li-Jun", were followed by music, announcements and propaganda.


Not surprisingly, this distinctive structure (and the associated Mashan Broadcasting and Observation Station) were frequently targeted. The hive-like reinforced concrete wall of 48 speakers still faces the ocean and broadcasts (though no longer at full volume!) at the following times:

09:00-09:45

10:30-11:00

13:00-13:30

14:00-14:30

15:00-15:45

16:00-16:30


Today, the Beishan Broadcasting Wall's a great place to take a selfie as well as hear and see a little-known side of the cross-straits conflict.


Information
Opening Hours Open all day
Admission charge Free



10. Guningtou Battle Museum

On December 24, 1949, in the long-term standoff between the Communist Party in China and the KMT in Taiwan, the Guningtou Battle marked Kinmen as the front line.

Not surprisingly, this distinctive structure (and the associated Mashan Broadcasting and Observation Station) were frequently targeted. The hive-like reinforced concrete wall of 48 speakers still faces the ocean and broadcasts (though no longer at full volume!) at the following times:




The army created this museum to celebrate the historic battle when the routine shelling on both sides of the Strait eventually stopped in 1979.

Introductory video

Guningtou Battle, 13 minutes

Daily screening schedule: 08:40, 09:30, 10:30, 11:30, 13:30, 14:30, 15:30, 16:30


Guided tour schedule

09:00, 10:00, 11:00, 14:00, 15:00, 16:00

Beishan Old Western-style house

Information
TEL +886-82-313274
Opening Hours 08:30~17:00, daily except for Chinese New Year's Day
Admission charge Free
Offical Site Offical Site

11. Liang Jin Farm



Kinmen's best beef specialist. They are the first and only local food factory specializing in creating foods featured in Kinmen, the most common being beef jerky. They serve the best beef noodle that has been deemed a MUST TRY during your visit to Kinmen. It is produced solely from local beef, it comes in unique texture and flavor as local cattle are supplied with Kaoliang jiu zao.

More info:


12. Kinmen Kaoliang Liquor Inc.





A journey to Kinmen without at least a sample of Kaoliang liquor is merely not complete. It's characteristic, aromatic, sweet, spicy and brisk. Kinmen Kaoliang Liquor Inc., is a public enterprise whose sales help fund various local services, including school lunches for Kinmen children and bus passes for all local residents.




Kaoliang is Mandarin Chinese for sorghum, a grain which requires little irrigation and is thus well-suited to Kinmen's relatively dry climate. After the fall harvest, it's brewed using a traditional method. On the factory's 50-minute tour, you'll see machinery used in the production process and learn the interesting story behind this product that is so important to the economy of Kinmen ... and of course you'll have the chance to try and buy some kaoliang jiu!

Information
TEL +886-82-325628
Opening Hours 08:00-12:00, 13:30-17:30

Admission charge Free


13) Shishan (Mt. Lion) Howitzer Front



Shishan (Mt. Lion) Howitzer Front is next to Shanhou Folk Culture Village on the Lion Mountain. It's the only surviving howitzer base from Kinmen constructed in a tunnel. The Howitzer, the weapon that contributed to the Artillery Battle of 23 August, is on display

The tunnels are designed to accommodate an infantry battalion's staff, cars and equipment as well as to defend ground troops from artillery shells, so that the entire tunnel has rather broad room with 508 meters in length, 4.6 meters in average height and 3.6 meters in width.

There are numerous military-related exhibits in the tunnel, including the war-preparedness room, ammunition room, arsenal, artillery fort, and slogans walls etc. The highlight of the show is the 8-inch Howitzer, a powerful weapon with a firing range of 17 km. The howitzer has an incredibly strong power that can easily destroy a small village.

Howitzer drill demonstrations are performed daily except on Thursdays, which draws a lot of individuals to look at.

Howitzer drill demonstration You can see a Howitzer gun drill demonstration any day of the week except for Thursdays.

On weekends and national holidays, there is an additional demonstration at 9am. 
Demonstration Schedule: 10:00, 11:00, 13:30, 14:30, 15:30, 16:30

Information
TEL +886-82-355697
Opening Hours 09:00-17:30 (Howitzer drill demonstrations daily except for Thursdays)
Admission charge Free

Where to stay #1: Zhushan Homestay




Located 1.6 km from Gugang Lake, Zhu Shan Homestay provides accommodation with a shared lounge, a garden and a shared kitchen for your convenience. Complimentary WiFi is provided throughout the property.

Fitted with a patio, the units offer air conditioning and feature a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom with shower and a hairdryer. A microwave, a fridge and toaster are also featured, as well as a kettle.

Guests at the bed and breakfast can enjoy an Asian breakfast.
Both a bicycle rental service and a car rental service are available at Zhu Shan Homestay.
Wentai Pagoda is 2.7 km from the accommodation, while Juguang Tower is 3.1 km away.

Where to stay #2: Everrich Golden Lake Hotel

Offering premium accommodation with free WiFi connection, Everrich Golden Lake Hotel is a 5-star hotel in Kinmen. It features an outdoor pool and spa facilities.



There is also free personal parking on site. The Shanwai Bus Station is a 5-minute drive from Everrich Golden Lake Hotel and an 18-minute drive from Kinmen Airport. The Shanwai Bus Station is a 5-minute drive from Everrich Golden Lake Hotel and an 18-minute drive from Kinmen Airport. Within 1.5 km, local attractions such as Kinmen Tai Lake and Yu Da Wei Xian Sheng Memorial Museum can be reached.


A flat-screen cable TV, refrigerator, electric kettle, hot tub and desk are provided in all units. A minibar and a sofa are available for extras. 


The personal bathroom is equipped with a bath, a shower, free toiletries and a hairdryer. Guests can use the fitness center and luggage storage free of charge here at the Everrich Golden Lake Hotel. 

The 24-hour front desk comes with with concierge service. During your stay, guests can enjoy a wealthy range of dining choices including Chinese cuisine, western dishes and a lobby bar.

 How to get to Kinmen?

By Air:
The most convenient way to reach Kinmen is to fly domestic from Taipei Songshan Airport (TSA) in Taipei City. There are multiple flights daily as this is the most busy domestic route, and most flights are within the NT$1,150 to NT$1,950 range each way.

By Ferry from Taiwan:
Ferry services are operational between Keelung and Kinmen, however schedules and fares vary, and services may have been changed from Kinmen directly to Xiamen as relations between the ROC and PRC have improved. It is best to directly contact the operator, although flying is still recommended.

By Ferry to and from mainland China:
Ferry services between Kinmen and Fujian Province in mainland China are operational with multiple trips daily between both Kinmen and Xiamen and Kinmen and Quanzhou. At this time, only PRC and ROC nationals are allowed to travel along the Quanzhou route, while all nationalities are allowed to travel to Xiamen Dongdu (东渡) port. Please be sure to have a PRC (mainland China) visa in your passport before you travel (Singapore, Brunei, and Japan passport can travel to China visa free for 15 days). This route is known as Xiao Santong, and is a very affordable way to travel between Taiwan and the Chinese mainland.

For more information of Kinmen:

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