Iron Fort


This dinky little fortified islet, linked by a footbridge to the main island, is a pretty strip of coral topped by a cactus-lined walkway, but cut into the rock beneath is a narrow tunnel linking to a handful of sniper slots. Access is from the attractive, almost traffic-free land that links Renai and Jinsha villages.

Gruesome stories are told by Matsu residents of how frogmen from mainland China would sneak inside the fort at night, slit the throats of the Taiwanese guards on duty and carry back an ear to show their comrades.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Matsu attractions

1. Beihai Tunnel


This 700m of sea tunnel took three laborious years to carve out with many soldiers losing their lives in the process. Completed in 1971, it was used as a…

2. Jinsha Village

0.56 MILES

Jinsha is Nangan's most attractive old village. Its central core is a series of tile-roofed stone buildings – many now B&Bs – forming a tight-knit unit…

3. Matsu Folklore Culture Museum


This large, professional yet little-heralded museum uses many old photos, artefacts and films to introduce the culture and lifestyle of the Matsu islands.

4. Matsu Temple

1.22 MILES

This colourful temple is considered one of the most sacred spots in Taiwan, featuring as it does the purported grave of Lin Mo-niang (林默娘; b 960) who…

5. Giant Matsu Statue

1.36 MILES

At a towering 28.8m, this serene 2009 statue is said to be the world's tallest image of the sea goddess Matsu (Mazu). As well as facilitating many a 'See…

6. Blue Tears Museum

1.81 MILES

Most of the information is in Chinese, but if you're visiting Matsu outside the summer season, this three-room interactive museum is the only place you'll…

7. Banli Mansion

6.09 MILES

Beside the 7-Eleven shop in Banli is a very short row of four restored Qing dynasty stone-and-timber mansions. One of them is open to visitors as an…

8. Qinbi Village

6.89 MILES

Qinbi is by far Beigan's most complete traditional village, with its array of interconnected stone homes built on a steep slope, facing the curved bay and…