Traditional Matsu village

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The Matsu (馬祖; Mǎzǔ) group of islands is an overnight boat ride from Taiwan, yet visible from the coast of mainland China. Like similarly located Kinmen, it spent most of the last 70 years as a military outpost. Many of the sights here are defensive tunnels and forts with superb ocean views. A few of these 'strongholds' are being converted into hostels and cafes. Meanwhile a scattering of older traditional houses have survived and a couple of pretty coastal villages present scenes more reminiscent of the Adriatic or southern France.


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