Beigan, Matsu Islands, Lienchang County.

The Matsu islands are an archipelago around 10 nautical miles off the coast of China's Fujian Province which are governed by Taiwan as Lienchiang County. When the Chinese Nationalists under Chinag Kai Shek lost the civil war against the Chinese Communists and retreated to Taiwan they retained the strategically important Matsu Islands, along with Kinmen. Both areas were scenes of heavy bombardment before the two sides agreed to a general ceasefire in 1958.

Today Matsu receives a steady influx of Chinese and Taiwanese tourists. Both the two largest islands, Beigan and Nangan have airports which are serviced from Taipei and Taichung. There is also a ferry that comes in from Keelong. Local attractions include numerous forts and strongholds, scenic coastal views, the Matsu Folk Culture Museum and the largest statue of the Goddess Matsu in the world.

Right: Ferry returning to Keelong

Lienchang County comprises four rural townships in the Matsu Islands; Nangan (county seat), Beigan, Dongyin and Juguang.

Area: 29.6 sq km
Population: 12,506

Matsu ferry