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Matzu was once a battlefield on the front lines of the cross-strait conflict in earlier years. With peace, the guns have long been silenced but the legacy of this era is still palpable throughout the island group, from the tunnel systems to artillery guns, reminding one of the trials of war and the hardships of the troops who defended their country.
Apart from military history, Matzu is known for its eastern Fujianese culture. This influence can be seen in the traditional houses, temple architecture, and vibrant ceremonial traditions throughout the islands here. The down-to-earth warmth of the island residents further adds to Matzu's considerable charms.
The combination of Fujianese culture and island environment has also given Matzu a unique culinary culture. Specialties here include aged wines and warming foods to fight off the winter chill, a stunning variety of seafood, fish ball soup, fish noodles, sweet potato dumplings and other delicious seasonal dishes that will have you longing for more.
The ecology of Matzu is equally distinctive, with granite terrain, precipitous reef rocks, and plenty of opportunity to get up close with the local plant and animal life. Walk along the beach or through the forest, and it is difficult to not marvel at nature's generosity to this island paradise.
Due to its beauty and position just off the coast of Fujian, the Matzu island chain is known as the "Pearl necklace at the mouth of the Minjiang River." The islands are located to the northeast of the main island of Taiwan, closer in fact to mainland China than to Taiwan. Matzu County is formed of four island townships: Nangan, Beigan, Dongyin, and Juguang, which jointly embrace 29 islands of various sizes. Zhongdao, Tiejian, and Huangguang island are international-known as a tern refuge. After the sighting of rare Chinese crested terns on Zhongdao, Matzu rose to the ranks of the world's premier bird-watching destinations.
With so much to see, Matzu thoroughly rewards repeat visits and the unhurried appreciation of its abundant beauty!