- Shen Yun
This more than a century old building belongs to the Treasury of ROC, and it is rarely seen by the public due to its isolation.
At this expedition, not only we will uncover this mysterious island, we'll also try to get a glance on the conditions of current Chinese Nationalist (Taiwan) army here on the island.
Matsu consists of a chain of islands which is right next to Fujian Province of China. During the tight tension across the Strait, soldiers who have been randomly selected to serve on the islands. The reward is quite surprising, as we’ve discovered - that is to be able to enjoy this paradise-like environment that ordinary people may not be able to experience.
“Dong Yin a remote island in the Taiwan Strait is one of the prettiest islands among the Matsu Islands.”
The villa-like lighthouse built in 1904 has a symbolic meaning in the island's geography and history. The magnificent landscapes created by wave erosion are best seen at this scenic spot, known as "A Thread of Sky".
Behind the steep cliff surface and penetrating into the granite rock bed, there is a hidden tunnel built by soldiers' bare hands. Inside the twisting and turning spaces, you may sense the hardship of the armies that camp here. At the end of the maze-like tunnel, it opens up to a spectacular cove filled with delightful landscapes.
Wondering how is the military lifestyle like here on the remote island? Let's listen to what a local soldier has to say:
[Xu Jiaming, Army Logistic Soldier]:
“For recreation, we sometimes go to popular scenic spots, such as the lighthouse, the Thread of Sky, etc. for sightseeing. But actually, for most of the times, we would go to the township and spend the free time at an internet cafe or find a bed & breakfast for a complete rest.”
We meet up with an NTU electrical master degree graduate, who now serves as a director at an observatory in Matsu.
[Lin Shikang, Defense Observatory Director]:
“The main purpose of this observatory is to lookout for Chinese fishing vessels that have intruded into our sea borders, if we do see such an incident, we would report to the command centre and take immediate drive-away action.”
With such a high self-esteem expression, surely it’s a sign that a soldier’s life must be quite well here on the remote island, nowadays.
Don’t be surprised that on this isolated part of the world there are female soldiers. This is a pair of twins, both sisters nominated themselves to serve in the army, and they have been dispatched to Matsu for more than two years.
When visiting Matsu, one of the “must seen” is the Double Eight Tunnel.
“Here we've tons and tons of aged wine which are more than 10 years old.”
This originally is a combat tunnel, 200 meters long, inside is cool, through out the year and the temperature and humidity are very steady.
Despite the military tension, the island's elegant simplicity and cultural richness may still be seen resting in the relaxed quietness of the Pacific.
Kevin Lin, NTD, Matsu, Taiwan.