Centred around Kinmen Island, Kinmen County lies just off the south-east coast of mainland China along the Taiwan Strait. It was a battlefront during the Second Taiwan Strait Crisis of 1958 and while it’s claimed by the People’s Republic of China, most locals identify themselves as Taiwanese. Kinmen County’s lakes and ponds provide important habitat for migratory birds, which are best spotted in the Shuangli Wetlands.
Things to do in Kinmen
Whether you’re interested in the region’s military history or its cultural traditions, there are attractions that will appeal to all travellers in Kinmen County.
Explore the Zhaishan Tunnel. Join a guided tour to explore the Zhaishan Tunnel, a 101-metre-long tunnel established in 1961 in the wake of the Second Taiwan Strait Crisis. As you explore its seven rooms, learn about this conflict between the Republic of China Armed Forces and the People’s Liberation Army and the tunnel’s ability to accommodate more than 40 vessels. In autumn, the tunnel plays host to live concerts featuring both traditional Chinese and Western classical music.
Spot the Wind Lion Gods of Kinmen. Dotted throughout the villages of Kinmen are colourful statues, which were designed to protect against wind damage following the region’s deforestation. Over time, they have become religious symbols and are believed by many locals to serve as guardians that ward off evil. A large collection is clustered in Wind Lion God Park near Kinmen Airport.
Visit the Kinmen Folk Culture Village. Dating back to the late 19th century, this beautifully preserved village features several Fujian residences designed in a traditional Minnan style. Explore their charming courtyards and wander between the small museum rooms, then visit the ancestral shrine and the Hai Jhu Tang school academy.
Getting around Kinmen
Kinmen Shangyi Airport is the main gateway to the county and has flights to destinations across Taiwan. Ferries connect from Kinmen to Xiamen in China, while the Kinmen Bridge links Kinmen Island to Lieyu. Public buses travel throughout the county and scooters are readily available for rent.