The Matsu Islands are riddled with tunnels dug as defenses against a potential Chinese attack. With the likelihood of a Chinese invasion diminishing, the local government is opening up the tunnels as unique tourist destinations.
This group of foreign students from nine countries sampled what Matsu has to offer, including Gaoliang liquor from the former military stronghold, Tunnel 88. They also got to canoe into the 743-meter-long North Sea Tunnel.
The tunnel leads straight out to the East China Sea. It was built to bring in supplies and protect landing vessels during Chinese bombardments. It was hewn out of the cliff face by Taiwanese servicemen and is seen as a major draw for foreign tourists.
Youth Hostel Association
Tourism needs uniqueness, said Su Cheng-tian, head of the local Youth Hostel Association. Taiwan can provide canoeing on the sea or on lakes. Matsu has these tunnels, so the tunnels in Matsu can be used for this.
There are 50 kilometers of such tunnels underneath Matsu which are being opened up to tourism now that they are no longer used by the military. The Lienchiang County government is planning to build a café and a hotel nearby to turn these relics of the islands’ military past into a tourism asset.