Since the beginning of time, mankind has been at odds with nature, struggling to conquer or be conquered by it, and in rare instances, finding a way to balance the natural world with human civilization.
When I stepped onto Dongyin (東引) islet, I found it was not only a military base, but also a beautiful natural attraction. Dongyin Township is located at the northernmost area of the Matzu (馬祖) archipelago and is also the farthest territory in the north controlled by the Taiwan government. As soon as the government lifted the military administration on Matzu in 1992, the small islet opened up to tourists.
During my four-day trip to Matzu (馬祖), I spent one day on Dongjyu (東莒) Islet. On a sunny morning in June, I went to Fuao (福澳) Port in Nangan (南竿) and took a white shuttle-boat to Dongjyu Islet. The shuttle-boat from Nangan to Dongjyu runs at 7:30 a.m., 11:00 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.
Beigan is the second largest islet in Matzu with an area of 8.94 square meters. It is the nearest islet to mainland China among the Matzu (馬祖) archipelago, and the Kaoteng islet located between Beigan (北竿) and mainland China is only about 2,000 meters away from the shores of mainland China.
Nangan is the largest islet of the Matzu (馬祖) archipelago with an area of 10.64 square kilometers. It is about 1/32 of the Taipei City in land.
When the airplane zooms down and approaches Matzu (馬祖), I saw several islets below through the airplane window. They do not look different and seem just like common islands that I have seen in Taiwan. However, when we touched down on the islands, I found that they are quite different from those in Taiwan in many ways.
Be it a boom from a China rocket or a boom in Taiwan tourism, the Matsu Islands are prepared. Matsu (馬祖) presents a balanced blend of past and present, military and civilian, the gray of cement and the green of nature.