The China Post news staff
Matsu, a land of “superlatives,” is ready to unveil its pristine beauty to visiting tourists in the Year of the Dragon. A front-line offshore island group under military control until 1992, Matsu (馬祖), whose name is derived from Ma-Tsu (媽祖), the popular patron deity who purportedly keeps maritime people under her protective wings, boasts attractions unmatched elsewhere in the country, such as the country’s tallest granite statue of Ma-Tsu, the world’s densest network of deserted military bunkers, the world’s best preserved eastern-Fukien-style settlement, and the world’s only breeding ground for a mythological bird, the Chinese Crested Tern (黑嘴端鳳頭燕鷗).
With such advantages at its disposal, Matsu, now under the jurisdiction of Lienchiang County (連江縣), Fukien Province, has prepared an island-highlights calendar for people intending to visit t the island group this year. The March highlight is a visit to the seas known locally as the Aegean Sea of the Orient in Matsu waters, a scenic delight said to be no less refreshing than the Mediterranean Sea, to be followed by the Ma-Tsu Culture Festival and bunkers exploration in April and May. For June through October, an ecological tour highlighting observations of the Chinese Crested Tern is recommended. A Military Past Revisited will be the November and December highlight.