The archipelago’s second-largest island, BEIGAN (北竿; běigān) has charming villages and superb scenery, including several secluded beaches with dramatic mountain backdrops. Beigan once boasted the Matsu Islands’ only airport and was the nerve centre for tourism, but since the 2003 opening of the Nangan Airport it has become sleepy even by comparison with its bucolic neighbour to the south. Although some tourists still fly to Beigan from Taipei, many arrive by ferry from Nangan and spend a night in a rustic village homestay.

Nestled in the island’s northwest corner is the village of QIAOZAI (橋仔; qiáozǎi), so named because of the many small bridges that span the gullies carrying runoff from nearby Leishan (雷山; léishān). While most villages in Matsu were settled by northern Fujianese, Qiaozai is unique in that it was founded by fishermen from the southern part of the province. Once Beigan’s biggest, most affluent village, these days it’s not much more than a laid-back fishing settlement, although it is noted for having more temples than any other village in the Matsu Islands.

To the west of Qiaozai along the main road is the unmistakable village of QINBI (芹壁; qínbì), with terrace upon terrace of two-storey stone houses tumbling down a hillside to the sea – arguably the archipelago’s most picturesque community. Spending a night in one of Qinbi’s rustic homestays is highly recommended, but even if you don’t stay here it’s definitely worth a stroll through its narrow lanes and up its steep steps. If time permits, a short swim across the shallow water to Turtle Islet (龜島; guīdǎo) – a granite outcrop in the middle of the bay – yields unrivalled views of the village as well as of the sea to the north.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

Taiwan features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Taiwan beyond Taipei: venturing off the tourist trail

Taiwan beyond Taipei: venturing off the tourist trail

Taiwan, the place the Portuguese once called the “beautiful island”, has long been Asia’s forgotten country. And yet it is home to a trove of national par…

20 Jun 2018 • Mike MacEacheran local_activity Special feature
Cool Taipei: 8 tips for exploring the city

Cool Taipei: 8 tips for exploring the city

As the only democracy in the Chinese speaking world and the most progressive city for LGBTQ+ rights in Asia, a legacy of artists and activists have worked to ma…

12 Apr 2018 • Colt St. George insert_drive_file Article
10 street foods you need to try in Taiwan

10 street foods you need to try in Taiwan

Taiwanese xiǎochī, or “small eats”, are justly famed, and no trip would be complete without several street food feasts. Night markets are among the best …

11 Nov 2015 • Rough Guides Editors insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Privacy Preference Center

Necessary

Mandatory - can not be deselected. Necessary cookies help make a website usable by enabling basic functions like page navigation and access to secure areas of the website. The website cannot function properly without these cookies.

PHPSESSID,aelia_cs_selected_currency,cookie_notice_accepted,RS,bp-message,bp-message-type,id,UIDR,w3tc_logged_out,__cfduid
__cfduid

Statistics

Statistic cookies help website owners to understand how visitors interact with websites by collecting and reporting information anonymously.

__utma,__utmb,__utmc,__utmz,_ga,_gid,__atssc,__atuvc,__atuvs,di,dt,ssc,ssh,sshs,uid,uit,xt
__utma,__utmb,__utmc,__utmz,_ga,_gid
__atssc,__atuvc,__atuvs,di,dt,ssc,ssh,sshs,uid,uit,xtc

Marketing

Marketing cookies are used to track visitors across websites. The intention is to display ads that are relevant and engaging for the individual user and thereby more valuable for publishers and third party advertisers.

__gads,PISID, BEAT, CheckConnection TempCookie703, GALX, GAPS, GoogleAccountsLocale_session, HSID, LSID, LSOSID, NID, PREF, RMME, S, SAPISID, SID, SSID,__utmv, _twitter_sess, auth_token, auth_token_session, external_referer, guest_id, k, lang, original_referer, remember_checked, secure_session, twid, twll,c_user, datr, fr, highContrast, locale, lu, reg_ext_ref, reg_fb_gate, reg_fb_ref, s, wd, xs
__gads,PISID, BEAT, CheckConnection TempCookie703, GALX, GAPS, GoogleAccountsLocale_session, HSID, LSID, LSOSID, NID, PREF, RMME, S, SAPISID, SID, SSID
__utmv, _twitter_sess, auth_token, auth_token_session, external_referer, guest_id, k, lang, original_referer, remember_checked, secure_session, twid, twll
c_user, datr, fr, highContrast, locale, lu, reg_ext_ref, reg_fb_gate, reg_fb_ref, s, wd, xs