Top 17 Places to Visit in Kinmen, Taiwan

If you are planning a visit to Kinmen, 金門 (pronounced Jinmen, literal meaning “golden gate”, formerly known as Quemoy), these are the top 17 places which I recommend. Most of the admissions are free.

Some basic knowledge of Kinmen… It is an island located near the People’s Republic of China but is controlled by the Republic of China on Taiwan. It has a large number of traditional Min style buildings and military sites that are open to tourists.

Deyue Tower

Deyue Tower is one of the must visit places as it is on the list of Taiwan’s Top 100 Historical Buildings. Located in the middle of Shuituo Village, there are free guided tours (in Mandarin Chinese) lasting 20-30 mins are offered every day except for Chinese New Year’s Eve.

Shuitou Village was well known for trading business in the early 1900s but being close to the sea, it was an easy target for pirates. The villagers decided to commission a Fujianese architect to build this distinctive defensive tower.

Special defensive features include holes in the walls on the 3rd and 4th floors just big enough for guns to aim at invaders. There is also a secret emergency escape path between the tower and the house next door.

There are many other attractions within walking distance, including Jinshui Elementary School Museum and the Overseas Chinese Culture Museum.

Details

TEL +886-82-321103

Address No.45, Qianshuitou, Jincheng Township, Kinmen County Taiwan, R.O.C 

Opening Hours 08:30-17:00, daily except for Chinese New Year’s Day

Admission charge Free

Cihu Sunset

Cihu, a large lake next to the sea facing Xiamen, was built by the military for strategic purposes in 1969. It’s now a popular spot for gazing at the skyscrapers in Xiamen, and watching the sunset and migrating birds.

For those who want to experience the sun setting over Xiamen skyscrapers in the distance, the seaview observation deck is a great place to go. This is one of the few beaches where you can still see anti-landing spikes.

Details

Address Cihu, Jinning Township, Kinmen County Taiwan, R.O.C 

Opening Hours Open all day

Admission charge Free

Everrich Golden Lake Plaza

Next to Tai Lake and Golden Lake Hotel, Everrich’s Golden Lake Plaza is the biggest duty-free store in Kinmen, occupying 320,000 ft2 of land.

At the plaza, there are various selections like fragrances, cosmetics, souvenirs, the latest electronics, and cultural and creative products as well as over 500 luxurious fashion brands. Products, available at airports or in-flight, are also available.

For the movie goers, you can visit Ambassador Theatre where you can enjoy the latest movies after indulging yourself with a satisfying shopping spree.

Horseshoe Crab Museum

Horseshoe crabs live in the shallow sandy ocean waters and are primarily found in the oceans near western to northwestern Kinmen, especially between Houfeng Harbor and Shui-Tou at Wujiang Estuary.  

Because of its resemblance to a horseshoe or a soldier’s helmet, the omnivorous horseshoe crab is also called “helmet fish”.  Since a male and female horseshoe crab always appear in the water together in pairs, some people also call the “lovebirds fish” or “couple fish”.  They grow in an extremely slow pace, and it takes numerous changes of shell before it becomes a mature horseshoe carb.  Female horseshoe crabs will grow to be larger in scale than male horseshoe crabs.  Each November, they will begin swimming from the shallow ocean waters towards deep ocean waters to live through the winter, and they will move again towards the shallow area to reproduce and lay eggs next April through May.

Jiangong Islet

 Jiangong Islet is accessible at low tide by walking on a slab stone path. The giant oystermen sculptures along the path pay tribute to one of Kinmen’s traditional occupations, which still flourishes today.

“Oystermen” was designed by Finnish architect Marco Casagrande in 2013 as part of a Kinmen County Sculpture Festival.  Made of sand-blasted stainless steel, the figures stand 6 meters tall. When the tide is at its highest point, the “Oystermen” appear to be walking on water.

Jiangong Islet was the place where soldiers were stationed in order to defend the waterway between Little Kinmen and the main island of Kinmen in 1949.

The tall statue on the island is Zheng Chenggong, the famous military leader, who’s facing his hometown in Fujian Province across the waters.

Juguang Tower

A must visit place is Juguang Tower, the landmark from the Chinese civil war period. Built in 1953 as a memorial for Kinmen’s fallen soldiers in the Battle of Guningtou 4 years earlier, it’s also a token of Kinmen’s spirit.

The tower’s distinctive architecture combines a traditional Chinese tower on top of a contemporary base. Two small cannons at the front date from the Ming and Qing dynasties.

Go up to the 3rd floor balcony for a good view of the nearby coastline, and on a clear day, the skyscrapers of Xiamen.

Exhibits
1st Fl: Wind Lion Gods, local foods, traditional village architecture, Kinmen kaoliang, Kinmen steel knives.
2nd Fl: Photos of one of Kinmen’s most colorful and distinctive annual events, the City God Parade.
3rd Fl: Memorabilia related to Chinese Nationalist General Hu Lien who, as commander of Kinmen Defense Command, defeated Communist invasions in 1949 and 1958.

Details

TEL +886-82-325632

Address No.1, Xiencheng Road, Jincheng Township, Kinmen County Taiwan, R.O.C 

Opening Hours 08:00-22:00, daily except for Chinese New Year’s Day

Admission charge Free

Mashan Broadcasting and Observation Station

This is the closest point to Mainland China on the main island of Kinmen. Mashan was the outpost of utmost strategic importance, where naval operations in the Strait were closely monitored. The broadcasting station here, like Beishan on another part of the island, sent messages across the water encouraging soldiers in Mainland China to surrender.

Details

TEL +886-82-330083

Address Mashan Observation Station, Jinsha Township, Kinmen County Taiwan, R.O.C 

Opening Hours 08:00-17:00, daily except for Chinese New Year’s Day

Admission charge Free

Shishan (Mt. Lion) Howitzer Front

Here, you can see Howitzer, the weapon which contributed to the success of the August 23rd Artillery Battle on display. Shishan (Mt. Lion) Howitzer Front is on Lion Mountain behind Shanhou Folk Culture Village.

Demonstration Schedule:
10:00, 11:00, 13:30, 14:30, 15:30, 16:30

You can see a Howitzer gun drill demonstration any day of the week except for Thursdays. On weekends and national holidays, there is an additional demonstration at 9am.

Details

TEL +886-82-355697

Address Shishan (Mt. Lion) Howitzer Front, Jinsha Township, Kinmen County Taiwan, R.O.C 

Opening Hours 09:00-17:30 (Howitzer drill demonstrations daily except for Thursdays)

Admission charge Free

Shanhou Folk Culture Village

For those who want to soak up some piece of history, visit Shanhou Folk Culture Village as it is Kinmen’s most iconic and best-preserved historic village. It is also a great place for some #ootds shoots as the special layout of the houses makes them extremely photogenic!

If you are interested in architecture, Shanhou Folk Culture Village is a must visit place! It has the most complete range of traditional Minnan-style houses, built between 1876 and 1900.

Details

TEL +886-82-355347

Address Shanhou Folk and Culture Village, Jinsha Township, Kinmen County Taiwan, R.O.C 

Opening Hours 8:00-17:00, daily except for Chinese New Year’s Day

Admission charge Free

Houlin Military Base and Shooting Simulator

Located inland from the General’s Fortress in Houtou (Hòu tóu) Village, this former military camp is the first place in Taiwan to offer the public a rifle shooting simulation experience.

You get to hold, aim and shoot a rifle while dressed up in military fatigues. You also get to practice shooting at enemies who will charge at you on a laser-generated battleground. As long as you stay alive (and you will!), you’ll be awarded with a certificate at the end of your soldier experience. 

Details

TEL +886-82-363455 

Address Houtou Village, Lieyu Township, Kinmen County Taiwan, R.O.C 

Opening Hours 08:00-12:00; 13:30-17:30, daily except for Wednesdays

Admission charge Full fare: NT$350
Group fare(for groups of more than 12 people): NT$250
Kinmenese fare: NT$100
The simulation for visitors over 12 years old only.

Landmine Museum

You can understand more about landlines in this museum. This includes both local Kinmen and global perspectives:
*Astonishing statistics about landmines;
*Different types of landmines;
*Photos from around the world where landmines
  have been used;
*International efforts to ban landmines.

Details

Address Linking passage between Yongshi Fort and Tiehan Fort, Lieyu Township, Kinmen County Taiwan, R.O.C 

Opening Hours 08:00-17:00, daily except for Chinese New Year’s Day

Admission charge Free

Kinmen Kaoliang Liquor Inc. – Changjiang Tunnel

Kaolin liquor is a must try if you are going to Kinmen. It has an aromatic, sweet, spicy and brisk taste which is distinctive from other liquor.

At Kinmen Kaoliang Liquor Inc, you can sample Kinmen’s globally recognized liquor. After touring the facility, you can also buy various vintages and strengths of the liquor at the factory store.

On the 50-min tour of the factory, you’ll see machinery used in the production process, and learn the interesting story behind this product so important to Kinmen’s economy…And of course you’ll have the chance to try some kaoliang jiu and buy it! 

Tours for small groups (under 10 people) and individuals are available every day of the year, anytime between 8am and 5pm.

To make a booking for a group tour (over 10 people), call: +886-82-325628 #82863 or #82865.

Details

TEL +886-82-325628

Address No.1, Taoyuan Rd., Jinning Township, Kinmen County Taiwan, R.O.C 

Opening Hours 08:00-12:00, 13:30-17:30

Admission charge Free

Houhu Seashore Park

Kinmen has many beautiful beaches, but Houhu is the only one where you can swim, as the others are affected by strong currents and rip tides. Between mid-June and mid-August, lifeguards are on duty here from 2pm to 6pm.

Details

Address Donghu Road, Jinning Township, Kinmen County Taiwan, R.O.C 

Opening Hours Open all day

Admission charge Free

Beishan Broadcasting Wall

A real “wall of sound”, this structure was part of this side’s cross-strait psychological warfare efforts. Deng Li-Jun, a popular female Taiwanese singer Deng Li-Jun would broadcast everyday to audiences 25 kilometers away in China. Her opening remarks “Dear compatriots in Mainland China, I am Deng Li-Jun”, were followed by music, announcements and propaganda.

The hive-like reinforced concrete wall of 48 speakers still faces the ocean and broadcasts (though no longer at full volume!) at the following times:
09:00-09:45
10:30-11:00
13:00-13:30
14:00-14:30
15:00-15:45
16:00-16:30

Details

Address Nearby Beishan Cliff, Jinning Township, Kinmen County Taiwan, R.O.C 

Opening Hours Open all day

Admission charge Free

Guningtou Battle Museum

On December 24, 1949, the Guningtou Battle marked Kinmen as the front line in the long-term standoff between the Communist Party in China and KMT in Taiwan. When the routine shelling on both sides of the Strait finally ended in 1979, the military established this museum to commemorate the historic battle.

TEL +886-82-313274

Address Guningtou, Beishan Village, Jinning Township, Kinmen County Taiwan, R.O.C 

Details

Opening Hours 08:30~17:00, daily except for Chinese New Year’s Day

Admission charge Free

Beishan Old Western-style house

This building which is bullet-riddled serves as a stark reminder of how intense the Guningtou Battle was. It became the site of a deadly firefight when the R.O.C. forces later counter-attacked.

During the Guningtou Battle, this building in the mixed Chinese and Western style was located at a key road junction and was occupied by a Communist forward command post.

Details

Address S. Hill, Jinning Township, Kinmen County Taiwan, R.O.C 

Opening Hours Open all day

Admission charge Free

Liang Jin Farm

This is a must visit place if you love beef!

Liang Jin Farm deserved to be the best beef secialist in Kinmen. It is the first and only local based food factory specializing in making a range of Kinmen featured foods, the most popular is beef jerky. I tried the beef noodle and the beef was amazing! It comes in distinctive texture and flavour as local cattle are specially grain fed with Kaoliang jiu zao, which is wine waste of well known Kaoliang liquor, as a superb nutritious source. With its prime texture and juiciness, this is something you should not miss!

Details

Address: No.160 Yu Vil, Jinhu Township, 891, Taiwan

Contact number: +886 8 233 5886

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