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  • Writer's pictureRick

Matsu Tip: Getting to and around the Matsu Islands, Taiwan

I travelled to the Matsu Islands (马祖列岛) of Taiwan in November 2019 and is about to embark on another trip to the islands in 2023. As such, I consolidated all information on how to get in, out and around the Matsu Islands in this post for ease of referencing and updating.



There are several ways to get in to / out of the Matsu Islands:

  1. By domestic flights from/to Songshan/Taichung of Taiwan island

  2. By ferry from/to Keelung Harbour of Taiwan island

  3. By ferry from/to Fuzhou, China



✈️ GET IN / OUT BY DOMESTIC FLIGHTS


One of the few airlines that flies between Matsu's Nangan (南竿) and Beigan (北竿) islands and Taiwan main island is Uni Air (立荣航空公司) with the most flights on daily basis. Flights and schedules are different during peak and off-peak travel seasons, do refer to Uni Air's website for latest information.

Matsu Islands ⇄ Taipei Songshan Airport (台北松山)


Beigan Airport (北竿) → Songshan Airport (松山):

- Depart at 8:20am, 2:10pm and 5:10pm


Songshan Airport (松山) → Beigan Airport (北竿):

- Depart at 6:50am, 12:40pm and 3:40pm


Nangan Airport (南竿) → Songshan Airport (松山):

- Depart at 8am, 9am, 10:45am, 12pm, 2:30pm, 3:30pm, 5:30pm and 6:35pm


Songshan Airport (松山) → Nangan Airport (南竿):

- Depart at 6:30am, 7:30am, 9:20am, 10:25am, 1pm, 2pm, 4pm and 5pm


Travel time: 50 minutes

Updated: 16 April 2023

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Matsu Islands ⇄ Taichung Airport (台中)


Taichung Airport (台中) → Nangan Airport (南竿):

- Depart at 8:10am, 11:30am and 3pm


Nangan Airport (南竿) → Taichung Airport (台中):

- Depart at 9:50am, 1:15pm and 4:40pm


Travel time: 65 minutes

Updated: 16 April 2023



⛴️ GET IN / OUT BY FERRY (via Keelung)


There is one ferry service (Taima Star, 台马之星) between the Matsu Islands and Keelung Harbour on Taiwan main island (台湾基隆港), operated by Shin Hwa Company (新华公司).


The routes traversed by Taima Star ferry are as follows:

- Odd days: Keelung → Nangan → Dongyin → Keelung

- Even days: Keelung → Dongyin → Nangan → Keelung


The ferry will travel on either of the above routes every alternate day except on maintenance days, which is scheduled on alternate Tuesdays. On service days, the ferry will depart Keelung Harbour at 10pm and reach Matsu the next morning. Expect delays to be as long as one hour. Fare varies depending on whether it is a seat, a bed or a room.


To board the ferry at Dongyin, buy the ticket one day before the departure date at Lehua Village No. 50 Taima Star Service Counter (樂華村50號臺馬之星東引服務處) from 2pm to 5pm.


When Taima Star is undergoing maintenance on scheduled Tuesdays, Taima Ferry (台马伦) will take its place to ferry passengers from Keelung Harbour to the Matsu Islands. Refer to Nangan (南竿) ⇄ Dongyin (东引) section for Taima Ferry's schedule.


Note that ferry schedules are subjected to changes and may be cancelled during bad weather or off-peak seasons. It is always better to check Shin Hwa's website for last minute information (if you can read Traditional Chinese).


Updated: 16 April 2023



⛴️ GET IN/OUT BY FERRY (via Fuzhou City, China)


There are 2 ferry service routes between 2 passenger terminals (Huangqi Harbour and Langqi Harbour) in Fuzhou, China (中国福州市), to Matsu's Nangan or Beigan islands.


*Note: Post-COVID-19, the Mini Three-Link Transportation (小三通) between China mainland and Taiwan's outlying islands was reinstated recently. However, due to upgrading of Matsu's ferry booking system, availabilities and schedules of the ferries cannot be re-affirmed.


1. Beigan (Baisha Port) ⇄ Fuzhou City (Huangqi Port)

(北竿白沙港 ⇄ 福州市黃岐港)


Huangqi → Beigan:

- 11am

Beigan → Huangqi:

- 2pm


Fare: NT$650

Travel Time: 30 ~ 50 minutes

--------------


2. Nangan (Fu‘ao Port) ⇄ Fuzhou City (Langqi Port)

(南竿福澳港 ⇄ 福州市琅岐港)


Nangan → Langqi:

- 9:50am

Langqi → Nangan:

- 12:30pm


Fare: NT$1,000

Travel Time: 80 minutes



For latest news regarding the Mini Three-Link, do refer to 马祖南竿机场.小三通专区


Updated: 11 May 2023



⛴️ Getting Around Matsu Islands by Ferry


There are a number of local ferry services operating between the islands. Use 马祖海上交通订位系统 to book ferry tickets in Matsu or buy directly from local ticketing offices before departure — however, the booking website does not accept foreign mobile number. Note that some ferry services may be halted or rescheduled during off-peak seasons or if sailing conditions are undesirable.


Nangan's Fu'ao Harbour (南竿福澳港) is the main port of transfer to get around the islands.


Nangan (南竿) ⇄ Beigan (北竿)


Nangan Fu'ao Harbour (南竿福澳港) → Beigan Baisha Harbour (北竿白沙港):

- 7am to 5pm at hourly interval


Beigan Baisha Harbour (北竿白沙港) → Nangan Fu'ao Harbour (南竿福澳港):

- 7:30am to 5:30pm at hourly interval


Fare: NT$160

Travel Time: 20 minutes

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Nangan (南竿) ⇄ Juguang (莒光)



Nangan Fu'ao Harbour (南竿福澳港) → Juguang Xiju / Dongju (莒光乡西莒/东莒):

- Depart at 7am, 11am and 2:30pm

- Odd months: Nangan → Xiju (5-minute stop) → Dongju → Nangan

- Even months: Nangan → Dongju (5-minute stop) → Xiju → Nangan


Fare: NT$250

Travel Time: 35 minutes to first stop, 50 minutes to last stop

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Juguang Xiju / Dongju (莒光乡西莒/东莒) → Nangan Fu'ao Harbour (南竿福澳港):

- Depart at 7:50am, 11:50am and 3:20pm

- Odd months: Xiju → Dongju (5-minute stop) → Nangan

- Even months: Dongju → Xiju (5-minute stop) → Nangan


Fare: NT$250

Travel Time: 10 minutes to first stop, 35 minutes to Nangan

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Xiju Qingfan Harbour (西莒青帆港) → Dongju Meng'ao Harbour (东莒猛澳港)

- Depart at 7:30am, 11:00am, 2:30pm and 5:10pm


Dongju Meng'ao Harbour (东莒猛澳港) → Xiju Qingfan Harbour (西莒青帆港) →

- Depart at 7:40am, 11:10am, 2:40pm and 5:20pm


Fare: NT$80

Travel Time: 10 minutes



Nangan (南竿) ⇄ Dongyin (东引)


The ferry service, Taiwan-Matsu Star (台马之星), between the Matsu Islands and Keelung Harbour will stop-over / stop at Dongyin Island depending on odd/even day. It will ferry passengers between Nangan and Dongyin on alternate days. Refer to the section "Get In/Out by Ferry (via Keelung)" for relevant information.


There is another ferry service, Taiwan-Matsu Ferry (台马轮), that operates between Nangan and Dongyin. Note that Taiwan-Matsu Ferry will be decommissioned in April 2023 and replaced with a new ferry named New Taiwan-Matsu Ferry (新台马轮).


Nangan → Dongyin:

- Odd days: Depart at 8:30am (New Taiwan-Matsu Ferry)

- Even days: Depart at 9:30am (Taiwan-Matsu Star)

- Fare: NT$400 (economy seat)


Dongyin → Nangan:

- Odd days: Depart at 7:00am (Taiwan-Matsu Star)

- Even days: Depart at 7:30am (New Taiwan-Matsu Ferry)

- Fare: NT$400 (economy seat)


On maintenance day for New Taiwan-Matsu Ferry, which is scheduled every fortnightly on Tuesdays, the ferry will sail to Keelung Harbour the night before. It will ferry passengers from Nangan to Keelung — which is why the ferry has bed and room options in addition to seats.


Nangan → Keelung:

- Depart at 9pm (overnight)

- Travel Time: 9 hours


(Return) Keelung → Nangan/Dongyin → Dongyin/Nangan:

- Depart at 10pm (overnight)

- Travel Time: 12 hours

- The journey may serve different route on different days!


When either Taiwan-Matsu Star or Taiwan-Matsu Ferry is undergoing maintenance and unable to service the route between Nangan and Dongyin, other ferries, 東海明珠 or 南北之星, will take over. The schedules may change though. It is still advisable to get the latest information at 連江縣馬祖連江航業 website.


Reference:

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