Instead of trying to make a perfect itinerary for Matsu, it is better to just go and be flexible. I did my homework and made a five-day schedule that would allow me to explore all of the Matsu islands seamlessly. I had all B&B and transportation reserved but I ended up trying to find a way to go to Matsu for two days and then worrying about not being able to come to Taiwan for work on time.
The tropical storm Hagibis developed on the day before my trip. It was hundreds of kilometers away from Matsu and by the time it was supposed to reach China it would be gone and I would be in the islands enjoying the holiday. Nevertheless, I got on a high speed rail heading to Taipei and waited anxiously for the sailing announcement of Taima ferry made daily at 11:00AM. A cancellation message was sent to my phone telling me that due to bad weather conditions, the Taima ferry was cancelled. I turned on my iPhone and searched for any flight available for Matsu. Luckily, I found 2 flights available in the afternoon of the next day. I tried to book the earlier fight by filling out information on the tiny screen and pushed the next button on the webpage and it returned "lost internet connection" as the train was traveling at a speed of 300km/hour. I tried to call Uni-air directly to book the ticket and I lost the signal while listening to the machine recording as the train was passing through tunnels. By the time I finally got through, the earlier flight had been sold out and I had to settle for the last flight which departed from Taipei at 17:30. The next day I headed to the airport early and soon I found out that the flight to Nangan might be cancelled due to the bad weather. The staff told me that they might fly us to Beigan instead if the fog cleared out. So I waited patiently, then I heard an announcement calling passengers to Beigan to check-in at the counter. I was happy to know that I might be able to fly to Beigan after all, even though my accommodation reservation was in Nangan. Thirty minutes later another announcement was broadcast:" due to the bad weather, the flight to Nangan was cancelled, passengers to Nangan please report to the airline counter. " Out of desperation, I checked the Taima ferry website and found that the ferry was scheduled to sail at 22:50. I ran out of the airport and got on MRTs then transferred to a train to Keelung. By the time I got there, the room was filled with passengers and soldiers and I got the number 714 for purchasing the tickets! It was around 22:00 when I got the last ticket, first class, and set sail to the rugged open sea. After a night of being tossed up and down, left and right, the ferry finally made it to Dongyin island at 06:00.
no sailing on Tuesday schedule of the Taima ferry. The 2 and a half hour ride from Dongyin to Nangan was much smoother than it was from Keelung to Dongyin. To keep my deposit for the B&B reservation in Beigan, I took the very next boat from Nangan to Beigan and had the host to pick me up at the Beigan harbor. The B&B that I was staying in is a well preserved eastern Fujian style building made of wood and stones, located in Qinbi village. The Qinbi village has the best preserved eastern Fujian style buildings in all of Matsu and the renovated houses are B&B and cafe shops, a village of tourists and the weird part is that there is no restaurant in Qinbi village. The price for food in Matsu in general is much higher than in Tainan; the higher price for poultry, pork or beef is understandable, it is a remote islands after all, but seafood also, really?
All flight were cancelled before noon on the next day, my last day in Matsu. I took a boat back to Nangan and crossed my fingers hoping that my flight at 16:30 would be ok. Meanwhile, I took the chance to explore the island soon to be the first casino in Taiwan. One particular spot that I enjoyed the most was the Furen Cafe. Located at the north-west corner of Nangan island, the cafe house is also a B&B. Dutch drip coffee is highly recommended. Back to the airport, I was relieved knowing that my flight was on schedule, especially because the waiting list had more than 1,000 names on it. Three out of five islands were visited on this trip and no sign of blue tear (blue tide) was observed, this was my trip to Matsu.
The official Matsu national scenic area website has all kinds of information needed for a trip to Matsu in Chinese, English and Japanese.
Motocycle rental in Matsu island is about NT$ 500/day, including a full tank of gasoline.
Highly recommended restaurant in Beigan: Longhe eastern fujian restaurant (龍和閩東風味館), reasonable price and taste good.