The name “Kinmen” dates to 138Yuan Dynasty (371 AD) and has a very long history with Taiwan. Kinmen is on the front lines of the battle between Taiwan and China for Taiwan’s independence. As such, the island was under absolute military control from 1956-1991. Kinman was bombed daily for more than 20 years. The island’s safety was a major issue in the Kennedy-Nixon elections. The first elections for county magistrates was held in 1993.

 

Kinmen is only about 2,000 meters from China. You can actually see the mainland from Kinmen’s shores.

Today, the only legal way to enter the island is by air. I’m told there are there are incredible beaches, you just follow paths that lead alongside fences clearly marked “danger: minefield”.

Kinmen is supposed to have the closest to what is purely Taiwanese culture, untainted by the years of Japanese and Chinese occupations here on this rock. The island of about 50,000 inhabitants is known for its Wind Lions, peanut candy, unique fujianese houses and GaoLing liquor. There are miles of underground tunnels, anti-parachute landing spikes and land mines all along the coast.

And Sandy and Michelle are there teaching English. So, this weekend several people from our group have decided to see all we can see and fly over to Kinmen to visit our friends, get a hands on history lesson, take in the culture and wave hello to the folks over in China. Stay tuned, I should come back with some kind of story for you and photos as well!

Advertisements