(1) Natural Scenery
The area’s has a rich and diverse natural environment, including terns, marine life, a variety of flora and geological formations, making it an excellent place for people to learn to live in harmony with nature and respect the environment. It has over 500 plant species in the low shrublands and forests that adorn the islands, and is the only place where the rare Shorttube Lycoris (Lycoris radiata), Herba Selaginellae (Selaginella tamariscina（Beauv.）Spring ), Humata tyermanni Moore can be seen. There are over 250 recorded bird species, most of which are birds of passage, winter visitors and summer residents that mate on the idlands. Summer migrants such as the barn swallow and tern species are a particularly magnificent sight; Dongyin is the only place in the country with records of black-tailed gull mating, and the discovery of signs of mating by the Chinese Crested Tern- the "legendary bird” listed as critically endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species- has become a central attraction for ecotourism. Sea life consists mainly of fish, shellfish, and clams, with the most common fish species belonging to the bream and grunt families.
(2) Military Scenery
The region was under the control of the military for over 40 years, and the related military works- the lookout points atop the hills, the immense underground tunnels, and other military installations such as harbors, strongholds, gun batteries, training grounds, military hospitals, and the distinctly military-flavored guesthouses- all have considerable drawing power. Since military rule was lifted here in 1992, the military has opened various types of military tourism resources to visitors.
(3) Religious Culture
Matsu’s temples are simple in layout but boldly and beautifully colored, with the sweeping raised eaves to prevent the spread of fire being the most distinctive feature. The ninth day of the ninth month of the lunar calendar is the annual “Mazu in Matsu: Ascension Day,” which includes events such as an ascension ceremony, a fair, traditional performances, an evening prayer gathering for safety and good fortune, an academic seminar on Mazu, and more. Delegations from temples in Taiwan, as well as from Meizhou, offshore islands and other regions are invited to make a pilgrimage to Matsu.
(4) Village Architecture
Matsu’s traditional buildings are constructed of granite stones laid together, and are characterized by the outer walls and frame being independent of each other, the square “one-stamp” layout, and the high, small windows. The stone houses of the villages are neatly spread across hillsides.
(5) Culture and History
From Eastern Fujian fishing villages to the transformation to the front lines of the standoff between the Nationalists and the Communists to the January 2001 trial run of sea transportation to the mainland (part of the “Three Mini-Links), this region has gone through a number of phases, leaving behind architecture and cultural elements from each period. The presence of the Fuzhou dialect is one such element that is particularly noteworthy.
(6) Industrial Resources
Matsu’s best-known industries are fish farming, fish processing, liquor distillation, and the farming of cold-weather highland vegetables. Located near the mouth of the Min River, the Matsu Islands have always been a plentiful fishing area, supplying abundant resources to the fishing industry. Among these resources, mussels produced through suspended cultivation are high in both protein content and economic value. Fish resources have also been taken full advantage of to develop yellow croaker farming, fish processing, recreational sea fishing activities, and other industries.
Mazu's liquors are known far and wide. In the past, they were independently distilled by residents; now there are distilleries on both Nangan and Dongyin. The Nangan Liquor Factory produces both huangjiu (Matsu Aged Liquor) and baijiu, (Aged Kaoliang Liquor), and has become well-known in recent years for liquors aged in Tunnel 88. Dongyin's distillery produces baijiu (Tong Yin Aged Kao Liang Liquor) this has also proved highly popular.
In addition, because the region is at a higher longitude than the rest of the Taiwan region, cold-weather highland vegetables such as cabbage and radishes are particularly delicious, and are popular with travelers. Furthermore, local foods such as guangbing buns, oyster cakes, foods made with red vinasse and fish noodles are rarely seen in other parts of Taiwan, and are worth promoting.