Kinmen is narrow in the middle and wider on the eastern and western sides. The distance between east and west is approximately 20km; the longest distance between north and south on the east is approximately 15km; and the narrowest central region is only 3km, thus making it to resemble a gold ingot. The island is fringed with islets and reefs all around, scattering on the sea to look like stars surrounding the moon, and spreading between longitude 118° 24’ east and latitude 24° 27’ north on sea. Kinmen is consisted of 12 jurisdictional islands including Kinmen, Lieyu, Tadan, Erdan, etc. with a total area of 150.456m2.
Kinmen’s prominent mountain is Taiwushan, standing solitarily and magnificently on the island. The span of more than 10km from foothill to the peak is composed of winding and turning, steep and lofty rocks, shaping it like an ancient war helmet from near distance and so being called Taiwu. While the twisted and entangled rocks appear somewhat like a carved seal, and so it is also being named “Sea Seal”. Looking from afar across the sea, the mountain resembles a lying celestial being, and so being nicknamed “Sianshan” by seafaring people. In 1952, the late president Chiang Kai-Shek had outlined the inscription “Wu Wang Tsai Ju”, meaning Forget Not Those Days in Ju on the huge cliff of Taiwushan. It has now become a vigilant and moral-raising landmark for soldiers and civilians alike on the island to endure hardships to accomplish their ambitions.
Besides Taiwushan, Kinmen also has Queshan, Fengshan and Tashan on the east; Shuangshan, Changanshan, Fenglianshan, Taiwunshan (Guyennanshan), Xiantaishan and Nanpanshan on the south; Maoshan on the west; and Shihshan, Hushan, Tianmoshan and Jinshan, etc. on the northwest. These undulating hills and mountains have formed the major landscape of Kinmen.
Affected by the terrain, Kinmen has no big rivers and long streams. The longest Wujiiang River located on the western half of the island is in a dried-up stage, but its old riverbed is still barely distinguishable. While most others like Jinsha River, Houshuei River, Qianpu River, Xiaojin River, Sibao River, and Shanwai River, etc. are flowing like short rivulets with little water and usually running dry. In the event of rains, they will be filled up but the water will flow rapidly into the sea. Not only do they offer no help in the presence of rains, but may even bring disasters in drought.
In recent decades, the soldiers and civilians on the islands have cooperated to build large-scale water conservation projects, blocking up rivers, constructing dams and opening up new lakes and ponds. Examples are Taihu, Lanhu, Zihu, Shuanglihu, Ronghu, Lingshueihu, Tianpu Reservoir, Jinsha Reservoir, etc. Besides capable of storing up water for irrigation and as water supply, they also serve the greening and beautification purposes, and have transformed them into tourist scenic spots.