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Kinmen Dadan Island opens up to tourism on July 26th


By Wong Wei-Jhih / Staff reporter / Summary report


Kinmen Dadan Island, the one among a small group of islets, is a secret realm of war, which is to be opened up to tourism by the county government on July 26th. This mysterious island played a key role in national defense in history, and the spirit of sacrifice and dedication of the war heroes who were once stationed on the island has always been with younger generations, the county government said, adding that now, Dadan Island has completed a phased mission and is about to reach a critical milestone by lifting its veil of mystery.    

Dadan Island covers an area of only 0.79 square kilometers and is located approximately 12,000 meters to Kinmen and 4,400 meters from Xiamen. In the era of military confrontation between the two sides, it was regarded as a front line and was strategically important. With cross-strait relations easing, the county government took over the island in 2014. After years of planning and preparation, the island is projected to open up to tourists on July 26th in celebration of the 60th anniversary of the 1958 Taiwan Strait Crisis.

To create a unique tourism route for island hopping, the tour is set to integrate Lieyu’s tourism resources for marketing, and related information about applications to visit the island will be published in early June, the county government said.

Since Dadan Island is lacking in infrastructure and many scenic spots are damaged to be repaired, the county government since 2015 has been preparing for opening up the island as a tourist destination by renovating its pipelines, water and electricity facilities, and military strongholds, as well as planning an itinerary and developing creative goods, the tourism department said.

Considering the need to open up the island as a tourist attraction and provide a friendly environment for visitors, the county government has successively completed the infrastructure (including electric generators, fresh water generators, and pipeline layout) since taking over the island. At present, the county government is continuing to restore the military's original strongpoints and forts on the shores, and work on landscaping. These locations are being opened up to tourism upon the completion of the repair. In addition, to provide tourists with sightseeing services, the project of converting Shengming Hall into a travel service center is well underway, which is set to be completed by mid-July in line with the opening date.

Moreover, in view of large amounts of marine debris along the island and considerable difficulty in disposing garbage on the island, the tourism department regularly sends staff to the island for environmental cleaning and is working out a trash collection scheme after opening the island up. Currently, the department is recruiting volunteers among ex-servicemen who once served on the island to beautify the site, hoping these heroes can join the activity by returning to work as volunteers to showcase this island’s former glory (For details visit https://kinmen.travel/zh-tw/event-calendar/details/1958).  

The county government is now actively engaged in the relevant tour planning, including literature and history collection, tour guide training, film production, itinerary planning, and ticket packages, in addition to the completion of the development of theme wines and creative products, with the intention of integrating Lieyu’s and Dadan Island’s tourism resources and fostering the development of tourism, and promoting and deepening the brand image of Dadan Island. To this end, Lieyu’s sightseeing resources will be incorporated for island hopping tours in the western secret battlefield.

In the future, the island tour is based on a reservation system, with a maximum of 300 visitors allowed per day, the tourism department said, adding that to boost the tourism of Lieyu Township, the place will be opened up with Jiugong Pier as a gateway and the department are intending to require tourists to stay at least one night at Lieyu’s registered hotels.

Insisting on furnishing tourists with optimal recreation quality, the county government has continued to plan the construction and renovation of various recreational facilities needed for the opening up of tourism, and simultaneously pushed the construction of software and hardware. However, given the lack of infrastructure and basic facilities, construction difficulties, and weather conditions on the island, the finished part of the spot will be open to visitors, while the remainder will remain closed until fully renovated.

The tourism department said that the original features on Dadan Island after being opened up to tourism will not only be preserved, the facilities and experience tours offered will also be a refreshing change, taking visitors on an island hopping journey to explore Kinmen. With this newly developed itinerary, the county government is confident that visitors will bring away happy memories of the unique island.

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