In Taiwan, there happens to be amazing sites to see. There are many mountains to climb. The country is full of amazing things from hot springs, beautiful scenery, and the people are quite nice. One of the coolest things that I saw in Taiwan was the Blue Tears of Matsu. It sounds interesting doesn’t it.
Taiwan owns a couple of islands close to the Chinese Mainland. These islands are the Matsu islands. They are the old fortified islands that protected Taiwan from any possible invasion. They are still highly occupied by military, but they are now a destination for a season of Blue Tears.
The Blue Tears are this phenomenon in the water that glows blue. If you have ever seen the movie Life of Pi, there is a part where at night he wakes up and the water is glowing. That is what is happening in the water around Matsu.
The Blue Tears:
You may ask, “what makes the water blue?” That is a great question. People have said it is an algae that glows blue, but under a microscope it looks like a one celled organism. It is something that krill likes to eat. They called them the Blue Tears the scientific name is…noctiluca scintillans
As a protection against predators, the organism glows blue when it is feels frightened. The cool thing is that they glow blue every time the water is disturbed, which is so awesome seeing.
Where to see the Blue tears:
There are three main islands to can go and see the blue tears. There is Beigan, Nangan, and Dongyi. Nangan is the biggest and very close to Beigan, which is the smallest. There are beach spots where you can go out and watch the waves crash and see the blue glow.
How to get there:
Getting to these islands, there are two main routes. You can either take a ferry, usually done at night for 8 hours, or you can go by plane.
Ferries cost around $800NT per person and a flight will cost $1900NT for a one-way. It is your choice.
Now a bit of a warning. Flights to the Matsu islands are often cancelled due to fog. It is better to go by ferry, plus it is cheaper.
Our Adventure in seeing the Blue Tears:
In May, a group of five of us went out on an Adventure to see the mysterious Blue Tears. We had talked about it before, but had not gone to seek them out. It was I, my wife Sarah, our friends Raymond, Wayne, and Amy.
The weather looked a bit fishy. It was forcasted to have a full moon, which would have been disasterous to see the Blue Tears. You need an environment that is pitch black.
The voyage to Nangan:
We took a night ferry leaving Keelung, Taiwan across the sea for 8 hours to Nangan. We were fortunate enough to have a bed to sleep on. The ferry was not overly rocky, but we took some precautions with some sea sickness meds.
Around 8 a.m. we had finally landed in Nangan. Our next stop was Beigan, which was a short 15-20 minute ride, and our host was at the port ready to pick us up.
We were quite excited. It would be so cool to see the ocean glow blue. We had booked one night in Beigan, and two other nights in Nangan. It was a nice cozy room with three beds. We were down the road from some good food, and had a spot to see the blue tears a few hundred meters away.
The First Night:
The moon shined bright as we made our way down around 9 p.m. to see the elusive blue tears. Just sitting waiting and watching the waves crash, we could see the glimmer of some bright blue lights shining. This was it, but I guess I had expected more.
Our crew had expected more as well, but we set up our cameras and took some shots. We may have gotten one or two good shots out of that day.
Off to Nangan:
The next day we went back to Nangan to stay a couple of nights in hopes of seeing more Blue Tears. We had booked a nice hostel that we had found really cheap. Sarah booked and realized that the price must have been wrong as in it was $1000NT cheaper than our hosts wanted. We would take it.
That first night, we had also booked a boat tour through some ex-military tunnels.
The Boat tour:
Our friend, Wayne, helped us book a boat tour. It is the Beihai Tunnel boat tour. The tour was something that we had not expected. It was 15-20 minutes inside a pitch black tunnel with no way of seeing anything in front or behind us.
Each passenger was given a small paddle. This was to give each passenger the ability to stir the water. It was so cool seeing the water just magically glow blue.
Others flung the water onto the walls, the walls glowed blue as well. These Blue tears were absolutely amazing. My mind was blown with this beauty. I had seen everything I had wanted. I just wanted to gather photos to show others of the beauty.
Great spots for good shots:
The next day was Sunday. We had a much more chill day full of eating good food, drinking coffee and chilling around the island. Looking for spots to take great shots was on our agenda.
We had spotted some areas around some cliffs that would be perfect to grab some good shots. Later that night we came to set-up our cameras, and away we went to capture the blue tears.
After 30 minutes we had probably taken enough to be quite satisfied. It had been an amazing adventure. Our ferry was the next morning, and nothing could ruin our fun.
Ferry Tickets, Plane cancellations, and another night:
We had our tickets booked, but the flights had been cancelled a third day in a row. The ferry area was packed. We had arrived an hour and half early to grab the tickets. Unbeknowest to us, the ticket people had accidently gave our tickets to the wrong foreigners.
We were stranded. We had no where to go, not much more money left, and our patience was winding down. What were we going to do?
Book another ferry for the next day of course. We are not doomed yet. Time was not on our side, but we had another day away from work.
We booked a night at Hostel 55 that was at a sight of an old military bunker. The hostel was located close to a smaller town up on the hill, but away from any lights.
The view from the top was by far the best we had our whole time. The Blue tears that night were so bright and shining. You could see them flicker off the water. As the waves crashed there was so much blue.
The excitement was once again in our veins, and we were happy.
The next day we were able to catch a flight back home, and return back to work.
The End of our Story
I must say, even though, we had some bad luck the Blue Tears were so amazing and an experience we would always remember. They were beautiful, and our companionship grew much more.
If you are ever in Taiwan from late April to early June, it is a good time to visit the Matsu islands. They have the Blue Tears, and trust me it is something worth to see.
Time after time, we are discovering the wonderful places around this country. Come to Taiwan. See the Blue Tears, meet the people, and have fun enjoying the beauty of this world.
If you know of some cool places to see let me know. We are always up for an adventure, and are always amazed to see the beautiful creations of this world.
Have you seen some cool things in the world? Leave a comment we would like to know your thoughts.
“Life is short and the world is wide.” – Simon Raven