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Meizhou Island

Meizhou Island (湄洲島) is closely offshore of Putian[?], Fujian, China. It is most famous for being the birthplace of Goddess Matsu. Meizhou has 38,000 inhabitants, most of which have traditionally been in fishery[?].

Meizhou Island is entirely under Meizhou Township (镇) that is divided into 11 villages:

  • Gaozhu (高朱)
  • Xiashan (下山) "Downhill"
  • Lianche (莲池) "Lotus Pond"
  • Beidai (北埭 di) "North Dam"
  • Dongcai (东蔡) "The Cais of the East"
  • Xiting (西亭) "The Pavillion of the East"
  • Ganglou (港楼) "The Tower of the Port"
  • Xaixia (寨下)
  • Dayang (大洋) "Great Ocean"
  • 3 more

Meizhou Township is a sub-organization (派出机构) of Putian Municipality.

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In the northern part of the mouth of Meizhou Bay, Meizhou Island is 14.35 km, 9.6 km north-south, and 1.3 km east-west. The beach is 20-km.


In June 1988, Meizhou became an open provincial tourism economic region (旅游经济区). And in April 1992, Taiwanese were allowed have landing visas on the island, and in October of the same year, it became a national tourism-vacation region (国家旅游度假区). In October 1999, the island is formally opened to foreign nations.

Annually, 100,000 Taiwanese pilgrims come to Meizhou to see the place where Matsu once lived. Some pilgrims make the visit every year. A celebration takes place in October, with 1,200 attending.

Tourist attractions

The Heavenly Empress Palace-Meizhou Ancestral Temple (天后宮湄洲祖廟) started as a small shrine soon after Matsu's death in the 10th century. It is now renovated and greatly enlarged to accommodate the pilgrims.

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