Many of the beaches of Kinmen remain untouched, for now.
When I say that Kinmen Island has not been touched by the neoliberal, globalized world I mean it. The place is one of the last frontiers on the planet for viewing how cultures — especially Chinese culture — gradually evolve without the boot of an excessive amount of multi-national corporations and the “developing nation,” get rich at all costs mentality. Kinmen is raw, Kinmen has been left alone.
One of the most remarkable things about Kinmen are its beaches. It has miles and miles of completely untouched coastal areas. The beaches are nothing but soft, tan sand, blue waves, crabs, and nothing. Really, there is nothing but beautiful, beautiful nothing. You can look for almost endless seeming distances and have nothing infringe upon your view of waves gently lapping the shore. It’s just beach. The only people here are local fishermen raking clams and a stray villager playing with his dog. The only litter is that which floats over from mainland China — the occurrence of which has sparked a hobby called “beach shopping,” where Kinmen dwellers comb the beaches for cool stuff that drifts up on their shores.
There are few places like this left in the world, but I have to wonder how long it will last. Developers from mainland China are salivating over virgin Kinmen, and the islands are rapidly setting up their tourism infrastructure. The beautiful, undeveloped beach that you see in the video above may someday soon give way to a strip of resorts and throngs of Chinese tourists wearing facekinis, blaring music, stuffing their kids with ice creams, throwing their trash in the waves, and pumping life into a money grubbing industry that eats the soul of every place it touches. You can almost see the luxury apartments and condos sprouting up from the sand already . . .