Ci Lake or Cihu (慈湖) is located at the northwest corner of Kinmen. This huge saltwater lake was formed after the construction of Cihu Causeway in 1970. While the 550 meters long causeway deters the enemy from beach landing, the manmade lake linking to open sea provides locals with fresh supplies of seafood. The layers of spike obstacles lying on the beach add contrast to the tranquillity.
It is possible to see Lieyu island (烈嶼鄉), commonly known as Lesser Kinmen (小金門) from Cihu Causeway. Depending on Kinmen weather, buildings along the coast of Xiamen can be seen on a clear day too.
Bird watching paradise
Ci Lake is Kinmen foremost bird watching area, the climate and relatively low human population make it a paradise for migratory birds. Cormorants being the most common migratory birds seen in Ci Lake during the winter months. Thousands of cormorants will arrive from Siberia in October and stays until late March. These birds will form a loose V shape when flying in a flock.
We saw flocks of cormorants returning from feeding around the sea, weaving a spectacular sight in the blue sky as they come in to perch on the trees surrounding Ci Lake.
We were told that there are more than 200 species of birds being sighted around Ci Lake – an amazing figure for a relatively small area. This is definitely a great place for bird watching.
Other than the cormorants, a large variety of wild birds can be seen on this lake including ducks, geese, egrets, gulls, snipes, rails, pelicans, kingfishers, magpie robins, magpies etc can be found around the lake. The area is also dotted with fish farms, marshes, farmland, vast stretches of shrubs and forest.
Beautiful sunset at Ci Lake
The viewing of glorious sunset is Ci Lake’s best-known secret. While waiting for sunset, we went to check out a former military area which is now open to the public – The Triangle Fort.
Inside, there is pictures and information showcasing the birds spotted around this area.
I noticed one interesting house rules near the entrance.
Rule Number 9 states 禁止老兵半夜叫新兵, which means something like “the senior soldiers are forbidden to call out to the newbie soldiers in the middle of the night”. A uniquely Kinmen military culture?
I reckon the best spot to view the sunset is on top of Triangle Fort as the elevated view from here is fantastic. Sadly, the fort closes at 5 pm so no chance for that.
The soldiers stationed here previously would have the best sunset view though I doubt they have the mood to enjoy that. Then here I am hoping to stay for the sunset but couldn’t. Life is full of irony, isn’t it? Then again, I wouldn’t last that long on the rooftop anyway – the punishing winter wind made the stay unbearable.
Our uncle then drove us to somewhere nearby to watch the beautiful sunset. Very nice!