Nankan was also known Nankantang (南竿塘) and Shangkantang (上竿塘). And because Lin Muoniang's (who later became the goddess Matsu) corpse was washed ashore here, Nankan was also known as Matsu Island (馬祖島).
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Nankan is divided into nine villages:
There is the Palace of Heavenly Empress (天后宮) in Matsu Village, which contains the coffin of Lin Muoniang. The temple also include statues of the guards, Thousand-li Eye (千里眼) and Wind-following Ear (順風耳). There is an annual celebration on March 3 (lunar calendar).
Matsu Winery (馬祖酒廠) locates on Wujiao Hill (午角嶺) in Fuhsing Village, producing daqu wine (大麴酒) and sorghum wine (高梁酒).
There is Shengli Water Reservoir (勝利水庫 "Victory") and a museum in Chingshui Village. The museum contains four cannons (whose sound were to guide boat) from Chukuang.
There are three parks and two abandoned military tunnels on the island.