I served in Nangan, Mazu （南竿，馬祖）2005-2007. As it was the "frontlines", there are different priorities for the troops posted there. This is a list of the conditions specific to the place.
1) There are war-games every season (4 months). Plus, you still have to be on high alert when the annual war-games is held on Taiwan.
2) You get to have only 1 day off (from your 2 days) in the weekend- with few options for entertainment other than internet cafe- the other day of leave is accumulated over 3 months for a 2 week leave on Taiwan.
3) Food is terrible and mostly from cans. This improved after new policies were implemented. Food poisoning is not uncommon.
4) Hazing was rife, because of lack of surveillance and supervision of standards from higher authorities.
5) You get ripped off by the locals that enjoy a monopoly on everything. Things are 30%-200% more expensive than Taiwan. Thank god 7-11 opened stores in Mazu and forced their prices down.
6) Morale is generally low, with everyone far from home and with almost all relationships strained and eventually broken off.
7) You are not allowed to wear civvies on the island, even on your break.
8) At least a 8-12 hour journey by boat to the island.
9) Snakes and rats.
10) Hospital facilities are sparse.
11) Night patrols on foot.
12) Young women are very rare on the island- you'll be surprised how the presence of women harmonizes an environment.
13) Very poor accommodations- lots of things are in a state of disrepair.
14) Limited clean water (you buy your own drinking water) and limited hot water. Water is occasionally rationed so everyone smells because of they can't shower.
15) Lots of memorizing of guidelines and codes.
16) Delays on transport to and from Taiwan because of bad weather- works both ways if you're waiting to go back to Mazu.
17) Very cold winters with inadequate clothing issued to you.
18) Extra money that means very little in real terms- higher costs in outer islands.
19) Stuff sent from friends and family take ages to reach you.
20) Calls from Mazu are tapped without your knowledge. The authorities will call on the number you dial most often to clear any leaking of military secrets.
1) 2 week break on Taiwan!! (but your long journey there and back is not deducted anymore)
2) Duties are not so heavy.
3) Officers are not as strict in the interest of not worsening morale given the conditions.
4) At small strongholds, there is hardly anything to do other than fill in reports of ships passing by.
5) You will at some point have the chance to fire an automatic rifle/machine gun/grenade launcher on full auto spending all your ammo.
6) Plenty of opportunities to leave camp for "duties".
7) Scenery is not bad if you're into that sort of thing.
8) Plenty of stories handed down to keep you entertained.
9) Cheap, good variety of quality Gaoliang (sorghum liquor) and other locally brewed spirits to take home as gifts. (Beware of fakes from China!)
10) Eating out at a restaurant with entire company to boost morale.