Chiayi 嘉義市 is Southern Taiwan's third largest city, famous for being the transition point to Alishan mountain, one of Taiwan's most famous natural wonders and an extremely popular destination with domestic and foreign travelers. Most people may not really explore the city itself, but instead just pass through - I on the other side was curious and wanted to find out, what is there to see and do in Chiayi and this post is meant to show you a snippet of that. Surprisingly, there are some very interesting spots to discover.
Aside from associating it with Alishan, I had no idea, what is there to see in Chiayi. The city is not famous for its history like the neighboring Tainan, foodwise it can't compare to Tainan either. It's not easy to find your distinct identity, when you are in the shadow of such big and important city as Tainan. But there is hope: Chiayi has its own charm - maybe not immediately felt, but if you spend some time in the area, it grows on you. It certainly grew on me a little, even though it initially looked as generic as Zhongli or Taoyuan, but less depressing, with better weather and friendlier people.
Aside from the Alishan train station, which we haven't visited this time, you can find some of the most interesting spots in Chiayi city below. In case you're interested to visit yourself, this post might serve you as a good reference. Don't forget to read my related articles, which are lined below some photos.
1. Chiayi Railway Station
2. Zhongshan Road
3. Famous restaurant: 噴水雞肉飯
4. Chiayi park
5. Chiayi Confucius Temple
6. Chiayi Martyrs' Shrine
7. Kagi Shrine
8. Chiayi Tower
9. Jiouhuashan Temple
When night falls, Chiayi doesn't sleep. I've not really explored the local night life, but I've had the pleasure to visit two night markets, which were quite interesting:
Chiayi City is definitely worth a day or two, in case you decide to explore Southern Taiwan. It might not be a gem, but it has a few lovely spots, good food and friendly people. I will definitely return to see more and most likely combine everything with a trip to Alishan. I can't wait! What's your impression of Chiayi City?