Chiayi, Taiwan, is a lively city with reasonably priced accommodation. It is the perfect starting point if you want to go hiking in the national park of Alishan. You can either take the old-fashioned train or the bus. The train is more romantic, but the bus is cheaper and more frequent.
Most tourists just come for that. But the city has much more to offer. Even though travel guides don't recommend staying too long in Chiayi, there are many things to explore, including the fabulous night market with excellent shopping opportunities, the Lantan Lakes reservoir, Chiayi Park with its so-called Sun Shooting Tower, the Japanese village Hinoki, and the temples. The most impressive temple is the Chenghuang Temple (City God Temple). And don't forget to check out the morning market, where they sell not only fruit and vegetables, but also fish heads and whole chickens. Your Chiayi, Taiwan hostel is a great place from which to base yourself so you can easily explore and take in everything this region has to offer.
The best way to explore the city is by bicycle or by scooter (if you have an international drivers license). Bicycles can be rented per hour and scooters can be rented per day. If you prefer walking, you can do most things by foot as well.
Chiayi is famous for its turkey rice, tofu pudding, and stinky tofu. Make sure you don't leave the city without trying all three of them. The turkey rice and the tofu pudding can be found almost everywhere, especially at the night market. And for the stinky tofu, well ... Just follow your nose. If you smell something revolting, this is it! It is worth overcoming the nasty smell and still trying the tofu, as its taste has nothing to do with its odor -- actually, it tastes quite nice. Be sure you get the fried one, because that's the best. It will be very forgivable, though, if you don't manage to stand the smell and run away quickly.
Last but not least, its inhabitants are the nicest people you can imagine. If you want to become friends with Taiwanese people, this is the place to go.
Hi, I'm Julie,
the Hostelz.com local expert for Chiayi hostels. Welcome.