Because of its many attractions, Chiayi has attracted lots of tourists from all over the world. Where is Chiayi exactly? The city lies on the southwestern region of Taiwan, specifically at 23° 29′ N latitude and 127° 27′ E longitude. It is sometimes called Jiayi, which is an alternative romanized name for the city. If you are visiting from another country, you have two options of getting to Chiayi. You can enter Taiwan either through Taoyuan International Airport or through Kaohsiung International Airport.
Taoyuan International Airport, formerly called Chiang Kai Shek International Airport, services many different airlines including budget carriers like Air Asia. Many tourists prefer to enter Chiayi through this airport even though Kaohsiung International Airport is actually a lot closer to Chiayi. Found about 30 kilometers west of Taipei, it has access to the train, the high-speed railway, buses, and taxis that can take you to other parts of Taiwan.
Upon landing in Taoyuan Internatinal Airport, you can choose from several ways of getting to Chiayi by land. The first is by taking the Taiwan High-Speed Rail or THSR. From the airport, you must take a bus that will take you to the Taoyuan Station. From there, you can travel by high-speed railway all the way to Chiayi Station. Upon reaching the destination station, you still have to take a bus going to the city’s downtown area. The city is more than 200 kilometers away from Taipei, and the THSR is the fastest way of getting there with a travel time of about 3 hours.
You can also take the regular train from Taoyuan International Airport. It is less expensive than the THSR but is also expectedly slower. Getting to Jiayi by regular train will take approximately 4.5 hours. To reach the Taipei Train Station, you can take the Kukuang bus. Travel time to the train station is about 50 minutes.
If you want a more comfortable way of getting to Chiayi by land, you can take the bus. Buses traveling to Chiayi provide soft, spacious seats for the passengers and movies to watch for those who want some entertainment during the trip. Each side of the aisle has only one seat, giving each passenger more than enough space for a long, relaxing ride to southwestern Taiwan. If you are not in a hurry, the bus is a great way to see the wonderful sights of western Taiwan, which make the long trip worthwhile.
Kaohsiung International Airport also services many airlines. This airport is the preferred entry point of most tourits coming in from Hong Kong and other parts of Southeast Asia. From Kaohsiung International Airport, getting to Chiayi is possible by taking the train. It takes about two or three hours to travel from Kaohsiung Train Station all the way to Chiayi Station. Upon reaching the Chiayi Station, you will find numerous taxis that can take you to your hotel or wherever you want to go in the city.
Getting to Chiayi is easy because of the convenient transportation systems that Taiwan has in place. All the train stations, bus stops, streets, and other important landmarks have English signages. Furthermore, many people in Taiwan speak or understand English, so asking for directions will not be a problem in case you lose your way.