Considering a move to Chiayi

Hi, I saw an older post on this but it’s over a decade old now.

I’m just wondering how life is like in Chiayi? Is it true I’d need to get a scooter or car to get around? How difficult would it be to travel semi frequently to Taipei?

Are there places to meet other foreigners? Is there much less English even at restaurants and 711, ECT…

Is there a good mandarin school in the area?


Cant help you much on those details other than avehicle would be best. They have a busy train station and busses.

I was going to move there years ago, however the pollution, as it turns out, likes to get snagged in many areas there blowing in from taichung area.

If clean air is an important issue for you, may want to go there and scout out cleaner valleys.

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Chiayi City or Chiayi County (like Alishan area)?
What particular parts you looking at?
A bit more info needed.

If in the city or even plains (not mountains), then a scooter is all you need.
If up in the mountains, you’ll need a 125cc or higher to power up and down the roads.

Getting to Taipei is easy. By TRA or even HSR.

Check the universities in Chiayi. Quite a number of public and private.
They’ll certainly have mandarin schools for foreigners.

There is High Speed to Taipei/Kao City but the station is in a remote area of the city (nothing but farm land around the station) so it will take some time to get to the station. Inside the city centre has most things you will need, fewer English speakers and I saw few non locals other than tourists, more in Douliu due to Uni. You need a scooter, the bus system is not good at all with long waits. Many people go to Taichung-ChangHwa/Tainan or even Kao for fun (Younger set) more than going to Taipei.


I asked about Taipei because my girlfriend is from there and have some friends who live there. I’m a bit past my crazy nightlife phase.

Anyway thanks for the information! I’m really hoping I can get a scooter with my Arizona licence. I think I have to take a trip to Taipei if I decide to move to Chiayi because you have to get it authenticated through ait (I think has anyone gotten a license through reciprocity?)

Is the food really that much better? Is it the same or cheaper than in Taipei? That turkey rice thing sounds pretty good.

I’m not sure about where in Chiayi as of yet because I’m working through a public school recruiter. I’m hoping it’s the city so I can get to the hsr station in a reasonable amount of time to go visit my girlfriend on weekends and holidays

I go to ChiayI every year for a month. So many scenic places especially in Big Alishan scenic area. It is a great place if you want to go to mountains or ocean within 2 hours.
Transportation to Taipei is very convenient with HSR , rail and buses. Buses go to taipei like 15 min each during the day time and round the clock.
Most likely, your girl friend will like to visit you on the weekend to relax and sightseeing in ChiayI.