When my friend and I decided to go to Alishan National Park, we planned it so that we’d stay a night in the closest city first- Jiayi 嘉義. Now, I’d searched for hostels and nothing had come up, but as soon as my friend searched in Chinese, she found a very sweet-looking place.
Assemble Backpackers in Jiayi is like a home away from home. From Jiayi bus and train station it’s just a short walk and pretty easy to find- just look out for the sign on the outside and if you book beforehand- print out a little map or use the address found here on their Facebook page.
We booked in advance and even though we arrived quite late at night, the owners were still waiting up, ready to welcome us. I immediately fell in love with the hostel due to the huge selection of indie and foreign movies, the library of books and magazines, the African prints against the bright pink walls and the little chalkboard with our- the guests- names and country’s flags drawn on. It was such a nice, fun touch!
We stayed in a private room, complete with en-suite for around 500NT each a night. It was the comfiest bed ever and perfect for a cosy night before the thought of waking up for sunrise at 4am the morning after the following night in Alishan.
There are also dorm rooms and I took a peek and they look lovely too!
The owners were extremely friendly, and filled with knowledge on the all goings-on in the area, as well as giving us lots of useful info on Alishan and a handy map for both Jiayi and Alishan National Park.
Most people probably use Jiayi as a base for taking the bus to Alishan, but actually if you do have a day or so there, you might as well explore.
Firstly, I recommend sampling the local famous dish- turkey with veg and rice. Yes, it’s that simple, but believe me- it’s delicious.
There are also a few temples dotted around the centre and some cute alleyways to wander and get lost in. They’re also good for getting a glance at how the locals go about their daily lives.
If I had more time, I’d have been more than happy to get better acquainted with the Assemble Backpackers movie and book library as it looked that amazing! Those owners have got good taste!
One last thing that made the hostel so unique was all the random toys chilling around the place. Very funky and quirky! I’d definitely stay at this hostel again! A belated thanks goes out to the owners for a warm and welcoming stay- 謝謝!
Some useful info:
Address: No. 279, Xirong Street, Chiayi, Taiwan. / 嘉義市西榮街279號, Chiayi
Contact no: +886 978 101 770
You can also book here on their hostel world page- they are rated at 96%! Yay, I told you they were good!
Otherwise, this is their Facebook page here.