Chiayi’s attractions are mostly of cultural and historical interest. Foremost among these is Lantan , which used to be called “foreigner’s stockade”. This lake roughly covers an area of one by two kilometers and is shaped like a gourd.The lake was developed by the Dutch in the 1620s as a place to practice naval maneuvers, but it has now been converted into the main source of Chiayi’s water supply and a popular site for moon gazing during the mid-autumn festival. Yimin Pagoda , located beside the Mituo Temple ,was built in 1938 in memory of the 503 persons who died during a local rebellion. The park in which the pagoda is located has many trees, and locals often go there to take advantage of the shade. One of Chiayi’s most prominent local sons was Wang De-lu , who rose to a prominent official position in the Ching Imperial Government and helped to suppress the Lin Shuang-wen and Tsai Chian rebellions. He died in the Penghu Archipelago where he was posted in 1841 during the Opium War. His remains were brought back to Chiayi, where his grave site covers two hectares of land. The grave site is 87.5 meters long and 43.4 meters wide, with numerous animal and human tomb guardians carved out of stone on both sides. It is listed as a historical site of the first rank.

The Tropic of Cancer bisects the counties of Chiayi City and Hua-lien . There is a monument just outside Chiayi City that marks its latitude. Some of the earliest pioneers from Zhangzhou in Fujian Province landed in Chiayi City and settled in the area near present Shingang . The inhabitants of the area remained loyal to the imperial govern-ment during the Lin Shuang-wen rebellion in 1786–a period of history recorded in artifacts preserved in Yimin Temple in Chiayi City .