Welcome to Wenzhou, China!
A harbor city, with a beautiful environment comprising of bewitching mountains, meandering rivers, mesmerizing coastal scenery, and a peculiar local dialect, Wenzhou is a city waiting to be explored. While still modern, Wenzhou has retained plenty of beautiful history, adding more interest to the city’s glamour.
While many visitors come to Wenzhou for business only, a worldwide local knows that there is more to the city than meets the eye. This is an insider’s guide to some of the most scenic places, best-kept traditions, and a taste of Wenzhou’s most exquisite cuisine.
Enjoy the Wenzhou Weather with a Scenic Hike
Yandang Mountain is one of China’s top ten scenic mountains and a good day trip, while in Wenzhou. Famous for its magnificent peaks, waterfalls, and caves, it was named a World Geopark by UNESCO in 2005. There are 8 different scenic areas, but the best three are the Spiritual Rocks, the Big Dragon Waterfall, and the Spiritual Peaks, located at the east gate of Yandang Mountain. To get there, stroll along the Puxi Stream until you find a rock in the shape of a monk with his hands clasped.
Worldwide Local Tip: Visit late in the afternoon, because at 3 pm every day, there’s a must-see show of “Flying Person,” about an acrobat who walks a high wire between two of the peaks. The peaks are most beautiful at night, so be sure to visit after dark, as well.
Visit Some of the Best Wenzhou Attractions
In addition to sprawling mountain ranges, hundreds of islands are found in Wenzhou city’s rivers. Make sure to visit Jiangxinyu Island, a pedestrian-only island, just two minutes from downtown, by ferry across the Ou River. It is popular with locals for its lovely gardens and a small amusement park, which includes a Ferris wheel. Visit the Wenzhou History Museum filled with historic photos and memorabilia about the city’s role in the “liberation.” On the Island are the East and West Pagodas, the most eye-catching buildings on Jiangxinyu Island, one of which served as a lighthouse. Although you can’t go inside either one, walk around them to appreciate the rambling brickwork and niches containing Buddhas.
Wenzhou boasts of having invented Chinese opera in the 12th century. You can learn about this at the Wenzhou Southern Opera Museum where colorful hand-embroidered costumes, programs, and other artifacts from more recent centuries are housed and exhibited. Take a moment and appreciate the beautifully carved woodwork and stained glass inserts over the doors.
Worldwide Local Tip: To experience one of Wenzhou’s best preserved ancient traditions, visit an off-the-beaten-path village called Wanyao Village. Sitting on a slope beside the picturesque Yulong Lake, the village has a long history of producing bowls, which date back to the Ming Dynasty. The pots made here once were very popular and were sold around the country, especially in the Qing Dynasty. You can watch how the bowls were made in firewood kilns and try making your own bowls.
Shopping in Wenzhou
Wenzhou is renowned as “the manufacturing capital city of clothes and shoes,” where you can get trendy clothes and shoes for a lower price. There are several markets, each offering a unique product. For beauty products, women's shoes, bags, and accessories visit Shamaohe Lady Street. Mobile phones and other digital products can be found at Wenzhou Digital Plaza on West Liming Road and Wenzhou Computer Market on East Renmin Road. The best place to shop for clothes and shoes is at the market next to Wenzhou Train Station.
Worldwide Local Tip: Expect to experience a considerable language barrier as many of the locals only understand and speak the local language, Wenzhounese. Be sure to be accompanied by an English speaking local who can communicate and negotiate with the sellers at the market.
Eat Like a Local in the Wenzhou Restaurants
Wenzhou has a unique food scene, dating all the way back to the Song dynasty. Unsurprisingly, for a coastal city, much of its cuisine is based on seafood; fish, shrimp, and crabs, all prepared using delicate flavors. A local delight that you simply must try, includes San Si Qiao Yu. This is a fish cut up into pieces and then boiled, with three kinds of shredded chicken, ham, and dried mushroom.
Wenzhou After Dark
Wenzhou boasts of vibrant nightlife, featuring many styles of bars and city attractions. Xialupu Residential Community and Wang Jiang Road form the epicenter of the bar district and are subsequently the most popular night-time venues. Be ready to sample the locally brewed delight that is Double Deer Beer.
Worldwide Local Tip: A visit to Wenzhou is not complete without a night-time trip to the beautiful Oujiang River, which goes around the city. This tour allows you to marvel at the magnificent night scene of the Wenzhou river and the city. It also features special performances of dance halls and a variety of other entertainment.
Enjoy Your Stay!
A city with so much natural beauty, a well preserved ancient culture, and lip-smacking cuisine, Wenzhou is genuinely a worldwide local’s paradise. Visit it and experience the city’s enchantment!