Wenzhou is filled to the brim with cultural and artistic wonders. Perhaps more attractive, though, are the nearby natural areas, which are lush and well maintained. In addition to sprawling hills, hundreds of islands are found in the city's rivers. While a modern city, Wenzhou has retained many beautiful historic areas, as well as nearby ancient towns.
From Yandang Mountain to the Wetlands, there are numerous opportunities to explore China's beautiful nature around Wenzhou.
Wenzhou is situated next door to some fascinating ancient villages that welcome Chinese visitors and foreigners alike. Try visiting Furong Village and Lishui Street.
Wenzhou is virtually surrounded by islands, which house everything from pagodas to amusement parks.
Wenzhou is home to hundreds of 'potato-men,' street food vendors who sell potatoes to guests. It's an unmissable experience - and a tasty one!
From the streets to the waterfront, the city offers numerous opportunities to sample the local Double Deer Beer and meet people from around the world.
Picturesquely known as "Lover Island", this island lies just north of Wenzhou, in the middle of the Oujiang River, and it's a magical place to explore. At around 70,000 square meters, you can see everything in half a day, and there's plenty to see. Highlights include 1,000 year-old banyan trees, a charming bonsai garden and - most of all - the Jiangxin Temple. The temple is well over 1,000 years old, and features a Song-era bell, and pagodas that have been wowing the faithful since the 700s.
Bracketed among China's most scenic mountains, Yandang is located around 50 miles northwest of Wenzhou itself, and has been accepted as a UNESCO "World Geopark" due to its interesting rock formations. Plan your route around the park before you go, as it occupies some 173 square miles, and there are some must-sees. For instance, the Spiritual Rocks are sublime (particularly at sunset), as is the 190 meter Big Dragon Waterfall. And you must also visit the Guanyin Temple, with its amazing location in the crevice between two peaks.
Situated in the Yantou district, a short drive north of Wenzhou, Cangpo offers a portal back into a pre-revolutionary era. In fact, this inexpressibly scenic little village dates back to the Song Dynasty, so it's pre-Ming and Qing, too. Try to trace the street pattern, which takes an octagonal "eight diagrams" shape, visit the Wangxiong pavilion, and just take some time out next to the gently flowing Nanxi river, imagining yourself 1,300 years in the past. History comes alive in places like Cangpo, and it's an amazing experience.
Situated just south of the center of town, the Wenzhou Museum offers more than enough interest to occupy a lazy afternoon, and some exhibits are absolutely fascinating. There are 20,000 artifacts in total, with everything from carved bricks and lacquer items, to sculptures, brooches, and exquisite pottery - the kind of sublime creations you'd expect from high-class Chinese museums. But you won't find hand-written texts from the Tang Dynasty (around 600-900 AD), or the wealth of Song Dynasty discoveries, in which the area specializes. A must for Chinese history lovers.
When you've trekked to the beauty spots and seen the museums, Wenzhou is a fabulous place to relax. The city has long had a reputation for pleasure and a laid-back attitude, and all of this is on display on Wuma Street, the town's major commercial center. It's only about 400 meters in length, but Wuma Street is crammed with restaurants where you can try Wenzhou's trademark fish dishes and dumplings. It's all pedestrianized, so you can stroll and browse at your leisure - and it's also a great souvenir hunting spot.
Wenzhou has a humid subtropical climate, so temperatures stay relatively mild throughout the year. Winter is short but temperatures can dip below the 40s on occasion, while summer temperatures peak in the 90s. However, monsoons can strike during late spring and late summer, so it's best to avoid these months.
Wenzhou Longwan International Airport (WNZ) connects to locations throughout China, as well as Hong Kong. The bus into town costs ¥12.
The Central Station is well connected to the rest of China, but trains can take a while to get through the nearby mountains.
Wenzhou is accessible via the G15, the S26, and the S49, which connect to cities such as Taizhou, Ningde, and Shanghai.
A number of bus stations sit throughout the city and connect to numerous Chinese destinations. If you come from Shanghai, you'll likely arrive at New South Station by the train station, while arrivals from Yiwu come into Shuangyu Bus Station near Huanglong.
Wenzhou has many hotel options, ranging from the budget Wenzhou Dynasty Hotel to the luxurious Shangri-La Hotel. Even in lower priced locations, you can expect air conditioning in all rooms.
East Gate Street - sitting near the river, this pedestrian area offers great shops and restaurants.
Jiangxin Island - one of the larger islands, this popular spot houses pagodas, gardens, and a theme park.
Huanglong - this suburb houses Snow Mountain, a green space with great views of the city.
Buses cost about ¥2 and connect most of the city. Bus stops have maps, rare for Chinese cities.
Taxis are ¥12 for the first two miles and ¥1 for each 0.25m afterwards. Make sure the meter is turned on.
Renting a car and driver is possible but difficult and expensive. If you choose to rent a car, local companies include Wenzhou Kaitong Car Rent Limited Company and prices start at ¥680 a day; and booking a driver is highly recommended.
Wenzhou has very cheap goods. A computer market sits on East Renmin Road, while clothing can be found by the train station. Other markets can be found on East Huancheng Road (so-called Luggage Street), or head to Times Square and InTime malls.
Grocery stores abound in Wenzhou. You can find rice for ¥3 a pound, and get a dozen eggs for ¥8.
Cheap food can be found at Muslim Noodles, a chain offering curries and other dishes from China's Muslim regions. HighWine Tapas and Grill is a mid-range spot with great Spanish food and English-speaking staff. A meal at a cheap restaurant should cost about ¥18, while a more elaborate meal will run ¥60 for several courses.