Wenzhou Overview

Basic Information

  • Chinese Name: 温州
  • Location: In the south east of Zhejiang province, downstream of the Oujiang River.
  • Area: 12,065 square kilometers
  • Population: 91.7 million, Han Chinese is the vast majority nationality group
  • Language: Mandarin, Wu language

Administrative Division

Wenzhou has direct jurisdiction over 4 districts, 2 county-level cities and 5 counties.

  • 4 districts: Lucheng District(鹿城区), Longwan District(龙湾区), Ouhai District(瓯海区), Dongtou District(洞头区).
  • 2 county-level cities: Rui’an City(瑞安市), Leqing City(乐清市)
  • 5 counties: Yongjia County(永嘉县), Pinyang County(平阳县), Cangnan County(苍南县), Wencheng(文成县), Taishun(泰顺县)


Located in the southeastern part of Zhejiang province, Wenzhou is west to the East China Sea, and south to Fujian province. It connects Lishui and Taizhou city in west and northwest. In the north and northeast, it is next to Taizhou city. Wenzhou covers an area of 11,784 square kilometers, of which its downtown takes up 1,313 square kilometers.

The terrain there tilts from southwest to northeast. There are Donggong, Kuocang, Yanyangzhu mountians in Miangen and Baiyunjian mountain in Taishun that is the highest mountain in Wenzhou with a height of 1,611 meters. In the eastern part of Wenzhou, it’s plain area with lots of artificial rivers. Furthermore, Wenzhou enjoys special mountains which consist of rhyolite and tuff with loads of strange and wonderful holes, stones, cliffs, valleys and waterfalls because special material of the mountains makes them easy to be eroded by rain and water, and to be impacted by earthquake.


Like some other cities in Zhejiang province, Wenzhou belongs to tropical climate zone which carries a marked characteristic between summer and winter. Simultaneously, since there is a large area of waters, so the climate here is agreeable. The main water systems there are Oujiang River, Feiyunjiang River and Aojiang River, and its total number of rivers there is about 150. In addition, Wenzhou witnesses a long coastline with 355 miles and 436 islands so that its climate is impacted by the sea as well.

The Best Time to Go

Wenzhou provides a pleasant climate so it is suitable for tourists to go in any season to enjoy different sceneries. What you need to note is that the period between July and September may encounter typhoon so that you need pay your attention to the local weather broadcast. Compared to spring and autumn, summer and winter is not so pleasant so that you had better plan your traveling according to your available time for visiting there.

Things to Do

As a famous historical and cultural city, Wenzhou provides a lots of tourist sites that show its culture and history. What you are recommended to do there is to visit famous people’s former residences like Liuji’s Former Residences or some ancient street such as Nantang Street, Shamaohe Street, Shuomen Street, etc., as well as Yendang Mountain, Nanxi River, Nanji Island.

For eating, there are some foods that you are recommended to eat when you travel there, such as stir-fried vermicelli, erigeron cake, Nanxijiang wheat cake, etc.


As one of the earliest open port cities, one of the 45 highway terminal stations and one of the 25 pivotal ports in China, Wenzhou has achieved to make a complete transportation system including expressway, airway, railway and waterway. Train, high-speed train, plane, and ship are all available for you to get or leave there. For the internal transportation, you could choose self-service bus, taxi, shard bike and subway. Especially Wenzhou Longwan International Airport, it is just 21 miles away from Wenzhou city center, and it provides scheduled flights to Hong Kong as well. At the airport, you could take plane to many other cities in China.

History & Culture

Wenzhou has a history which goes back to about 2500 BC, when it became known for its pottery production as one of the origin of celadon in ancient China.

Historically, Wenzhou is famous for its paper making, shipbuilding, leathery shoes making, embroidery, and lacquer. It became an important port town in the Northern Song Dynasty, so it was known as a foreign trade port. Wenzhou was one of the four big harbors in the Southern Song Dynasty when the maritime trade developed. For now, it also plays an important role for the cities around.

A long history also helps Wenzhou form diverse cultures including Ouyue culture, landscape culture, nationality culture and so on so forth. Its folk music, folk dance, drama, plastic arts, folk art, folk craftsmanship, and customs have made it a city with valuable intangible cultural heritage resources. According to the general survey for Wenzhou city, there have been more than 550,000 intangible clues covering more than 27000 valuable projects since the heritage protection work started in 2005.

People’s life is a good way to show their culture. In different period, there would be diverse festivals and activities that have marked local culture like blessing activity which is known as “Lanjiefu”, “Qiaoshi” eating, Sanyuesan festival, etc.

The people of Wenzhou are equipped with business sense and the commercial culture is more dominant than anywhere else in China. Wenzhou has two economic characteristics: the first to launch a market economy, and the most active and developed private economy in China.


Wenzhou exports food, tea, wine, jute, timber, paper, Alunite. Alunite is abundant and Wenzhou claims to be the "Alunite Capital of the World". Its 10 main industries each exceeding 1.5 billion dollars are electrical machinery, leather products, general equipment, power supply, plastic manufacturing, textile and garment, transport equipment, chemical products, metal products and metal processing.

Wenzhou is a city full of vibrant business activities. When China began economic reforms in 1978, Wenzhou was the first city in China to set up individual and private enterprises as well as shareholder cooperatives. It has also taken the lead in carrying out financial system reform and structural reform in townships. Being a pioneer in utilizing marketing mechanism to develop urban constructions, Wenzhou has won a number of firsts in China and set many national records.


In addition to celebrate those traditional festivals like other places in China, Wenzhou has its own special activities and festivals that manifest its local customs and culture. The marked characteristic of Wenzhou festivals is that they do not give their activities certification names but just celebrate them in different ways. For example, there are blessing activities which is also known as “Lanjiefu” in Chinese Pinyin from the first day of the second lunar month to the fifteenth day of the third lunar month. All main streets engage in the activities. It is a local traditional festival. On the second day of the second lunar month, people there have the customs of eating rice with brassica juncea.


Wenzhou enjoys abundant tourist resources like scenic mountains, rivers, sea, lakes, islands, and springs. It provides natural landscape and cultural sites so that it attracts people from different places. You could see a world-level geological park, 3 China excellent tourist cities, a national 5A class tourist scenic spot, five national 4A level scenic sites, 3 national key scenic areas, 8 provincial-level scenic spots, 1 national classic red tourist scenic area, six national industrial tourism demonstration enterprises, a provincial tourism resort, etc.

Due to the variety and diverseness of local tourism attractions, Wenzhou was voted as the venue for the 2016 Annual Convention of Society for American Travel Writers (SATW) in October 2016, after beating contenders including Israel, the State of Texas, and Royal Caribbean International, the world leading cruise operator.


Because of close distance to the sea, Wenzhou residents are in fond of eating seafood since ancient time. Raw seafood is an important feature of Wenzhou people’s diet. There are records showing the locals ate raw food about five thousand years ago. River crab and oyster meat, which are still popular nowadays, are the most famous of those raw seafood.

Besides, Ou dish, which is one independent branch of Zhejiang cuisine, is one important part of Wenzhou cuisine. It also represents a kind of food culture that shows the hospitality and customs of local Wenzhou people for it appears in different forms of dishing up and sequence which contains a lot of culture things.