Wenzhou (温州; Wēnzhōu) is a city in Zhejiang Province.
Wenzhou is the third city of Zhejiang Province and one of the economic power houses of the region. Famed for its businessmen and women of the night (and the Wenzhou model of business), Wenzhou is frequently used by Western media as a barometer of the Chinese export economy; among other things, Wenzhou manufactures around 90% of the world's spectacles and massive quantities of shoes. Wenzhou is not on many China tour itineraries and despite being a Chinese cultural hotspot, it is not the most foreigner friendly of cities (compared with Hangzhou and Ningbo, for example). However, there are plenty of things to do and see should you find yourself with time on your hands in Wenzhou. The city has a resident foreigner community that is below average for the city's size (100-200), although foreign businessmen often pass through.
Wenzhou is near the East China Sea (called East Ocean in Chinese) in the south-eastern part of China. It is a prosperous city with a rapid economic boom because Wenzhou was one of the first port cities to be opened to foreign trade after Deng Xiaoping took over China in the 1970s. Wenzhou is the biggest and most prosperous city in the south of Zhejiang Province, and considers the importance of education highly. Hence, many famous mathematicians have come from this city.
Wenzhou is a city with frequent rains, and the average annual temperature is around 17 °C.
Although Mandarin is widely spoken, the local dialect is Wenzhounese (温州话; Wēnzhōuhuà) and is regarded by Chinese nationals as one of the most difficult dialects in the country, so much so that Wenzhounese speakers were used by the Chinese resistance in World War II to communicate under the nose of the Japanese.
- 1 Wenzhou Longwan International Airport (WNZ IATA) (Wenzhou Airport is east of the city). It receives flights from around China, and because it also supports flights to and from Hong Kong, Korea, and Taiwan, it is considered international.
You can get from the airport to the city center by taxi or bus. Taxis are the most expensive and you should bargain hard; if they do not like the price you are offering they laugh at you and start shouting Bus!. If a taxi driver offers you a ride under ¥100 it can be regarded as a good deal. Taking the bus is now much easier due to a ticket desk in the new terminal opposite the exit gate. The bus costs ¥12 and drives through New City (新城; Xīnchéng), Xialüpu (下吕浦; Xiàlǚpǔ) and finally stops at a depot on Nanpu Road (南浦路; Nánpǔlù).
2 Wenzhou railway Station (温州站; Wēnzhōuzhàn) serves most cities throughout China, although because of Wenzhou's mountains, train journeys are sometimes much longer than their bus counterparts. The train station is at the major junction of Wenzhou Avenue (温州大道; Wēnzhōudàdào) where it meets Chezhan Avenue (车站大道; Chēzhàndàdào).
3 Wenzhou South railway station (温州南站; Wēnzhōunánzhàn) is served by the high-speed trains that come from Shanghai, bound for Fuzhou and Xiamen. Some of the stations along the way are Hangzhou, Ningbo and Taizhou. This station is also served by trains via Jinhua-Wenzhou High-speed Railway.
Wenzhou's bus stations serve a variety of locations around the country. Arrivals from Shanghai and Fuzhou will find themselves at New South Station (新南站; Xīnnánzhàn) which is near the train station on Wenzhou Avenue (温州大道; Wēnzhōudàdào), arrivals from Hangzhou and Ningbo will find themselves at New City Station (新城站; Xīnchéngzhàn) which is in New City, and arrivals from places as varied as Yiwu and Qingdao will find themselves at Shuangyu Bus Station (双屿汽车站; Shuāngyǔqìchēzhàn) which is on the west side of the city near the suburb of Huanglong.
Although there is only one metro line, the Wenzhou Metro (WZ-MTR) is its useful to travelers. Line S1 connects the two train stations and the city centre, and further expansion is underway to extend it to the airport.
Buses cost ¥1.5-2.5 within the city and can be very useful once you figure what number goes where. Useful buses include the 81 that goes between the old train station and the new south train station (¥2). The price is listed on the outside of the bus and on the bus stop sign. The bus stop sign also lists the stops on one side and shows a map on the other. Strangely, you will not find this in Beijing or Shanghai.
Taxis are ¥11 for the first 4 km and ¥1 for each 500 m thereafter (after 11:30PM prices rise to ¥12+2 (gas charge) for the first 4 km and ¥1 for each 500 m thereafter). If you are outside the centre of the city, or in the centre trying to get elsewhere, you will not be able to catch a taxi between 4:30PM and 6PM. This is because of the driver shift change. If you are taking a longer-distance ride or travelling during rush hour, expect to "share" your taxi ride with others going to same section of the city (and pay more about ¥15 plus ¥2 tax for longer rides).
Watch out for prices charged by taxi drivers "off the meter" and negotiate price if it is raining, or during rush hour, prior to your ride. Do not allow them to charge you over ¥12!
Although one ferry serves the tourist island of Jiangxin, there are other ferries that serve destinations up and down the Ouhai River ( 瓯海; ōuhǎi) such as the suburb of Oubei (瓯北; ōuběi)
Streets and areas
- 1 Dongtou Islands (洞头列岛), Dongtou District (洞头区) (buses leave from the Wenzhou South Railway Station Bus Station (温州火车南汽车站), cost about ¥30 and take aboute 90 minutes), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Group of islands off the coast. There is a bunch of "scenic spots"; you have to pay for some. Once there, it is probably easiest to take a taxi to the different scenic spots. Do not believe the touts that approach you when you get off the bus.
- 2 East Gate Street (东门街; Dōngménjiē), Lucheng District (鹿城区) (northeast of Wuma Street (五马街), closer to the river; take bus no. 71, 102, 108 or b112, get off at the East Gate Building (东门大厦), then walk one block north). Another pedestrian street, less to see than Wuma Street, but it is longer and has trees on it.
- 3 Jiangxin Island (江心屿; Jiāngxīnyǔ), Lucheng District (鹿城区) (can be reached by taking a boat from the wood decked ferry port on Jiangbin Lu and costs ¥10; you can also get to the island via bus no. 46, which crosses the Dong'ou Bridge and terminates on the west side of the island), ☏ . 08ː00-22ː00 (winter), 08ː00-23ː00 (summer). An island in the middle of the Oujiang river that runs through Wenzhou. The island has an old pagoda and a new pagoda, large areas of garden and lakes, a water park and a theme park. The theme park is known for its ferris wheel which gives great views of both sides of the river and also a death-defying roller coaster. Make sure you buckle up tight. ¥30 (Adults), ¥15 (Children aged between 6 and 18). Children under 6 years old or less than 1.3 metres in heght are granted free admission. Extra charges apply for entry to the theme park.
- 4 Oubei (瓯北; ōuběi), Yongjia County (永嘉县) (you can take a boat across the river from 2 different docks, both east of the one to Jiangxin island, costing ¥1.5 each way). The town on the northern side of Ou River. Close to the dock there are some nice temples at the bottom and top of a hill. There is a pagoda on top of the hill as well.
- 5 Epoch Art Museum (温州年代美术馆), Building 4, Bailuzhou Park, Lucheng District (鹿城区白鹿洲公园4号楼) (Take bus no. 18, 21, 23, 68, 77 (circle route), 89, 111, 120 or b105 and get off at Heshe Bridge (河社桥) on the west side of the park. You will find the museum on the east side of the park.), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Tu-Su 10ː00-21ː00. Devoted to contemporary art. ¥30.
- 6 Wenzhou Museum (温州博物馆), 491 Shifu Road, Lucheng District (鹿城区市府路491) (Bus routes 8, 31 and 89), ☏ , (enquiries), (bookings). Tu-Su 09ː00-17ː00, no entry after 16ː00. Wenzhou's main museum. Free.
- 7 Wenzhou Revolutionary History Memorial Museum (温州革命历史纪念馆), Jiangxin Island, Lucheng District (鹿城区江心屿) (On the southeast coast of Jiangxin Island, next door to the Jiangxin Temple), ☏ , , ✉ email@example.com. Tu-Sa 08:30-16:30, no entry after 16ː10. Focuses on Wenzhou's role in the Communist revolution. Free.
- 8 Master and Apprentice Bridges (师徒桥, Shitu Bridges), Xiaqiao Village, Sixi Town, Taishun County (泰顺县泗溪镇下桥村) (There are no direct buses to Sixi town. You will need to change buses at the Taishun County' North Bus Station (泰顺县客运北站). Buses to Taishun County depart from the Wenzhou Niushan Bus Station (温州牛山客运站) on Niushan Road. You may save some time by getting off the bus at Nanxi (南溪), then catching a Sixi-bound bus from there), ☏ . 08ː00-21ː00. The most famous site in Taishun County. Two covered wooden bridges in close proximity, namely the Dongxi Bridge (东溪桥, lit. 'East River Bridge'), which dates from the MIng Dynasty and the Beijian Bridge (北间桥, lit. 'North Bridge'), which dates from the Qing Dynasty. Collectively the two bridges are known as the Shitu Bridges (师徒桥), which literally means 'Master and Apprentice Bridges' or 'Teacher and Pupil Bridges'. The bridges now form the centrepiece of a park known as the Covered Bridges Cultural Park (廊桥文化园), which also includes several other historical sites, such as Zhang Shiyi's former residence (张十一故居) and the Bao Family Ancestral Hall (包氏宗祠). Free.
- 9 [dead link] Jiangxin Temple (江心寺), Jiangxin Island, Lucheng District (鹿城区江心屿) (At the eastern end of the island, a short distance to the west of the ferry pier), ☏ . Free.
- 10 [dead link] Taiping Temple (太平寺; Tàipíngsì), 812 Lucheng Road, Lucheng District (鹿城区鹿城路812号) (Taxi will cost ¥15-17. There is a bus stop right outside the temple, which is served by bus routes 5, 10, 14, 23, 28, 30, 37, 43, 46, 50, 51, 55, 58, 59, 60, 80, 98, 101, 105, 107, 111, b103 and b106), ☏ . Really new, but very nice temple on the western edge of Wenzhou. The temple actually has a rather long history, having originally been established in 942 AD, but during the Second World War, the temple was converted into an army barracks and later demolished. The current buildings were built between 2003 and 2006. Free.
Parks and nature
- 11 Jingshan Park (景山公园, Jīngshān Gōngyuán, lit. Mount Jing Park. Also known as Jingshan Forest Park 景山森林公园), Ouhai District (瓯海区) (To the west of Wenzhou, can be reached through Huanglong's backstreets near Wenzhou No. 2 Senior Middle School. Bus route 44 runs through the middle of the park), ☏ . 08ː30-17ː30. A huge area of trees and greenery. Good place to walk around a get a view of Wenzhou. The mountain overlooks the suburb of Huanglong. ¥30.
- 12 Jiushan Park (九山公园; Jiǔshāngōngyuán; lit. Nine Mountain Park), Renmin West Road (人民西路; Rénmínxīlù), Lucheng District (鹿城区) (There are bus stops at the western, southern and eastern entrances. The western entrance (bus stop nameː Jiushan Park) is served by bus no. 105, The eastern entrance (bus stop nameː Songtai Plaza 松台广场) is served by bus nos. 44, 46, 79, 87, 90, 152, b108 and b111. The southern entrance (bus stop nameː Miaoguo Temple 妙果寺) is served by bus nos. 4, 5, 8, 10, 15, 21, 26, 37, 44, 48, 55, 58, 59, 79, 90, 111, b103, b106, b108, b109 and b111), ☏ . 8AM-11AM, 1PM-2PM. A small but picturesque park with a lake and a brand new very high pagoda. Climb to the top for excellent views of the city, which at times can remind one of SimCity. Times refers to the pagoda. Free.
- 13 Nanxi River Scenic Area (楠溪江风景区; Nánxī Jiāng Fēngīingqū), Yongjia County (永嘉县) (Probably best done together with nearby Yandang Mountain by renting a taxi for the whole day, which should cost ¥300-500. Alternatively, you could try taking a bus from Oubei Bus Station (瓯北客运站), but you would need to tell the driver which area of the park you want to go to), toll-free: . 08ː00-17ː00 (Some areas of the park open at 09ː00). ¥12 (陶公洞 Chen's Cave), ¥30 (十二峰 Twelve Peaks), ¥30 (九漈石门台 Jiujishimentai), ¥50 (崖下库 Warehouse Under the Cliff), ¥10 (埭头古村 Daitou Ancient Village), ¥20 (芙蓉古村 Furong Ancient Village), ¥10 (苍坡民俗馆 Cangpo Fok Museum), ¥15 (Cangpo combo ticket, including traditional wedding ceremony), ¥15 (丽水街 Lishui Street), ¥80 (龙瀑仙洞 Longbaoxian Cave, including sightseeing car), ¥50 (石桅岩 Shiwei Rock), ¥10 (太平岩 Taiping Rock), ¥70 (龙湾潭 Longwan Pool), ¥10 (四海山 Sihai Mountain), ¥50 (永嘉书院 Yongjia Academy).
- 14 Sanyang Wetlands (三垟湿地; Sānyángshīdì), Ouhai District (瓯海区) (There are two main entrancesː a northern entrance on Ouhai Avenue (瓯海大道) and a western entrance on Wenrui Avenue (温瑞大道). The Sanyang Wetland Station on Metro Line S1 is close to the park's northern entrance. Bus routes 48, 49, 71, 73 and 160 will also take you to the northern entrance. Bus routes 11, 35, 39, 40, 47, 52, 54, 59, 70, 77 (circle route), 87, 88, 89, 100, 103, 104, 131, b104, b111 and commuter route 1 (通勤1号线) will take you to the western entrance). A group of around 136 islands with a shitton of bridges connecting them, as well as a bunch only reached by big concrete canoes. In total it is something like 13 km². They are building a bunch of gazebos, gardens and new bridges and plan to open the garden as an attraction.
- 15 Wenzhou Zoo (温州动物园), 367 Xueshan Road, Ouhai District (瓯海区雪山路367号̠ (The zoo is in the middle of Jingshan Park. Take bus no. 44), ☏ . 08ː30-17ː30, no tickets sold after 17ː00. They have penguins, fornicating lions and the occasional panda. Good times. ¥30.
- 16 Yandang Mountains (雁荡山; Yàndàngshān), Yandang Mountains Road, Yandang Town, Yueqing City (乐清市雁荡镇雁山路) (Probably best done together with nearby Nanxi River by renting a taxi for the whole day, which should cost ¥300-500. Alternatively, you could catch a high-speed train. Trains depart from the Wenzhou South Station and take about 30 minutes. Yandang Mountains Station is about 5km from the park's eastern entrance. From there, you can take either a bus or taxi to get inside the park), ☏ . 08ː00-17ː30, 18ː40-21ː00 (Lingfeng Scenic Area), 08ː00-17ː30 (all other areas of the park). ¥50 (Dalongchu Scenic Area), ¥50 (Lingyan Scenic Area), ¥45 (Lingfeng Scenic Area day time ticket), ¥45 (Lingfeng Scenic Area night time ticket), ¥20 (Sanzhe Waterfall), ¥15 (Yan Lake), ¥40 (Fang Cave), ¥248 (Via Ferrata A), ¥358 (Via Ferrata B), ¥45 (Via Ferrata C). Various combo tickets are also available.
- Double Deer Factory. If you are a foreigner, you can wander around the Double Deer Factory. There is some amazing machinery, such as the one that sticks on the labels. You will likely be thrown out after a little while, but it is well worth it. Try not to get your pictures deleted. If you are pretending to write an article about the brewery, then you should have business cards made beforehand.
- Pool Halls. There are many pool halls dotted around Wenzhou, ranging from free to ¥30/hour. If you wander past the security guards and get to the 4th floor above Times Square there is a pool hall you can use pro bono.
- Taxi rides. Taxis are cheap enough that you can just get driven around for an hour or so and not be out too many dough.
- Learn Chinese. As a very Chinese city it is difficult to find English speakers outside of universities, colleges and certain bars. For this reason, Wenzhou is perfect for the home learner to practice their Putonghua out on the street. Watch out for Wenzhounhua though, it sounds incredibly different from any Chinese you have ever heard before.
- 1 Wenzhou Amusement Park (温州乐园), No. 12 Xia'ao Village, Chashan Town, Ouhai District (瓯海区茶山镇霞岙村12号) (Bus no. 59), ☏ (enquiries), (complaints and emergencies). 08ː30-17ː00. Financed and constructed by Sino-US joint venture company and designed by an American designer. ¥130 (adults and children over 1.5 metres in height), ¥70 (Men over 60 years old, women over 55 years old, children between 1.2 and 1.5 metres in height and disabled people). Persons over 70 years old and children under 1.2 metres are granted free admission.
Schools licensed to employ foreigners to teach English include D.D. Dragon, Dr Mike's, Kid’s Castle and Web International English. Always inquire about a Z-Visa and check that the school has a license from the local government. There are many unlicensed schools, some of which provide a good teaching experience but your passport might not bear up to scrutiny. There are also several universities based in Wenzhou, mainly in the Chashan (茶山) area that hire foreigners to teach English, among other subjects. Kean University, a joint American-Chinese university is the best of them, although the requirements there are far stricter.
There are no token "Wenzhou" things that you need to buy (though Wenzhou is apparently known locally for high-quality shoes), but there are many things made in Wenzhou, so if you look and bargain well, you can buy them at very cheap prices. This section is helpful if you are looking for something that would be easy to find in a western city, but you are unsure of where to find it in a Chinese one.
- Shoes and clothing. You can get all kinds of cheap shoes and clothing near the train station, bring a Chinese person and you get better prices.
- Times Square (时代广场; Shídàiguǎngchǎng) (in the south of the city 1.5 km north of the train station). Everything in there is too expensive to buy, but it has clean, shiny floors excellent for sliding on.
- InTime (银泰百货; Yintaibaihuo) (In the south of the city, near Renmin Lu). There are many boutiques selling expensive stuff. Furthermore, there is a Foodcourt at the top floor as well as an Arcade.
- Computer Market (电脑广场), East Renmin Road (人民东路) (from Kaitai on Renmin Road, walk east (away from McDonald's) for about 15 minutes. You will go over a pedestrian overpass on the way, but keep going until you find the plaza on the right side on the road. It has basketball games machines outside.). 8AM-5PM. The computer market is three floors of technology, including desktops, laptops, notebooks, external hard drives, webcams, etc. For the best deals, make a Chinese friend before you go.
- Luggage Street, East Huancheng Road (环城东路) (Huancheng Road is north of Renmin Road. Take a left at the junction where Renmin Road meets Huancheng Road and where that road splits, take the left fork). If you require suitcases or other baggage, there are many shops on the west side of this street specialising in Luggage.
Books and stationery
- Xinhua Book City (新华书店), Gongyuan Road (公园路) (down a busy alley off Gongyuan Road. From Wuma Street head East over the road and take the first left. The Book City is on the right). Wenzhou does not have a store for foreign language books. However you will find some classics as well as plenty of Chinese literature, dictionaries and teaching resources. The Book City also includes a music department, a stationery department and an arts department.
- Watson's (Renmin Road store), Renmin Road (under Kaitai department store near Danan Men (大南门) bus stop). Watson's is where you can find toiletry essentials such as Shower gel (cheaper than smaller stores), sanitary towels, razors, mouthwash and even antiperspirant if you look hard enough.
- Watson's (Times Square Store), Chezhan Avenue (车站大道) (built into Times Square department store, close to KFC). As above, but closer to Xialvpu (下吕浦) .
- D&L (Beneath European City) The D&L Supermarket has a decent selection of foreign toiletries. Very pricey though.
- Renmin Road Music Shop, 31 Renmin Road (人民路31号) (opposite the Renmin Road entrance to Zhongshan Park (中山公园)). If you are a musician in Wenzhou and struggling to find a music shop, have no fear as there are plenty around the city. The biggest (and easiest to find) is this one on Renmin Road and stocks guitars, keyboards, drums, and plenty more.
- Bank of China Currency Exchange (中国银行), 168 Renmin Road (人民路168号) (on the corner where the Renmin West and Renmin Middle roads meet, close to Wenzhou Mansion (温州大厦) Bus Stop). Probably the most reliable place to buy currency is this large, official currency exchange. If you fancy taking a risk, you can seek a better rate with the money changers outside the bank.
- Potatoes. Many "Potato-men" stake out good spots around Wenzhou and sell you potatoes. ¥2.
- Muslim Noodles. The generic name for an extensive chain of restaurants offering bargain basement prices for solid meals from the Muslim regions of Western China including Pulled Noodles, Fried Rice, and Curries. There are at least 30 of these restaurants in the city and most have a menu on the wall which is helpful for finger-pointing foreigners. Look for the blue shop header with ‘正宗兰州拉面’ or ‘新疆牛肉拉面’. There is normally a boiling pot in the front of the restaurant and one of the staff pulling the noodles fresh to order... and if you see the guys in their little hats or women with light headresses, you know you're near one.
- Chashan University Town. To the south of Wenzhou, Chashan University town (山高教园区) , it is home to many universities and cheap, tasty restaurants aimed at students. Snack street (小吃街) , located near Wenzhou Medical University, is a good area for especially cheap restaurants, although the hygiene of many places is quite questionable! Many outdoor barbeques with cheap beer can also be found along the riverside.
- Lao Beijing (老北京; Lǎo Běijīng; lit. Old Beijing), North end of Wendilu (温迪路北向; Wēndílùběixiàng) (30 meters from Chezhan Street (车站大道; Chēzhàndàdào)). A great place offering some northern Chinese classics. They have an English menu as well as a Chinese menu with pictures.
- Rio, Chezhan Street (车站大道; Chēzhàndàdào) (100 meters south of Wendi Road). This fancy place is an excellent value if you get the coupons they generously give away. Free coffee are a godsend when combined with 50% off of many delicious meals. The Yu xiang rou si is excellent as well as a beef dish (look for the "牛肉" characters on the coupon).
- India Restaurant (印度餐厅; Yìndùcāntīng), Nanpu Road (南浦路; Nánpǔlù). Fine Indian cuisine, possibly a little too much oil for some palettes, but a popular choice for locals and foreigners alike.
- Arabic Restaurant (阿拉伯科餐厅; Ālābókēcāntīng) (near Chezhan Street (车站大道; Chēzhàndàdào)). Friendly staff who speak enough English and a menu in passable English, Chinese and (dubious) Arabic. The curry dishes come highly recommended at the expense of the kebab dishes. If you are caught between yogurt and hummus, pick the yogurt every time as the hummus is heavily on the peanut side.
- Naples, Chunhui Road (春晖路; Chūnhuīlù). A long established Italian Restaurant with an English menu and at least one member of staff that speaks English for in-house and take-away phone orders. Very solid menu selection and an ambiance that defies its Chinese location.
- Delizia, Renmin West Road (人民西路; Rénmínxīlù). This Italian style coffee shop is worth a miss. High prices and a bad menu contribute to an uncomfortable experience. The coffee is passable but expensive and do not order the ambiguously named 'Sandwich' for ¥20; it is three slices of salami with mayonnaise slipped into bread rolls normally found amongst aeroplane food. On the upside, there are two rolls. Menu is in Italian and Chinese.
- Do&Me. Another Chinese-style fried chicken fast-food restaurant, many of them dot the city.
- Super Bee Pizza. The Wenzhou answer to the Western pizza chains, Super Bee Pizza has a wide menu although some choices are a little pricey. There are at least five of these restaurants throughout the city. They offer just decent pizza and not the kind of thing that satisfies a seasoned food lover.
- Bread Talk. There are two Bread Talks in Wenzhou, one in the downtown area near Wuma Street (五马街) and the other is in the European City shopping district (欧洲城). Eat-in or Takeaway, this bakery has a wide variety of hot and cold drinks and has breads that come closest to matching the taste of Western bakeries, including ring doughnuts and odd-looking but good-tasting Pizza.
- Sushi. The number of sushi restaurants in Wenzhou has exploded. There are two on Ladies' Street (女人街) near Wuma Street (五马街) with at least one more in the downtown area, and at least two in Xialv Pu (下吕浦) including the cheapest in Wenzhou (off Wendi Lu 温迪路) starting at just 6元 a dish. A more high class sushi restaurant can be found on Wangjiang Lu (望江路) down by the river near Xicheng Lu (西城路) which has excellent noodles and sushi at slightly higher prices; at least one staff member also speaks Japanese.
- McDonald's. There are three of the burger giant, one on Renmin Lu (人民路) near the KAITAI superstore, one in the European City shopping district (欧洲城) and one at the Olympic Stadium next to Trust Mart.
- KFC. The most successful western fast food chain in China can be found throughout the city on Renmin Lu (人民路) Nanpu Lu (南浦路) , Wuma Street (五马街), Xicheng Lu (西城路), Chezhan Dadao (车站大道) and Xiushan Lu (秀山路). Some are busier and more likely to stare at foreigners. Nanpu is the quietest and will give the least hassle, while Renmin is the biggest and busiest(as it is near the movie theatre) with large numbers of staring eyes watching any foreigners present. Expect differences in the menu - chicken leg or wings but not chicken breast is typical for Chinese chicken places.
- Pizza Hut. There are three Pizza Huts, one on Renmin Lu (人民路), one on Wuma Street (五马街) and another in the European City shopping district (欧洲城).
- Papa John's. The one Papa John's in Wenzhou is in the European City shopping district (欧洲城) opposite Pizza Hut. Their cheese sticks are a treat but be warned though they have every dish/pizza/noodles with pork which is frustration for non-pork eaters. There is a children's play area and it is very nice inside. Do not expect traditional American pizza menu!
- Starbucks. In Times Square. Get sandwiches and coffee. Wireless internet. One of the few places that you can purchase decaf coffee beans. 2nd floor good place to use your laptop or to meet friends. Food is great! Some staff know English as well.
Do not miss out on the locally brewed delight, Double Deer Beer, ¥2-2.5 on the streets. Also, do not forget to look under the cap for a free beer or ¥1 refund. Known as Shuan1 Lu4 in Chinese. It also has a more expensive, premium light counterpart.
Wenzhou four four main areas for nightlife.
- European City (Ou Zhou Cheng). La Luna (Yong nan lu and Jiang bin xi lu) has the best burgers and french fries in Wenzhou. It has a foreign menu including nachos! It also has English speaking staff. A favorite of the foreign community. Gorge has left, but the menu and atmosphere is the same as it was previously. Occasional karaoke or live music. Opens at 8PM. La Luna offers a foreign teacher discount card, so bring copy of contract or foreign expert papers. Discount is 50% off drinks and well worth the fee to obtain discount card (I think it is ¥100). Odessa (center of city, downstairs by the bowling alley) has two parts, the restaurant (with foreign menu) and the bar. Foreigner owned and friendly. Has golf and is beside the archery, billiards, and bowling places.
Xialü Waterfront (下吕浦; Xiàlǚpǔ) is the area where most foreigners live and some bars have sprung up around; bear in mind that it is not a waterfront in the traditional sense (there is no water, nor front).
- Blue Moon Bar, Xia Lü Pu #236, Shuang Long Lu (温州市下吕浦双龙路236号). Great little foreigner friendly bar with a cozy feel to it. Customer controlled music playlist (just choose your song from the communal computer and double click!). ¥10 bottles of Qingdao. Also has burgers, fries and other Western food items.
- Cowboy Bar 1 (Eric's No. 1), 66 Chunhui Road (春晖路66号; Chūnhuīlù) (Where Chunhui road and Shuanglong Road meet). The original home of the Taiwanese Cowboy, expect rowdy Chinese, migrant worker bar staff, and a wild time, especially if Eric hands you a free bottle of Tequila.
- L.V., 198 Shuanglong Road (双龙路198号) (on the same crossroads as Eric's No. 1, Stefano's and Mini Bar.), ☏ . Very popular Chinese bar for DJs and live music. A mug of beer will cost you ¥25, so not too pricey, and there's plenty of people to dance with.
- Blue Shell, 13 North Lane, Wendi Road (温迪路北巷13号; Wēndílù Běixiàng) (off Wendi Road, nearby EF English School), ☏ . The longtime foreign owner of Blue Shell has sold this bar to a local lady. It's still open, and John's still the bartender. Western style toilet on second floor.
- Stephanos. Italian bar in the place of New Age Lounge, great open space. Western style toilet.
- My Friend Bar, Chunhui Road (春晖路; Chūnhuīlù) (opposite Eric's No.1). Small bar with a very Chinese flavour, now has an open front. Staff and patrons known to be friendly to foreigners.
Jiangbin Road (The River)
Jiangbin Road (The River) (江滨路; Jiāngbīnlù) plays host to some of the biggest clubs, bars and restaurants in town. The main strip is on Wangjiang Road (望江路), but taxi drivers regard the whole area as Jiangbin Road.
- Bund 18 (外滩十八号; Wàitānshíbāhào), 111 Wangjiang East Road (望江东路111号; Wàngjiāngdōnglù). It offers free alcohol to foreigners who know the right people. Look for other foreigners once you are inside and join them. Normally kicks off around 10PM.
- Luna Bar (露娜酒吧), 望江路. Not to be confused with La Luna near European City, this Chinese bar was renovated and often has live music.
Shuomen Old Street
Shuomen Old Street (朔门街; Shuòménjiē) is a hip and happening part of town set back from Jiangbin Road, off Jiefang Road (解放路). New bars open every week as well as strange little shops and board game bars.
- Hello K.T., Shuomen Street (朔门街; Shuòménjiē) (At the far end of Shuomen Old Street). Evening until the patrons leave. A friendly bar with a barman/manager who can speak English, juggle bottles and eat fire (apparently the 2nd best barman in China, with a certificate to prove it). Upstairs is the Drunkards' Pool, a pool table so wonky you will not even need a drink to see strange things happen on it.
- Cowboy Bar 3 (Eric's No. 3), 81 Shuomen Street (朔门街81号; Shuòménjiē) (Half-way down Shuomen Street). Different from 1 & 2 in that No. 3 is a little quieter, as befits Shuomen Street. The bar area is more comfortable and a back area includes a small indoor stream. Serves Chinese food and steak.
- My Bar, Shuomen Street (朔门街; Shuòménjiē) (A quarter of the way down Shuomen Street). Dark and quiet but with a large group of friends (10+) you can take over the bar and make it your own (should be called Your Bar). The long-haired barman (his name is DaTou, big head) has an intriguing taste in music. Drink prices are really good since they always offer buy 1 get 1 free! Always happy hour which actually makes this one of the cheapest places in town. Great music! There is also a movie room on the top floor with thousands of dvd's. Get some of their delicious coffee in the afternoon and watch a good movie by your choice on the 200" screen on the wall.
- 1682, 117 Shuomen Street (朔门街117号; Shuòménjiē) (Between Eric's No.3 and Hello K.T.). This bar/club is sometimes very popular for its lounge layout, a little open space for dancing, and music.
- 419 Bar, 66 Shuomen Street (朔门街66号; Shuòménjiē) (Between Eric's No.3 and Hello K.T.). Quiet tea house and bar that also plays host to a popular English Corner (Thursday nights 7PM), even if foreigners are rare in attending. If you go, you will have insta-friends.
Renmin Road (人民路; Rénmínlù) is the main road of Wenzhou and hosts a few massive clubs, though definitely not a place for a quiet (or cheap) drink.
- .99, Renmin West Road (人民西路; Rénmínxīlù) (Opposite Jiushan Road (九山路)). Huge club/bar with a wooden palatial decor that boggles the mind. Prices can also boggle the mind.
- U-Party, Renmin West Road (人民西路; Rénmínxīlù) (Opposite Jiushan Road (九山路)). Large, established club with banging DJs and dancers. Not as pricey or oppressive as .99, a big group of friends could probably chip in to make the evening cost effective with a Whiskey/Ice Tea Combo.
There are no hostels in Wenzhou, but couch-surfing is a valid option with a large number of Wenzhou residents registered to welcome travelers. There are also some budget hotels around:
- Wenzhou Xinqiao Rest Hotel (锐思特汽车连锁旅店; Ruìsītèqìchē Liánsuǒlǚdiàn), 1266 Liuhongqiao Road, Xinqia Town, Ouhai District (瓯海区新桥镇六虹桥路1266号; Ōuhǎiqū Xīnqiáozhèn Liùhóngqiáolù). Listed rates for doubles from ¥158.
- Wenzhou Dynasty Hotel, No. 2 Min Hang Road, Ouhai District, Wenzhou, Zhejiang, China, ☏ . Wenzhou Dynasty Hotel Jin Jiang is located at Zhejiang, China. It offers 300 rooms and suites, all of which have air-conditioner, cable TV with in-house movies, and free high-speed Internet. Some of its amenities include Garden Chinese Restaurant (famous for its bird's nest, shark's fin, and abalone. Also specializes in traditional Ou cuisine), and recreation center (features a sauna, massage center, KTV, disco, mahjong, snooker room, table tennis, gym, tennis court).
- Rest Chain Motel (锐思特汽车连锁旅店 (温州西山店); Ruìsītèqì Chēliánsuǒlǚdiàn (Wēnzhōu Xīshāndiàn)), 190-198 Xishandong Road, Ouhai District (瓯海区西山东路190-198号; Ōuhǎiqū Xīshāndōnglù). The cheapest rooms are quite small. Listed rates for doubles from ¥188.
- Shunsheng Star Hotel (温州顺生之星酒店; Wēnzhōu Shùnshēngzhīxīng Jiǔdiàn), 34 Lucheng Road, Lucheng District (鹿城区鹿城路34号; Lùchéngqū Lùchénglù). Listed rates for doubles from ¥380.
- Wenzhou Ouhai Hotel (温州瓯海宾馆; Wēn zhōu Ōuhǎi Bīnguǎn), 31 Xinghai Road, Jiangjun Bridge, Ouhai District (瓯海区将军桥兴海路31号; Ōuhǎiqū Jiāngjūnqiáo Xīnghǎilù), ☏ , fax: . Three-star hotel with rooms with free internet except for the cheapest rooms. Business center, currency exchange, gift shop, beauty salon, ticket office, karaoke, table tennis and massage available. Chinese restaurant, night club, coffee shop and room service. Listed rates for doubles from ¥360, discounted from ¥168, including breakfast.
- Jiazhou Hotel (温州加州商务宾馆; Wēnzhōu Jiāzhōushāngwù Bīnguǎn), 218 Yuele West Street, Longxia Road, Ouhai District (瓯海区龙霞路月乐西街218号; Ōuhǎiqū Lóngxiálù Yuèlèxījiē), ☏ , fax: . Three-star hotel with large rooms with free internet. Meeting facilities, ticket office and massage available. No restaurant. Listed rates for doubles from ¥265, discounted from ¥188, including breakfast.
- The Rest Motel, Nanpu Road (南浦路; Nánpǔlù) (turn left out of the bus terminal and the motel is on the other side of the road, clearly marked). On the same road as the airport bus terminal and is close to Xialüpu, a vibrant shopping and bar area.
- Shangri-La Hotel (温州香格里拉大酒店; Wēnzhōu Xiānggélǐlā Dàjiǔdiàn), 1 Xiangyuan Road, Lucheng District (鹿城区香源路1号; Lùchéngqū Xiāngyuánlù), ☏ , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Rooms with river and mountains with and equipped with free internet, coffee making facilities, minibar, safe and hair dryer. Business center, currency exchange, ticket office, karaoke, fitness, tennis, indoor swimming pool and massage available. Chinese and Western restaurants. Listed rates for doubles ¥1,412-2,976, breakfast ¥118 but included for more expensive rooms.
- Ex Palm D'or Hotel, No. 23 Minhang Road, Lucheng District, ☏ . Ex Palm D’or Hotel offers 110 elegant rooms, which are good for two guests, all have a private shower, satellite TV, mini-bar, IDD phone, and free Internet access. A hair dyer, safe, iron with board, electric kettle, and sofa are also provided. This five-star European-style hotel is 35 minutes from the Wenzhou Yongqiao Airport and 15 minutes away from the railway and coach stations. Rates start at ¥660.
- Olympic Hotel (奥林匹克大酒店; Àolínpǐkè Dàjiǔdiàn), 8 Minhang Road (民航路8号; Mínhánglù), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Check-in: Before 6PM, check-out: noon. Four-star hotel with health club, restaurant and conference facilities. Ranges from ¥608 for a basic room, up to ¥2,680 for the top-end suites.
- Dynasty Hotel (王朝大酒店; Wángcháo Dàjiǔdiàn), 2 Minhang Road (民航路2号; Mínhánglù). Check-in: 2PM, check-out: noon. Extensive conferencing facilities, but not highly regarded rooms.
Wenzhou is not a dangerous city for foreigners, especially foreigners that are careful.
- Taxis — it is not unknown for women to be harassed while in a taxi on their own. If you are catching a taxi on your own at night it may be best to sit in the back of the taxi, out of reach of grabby hands. Do not flash too much cash around late at night, as robbery has been known by taxi drivers who pick up accomplices. However, this is rare, and many taxi drivers are well intentioned and friendly.
- Fights — if a fight breaks out between Chinese people, do not get involved. If a Chinese person gets aggressive with you or a friend, leave discreetly as soon as you can.
- The streets at night — the streets of Wenzhou are normally safe, and because there are always eyes on foreigners, someone will always see anything that happens. This said, there are certain no-go areas of the city where poverty and demographic abnormality (excess men) can lead to high aggression levels.
- Beggars — here are a number of beggars throughout the city especially around Wuma Street and Renmin Road. The beggars are run by gangs that maintain the beggars (with food and shelter) while taking the money that is collected by the often disabled/disfigured panhandlers. Don't stand and watch a begging 'performer' because you WILL be harassed for money; being foreign is reason enough to harass you.
- Prostitution — prostitution is illegal in China but is widely tolerated. Brothels or 'Pink Houses' (because of the pink lights) riddle the city and many foreigners are known to use them. Brothels are far from safe, not just because of STIs, but also because of under-age prostitutes, robbery and police raids. Police in Wenzhou have been known to raid brothels while a foreigner is inside, the consequences of which can be far reaching; your visa could be revoked resulting in deportation.
- Linhai — in the Taizhou prefecture, north of Wenzhou, Linhai has the Southern Great Wall of China. There is also an East Lake (东湖), and long old streets. Really nice place. Buses leave the City Bus Station (新城长途车站) every 30 minutes or so, take 1 hr 46 min and cost ¥66.
- Cangnan County. Administratively part of Wenzhou Prefecture, it is Fujian's southernmost county. It includes an early-Ming walled city (Pucheng) with a well-restored city wall, and miles of rugged sea coast with scenic fishing villages.
- Hangzhou — buses take about 4-4.5 hours, leave from New City Bus Station, and cost ¥150. They leave really frequently first thing in the morning, and then every 30 minutes or so afterward.
- Shanghai — can get there by train, bus or plane. Train costs ¥90 for a seat, ¥175 for a hard-sleeper and takes about 10 hours. In 2009, the CRH Train service has officially entered Wenzhou at their newly opened South Railway Station (温州南站). The tickets are ¥180-220 and it takes slightly over 4 hours. The bus costs ¥200 and takes about 6 hours. The bus route between Wenzhou and Shanghai will take you across the longest sea bridge in the world. The plane takes no time and can be as little as ¥200 if you leave very early.