Wenzhou, which is located near the middle of the East China Sea coastline, is the economic, cultural and transportation center of southern Zhejiang Province.
Under Wenzhou's jurisdiction, there are two cities (Rui'an City and Yue'qing City), three districts and six counties with a total land area of 11,784 square kilometers. Among its 7.64 million (2007) inhabitants, about 1.5 million live in urban area.
Wenzhou got its name for its mild climate (wen means "temperate" in Chinese). Wenzhou has favorable natural conditions, being either too hot in summer nor too cold in winter, with four distinct seasons.
The annual mean temperature is 18C (64F), with 280 frost-free days per year. The average annual rainfall is 1,800 mm.
Wenzhou is rich in mineral reserves, with 40 proven minerals. Wenzhou also has 200 million tons of alumstone reserve, known as the "world capital of alum-stone". The continental shelf along its coast has large quantities of oil and gas reserve, which are now being explored.
Wenzhou's 355 kilometers coastline provides good conditions for building harbors. Wenzhou can support one hundred 5,000-ton to 100,000-ton berths, making it the second largest harbor in Zhejiang Province.
The Wenzhou city also rich in tourism resources, with two national scenic areas and two national nature reserve.
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Wenzhou derives its present name from its mild elimate. It is a part of those subtropicla maritime regions with a humid climate, noticeable for its alternating dry and monsoon periods, with distinct seasons and abundant rainfall, yet without intense heat in the summer nor bitter cold in the winter. It has an average annual temperatuer ranging between 1500 to 1900 mm and a frost-free period of 260 to 280 days. The duration of sunshine amounts to an average 1700 to 2000 hours annually.
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Wenzhou dishes have a long history dating back to the Song Dynasty (960-1279). There are over 250 delicious recipes based on sea food and using fish, shrimps, crabs and shells as their basic ingredients. They are cooked using some 30 different methods and appear beautiful with enticing aromas.
San Si Qiao Yu (Fish Boiled with Three Kinds of Shreds) is a traditional Wenzhou dish and is easy to cook. The fish is cut into pieces and boiled with shreds of chicken, hams and wood mushrooms. The tender and smooth fish meat is very appetizing and this dish is usually used to entertain friends and relatives on festivals by the locals.
Garlic Seasoned Fishskin is a popular dish among the locals. The basic ingredient is the skin of a kind of edible shark which the locals braise with quantities of garlic that can make the skin soft and tender. It is said the dish helps to expel toxin in the human body.
Double Tastes Crabs is a piece of cake cooked with crab meat and pork during both steaming and frying, leaving it with two distinct tastes, hence its name. The cake is firstly formed by putting fried crab meat on the shreds of pork to fry together in a pan; then is placed on a plate with another steamed crab meat decorated. The dish looks like a live crab and the meat tastes surprisingly fresh.
In addition, the locals have other special ways of eating sea food. For example, they dry the fresh yellow-fin tunas and cuttle fish or soak the crabs and jellyfish. They even eat the live river shrimps or oysters with a variety of seasonings including wine, sugar and ginger.
Wenzhou boasts hundreds of varieties of local appetizers. Various dumplings and cakes will no doubt offer a feast to any discerning stomach.
Xianqian Tang Yuan
Tang Yuan is a kind of dumpling having different kinds of ingredients as its stuffing. The locals regard Tang Yuan as the symbol of reunion and luck because of their round shapes and pure white colors. Among all the kinds of Tang Yuan, those made of sesames, bean paste and pork are the most famous ones. Xian Qian Restaurant has a long history of making these dumplings, providing you with an excellent chance to enjoy the most traditional and genuine Tang Yuan.
Tall Man Wonton (Chang Ren Hun Dun)
Wonton is another kind of dumpling which is stuffed with fresh pork. When the dumplings are boiled, they look like beautiful and transparent flowers because of their extremely thin wrappings. The locals are particular about the soup of the dumplings, in which they often add laver, egg, dried meat floss and small shrimps. Tall Man Wonton is named after a tall man who was renowned for selling the most delicious wonton in the 1930s.
Short Man Sponge Cake
This is a kind of dim sum made of pork, glutinous rice and sugar. It is rectangular in shape and tastes soft, sweet and a little salty. The sellers often make the cakes and sell them instantly to ensure their true flavor. Cakes sold by a short man in the 1940s were well known among the locals, hence the name of the cake.
It is a kind of fried cake formed into the shape of exquisite lamps which explains the name. There are many flavors of the cake with varieties of stuffing such as pork, shelled fresh shrimps, abalones meat and beef. The cakes have enticing aromas and taste crisp. Da Wang Lamp Cake restaurant is the most popular with the locals where you may have to queue for your cakes!
It is one of the most famous local snacks in Wenzhou. You can find fish pellet restaurants or stalls in almost every street of the city. The pellet is made of fresh fish meat with farina and other seasonings. After boiling, the white pellets give out tantalizing aromas with the fresh soup, drawing people to enjoy their peculiar taste.
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Nanji Islands Marine Preserve
As one of the first five marine preserves of China, Nanji islands Marine Preserve was established in 1990 with the approval of the State Council.
The preserve is mainly of marine erosion landforms. Along the winding coastline there are numerous capes and bays as well as various beaches and rocks. It is the confluence of the alongshore current of Zhejiang and the warm current of Taiwan. The area enjoys a mild climate with an average temperature of 16.5 degrees centigrade, never too hot in summer or too cold in winter.
403 varieties of shellfishes and 174 algae have been identified in the preserve, which is more than 20% of the total varieties of shellfishes and algae in the seas of China. So it is often referred to as'’ the kingdom of shellfishes and algae'’.
Nanxijiang Scenic Area
Nanxijiang Scenic Area, a major national place of interest, is located in Yongjia County of South Zhejiang Province. It is twenty-three kilometers away from Wenzhou City, with Yandang Mountain in the east, Xiandu Scenic Area in the west and Xianju Scenic Area in the north. The 300-kilometer-long Nanxijiang River is characterized by its beautiful water, exotic rocks, various waterfalls, ancient villages and charming reaches. The upper reaches are famous for deep streams, lush trees and various waterfalls. In the middle reaches, pebbles are shining under the sun, fish swimming in the clean water and trees lining on the sides of the river. In the lower reaches, people are rowing boats on the winding water, enjoying the picturesque scenery. Covering an area of six hundred and twenty-five square kilometers, the scenic area is divided into seven spots, including more than eight hundred attractions. There are the Peace Rock facing the River, the Lion Rock (like a natural potted landscape in the river), the Triangle Rock Staring at the Deep and Green Pool, the Tortoise Rock on a High Peak, the Mast Rock, the Twelve Peaks Reaching the Sky, the Triangle Cave(symbolizing good fortunes)and various waterfall clusters. In particular, rafting down the river can give people unmatched opportunities “to get away from it all”, to escape from the worries and hectic life of the modern urban world.
The unique Nanxijiang River enjoys abundant cultural heritages. There are still cultural relics of the New Stone Age, the ancient pagodas, pavilions, memorial archways, decorated archways, battlefields of the Song, Ming and Qing Dynasties, the original style and features of ancient villages, large numbers of well-preserved records of family trees, the hand writings and poems by ancient calligraphers and poets such as Xie lingyun, Wang Xizhi and Su dongpo. Xie lingyun, a pioneer of Landscape Poems . “Floating Clouds Lingering over misty forest, meandering river running into sunset”.
Nanxijiang River is featured by mild climate, cool in summer and warm in winter, with an average temperature of 18.2 degrees centigrade. The area abounds in such local specialties as yantao, chestnuts, shaddocks, persimmons, grapes, red bayberries, fragrant fish and Wuniu Tea.
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.
Middle Yandang Mountain
The national major scenic place, Yandang Mountains (composed of North Yandang, Middle Yandang and South Yandan) which is historically called “the first mountains in the south-east” and favourably known as “the famous mountains out of the sea” is a world-famous tourist attraction and holiday resort with special scenes and rich culture.
Really new, but very nice temple in the West edge of Wenzhou.
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.
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.
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Wenzhou Airport is east of the city, receiving flights from around China, and because it also supports flights to and from Hong Kong, it is concidered international. Wenzhou Airport recently built a new terminal which is much more user friendly and less oppressive for foreigners.
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 , Xialüpu and finally stops at a depot on Nanpu Road .
Wenzhou Central Train Station 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 where it meets Chezhan Avenue.
Wenzhou has a number of bus stations that serve a variety of locations around the country. Arrivals from Shanghai and Fuzhou will find themselves at New South Station which is near the train station on Wenzhou Avenue , arrivals from Hangzhou and Ningbo will find themselves at New City Station which is in New City, and arrivals from places as varied as Yiwu and Qingdao will find themselves at Shuangyu Bus Station which is on the west side of the city near the suburb of Huanglong.
Buses cost ¥1.5-2.5 within the city and can be very useful once you figure what number goes where. 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 ¥10 for the first 4km and ¥1.5/km thereafter (after 11:30PM prices rise to ¥12 for the first 4km and ¥1.8/km 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.
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