Wenzhou (温州; [wə́n.ʈʂóu]) is a prefecture-level city in southeastern Zhejiang province in the People’s Republic of China. Wenzhou is located at the extreme south east of Zhejiang Province with its borders connecting to Lishui on the west, Taizhou on the north, and Fujian to the south. It is surrounded by mountains, the East China Sea, and 436 islands, while its lowlands are almost entirely along its East China Sea coast, which is nearly 355 kilometres long. Most of Wenzhou’s area is mountainous as almost 76 percent of its 11,784-square-kilometre surface area is classified as mountains and hills. It is said that Wenzhou has 7/10 mountains, 1/10 water, and 2/10 farmland.
There is a popular saying in China that reflects the status of the city of Wenzhou related to the Fengshui of Wenzhou which is “People of Excellence and Land of Wisdom” (人傑地靈; Rénjiédìlíng), as the local Wenzhounese peoples are usually described in China as the people of excellence and the city of Wenzhou is usually praised as the city of wisdom.
Wenzhou derives its present name from its climate, and has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen: Cfa) with short winters and long, hot, humid summers. Summers are similar to the remainder of the province (albeit slightly cooler during the daytime as compared to inland areas), but winter is much milder, partly due to the southerly location and partly due to the sheltering effect of the surrounding mountains.
Wenzhou natives speak a language of Wu Chinese, the language family shared by Hangzhou, Ningbo, Suzhou and Shanghai; called Wenzhounese, also known as Oujiang (瓯江话; 甌江話; ōujiāng huà) or Dong'ou (东瓯; 東甌). Geographic isolation and the immigration of Southern Min speakers from nearby Fujian have caused Wenzhounese to evolve into a very phonologically divergent hybrid difficult for outsiders to understand. As a result, even the adjacent Taizhou Wu variety has little mutual intelligibility with Wenzhounese.
Due to its long history and the isolation of the region in which it is spoken, Wenzhounese is so unusual in its phonology that it has the reputation of being the least comprehensible dialect for an average Mandarin speaker. It preserves a large amount of vocabulary of classical Chinese lost elsewhere, earning itself the nickname “the living fossil”, and has distinct grammatical differences from Mandarin. Due to its unique grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation, the language is basically impossible for any non-local to understand.
There is a common “fearing” rhymed saying in China that reflects the extreme comprehension difficulty of Wenzhounese: “Fear not the Heavens, fear not the Earth, but fear the Wenzhou person speaking Wenzhounese.” (天不怕，地不怕，就怕温州人说温州话; tiān bù pà, dì bù pà, jiù pà wēnzhōu rén shuō wēnzhōu huà)
Notable Locations in Wenzhou
White Whale Street
Known residents of White Whale Street are:
Niuding Mountain (牛顶山; Niú Dǐng Shān) is located nearby White Whale Road. ‘Niuding Mountain’ was the abbreviation used by local people to refer to several mountains that were linked together. As such, this term isn’t searchable on any map.
A long time ago, there was a bent mountain road that linked the people on Mountain Niuding to the outside world. But later, all the residents moved toward the foot of the mountain. And since the number of families living up there was continually decreasing, the mountain road was also abandoned.
No. 992 Fried Chicken Shop
When they came to attend the Immortal Food Feast, Ah Yan and Ah Ling, cultivators from the Beast Realm led a group of hypnotised people to stage a protest against killing and consuming chicken in front of this fried chicken shop.
Known Influences in Wenzhou
Heavenly River’s Su Clan
There was an already established Heavenly River’s Su Clan branch in Wenzhou.
Ever since Song Shuhang took the Blood God Crystal from Gongzi Hai’s hand, Seven was sure that the latter would surely take action against Song Shuhang. Therefore, Seven issued a permanent duty to the Wenzhou City branch of the Heavenly River’s Su Clan. The duty consisted in watching over Song Shuhang’s house. If they could catch the members of the Unbounded Demon Sect plotting against Shuhang, they would receive a reward from Seven.
- Main article: Ruism’s Wenzhou Branch
Ruism established this branch after the Battle of White Cloud Academy. At first, the branch was manned by Third Stage disciples. After the Battle of Ruism, it was headed by Fifth Stage Ruism elders. Sometimes, Sixth Stage True Monarch will stop by in this branch.
Southern Longevity Sword Sect
Southern Longevity Sword Sect has a branch in Wenzhou.
Dao Priest Blue Sea and Dao Nun Wonderful Pure served as the guide for Sage Monarch Tyrant Song, Ancient Saint Spirit Butterfly and Profound Saint Mountain of Su when the saints clearing the evil pestilence in Wenzhou City.
Despite all the restrictions imposed, practitioners flocked to Wenzhou since they are able to obtain enlightenment during their short stay there.