Wenzhou is infamous for its natural surroundings, contributing towards China’s reputation as the least polluted city in the country. Encircled by mountainous terrain, nature trails, Buddhist temples and spa retreats, there is so much to explore. Enter the wilderness with Yandang mountain, a notorious mountain range since the Tang Dynasty. Or Nanxi River with its tremendous waterfalls and boating cave experience. Dongtou Island located on the Eastern tip of the Chinese coast, offers a range of beaches and hotels for the summer months. All are off the map and unspoiled, except for the very few tourists who manage to visit.
The city itself boasts a lively scene with coffee houses, bars and restaurants. Its shopping district harnesses global brands inside a lavish setting of the Wenzhou Trade Center. If you prefer a more niche setting, there are unique Chinese brands propped up across the city. It is a city that champions entrepreneurship, lending a diverse range of stores, found nowhere else in the world.
Wenzhou also champions a quaint setting for parks, rivers and lakes. Being both relaxing and tranquil, it is easy to forget about the world inside these jaunty surroundings. Recreational activities such as fishing or peddle boating are a good way to enjoy the cities perks. Lover Island is a popular destination for wedding pictures, due to its tremendous charm and beauty. During the evenings, you can catch square dancing events, a famous ritual for the retired population.
As throughout China, a strong dynamism inside the city and its inhabitants have created an identity of prosperity and success. Wenzhou proceeds itself as a place of wealth. Two decades ago, the city was known to be amongst the poorest in the country. Today, it is the richest. It was the first city to make private enterprise legal, encouraging business entrepreneurs to invest and move to the city. Wenzhou is truly an inspiration to Chinese development and growth. It is a success story in which China hopes to transcend across the nation.
Its size is large enough to be anonymous, yet, small enough to be intimate. Getting around is extremely convenient. A bike service is available around the whole city alongside bus’s and taxis. The expat community is small with help never too far away. Many have decided to stay for good, due to its easy living lifestyle. Everything you need is only a stone throw away, with a local population more than ready to welcome you into their community.
Wenzhou is an extremely traditional city with an increasingly industrialised growth. It is where the ancient beliefs of Confucianism and monkish contemplation meets modernity. The spirit of Chinese philosophy is felt throughout the city. However, its recent collaboration with business and success have provided an interesting dynamic to be a part of. In essence, Wenzhou is to experience the real China, with aspirations as the new Shanghai of Zhejiang province.
The demand for ESL teachers in Wenzhou is extremely high. Reasons stem from its less cosmopolitan outreach to the West. Compared to the magnitude of other Chinese cities, it is small with low levels of English across the city. As an ESL teacher, your work will be no more appreciated than in Wenzhou. Opportunities to learn Chinese are huge. You will be forced to speak the language to communicate effectively with the local population. This is truly one of the biggest perks living in Wenzhou.
The expat community is small and intimate, providing for a close nit group of friends. If you wish to expand, Wenzhou has three universities with many foreign students attending. Making friends will not be an issue due to the proximity of the city. In accordance to this, you will each share a close comradery, bringing each of your experiences closer together.
Many expats living in Wenzhou understand that they are an extreme minority. Hence, feeling a somewhat celebrity status is common. From random pictures in the street to free drinks all night in a bar, such an experience is totally unique. Your presence will certainly bring that cosmopolitan edge to the city, something in which the locals will find overly exciting.
Wenzhounese local people are extremely traditional. As a result, living in Wenzhou means your Chinese experience will be extremely authentic. Understanding how Chinese work and think will be no more explanatory than a place like Wenzhou.
Cost of Living:
Standard Appartment: £200-£300 a month.
Bills: £20 a month.
Rent obviously varies according to quality and location. However, Wenzhou does not particularly have one central location, but several. Also, with the size of the city, location does not matter so much. This price range for a standard appartment is more than enough to live comfotably while not breaking the bank.
Internet (4g) : £10 a month
China posses one of the best 4g services in the world. As a result, it is cheap and very high quality. At just £10 a month, it is an extremely cheap way to stay connected.
Bus Service: 20p a ticket
Bus’s run throughout the city at an extremely cheap rate. 20p will usually cover your full journey. You can also gain access to a travel card which you will be able to top up as you go along.
Taxi Service: £1.50 – £2.00 (10 minute ride.)
The Wenzhou taxi service is incredibly convenient. At just roughly £1.50 per journey, it makes Wenzhou that little bit easier to get around. Due to the sheer size of the city, getting from one end of the city to the other comes cheap.
Supermarket Groceries: £15- £20 a week
Wenzhou offers a selection of different food stores. Natural ingrediants like spices, rice, meat, fruit and vegtables can be bought extremely cheap. Moreover, local Chinese markets are the way to go! If you prefer higher end products and Western style food, prices will begin to rise.
Local Chinese food: £1.20- £3.00
Wenzhou is crawling with small cafe style delicaies from across the city. Noodles and dumplings are a favourite and usually come in very generous portions. Many expats decide not to cook with such wide variey at a no expense. Not to mention, Wenzhou boasts a whole hosts of local delicacies to explore.
Standard Chinese Restaurant: £5-£10
Standard restaurants vary in price depending on quality and the dishes. Wenzhou has a large fishing industry, making fish a popular local dish. Consequently, fresh fish is always ascessible at very mild prices. Consequently, quality and taste goes a long way for your bucks!
Western Restaurent: £12-£15
Western cuisine in China is considered a fairly exotic and expensive night out. In these types of places, you will be looking at a similar comparison to the West. Itallian is a popular cuisine, despite being a little pricy.
Standard beer: £1.80 – £4.50
A pint will also vary on venue and type. However, local beer usually comes in at the lower price range. For Western brands, you will be looking at the higher bracket. However, clubbing experiences usually allow expats to enjoy free drinks all night!
Despite the city inhabiting some of the richest men in China, parts of the local population will still live on a basic salary. In China, the basic salary is not remarkably high. Hence, your budget will certainly allow you to live the high life in such a city.
Cost of living in Wenzhou is extremely cheap. As you can tell, Wenzhou is the perfect place to save money! At the same time, higher end products are still out there if you wish. The city is extremely flexible for all budgets.