Wenzhou is a prefecture-level city (or provincial subregion) in southeastern Zhejiang province, People’s Republic of China. It has a population of 7,777,000 in 2006, with 1,336,000 residents in the 3 districts of the city with the same name. It also contains 2 more cities and 6 counties. Itborders Lishui to the west, Taizhou to the north, and looks out to the East China Sea to the east.
Wenzhou was a prosperous foreign treaty port, which remains well-preserved today. It is also known for its emigrants who leave their native land for Europe and the United States, with a reputation for being enterprising folk who start restaurants, retail and wholesale businesses in their adopted countries.
Wenzhou natives speak Wu dialect Chinese, like the people of Hangzhou and Shanghai. Geographic isolation and an admixture of Southern Min Chinese speakers from nearby Fujian Province, however, have caused Wenzhou speech to evolve into a dialect that has been described as “notoriously eccentric.” As a result, people from Shanghai and Fujian both have trouble understanding what is known as Wenzhouhua.