Wenchang

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Wenchang
文昌市
County-level city
Wennan Old Street
Wennan Old Street
Map showing entire Wenchang area within Hainan province
Map showing entire Wenchang area within Hainan province
Coordinates: 19°37′15″N 110°45′5″E / 19.62083°N 110.75139°E / 19.62083; 110.75139
Country China
Province Hainan
Time zone China standard time (UTC+8)
Area code(s) 0898

Wenchang (Chinese Postal Map Romanisation: Mencheong; Chinese: 文昌) is a county-level city in the northeast of Hainan province, China. Although called a "city", Wenchang refers to a large land area in Hainan - an area which was once a county. The urban center and the seat of government of Wenchang is officially known as "Wencheng Town" (文城镇),[1] which is also colloquially referred to as Wenchang City.

History[edit]

Wenchang is the source of most overseas Hainanese migrants, with the majority of Singapore's Hainanese population having ancestral roots in Wenchang. Wenchang Hainanese is considered to be the most prestige accent of the Hainanese language and is used by the provincial broadcasting media.

Tianmeidong, a village located in Wenchang, received international attention in 2007 when they changed their name to Tianweiban; officials were unsure how to type the final character of the new name on computers, causing various difficulties for villagers.[2]

It was promoted from a county to a city on November 7, 1995, and had a population of 86,551 in 1999 (estimated 2006: 115,000).

Geography[edit]

Located in the northeastern part of Hainan, Wenchang covers a total area of 2,403 square kilometres (928 sq mi). The east side has a long coastline along the South China Sea while the west borders Dongzhai Harbor, Haikou's Meilan District, Qionghai, and Ding'an County. The land is mostly hilly and contains both forest and agricultural areas. The entire area is populated with countless towns, farms, and villages.

Wencheng Town[edit]

Location of Wencheng Town within Wenchang
Downtown

Wencheng Town is located in the south of Wenchang, 63 kilometres (39 mi) southeast of the provincial capital, Haikou.[3] There is a central park and covered market downtown. Also located downtown is Wenchang Middle School a large, modern campus. A new hospital is under construction on the outskirts.

The centre of the town is at near sea level with a canal running between one of the main streets and Wennan Old Street. This area has been subject severe flooding a number of times in the past. Another main road runs from the centre, uphill to the south. This road leads to Yilong Bay. Directly to the north of the town centre lies a fairly affluent hilltop community occupied by numerous housing compounds for retired military and other government workers.

Auto-rickshaws and motorbikes provide the taxi service in the town. There are no car taxis.

Wennan Old Street[edit]

Wennan Old Street is a visitor attraction located in the heart of the town. The street is lined with fully restored tong lau buildings similar to those in Haikou's Bo'ai Road area (now being restored) as well as the old street in Puqian (unrestored and dilapidated).

Other towns[edit]

  • Dongjiao (东郊镇) - literally "east suburb" and known as "coconut town", is located east of Wencheng Town over the Qinglan Bridge. This town is coastal, and is forested mainly with coconut trees. Small industries for processing coconut products exist there.
  • Donglu (东路镇)
  • Fengpo (冯坡镇)
  • Huiwen (会文镇)
  • Jinshan (锦山镇)
  • Longlou (龙楼镇)
  • Penglai (蓬莱镇)
Puqian's port
  • Puqian (铺前镇) - a coastal town located in the northern part of Wenchang situated on the eastern shore of Dongzhai Harbor
  • Tanniu (潭牛镇)
  • Wengtian (翁田镇)
  • Wenjiao (文教镇)

Culture[edit]

Wenchang Chicken after cooking, before being cut into pieces.

Wenchang Chicken originates from this city.

Points of interest[edit]

Wenchang is the ancestral home of the Soong sisters: Soong Ching-ling, Soong Ai-ling, Soong May-ling and the birthplace of their father Charlie Soong.

Spaceport[edit]

The Wenchang Satellite Launch Center is located in Wenchang. This is China's fourth and southernmost space vehicle launch facility and because of its low latitude, the Wenchang Satellite Launch Center has been selected to launch China's space station. On 22 September 2007, CCTV officially announced the construction of an expanded Wenchang Satellite Launch Center has been approved by the State Council and the Central Military Commission of the People's Republic of China [4] after decades of postponement due to political concerns.

Notable people[edit]

References[edit]

Coordinates: 19°37′37″N 110°43′52″E / 19.627°N 110.731°E / 19.627; 110.731