The warren of streets north of Wu Ma Jie, particularly between (and along) Jiefang Bei Lu and Fuqian Jie, has a number of ancient facades and a labyrinth of girly shopping. Bored heiresses arrive in Porsches, and leave with an armful of designer carrier bags. Wu Ma Jie itself has been pedestrianized and received a heavy-handed restoration, although several faintly Art Deco buildings sport slightly unlikely mid-19th-century dates.
Jiangxin Gu Yu ("solitary island in the heart of the river" in a very literal translation) makes for a pleasant stroll despite the piped music from speakers in the trees and, in the evenings, the howls of the damned from the opposite shore. Or it may just be karaoke.
Small as the island is, it has a central lake and is dotted with pavilions outlined in gaudy lights, a Song dynasty well, a temple or two, Soviet-style heroic monuments to the People's Liberation Army, and two pagodas. The Dong Ta, at the eastern end, built in 869 and restored in the Ming and Qing dynasties, reportedly owes its topless state to a consular complaint about the noise of roosting birds. The local mandarin simply removed the roof. The lighthouse here, established by foreign residents, was included by the International Association of Lighthouse Authorities in 1997 on a world list of 100 historical lighthouses, and is still in service. In roughly the middle of the island's southern side, the Xi Ta was built in 969 and its most recent restoration was in 1982. Its seven six-sided stories look like freshly poured concrete. Ferries leave for the island every 30 minutes from the Jiangxin Matou in Wenzhou, from 8am to 11:30pm for ¥10 round-trip.