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This is an upcoming Noisebridge China Trip for 2012!

NB China Trip bunny suits.jpg

Because the first Noisebridge China Trip was so successful,
I am planning another Hacker Trip To China, including all cities that currently have a hackerspace, and which will culminate at the Beijing Maker Faire (called Maker Carnival China 2012).

When: 4-April-2012 through 24-April-2012.
Optional: 9-day Beijing extension from 24-April through 3-May.

Flight, transportation, and hotel Info: We'll each be on our own to book our own air fare to the meeting point on the meeting day: Hong Kong on 4-April (please note that to arrive on 4-April, your flight must leave on 3-April).

I'm organizing the itinerary and the hotels and other transport. I will pay in advance for all of this.

Where: In each of the four cities we go to we'll visit their local hackerspace, and be shown around by local geeks to see geeky things of interest. We'll also have plenty of time to do "normal" tourist things too -- and the places we'll be going have spectacular sights!

  • We'll explore Hong Kong for 4 days, visiting Hong Kong Hackjam hackerspace, and be shown around by local geeks.
  • We'll then go to Guangzhou, Shenzhen for a few days to visit the Chaihuo Makerspace there, visit Seeed Studio to meet the cool folks there and to see their facilities. We'll also go to the famous electronics mall in Shenzhen. And we can go to the just-scheduled Shenzhen Maker Faire! (April 7-8). We can also visit the Ningbo Toyhouse, which is one of the first hackerspaces in a Chinese university (100 are slated to become reality soon).
  • Then Shanghai for a week to visit my manufacturer (Etonnet) that I use for TV-B-Gone remote controls, where we'll all get to see how products are made, from start to finish, learning how manufacturing works. We'll also visit XinCheJian hackerspace in Shanghai, Onion Capsule Makerspace in nearby Hangzhou, and there will be time to visit the Shanghai electronics mall.
  • Our last stop will be Beijing, where we'll be for a week. We'll visit the new Beijing Maxpace hackerspace, and we'll go to the the first big Maker Faire in China! (which they're calling Maker Carnival China 2012). We'll have a booth there at the Carnival, so please bring a project (or many) to show off!

We'll fly home from Beijing on 24-April. (But, of course, you are free to leave whenever you like.)

  • Maker Carnival China 2012 was originally scheduled for 21-April & 22-April. The Chinese government changed the dates to 29-April through 1-May. So that those who want to can be part of the main event, I added an optional 9-day Beijing extension.

Those who want the 9-day Beijing extension will fly home on 3-May. (But, of course, you are free to leave whenever you like.)

Cost: For the first Noisebridge China trip, I paid about $1k total, including air fare from SF and food and everything.

This trip will probably be more expensive, since Hong Kong is more expensive than the rest of China. Also, the exchange rate for Chinese currency (Yuan, aka RMB) is now doing better on the world market.

Itinerary for Noisebridge China Trip 2

3-April-2012 -- Leave home in NA or EU for Hong Kong
4-April-2012 -- Meet in Hong Kong
4-April to 7-April -- Hong Kong
7-April to 11-April -- Shenzhen
11-April to 17-April -- Shanghai
17-April to 24-April -- Beijing
24-April-2012 -- Some fly home (arrive NA or EU on 24-April)
24-April to 3-May -- optional 9-day Beijing extension (to include Maker Carnival China 2012 main event) 3-May-2012 -- fly home (arrive NA or EU on 3-May)

You Need a Chinese Visa!!

To go to China you need to get a visa!

  • And to get a visa, you need to have a passport that is valid at least 6 months after you plan to fly away from China (so, if you are leaving China on 24-April, then your passport needs to be valid through 25-October-2012). Your passport must also have at least one entirely blank page.
  • You also need a copy of the information pages of your passport.
  • You also need one 2"x2" recent color photo (not a printout).
  • For US citizens, the visa costs $140 (much cheaper for other nationalities). You can get a single-entry, or a multiple-entry visa. I recommend getting a multiple-entry visa since multiple-entry visas cost the same as single-entry, and they are equally easy to obtain. I recommend getting a Tourist L visa, which is very easy.

You can pay the fee by Visa, MasterCard, Money Order, Cashier's Check or Company Check. Cash or Personal checks are not acceptable.

To get a visa, you can go to your local Chinese consulate (which are all closed on 23-Jan and 24-Jan for Chinese New Year). No appointment is required. You go in one day, and it will be ready for pick up 4 business days later. My experience is that it takes about an hour the first day, and takes only a few minutes to pick up the visa a few days later. (2 to 3 business-day and 1 business day/same-day express service is avaliable for $20 or $30.)

(Citizens of US and Europe do not need a separate visa for Hong Kong.)

Here is the application form for the China Tourist L Visa:

On this form, most of the fields are obvious.

  • For section 2.1, check "Tourism".
  • The date of first entry in section 2.3 is the date we will be entering China (not Hong Kong), which is 2012-04-08.
  • Addresses for section 2.5
    • Holiday Inn DongHua jiaYue, Nanshan District, Shenzhen, Shandong Building, Nanhai Road, East Park, Block D
      -- phone: 0755-26569999
    • Motel 168 (Shanghai South Station), 8075号 Hu Min Lu, Xu Hui Qu, Shanghai, 200237
    • Sitting On The City Walls Courtyard House, No.57, NianZi HuTong, JingShanHouJie, DongCheng District, Beijing, 100009
      -- phone: 010-64027805
  • Name of inviter in section 2.8:

          Wang Yong
          Room 1202, Building #42
          588 South LianHua Road (Ming Hang)
          Shanghai, 201100
          Tel: 021-54296820 or 13795204960

  • Name of contact in section 2.9, use the same info as in section 2.8

Previous Noisebridge China Trip

If you're curious about the previous Noisebridge China Trip, it has its own wiki page:
Noisebridge China Trip 1
That first Noisebridge China Trip was inspired by Bunny Huang's "geek tour".

-- Mitch.

People interested in going on the Hacker Trip to China in 2012:

You do not need to be a member of Noisebridge to go on this trip.

Please email me if you are interested in joining us:
maltman23 *AT* hotmail *DOT* com

The trip is limited to 8 people total (including Mitch), so the first 7 people on this list (after Mitch) who buy their plane tickets will be able to join us:

Name Purchased flight? Flight info
1 Mitch Altman YES Arriving 04-Apr-12 18:15 on United UA869
2 schneider YES Arriving 04-Apr-12 14:30 on Emirates EK382
3 Simon Schubert YES Arriving 04-Apr-12 11:00 on Lufthansa LH738
4 Florian Friesdorf YES Arriving 04-Apr-12 15:23 on Lufthansa LH730
5 Jacob Rosenthal ( YES Arriving 04-Apr-12 18:15 on United UA869
6 E P S A S YES Arriving 04 Apr-12 17:55 on United UA895
7 yair reshef YES Arriving 08 Apr-12 10:55 on Lufthansa LH 0738
8 Ursula Kallio YES Arriving 04-Apr-12 18:15 on United UA869
9 Jimmie Rodgers no
10 cibomahto no
11 MCT no
12 Adam no
13 froggytoad no
14 Joey no
15 Julie no
16 North Dallas no
17 Sophi Kravitz no

Spots & To Spot

Hong Kong

From an ex-expat friend:

Lantau Buddha, the Peak at night or twilight, lamma island or other island restaurant destination 
(fresh seafood), hong kong - maybe Stanley
Flower street, night market, aquarium street

The food is good but most of the places I went were local places-- You'll have to get a lonely planet
 or fodor's or something for great places..

Some street food is ok, especially in more rural areas, but not so much in Kowloon -- unless it's 
mostly Chinese eating there then it's probably OK

More food advice from another expat:

If you can get to the Sheung Wan area (toward the west of Hong Kong island) you should find plenty of
down to earth Cantonese food, dim sum style. Plenty of good snack outlets in Mong Kok area too (see 
if you can handle 'stinky tofu'). Also the various wet markets tend to have good casual places to 
eat. Word of warning - if you want to go somewhere that's been highly recommended recently there will 
probably be a massive queue, HK is very trend driven.

Dance Clubs

Music scene is nothing special IMO and it's difficult to find the more interesting stuff - seems to 
be organised through facebook, etc. rather than promoted publicly. We went here once and enjoyed it, but very basic set up. There are a few free 
listings magazines and so on, good luck!


Any chance of stopping in "Laser Cutter City"? :)

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