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Hacker Trip To China | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2009 | Edit

-- Start Date: 11-October-2019, in Beijing
-- End Date: 31-October-2019, in Shenzhen
[edit | edit source]

Trip #4 Welcome to China!, Beijing
Trip #3 Kung Fu Hacking: Hackers In Residence Kickoff event at Tsinghua University, Beijing
Trip #2 Visit to Petrochemical Univeristy, Beijing
Trip #1 Jingshan Park, Beijing
Trip #5 Visit to Seeed Studio's factory, Shenzhen
Trip #5 Presentations at Zhengzhou High School #2, Zhengzhou

      The start and end dates and cities for this year's Hacker Trip To China:
            Start: 11-October-2019, in Beijing
            End: 31-October-2019, in Shenzhen

What is the Hacker Trip To China?[edit | edit source]

The Hacker Trip To China (HTTC) draws a diverse, fascinating group of people from all over the world. Anyone and everyone is welcome! Educators, artists, people wanting to manufacture a project, sociologists, tech geeks, tourists, . . . -- the only requirements are curiosity and showing up.

The HTTC is open to anyone and everyone.  Show up, and you're part of the Trip!

The only things truly set several months before the HTTC starts are the start and end dates, and the start and end cities. The other items currently in the itinerary outline are place-holders.

I will continue to add to the Trip's itinerary outline, which comes together and gets more "real" as the HTTC start date approaches. I'll make sure that there will be lots of interesting activities (hackerspaces, factories, schools, tourist stuff, meeting and being shown around by local geeks, etc, etc). But I will also make sure that there is plenty of time for serendipity, where the magic of the HTTC really happens.

There are also lots of opportunities for everyone to give presentations to share their enthusiasm for what they do -- whatever that is! (This is encouraged, but as with everything on HTTCs, not required.)

Everyone can join for as much or as little of the HTTC as they like.

I'll organize housing and transportation within China. But everyone pays their own way.

Even though it is tons of work to organize this Trip, I make no money doing this.
I organize this Trip 'cause it's awesome.

Here's how the Hacker Trip To China started:
After hearing about Bunnie Huang's Geek Tour to Shenzhen in 2009, I thought it would be cool to invite people to join me for my next trip to visit my manufacturer in Shanghai (where I manufacture TV-B-Gone remote controls and my other products). 10 of us were on this first Hacker Trip To China in October, 2009. Since it was a lot of fun, and there continues to be interest, I've been organizing HTTCs ever since.

Please join us for this year's Trip!

More info:
Each year's Hacker Trip To China has its own wiki page (this one!) for organizing the Trip. It is way rambling. But, check out the rest of the wiki page, below, for lots of info.

If you would like to be on the (very low volume) email list of people to be informed of upcoming Hacker Trips To China (including this one), please email me:

mitch AT CornfieldElectronics DOT com

   -- Mitch.

Previous Hacker Trips To China[edit | edit source]

In previous years' Hacker Trips To China, we've visited cities that currently have a hackerspace, visited my manufacturer, Seeed Studio, and other manufacturers. We also visited Tsinghua University, considered the most prestigious university in China, and other schools -- all of which have now started hackerspaces. China continues to explode with hackerspaces! We also went to the International Exhibition of Inventions Kunshan (IEIK 2014), near Shanghai. We've also gone to Maker Faires and similar events in Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenzhen. And everywhere we went, we were shown around by local geeks, to see what they thought was interesting where they live.
Wherever we went, those of us interested gave talks, presentations, workshops, and demos. Over the years we have given presentations at: Maker Bay and Dim Sum Labs in Hong Kong; at HAX, x.Factory, and Lab0x0 in Shenzhen; at Niba Makerspace and for the mayor of Xi'an in Xi'an; at Tsinghua University's iCenter and Beijing LUG in Beijing; at DFRobot (an open hardware company), Mushroom Cloud, XinCheJian hackerspace in Shanghai; and other interesting places.
You can see info from the previous Trips:
Hacker Trip To China 2009
Hacker Trip To China 2011
Hacker Trip To China 2013
Hacker Trip To China 2014
Hacker Trip To China 2015
Hacker Trip To China 2016
Hacker Trip To China 2017
Hacker Trip To China 2018

You can see some photos from some of these previous HTTCs if you scroll down...

-- Mitch.

This year's Hacker Trip To China[edit | edit source]

When[edit | edit source]

When: 11-Oct in Beijing
            31-Oct in Shenzhen.

Flight, transportation, and hotel Info: It is up to each person to book your own air fare to meet in our starting city, Beijing, on 11-October (which probably means leaving your home on 10-October), and to fly home from our ending city, Shenzhen, on 31-October. (Of course, you can decide to come before or after our start date, and leave before or after our end date -- you are free to come and go as you please -- some of us will spend a few days in Hong Kong after Shenzhen.)

I'll organized the itinerary and the hotels and other transport. I'll pay in advance for some of this, and you can pay me back when we're in China.

Where[edit | edit source]

Where: In each of the cities we will go to, we'll visit some of their local hackerspace(s), and will be shown around by local geeks to see what interests them where they live. We'll also have plenty of time to do "normal" (and spectacular) tourist things too!

Here's some possible places we might visit, leaving plenty of room for the serendipity that makes our Hacker Trip To China truly unique and memorable:

  • We will start our trip by meeting in Beijing where we may visit hackerspaces there. We'll also visit Tsinghua University, where they built the "world's largest hackerspace" in 2015 (called the "iCenter"), and where I've been hacker in residence. Beijing has lots and lots of way amazing stuff to visit and be a part of!
  • We may next go to Xi'an, where we will be shown some of the extensive activity to encourage "innovation" there. We can give presentations at Niba Makerspace, where lots of way cool and interesting things are happening. Our hosts will also show us lots of local arts and cultural activities, as well as give us tours of the ancient city (and maybe even see the 10,000 Terracotta Warriors).
  • We may go to Chengdu from there (famous for panda bears and spicy hot food), another new Chinese "innovation" hub.
  • We'll finish our Trip in Shenzhen, where we can visit Chaihuo Makerspace, and maybe a few other hackerspaces, some of which are real, and hundreds of which are new over-the-top bizarre government-started places where they want to create "the next Apple" (we won't visit them all!). We can visit x.factory while we are in town, an interesting mix of hackerspace and incubator, where we can organize a Bring-A-Hack event, where anyone of us (for those who want to), along with the general public, can show off our projects. We will also visit Seeed Studio - the first open source hardware company in China - to meet the cool folks there and to see their manufacturing facilities. We may meet with the founders of Dangerous Prototypes - another open source hardware company. We'll also visit other manufacturers, to see where all the things we use in our daily lives come from (such as springs, cables, PCBs, packaging, etc., etc.). We can also visit Dorabot, a Chinese robotics company comprised of people in the Shenzhen hackerspace scene. We may also visit HAX, the first and biggest hardware accelerator (and where I'm a mentor) -- those who wanted to gave presentations at HAX in past HTTCs. Of course, we'll also visit the famous (and totally awesome!) Huaqiangbei electronics market in Shenzhen (where, we may again be shown around by famous hackers who really know the place well). If the timing works out, we will go to the Shenzhen Maker Faire.

For most of us, our trip will end at the end of three weeks, as some people on our trip will fly home from our last city, Shenzhen, on 31-October. But, since Hong Kong is just over the border from mainland China, many of us will go there to fly home (since it is cheaper, and since Hong Kong is a way cool city).

Of course, everyone is free to arrive and leave whenever you like for the Hacker Trip To China.

Cost[edit | edit source]

Cost: For the Hacker Trip To China 2018, I stayed in China for 30 days (instead of the "official" 21 days). If I subtract out my extra days, here are my costs:

Planes to/from China: $917
Travel within China: $478
Lodging: $591 -- (all single rooms for myself)
Food: $292
Laundry: $49
Telephone costs: $22
clothing, tea, and electronics: $75
Total: $2,424

You can, of course, spend more or less, depending on how you like to travel (sharing hotel rooms is cheaper, and hostel dorm beds are considerably cheaper), and depending on what, if anything, you want to buy.
As in past years, part of this year's trip may be paid for by Tsinghua University, our hosts in Xi'an, and/or perhaps other hosts that invite us to give presentations.


Cost: For the Hacker Trip To China 2019, I stayed in China for 36 days (instead of the "official" 21 days). If I subtract out my extra days, here are my costs:

Planes to/from China: $693
Travel within China: $265
Lodging: $926 -- (all single rooms for myself)
Food: $308
Laundry: $18
Telephone costs: $14
clothing, tea, and electronics: $83
VPN service: $100
Total: $2,407         (with my extra days in Beijing and Hong Kong, all 36 days cost me: $2,824)


Hashtag[edit | edit source]

#hashtag: #httc2019      (Hacker Trip To China 2019)

Itinerary outline for Hacker Trip to China 9[edit | edit source]

The start and end dates were set, the start and end cities were set, and the rest of the itinerary was filled in by serendipity:

10-October-2019 -- Leave home for Beijing (arrive in Beijing on 11-October)
11-October to 15-October (Fri - Tues) -- Beijing We all meet in Beijing on 11-October -- hotel: various -- in an around Beijing Heyuan Courtyard International Hostel 11-October, 7pm: Welcome Dinner at Suhu Veggie Tiger Qianmen 12-October, 1pm: tour of the iCenter, at Tsinghua University 13-October, 1pm: lunch at In & Out 13-October, 2pm: electric unicycle lessons 13-October, 7pm: Three People Walking (public sharing event) at Red Rose 14-October, 10:30am-4:30pm: 798 Art Zone 14-October, 6:30pm: visit to Moonshot Academy -- Learners and HTTC share stories
15-October, 8:40pm - 8:31am (next day) -- Z19 train Beijing West to Xi'an
16-October to 22-October (Tues - Tues) -- Xi'an hotel: Ji Hotel (Xi'an Bell Tower Provincial Government) 16-October, 9:30am-2:30pm: FengXi Experimental School: Welcome, snacks, Mitch talk, Torrey song, Diane T-shirt workshop, Jonathan & Harzi drone discussion, group photo, tour, lunch 16-October, 4pm-6:30pm: Giraffe English School: Welcome, snacks, tour, Mitch talk, Q&A, group photo 16-October, 7pm-9pm: dinner at Quijiang XiaoLuoTuo 17-October, 9:15am-12:15pm: Qujiang International Kindergarten: Tour, Torrey song, parent Q&A, Diane T-shirt workshop, lunch 17-October, 12:45pm-3pm: GaoXin No. 1 High School: Mitch talk, Jonathan talk, Paul talk, tour, group photo 17-October, 3:15pm-6:15pm: Giraffe Vanke Kindergarten: Welcome, Torrey song, parent Q&A, Diane & Mitch empty bottle blinky-light workshop, tour 18-October, 8am:4pm: LouGuan Tai National Park 18-October, 5pm-7pm: Kitcat School 19-October, 9:30am:1pm: Baye Dajing Kindergarten: intros, Torrey song, Mitch ArduTouch demo, plastic bottle and lights workshop, tour, lunch 19-October, 1pm-4:30pm: 10,000 Terra Cotta Warriors 19-October, 5pm-6:30pm: dinner at Li Mountain Grand Qin 19-October, 8pm-9:30pm: "Everlasting Regret" performance hotel: Hanting Hotel (Xi'an Gaoxin 1st Road Branch) 20-October through 22-October: presentations, cultural activities, and more great food! Curated by our hosts: Niba Maker Space. 20-October, 8:45am-9am: tour of HAX Xi'an 20-October, 9am-12:30pm: presentations (Mitch, Audrey, Ben, HAX), discussion, group photo 20-October, 12:30am-1:30pm: lunch at Mianlazi 20-October, 2:20pm-3:30pm: visit Xi'an Innovation Design Center, visit DZZRobot, robot demos, group photo 20-October, 4:15pm-6pm: visit Maker Space in Xi'an Peihua University, maker forum, videos, group photo 20-October, 6pm-7:30pm: dinner at Changan Dapaidang 20-October, 7:30pm-9pm: visit Big Goose Pagoda 21-October, 9:30am-11:30am: hands-on traditional Chinese culture at Small Goose Pagoda 21-October, 12pm-3pm: lunch and tea at Suxin Tea Room 21-October, 3pm-4pm: Da Tang Xi Shi International Antique City 21-October, 6pm-9pm: dinner at Hu Tao Li Bar
22-October, 11:29am - 2:38pm – G89 train Xi'an North to Chengdu East
22-October to 25-October (Tues - Fri) -- Chengdu hotel: Poshpacker lazybones Hostel 23-October, 2pm-4pm: workshop at China Southwest Communication University 23-October, 6:30om-9pm: Zhongxi, coHack, Startup grind event 24-October, 4pm-7pm: Chengdu Food Tour
25-October, 8:20am – 4:32pm – D1801 train Chengdu East to Guangzhou South 25-October, 5:20pm – 5:51pm – G6001 train Guangzhou South to Shenzhen North
25-October to 31-October (Fri - Thurs) -- Shenzhen hotel: Aihua Boutique Hotel (Shenzhen Huaqiang North) 25-Octobet,7:15pm: SZ Group Dinner at Yunlaiju 26-October, 1pm-3pm: visit Dorabot (robotics company) 27-October, 1:30pm to 5pm: tour of Dafen Oil Painting Village -- meet on platform of Line 3 at Children's Palace Station, at the rear of the train. 28-October, 10:30am to 8pm: tour of Huaqiangbei (electronics markets), lunch, visit Mitch's manufacturer's SZ location, dinner 29-October, 8am to 5pm: factory tours 30-October, 12pm to 4:30pm: lunch, visit VR Lab and Makerspace at International School of Nanshan 30-October, 7:30pm-9pm: Bring-A-Hack at x.Factory
31-October -- fly home (arrive NA or EU on same day)
After Shenzhen some people may go to Hong Kong for a few days

You will Need a Chinese Visa!![edit | edit source]

To go to China, you will need to get a visa!

Everyone should get a multiple-entry Tourist L visa (if you only get a single-entry visa, you'll be fine, but you won't have as many options, such as going in and out of Shenzhen to Hong Kong).

  • And to get a visa, you need to have a passport that is valid at least 12 months after you planned to fly away from China (so, e.g., if you are leaving China on 31-October-2019, then your passport needs to be valid through 1-November-2020). Your passport must also have at least one entirely blank page.
  • You also need:
    • a printout of a filled-out Visa Application Form V. 2013 of the People's Republic of China. (If you like, please email me, and I can reply with my filled out visa form from 2015, so you have an example to follow).
    • a copy of the information pages of your passport.
    • a copy of your most recent Chinese visa (if you have been to China before).
    • one 2"x2" recent color photo (not a printout).
    • a screenshot or printout of hotel reservation confirmation.
    • a copy of your airline tickets (both to and from China).
  • For US citizens, the visa cost $140 (but it is much cheaper for other nationalities). Starting in 2015, US citizens can get a multiple-entry visa, good for 10 years (even though there is no option for this on the visa form). We should all apply for a Tourist L visa.

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. 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 available for $20 or $30.)

NOTE: The Chinese consulates are all closed for Chinese holidays! Please check the dates! For 2019 these dates are: 1-January, 21-January, 4-5 February, 5-April, 7-June, 4-July, 13-September, 30-September, 1-October, 14-October, 11-November, 28-29 November, and 25-December:

2019 San Francisco Chinese Consulate Holiday Schedule

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

Very Useful Guide about Internet, Phones, Translation, and Navigation[edit | edit source]

Here is a very useful guide] about internet in China, phones in China, translating Chinese, and navigation in China! This was written in 2017, and may all still be relevant for this year.

Hong Kong Guide[edit | edit source]

Hong Kong Guide

Photos from Hacker Trip To China 2019[edit | edit source]


Mitch's photos for HTTC 2019 all in one place

Torrey's photos (and some video) from HTTC 2019

Photos from Hacker Trip To China 2018[edit | edit source]

Mitch's photos from Beijing, Oct-Nov, 2018
Mitch's photos from Xi'an, Nov-2018
Mitch's photos from Chengdu, Nov-2018
Mitch's photos from Shanghai, Nov-2018
Mitch's photos from Shenzhen, Nov-2018
Mitch's photos from Hong Kong, Nov-2018

Mitch's photos for HTTC 2018 all in one place

Mich L's Photos from HTTC 2018 (incl. Guangzhou)

Torrey's photos from HTTC 2018

Photos from Hacker Trip To China 2017[edit | edit source]

Mitch's photos from Hong Kong, Oct-2017
Mitch's photos from Shenzhen, Oct-2017
Mitch's photos from Xi'an, Oct-2017
Mitch's photos from Beijing, Oct-2017
Mitch's photos from Shanghai, Oct-2017
Mitch's photos from Beijing Set 2, Oct-2017

Mitch's photos for HTTC 2017 all in one place

Photos from Hacker Trip To China 2016[edit | edit source]

Mitch's photos from Shanghai, Oct-2016
Mitch's photos from Zhengzhou, Oct-2016
Mitch's photos from Shenzhen, Oct-2016
Mitch's photos from Beijing, Oct-2016
Mitch's photos from Hangzhou, Oct-2016
Mitch's photos from Beijing Set 2, Oct-2016

Mitch's photos for HTTC 2016 all in one place

Photos from Hacker Trip to China 2015[edit | edit source]

Mitch's photos from Hong Kong, Oct-2015
Mitch's photos from Shenzhen, Oct-2015
Mitch's photos from Shanghai, Oct-2015
Mitch's photos from Beijing, Oct-2015
Mitch's photos from YiWu & Hangzhou, Oct-2015
Mitch's photos from Beijing Set 2, Oct-2015
Mitch's photos from Shanghai & Suzhou, Oct-2015

Mitch's photos for HTTC 2015 all in one place

Dave's photos

Blake's photos:

Torrey's photos from Hong Kong
Torrey's photos from Shenzhen
Torrey's photos from Beijing
Torrey's photos from Shanghai

Photos from Hacker Trip to China 2014[edit | edit source]

Mitch's photos from Beijing, Nov-2014
Mitch's photos from Shanghai, Nov-2014
Mitch's photos from Shenzhen, Nov-2014
Mitch's photos from Kunshan, Nov-2014
Mitch's photos from Shanghai (2), Nov-2014
Mitch's photos from Beijing (2), Nov-2014
Mitch's photos from Tianjin, Nov-2014
Mitch's photos from Beijing (3), Nov-2014
Mitch's photos from Singapore, Dec-2014

Mitch's photos for HTTC 2014 all in one place

Photos from Hacker Trip to China 2013[edit | edit source]

Mitch's photos from Beijing, Sep-2013
Mitch's photos from Beijing Oct-2013
Mitch's photos from Shenzhen, Oct-2013
Mitch's photos from Shanghai, Oct-2013
Mitch's photos from Beijing 2, Oct-2013
Mitch's photos from Beijing, Nov-2013

Photos from Hacker Trip to China 2012[edit | edit source]

Mitch's photos from Hong Kong
Mitch's photos from Shenzhen
Mitch's photos from Shanghai
Mitch's photos from Hangzhou
Mitch's photos from Beijing

Jacob's photos:

Photos from Hacker Trip to China 2009[edit | edit source]

Lots of photos from all participants

People interested in going on the Hacker Trip to China #9, 2019:[edit | edit source]

Below is a list of people interested in going on next year's Hacker Trip To China.
       If you are interested in joining this year's Trip, please enter your name in the table.
PLEASE EMAIL ME after you enter your name in the table.
       mitch *AT* CornfieldElectronics *DOT* com

Please email me if you have any questions, or if you would like to meet up with us on the trip:
       mitch *AT* CornfieldElectronics *DOT* com

The trip is limited to 20 people total (including Mitch)
       -- the first 19 people (after Mitch) who are either there already, or who bought tickets to meet in Beijing (our Trip's starting city)
           on or before 11-October-2019, are the people who are in this Trip.
           (This probably means flying away from your home airport on or before 10-October-2019.)

Note: Many people have gotten good deals on their plane fares (including me) with the help of my friend Vlad at:
Feel free to email me, and I'll send your email to Vlad, who will be happy to help you with your flights.

Name Purchased flight? Flight info
1 Mitch Altman
(AfRA, Berlin, Germany)
YES Arrive: 3-Oct, 2:20pm, UA888 SFO-PEK
2 Audrey Lim YES Beijing - 11-Oct?
3 Benjamin Anderman YES Arrive: 11-Oct, 7:00pm HU482 BOS-PEK / 10/31 on MU5342 (1:05 PM).
4 Diane Hamilton YES Flying into Hong Kong on the 3rd Oct and joining tour on the 15th in Yangling
5 Frederike Kaltheuner YES Arrival: 11-Oct 20:45 (from Chengdu with AirChina)
6 Harzi YES Arrive: 6-Oct, 9:15am, OS 63 VIE-PEK
7 Jonathan Hefter YES It's complicated, but I will be in Beijing on the 11th
8 Lina Lopes YES Arrive: 11-Oct, 3:25pm EK306 DXB-PEK
9 Max Bondy YES Arrive: 11-Oct, 3:20pm, MS 955 CAI-PEK
10 Noah O'Donoghue YES Flying in to Beijing on the 10th.
11 Paul Hamilton YES Flying into Hong Kong on the 3rd Oct and joining tour on the 15th in Yangling
12 Torrey YES I live in Beijing
13 warddr YES I arrive the 11th before noon
14 Antoine Pintout yes Joining for Shenzhen directly, from 25/10 until 31/10
15 Ely Bessis yes Joining for Shenzhen directly, from 25/10 until 31/10
16 Jaga yes Joining for Shenzhen directly, from 25/10. Leaving early on 1/11.
17 Kliment yes Joining for Shenzhen, will be in Shanghai before that. Arriving 26th.
18 Martin De Bie yes Joining for Shenzhen directly, from 25/10 until 31/10
19 Mich L yes Joining for Shenzhen directly. Date undetermined.
20 Sreejith Mohanan yes Joining for Shenzhen directly, from 25/10 until 31/10
21 Julio Gonzalez no your arrival info here
22 marc juul no your arrival info here
23 Moldover no your arrival info here
24 Daniel Wessolek no your arrival info here
26 Paul Rosset no your arrival info here
27 Cere Davis no your arrival info here
28 colten jackson no I'll meet you in beijing via HSR!
29 Hugo (Belgium) no Flight not yet booked, will fly with Benjamin
30 Rafael Camera Santos no Arriving in Beijing on 11th.
31 Pan (Limassol Hackerspace) no Probably flying in from Japan. To be updated
32 Corvin Wimmer no searching for flights
33 Aaron Strick no Most likely would be able to join just for the Shenzhen portion of the trip. Working out details
34 Felix E. Klee (Berlin) no considering ground-travel, may skip BJ
35 John K
no your arrival info here
36 Nagib Nassif Filho no your arrival info here
37 your name here no your arrival info here