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-- Start Date: 3-November-2014, in Beijing
-- End Date: 24-November-2014, in Shanghai
[edit | edit source]


Note: This page is about an event that has already happened. It took place on 2014-11-02 to 2014-12-11. | Edit

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 #1 Visit to injection molding factory, Shanghai

Because the first Noisebridge China Trips were so successful,
I am planning a fifth Hacker Trip To China, including all cities that currently have a hackerspace, and visiting my manufacturer, Seeed Studio, and other manufacturers. We will also visit Tsinghua University, considered the most prestigious university in China, and other schools -- all of which are now starting a hackerspace. Everywhere we go, we'll be shown around by local geeks, to see what they think is interesting where they live.

You can also see info on the Noisebridge China Trip 1, that happened in 2009,
Noisebridge China Trip 2, that happened in 2011,
Noisebridge China Trip 3, that happened in 2013,

-- Mitch.

When: 3-November-2014 (Beijing) through 24-November-2014 (Shanghai).

Flight, transportation, and hotel Info: We were each be on our own to book our own air fare to meet in Beijing on 3-November, and fly home from Shanghai on 24-November (or from wherever you decided to fly home from).

I organized the itinerary and the hotels and other transport. I paid in advance for all of this. You should have paid me back.

Where: In each of the cities we went to, we visited their local hackerspace(s), and were shown around by local geeks to see what interested them where they live. We also had plenty of time to do "normal" tourist things too -- and the places we went had spectacular sights!

Here's some possible places we thought we'd visit:

  • We started our trip in Beijing. We visited the Beijing Maxpace hackerspace. We also visited Tsinghua University. We could all have given presentations and workshops (if you had liked).
  • We went to Shenzhen / Guangzhou for a few days to visit Chaihuo Makerspace and SZDIY hackerspaces, to visit Seeed Studio - the open source hardware company - to meet the cool folks there and to see their manufacturing facilities, and to visit with Dangerous Prototypes - another open source hardware company. We also went to the famous (and totally awesome!) Huaqiangbei electronics market in Shenzhen.
  • We went to Shanghai to visit my manufacturer (Etonnet) that I have used for TV-B-Gone remote controls and NeuroDreamer sleep masks, where we all got to see how products are made, from start to finish, learning how manufacturing works. We also visited XinCheJian hackerspace in Shanghai, Onion Capsule Makerspace in nearby Hangzhou, and there was time to visit the Shanghai electronics mall.
  • We went to Kunshan, which was a beautiful city, near Shanghai, to go to the International Exhibition of Inventions Kunshan (IEIK 2014), which was a huge Maker-Faire-ish event where we had a table to show off stuff, if you had liked.

I went on from Shanghai, eventually back to Beijing, where I'll fly to Singapore on 1-December. I'll be part of a mini-Maker-Faire-ish set of events there that go on for several days, organized by Singapore Makers, and fly home from Singapore to San Francisco on 11-December. Everyone was and is welcome to join me for any or all of these further adventures. (And, of course, you were and are free to leave whenever you like.)

Cost: For the third Noisebridge China trip, I paid about $2k total, including air fare from SF and food and everything -- including all the electronics stuff that I bought.
Part of our trip was paid for by Tsinghua and IEIK 2014.

#hashtag: #httc2014      (Hacker Trip To China 2014)

Actual Itinerary sketch for Hacker Trip to China 4[edit | edit source]

2-November-2014 -- Left home for Beijing
3-November-2014 -- Met in Beijing
3-November to 10-November -- Beijing 
        -- 5-Nov through 10-Nov: brainstormed with Tsinghua and other universities re hackerspaces
        -- 6-Nov, 11am: Visited with WW 
        -- 7-Nov, 7pm-9pm: THU Makerspace workshop
        -- 8-Nov, 2pm: Beijing Makerspace workshop 
        -- 9-Nov, 3pm: Swarm Agent Club presentation
10-November to 15-November -- Shenzhen 
        -- 10-Nov, 6:30pm: Big group dinner at restaurant at Vienna Hotel 
        -- 11-Nov, 10:30am: Visited 3Nod
             2pm: Tsinghua/UC-Berkeley Shenzhen event
             8pm: Chaihuo presentations
        -- 12-Nov: Visited Seeed Studio and other factories 
        -- 13-Nov,10am: Visited Huaqianbei electronics markets with the buyer of DealExtreme 
             5pm: Visited HAXLR8R 
        -- 14-Nov,11am: Visited Makeblock
             7:30pm: Visited Tech Space 
15-November to 18-November -- Shanghai
        -- 16-Nov, 2pm: Arduino For Total Newbies workshop, at XinCheJian 
18-November to 21-November -- Kunshan
        -- 18-Nov: Checked into Kunshan hotels
        -- 19-Nov: 9am: International Exhibition of Inventions opening ceremony 
              10am: projects at our booth
        -- 20-Nov, 10am projects at our booth 
              1pm-4pm: presentations on the theme "China and US Maker" 
              (exhibition hall floor 2 meeting room 206)
21-November to 24-November -- Shanghai
        -- 23-Nov, 4pm: Presentations at XinCheJian hackerspace 
24-November-2014 -- fly home (arrive NA or EU on same day)

Everyone was welcome to join me for any or all adventures after 24-November -- Her Flupke and Cedric joined me.

I stayed in China, going back to Beijing for awhile, and flew from there to Singapore:

26-November to 1-December -- Beijing
        -- 27-Dec: Visited Tianjin College of Mechanics and Electricity
        -- 29-Dec: Inaugural Tsinghua University Maker's Day 
        -- 30-Dec, 3pm: presentation at Beijing LGBT Center 
1-December to 11-December -- Singapore
11-December-2014 -- fly home

Photos from Hacker Trip to China #4[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

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

To go to China, you needed to get a visa!

  • And to get a visa, you needed to have a passport that was valid at least 6 months after you planned to fly away from China (so, e.g., if you were leaving China on 24-April-2014, then your passport needed to be valid through 25-October-2013). Your passport must also have had at least one entirely blank page.
  • You also needed:
    • a printout of a filled-out Visa Application Form V. 2013 of the People's Republic of China (I emailed you my filled out form as an example to follow).
    • a copy of the information pages of your passport.
    • a copy of your most 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 (I emailed this to you).
    • a printout of your invite letter (I emailed this to you).
    • a copy of your airline ticket.
  • For US citizens, the visa cost $140 (much cheaper for other nationalities). You could have gotten a single-entry, or a multiple-entry visa. I recommended getting a multiple-entry visa valid for 1 year, since multiple-entry visas cost the same as single-entry, and they are equally easy to obtain. I recommended 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 available 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 (same as the link given above):

I emailed you my filled out form as an example to follow -- but here is the basic idea:

On this form, most of the fields are obvious.

  • For section 2.1, check "Tourism".
  • The date of first entry in section 2.4 is the date we entered China, which was 2014-11-03.
  • Longest intended stay -- section 2.5: 30 days.
  • Itinerary in China -- section 2.6:
    • Date: 3-11-2014
    • Address:
      • Orange Hotel Beijing Zhongguancun
      • 北京市海淀区北下关街道皂君庙甲7号
  • Who will pay -- section 2.7: myself
  • Information of inviter in China -- section 2.8:

          Name: Xia Hui Dong
          Address: Shun De Building #410, Haidian District, Tsinghua University, Beijing, 100084
          Phone number: +86 186-1832-8671
          Relationship with applicant: host

  • For sections 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.5: check the "No" box for all these
  • For sections 3.6, 3.7, 3.8: leave all these blank

Previous Noisebridge China Trips[edit | edit source]

If you're curious about the previous Noisebridge China Trips, they have their own wiki pages:
Noisebridge China Trip 1
          That first Noisebridge China Trip was inspired by Bunny Huang's "geek tour".

Noisebridge China Trip 2

Hacker Trip to China 3

-- Mitch.

People interested in going on the Hacker Trip to China #4, 2014:[edit | edit source]

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:
mitch *AT* CornfieldElectronics *DOT* com

The trip was limited to 10 people total (including Mitch), so the first 9 people on this list (after Mitch) who bought their plane tickets to arrive in Beijing on or before 3-November would have been able to join us (this probably meant leaving your home on 2-November):

Name Purchased flight? Flight info
1 Mitch Altman yes Arrived: 1-November-2014, 4:25pm, on United UA889 from SFO
2 Jeff Putney yes Arrived: 3-November-2014, 4:50pm, on Air Canada AC031 from YYZ
3 Rachel McConnell yes Arrived: 3-November-2014, 4:00pm, on Air Canada flight AC029 from YVR
4 Zimmer Barnes yes Arrived: 1-November-2014, 4:25pm, on United flight UA889 from SFO
5 Leandro Pereira yes Arrived: 3-November-2014, 6:15am, on Air China CA966 from FRA
        (didn't apply for Chinese visa in time)
6 Luis Felipe R. Murillo yes Arrived: 1-November-2014, 6:50pm, on Hainan Airlines HU0482 from BOS
7 Liz Cole yes Arrived: 3-November-2014, 7:25pm, on American Airlines AA187 from ORD
8 Adam Williams yes Arrived: 13-November-2014
9 Cedric Honnet yes Arrived: 3-November-2014, 6:55am, on China Southern Airlines KL4303 from Amsterdam
10 herr flupke yes Arrived: 12-November-2014 in Shenzhen, 4:40pm, on Air China CA1303 from Beijing
11 Charles Paul yes Arrived: 5-November-2014
        (only with group through 6-November)
12 Rachael Turner yes Arrived: 9-November-2014 in Hong Kong on Qatar Airways QR0816 from Manchester/Doha (Then 10-11-14 in Shenzhen)
        (only with group through 15-November)
13 Asa Calow yes Arrived: 9-November-2014 in Hong Kong on Qatar Airways QR0816 from Manchester/Doha (Then 10-11-14 in Shenzhen)
        (only with group through 15-November)