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Note: This page is for historic purposes only. It does not apply to modern Noisebridge. | Edit

-- Start Date: 3-November-2018, in Beijing
-- End Date: 23-November-2018, in Shenzhen


Note: This page is about an event that has already happened. It took place on 2018-11-03 to 2018-11-23. | Edit

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: 3-November-2018, in Beijing
            End: 23-November-2018, in Shenzhen

Previous Hacker Trips To China[edit]

This was the 8th Noisebridge Hacker Trip To China.

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. In 2017 we gave 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, and at DFRobot (an open hardware company in Shanghai), Mushroom Cloud, and XinCheJian hackerspcae in Shanghai.
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
-- Mitch.

This year's Hacker Trip To China[edit]

When: 3-Nov in Beijing
            23-Nov 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 3-November (which probably means leaving your home on 2-November), and to fly home from our ending city, Shenzhen, on 23-November. (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: 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 Beijing Makerspace, and other hackerspaces. 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 will probably 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 a tour of the 10,000 Terracotta Warriors.
  • We may go to Chengdu from there, home of the panda bears, as well as another new Chinese "innovation" hub.
  • We may then visit Shanghai. In Shanghai we will visit my manufacturer (Etonnet) that I have used for TV-B-Gone remote controls and NeuroDreamer sleep masks, where we will all get to see how products are made, from start to finish, learning how manufacturing works. We will also visit XinCheJian hackerspace in Shanghai, the coolest hackerspace in all of China. We can also visit companies started by hardware hacker geeks, such as DFRobot. We can also visit the Shanghai electronics mall (a smaller version of the famous electronics mall we will later visit in Shenzhen).
  • We'll finish our Trip in Shenzhen, where we can visit Chaihuo Makerspace, SZDIY hackerspace, and 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 open source hardware company - 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 last year. 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 many people on our trip will fly home from our last city, Shenzhen, on 23-November. But, since Hong Kong is just over the border from mainland China, some 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: For the Hacker Trip To China 2018, I paid $2,605.48 total (for 4 weeks -- I was in China before and after the Trip), including air fare from SF, food, lodging (all single rooms), transportation, some electronics items, tea, some clothing, and everything. You can spend more or less, depending on how you like to travel, 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 other hosts that invite us to give presentations.

#hashtag: #httc2018      (Hacker Trip To China 2018)

Itinerary outline for Hacker Trip to China 8[edit]

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:

2-November-2018 -- Leave home for Beijing (arrive in Beijing on 3-November)
3-November to 9-November (Sat - Fri) -- Beijing
We all meet in Beijing on 3-November -- hotel:  various -- in an around Hyde Courtyard Hotel
3-November, 8pm:  Group dinner
4-November, 12:15pm:  lunch at Speakeasy
4-November, 2:15pm: tour of Caochangdi (artist studios) and 798 Arts Zone 
5-November, 11am:  Lunch, and Bring A Hack at Moonshot Acadamy at The Affiliated High School of Peking University
5-November, 5pm:  visit and presentations at GAEA (gaming company)
6-November, 2:45pm:  visit iCenter at Tsinghua University
6-November, 4pm-6pm:  tea tasting with Bella, a core member of Tsinghua Tea Culture Association
7-November: free to explore
8-November, 12pm: lunch at Bestease (noodle place)
8-November, 1pm: Dongyue Temple (700 year old temple of dioramas of departments of bureaucratic hell)
8-November, 3pm: Lama Temple ("the largest and most perfectly preserved lamasery in present day China")
9-November, 2:00pm - 6:20pm -- G87 train Beijing West to Xi'an North
9-November to 13-November (Fri - Tues) -- Xi'an
hotel:  Hanting Hotel
9-November through 13-November:  presentations, cultural activities, and plenty of food!  Curated by our hosts: Niba Maker Space
13-November, 2:40pm - 6:25pm -- G1975 train Xi'an North to Chengdu East
13-November to 15-November (Tues - Thurs) -- Chengdu
hotel:  various -- in an around MoreLove Theme Apartment Hotel
14-November, 10am-2pm:  cultural and food tour (meet at the Wenshu Monastery Metro Exit K) 
14-November, 6pm-8:30pm:  event at school with Arduino workshop, presentations and demos
15-November, 10:57am - 10:25pm -- G1976 train Chengdu East to Shanghai Hongqiao
15-November to 18-November (Thurs - Sun) -- Shanghai
hotel:  Le Tour Traveler's Rest Youth Hostel
16-November, 1pm:  visit Etonnet/Yagr (Mitch's manufacturer)
16-November, 6:30pm:  visit and traditional Chinese woodworking workshop at Mushroom Cloud hackerspace 
17-November, 2pm: visit to Dipont Education (Project-Based Education school)
17-November, 6pm: visit to XinCheJian hackerspace 
18-November, 2:10pm - 10:06pm -- G99 train Shanghai Hongqiao to Shenzhen North
18-November to 23-November (Sun - Fri) -- Shenzhen 
hotel:  Jinjiang Inn Style
19-November, 11am:  Huaqiangbei electronics market tours
19-November, 7pm:  Group Dinner at Yunlaiju Vegetarian Restaurant (4th Floor, Dongmen Town Square, Yongxin Street, Dongmen -- near Metro Exit A Exit) 
20-November, 8am-5:30pm:  Seeed Studio and factory tours
20-November, 5:30pm-9:30pm: visit and party at Seeed Studio Dongguan
21-November, 2pm-3:30pm:  Product Life Cycle class at Innovate Shenzhen
21-November, 3:30pm-8pm:  SEG Maker tour, Tech Mixer and visit to Troublemaker hackerspace, roundtable startup discussions, BBQ and beer and hanging out
22-November, 10am: visit Dorabot (open hardware robot making company)
22-November, afternoon: ???  visit SteamHead Makerspace (international project-based learning school, with a residency program) 
22-November, 7:30pm-9pm:  Bring-a-Hack at x.factory
23-November -- fly home (arrive NA or EU on same day)

After Shenzhen some people may go to Hong Kong for a few days 

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

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 should all still be relevant for this year.

Hong Kong Guide[edit]

Hong Kong Guide

Photos from Hacker Trip To China 2018[edit]

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]

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]

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]

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]

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

You will Need a Chinese Visa!![edit]

To go to China, you needed 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 23-November-2018, then your passport needs to be valid through 22-November-2019). 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 (I'll email this to you when I have this).
    • 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 2018 these dates are: 1-January, 15-January, 15-16 February, 28-May, 19-June, 4-July, 3-September, 1-October, 8-October, 12-November, 22-23 November, and 24-25-December:
2018 San Francisco Chinese Consulate Holiday Schedule

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

Previous Noisebridge China Trips[edit]

If you're curious about the previous Noisebridge China Trips, they have their own wiki pages:
Hacker Trip To China 2009
          That first Noisebridge China Trip was inspired by Bunny Huang's "geek tour".
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

-- Mitch.

People interested in going on the Hacker Trip to China #8, 2018:[edit]

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

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

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 3-November-2018, are the people who are in this Trip.
           (This probably means flying away from your home airport on or before 2-November-2018.)

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
(Noisebridge, San Francisco, USA)
YES Arrive: 27-Oct, 2:20pm, UA888 SFO-PEK
2 Paul Hamilton
(SW Makers, Australia)
YES Arrive: 25th Oct, 2:40pm
3 Diane Hamilton
(SW Makers, Australia)
YES Arrive: 25th Oct, 2:40pm
4 Marlus Araujo
(Rio de Janeiro, Brasil)
YES Arrive: 3rd Nov, 11:40am
5 Leandra Tejedor YES Arrive: 2-Nov, 7:25pm (leaves Nov 15)
6 Pan
(Limassol Hackerspace, Cyprus)
YES Arrive: 29-Oct
7 Noah O'Donoghue YES Arrive: 2018-10-27 11:35PM MU2570
8 Mars Robertson YES Arrive: 3rd Nov 9:50am, SU 0204 from SVO
9 Jonathan Hefter YES Arrive: 29-Oct, 2:35pm, HU7148 CTU-PEK
10 Nicole Borgaard
(Noisebridge, San Francisco)
YES Arrive: 3-Nov 3:30pm SFO-PEK (with Michael)
11 Michael Micheletti
(Noisebridge, San Francisco)
YES Arrive: 3-Nov 3:30pm SFO-PEK (with Nicole)
12 Pushp Bajaj[1]
(Bangalore, India)
YES Arrive: 3rd Nov Guangzhou- Beijing
13 Susie Kay YES Arrive: 1-Nov
14 Jonas S Karlsson
(Hong Kong, China)
yes Arrive: 3-Nov from HK
15 Torrey Nommesen (Beijing, China) YES Arrive: already in China
16 Gloria Chiang
yes Arrive: already in Beijing
Beijing only
17 Michelle Lai yes Arrive: 2018-11-14 10:10PM China Southern 3595
Shanghai and SZ only
18 Audrey Lim yes Arrive: 15-Nov, 6:35PM, SFO-PVG
Shanghai, SZ and HK only
19 Kliment yes Arrive: Nov 18. LHR->HKG 16:50
Depart: Nov 23. HKG->LHR 23:55
SZ only
20 Charles Paul NA Arrive: Live in Hong Kong
SZ only
21 Olivier de Saint-Hubert yes Arrive: already in SZ
SZ only
22 Cedric Honnet (Datapaulette hackerspace - Paris, Fr.) not yet Arrive: Hong Kong around Oct 12
Depart: Hong Kong around Oct 30
SZ only
23 Mayank Malik no Arrive: TBD
SZ only
24 -- -- --
25 T Vishwarath Reddy (Labyrinth Tech, Bangalore) no Arrive: TBD
26 Dimi[2] (Limassol Hackerspace, Cyprus) no Arrive: TBD
27 Keir Winesmith (SFMOMA)


no Arrive: TBD
28 Jay Mollica (SFMOMA)


no Arrive: TBD
29 Alex C.


no Arrive: TBD
30 Dru Nelson (Redwood City) no Arrive: TBD
31 Rita Wu


no Arrive: TBD
32 Bruno Rafael Aricó


no Arrive: TBD
33 Eduardo Padilha


no Arrive: TBD
34 Fernanda Monteiro Lopes


no Arrive: TBD
35 Charles Lehner (Sudo Room) no Arrive: TBD
36 Martin Bähr


no Arrive: already in china
37 John Kunnath


no Arrive: TBD
38 Dan Royer no Arrive: TBD
39 Eitan Rieger no Arrive: TBD
40 Sreejith Mohanan no Arrive: TBD
41 Curtis Yacboski - Vancouver, BC Canada no Already in Beijing
42 Thiago Mendes no Arrive: TBD
43 Pawel Ngei (Global Innovation Gathering, Poland) YES Arrive: 27th Oct, 11:55am
44 Star (Global Innovation Gathering, Poland / Kenya) YES Arrive: 27th Oct, 11:55am
45 Luke Iseman[3] (Oakland, CA) YES Arrive: 3-Nov 3:30pm SFO-PEK
46 -- -- --
47 Yana - Foreign Eye


YES Arrive: November 3rd
48 Felix (Germany)


YES Arrive: November 3rd
49 Max (Germany)


YES Arrive: November 3rd
50 Adrian Kelly (Noisebridge, San Francisco, USA)


YES Arrive: 2-Nov, 11:45pm, MU590 SFO-PVG, MU5186 PVG-PEK
51 -- -- --
52 your name here no your arrival info here
53 your name here no your arrival info here
54 your name here no your arrival info here
55 your name here no your arrival info here