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-- Start Date: TBD -- perhaps 25-October-2018, in [city TBD]
-- End Date: TBD -- perhaps 16-November-2018, in [city TBD]

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

Previous Hacker Trips To China

This will be the 8th Noisebridge Hacker Trip To China.
(The dates are not set, the start and end cities are not set, and the itinerary will be an outline and open to change.)
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 starting hackerspaces. China continues to explode with hackerspaces! We also went to the International Exhibition of Inventions Kunshan (IEIK 2014), near Shanghai. And everywhere we went, we were shown around by local geeks, to see what they thought was interesting where they live. Also, wherever we went, those of us interested gave talks, presentations, workshops, and demos. In 2016 we gave presentations at NY University - Shanghai, DFRobot (an open hardware company in Shanghai), Shanghai Maker Carnival, Zhengzhou High School Number 2, "Second Generation and Start-ups" conference in Hangzhou.
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

When: [date TBD] in [city TBD] through [date TBD] in [city TBD].

Flight, transportation, and hotel Info: We were each be on our own to book our own air fare to meet in our starting city, [city TBD], on [date TBD], and fly home from out ending city, [city TBD], on [date TBD]. Of course, you can decide to come and go as you please.

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 interested 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 Hong Kong and visit Dim Sum Labs hackerspace. Hong Kong is a fantastic city, so, we'll also see lots of other cool stuff in Hong Kong. Hong Kong Guide
  • Then we'll go across the border to mainland China again, to Shenzhen to visit Chaihuo Makerspace, SZDIY hackerspace, Litchee Lab, and a few other hackerspaces, some of which are real, and hundreds of which are brand new (this year) over-the-top bizarre government-started places where they want to create "the next Apple" (we won't visit them all!). We'll visit x.factory while we are in town, an interesting mix of hackerspace and incubator, where we will be welcomed for a Bring-A-Hack event, where anyone of us (for those who want to), along with the general public, can show off their 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. Of course, we'll also visit the famous (and totally awesome!) Huaqiangbei electronics market in Shenzhen (where, we may again be shown around by a professional buyer from Deal Extreme ( And if happens to be in town, we might visit Constellation or even stay in their factory dorm.
  • We will then make our way to Beijing where we may visit Beijing Makerspace, and other hackerspaces. We'll also visit Tsinghua University, where they built the world's largest hackerspace last year (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!
  • Our last city will be 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. We can also visit companies started by hardware hacker geeks, such as DFRobot. We can visit Phicomm, a medium-sized OEM manufacturer. We can also visit the Shanghai electronics mall (a smaller version of the famous electronics mall we will later visit in Shenzhen).

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, [city TBD], on [date TBD].

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 2017, I paid $2,656 total (for 4 weeks), including air fare from SF, food, lodging, transportation, a new smart phone, a bunch of new clothing, and everything.
As in past years, part of this year's trip may be paid for by Tsinghua University and other hosts that invite us to give presentations.

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

Itinerary outline for Hacker Trip to China 8


The start and end dates are set, the start and end cities are set, but the rest of the itinerary is open to serendipity:

7-October-2017 -- Leave home for Hong Kong (arrive in Hong Kong on 8-October)
8-October-2017 -- We all meet in Hong Kong -- hotel:  various in Tsim Sha Tsui
8-October to 11-October -- Hong Kong
8-October, 8pm:  Group dinner, TST
9-October, 12pm:  Walk around with William Liang (Maker Hive, escalators, snacks)
9-October, 3pm-4pm: Veggie Sushi(!) in Prince Edwards (104 Lai Chi Kok Road)
9-October, 4:30pm:  visit Looking Glass (startup that makes 3D video)
9-October, 6pm-8:30pm:  visit Maker Bay, Yau Tong, with presentations
9-October, 10pm-, Wan Chai drinks
10-October, 10am-3pm: Free time sightseeing Prince Edwards
              (Temple Street Tin Hau Temple, Women Market, Bird Garden, Gold Fish market)
10-October, 3pm-5pm: Dim Sum (walk from Prince): Tim Ho Wan in Sham Shui Po
10-October, 5pm-7pm: Apliu Street Flea market, Spycams, Golden Computer center
10-October, 8pm-10pm: visit Dim Sum Labs, soldering workshop by Mitch, HackJam on rooftop
10-October, 12pm: LKF - Lan Kwai Fong bars
11-October, afternoon -- ferry or subway to Shenzhen
11-October to 16-October -- Shenzhen
11-October -- hotel:  Jinjiang Inn Shenzhen Huaqiang North
11-October, 8pm:  Group Dinner at Yunlaiju Vegetarian Restaurant
12-October, 10am-12pm:  Product Life Cycle class at NOA Labs
12-October, 1pm-5pm:  tour of Huaqiangbei (electronics markets) w/ Scotty (of Strange Parts), and others
12-October, afternoon:  visit Troublemaker hackerspaces in Huaqianbei
12-October, 6:30pm:  meetup at HAX -- Mitch gives presentation what worked (and didn't work) well with his TV-B-Gone startup -- others welcome to give presentations on their startup dos and don't-dos
13-October, 8am:  leave hotel for visit to Seeed Studio AMC and factory tours (two separate groups)
13-October:  Group A factory tour:  Seeed Studio AMC, Zealfull (PCB), Jercio (LED), Honpe (plastic injection molding) 
13-October:  Group B factory tour:  Seeed Studio AMC, Ashcloud (packing), King Brother (PCB), AMC (plastic injection molding)
13-October:  7pm:  return to hotel from tour of factories (two separate groups)
14-October, 2pm:  visit Dorabot (open hardware robot company) 
14-October, 6pm-8pm:  visit Lab 0x0 -- give demos! 
15-October, 4pm-6pm:  Chaihuo x.factory Bring-A-Hack
16-October, 10:00am -- train G822 to Xi'an
16-October to 19-October -- Xi'an
16-October -- hotel:  Vienna Hotel
17-October, 9am-5pm:  ShaanXi Makerspace tour and presentations
17-October, 5pm-8pm:  special dinner
18-October, 8:30am-10am:  Xi'an Innovation and Design Center Maker's Symposium
18-October, 10am-8pm:  Xi'an traditional maker and culture hands-on tour
19-October, 12:42pm -- train G658 to Beijing
19-October to 24-October -- Beijing
19-October -- hotel:  various: in hutongs NE of Jinshan Park
20-October, 1:30pm:  Tsinghua University iCenter
21-October, 12pm:  art galleries and 798 with Gloria
23-October, 1:30pm:  meet-and-greet with Tsinghua University students
23-October, 5pm:  visit Makebator
23-October, 6pm-9pm:  Beijing LUG dinner and meeting
24-October, 2:00pm -- train G3 to Shanghai
24-October to 28-October -- Shanghai 
24-October -- hotel:  Le Tour Traveler's Rest International Youth Hostel
25-October, 3pm-4pm:  [Messed this up by going to the wrong NYU campus] meet-and-greet at Interactive Media Arts (IMA) at NYU Shanghai
26-October, morning:  visit Yagr/Etonnet (Mitch's manufacturer)
26-October, evening:  DFRobot/Mushroom Cloud visit and presentations
27-October, 7pm-9pm:  XinCheJian Global Forum -- presentations by 13 if us
28-October-2017 -- fly home (arrive NA or EU on same day)

Very Useful Guide about Internet, Phones, Translation, and Navigation

One of the two Noah's who were on the HTTC2017 wrote this very useful guide!

Hong Kong Guide

Hong Kong Guide

Photos from Hacker Trip To China 2017

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

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

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

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!!

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 28-October-2017, then your passport needs to be valid through 27-October-2017). 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 (after we have everything we need I'll email 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'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 (much cheaper for other nationalities). Starting this year, US citizens can get a multiple-entry visa, good for 10 years. 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 2017 these dates were: 27-30 January, 29-30 May, 30-May, 9-June, 4-July, 4-September, 2-October, 9-October and other dates:
2017 Chinese Consulate Holiday Schedule

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

Previous Noisebridge China Trips

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:

Below is a list of people interested in going on next year's Hacker Trip To China.

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 our Trip's starting city (TBD) on or before [date TBD] are the people who are in this Trip
       (which probably means flying away from home on or before [date TBD minus one day]

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) no Arrive: TBD
2 Pan (Limassol Hackerspace, Cyprus) no Arrive: TBD
3 Pawel Ngei (Global Innovation Gathering, Poland) no Arrive: TBD
4 Star (Global Innovation Gathering, Poland / Kenya) no Arrive: TBD
5 T Vishwarath Reddy (Labyrinth Tech, Bangalore) no Arrive: TBD
6 Dimi[1] (Limassol Hackerspace, Cyprus) no Arrive: TBD
7 Mark Hellar (Hellar Studios) no Arrive: TBD'
8 Keir Winesmith (SFMOMA) no Arrive: TBD
9 Jay Mollica (SFMOMA) no Arrive: 'TBD
10 Alex C. no Arrive: TBD
11 Dru Nelson (Redwood City) no Arrive: TBD
12 Rita Wu no Arrive: TBD
13 Bruno Rafael Aricó no Arrive: TBD
14 Eduardo Padilha no Arrive: TBD
15 Fernanda Monteiro Lopes no Arrive: TBD
16 your name here no Arrive: your arrival info here
17 your name here no Arrive: your arrival info here
18 your name here no Arrive: your arrival info here
19 your name here no Arrive: your arrival info here
20 your name here no Arrive: your arrival info here