Hacker Camp Shenzhen 2016 March 24-26


Hacker Camp Shenzhen 2016 is on! Join us from Thursday March 24 to Saturday March 26 for fun, food and 3 solid days of electronics tours in Shenzhen China and beyond.

Come to the world’s electronics capital and experience Shenzhen like a local hacker. Tour the famous Huaqiangbei electronics markets with people who live in the neighborhood, figure out what to eat and how to get around.

This camp we’re adding an oft requested factory tour! Take our own party bus to a few factories around Shenzhen.

Saturday we’ll explore electronics and tools markets most foreigners could never find: Yihua and the massive Shajing.


  • Optional: Tuesday March 22 – Dinner at Grill Meat Place (no, Angelo, it is not Korean BBQ)
  • Optional: Wednesday March 23 – Tour of Dongmen market & sign street, copy mall early arrival dinner at Japanese Secret Location
  • Thursday March 24 – How to survive Shenzhen, Huaqianbei tour, Szechuan Dinner
  • Friday March 25 – Factory tours, Hot Pot dinner
  • Saturday March 26 – Tour of Yihua and Depu markets, Hacker shaokao

That’s just an overview. You can expect nightly dinners and parties all week. Be sure to give yourself a few days to explore the market on your own after the camp!


Tickets for the camp cover bus rental, materials, meeting room, 3 dinners, late night snacks, and a reasonable quantity of Tsing Tao beer. There’s only 20 tickets available and we expect they will sell out fast. Or maybe it’ll be a small intimate group. Who knows! We’re excited to see you there!

  • Normal ticket – $275
  • Supporter ticket – $375 (your name on the site and schedule of every future camp)

We also include allowance for Paypal fees, wire transfer fees, and currency conversion. Hacker Camp Shenzhen is a “no profit” event, meaning we’re lucky to break even.

Where to stay, visas, how to get there

City Inn (GoldMet) is (still) the recommended hotel, but be prepared for really bad internet and no WIFI. Check out the Shenzhen survival guide. Be sure to get WeChat and join the Shenzhen Hacker group chat after you buy a ticket!

SIM card provided

We’re traveling to places an hour or so north of Shenzhen, there are no taxis and nobody speaks English. Everyone must have a working SIM card with data, and this camp we’ll provide them!


You don’t need it! SIM cards will be Hong Kong Cross Border SIMs without internet content filtering.

Can’t make this one?

We have no idea if this will ever happen again! Maybe same time 2017.

Hacker Camp Shenzhen mailing list!

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Join the Conversation


  1. Adding I realize the hacker camp info is a mess, with old and new stuff all over. Ill get to eventually, but now we’ve got to get the new site up and we barely have time to pull off the camp at all.

  2. Trying to estimate total trip cost. Where would I fly into, and what would the 5 nights at the recommended hotel run?

  3. First it would be good to know from where you are flying ;-)
    Most probably you would fly into Hongkong and then go to Shenzhen by MRT.

    My Economy class flights are about 760€ (380€/direction) with Lufthansa.
    From Vienna to Frankfurt and then to Hongkong.
    But it can be also a lot cheaper. I saw one flight from Aeroflot via Moscow for 420€.
    The hotel is about 38€ / night from where i booked – there may be cheaper options but i needed a proper invoice thats why i booked via hotels.com.

    You also have topay for a visa of course. Food and drinks really are not that expensive. Besides that leave yourself a budget for the markets and for shipping the stuff back home ;-)

    Cheers Stefan

  4. What are the rules with regard to ticket refunds/transfers? I’d like to join, but won’t know if I can get the time off work for a few days. Looks like a lot of fun! -Ian-

  5. @Ian in the past we’ve said absolutely no refunds. Basically its a resources issue. It takes a month to prepare and ho)d the camp. If in the middle I have to email and coordinate refunds etc its really not worth doing. It would be awsome to hire it out to a coordinator, but then we have to charge more or take sponsorships, which is absolutely not something I’m interested in doing. And these days, you’d be lucky to even get ahold of.me as Ive given up email as my new year resolution in favor of getting actual work done :)

  6. I’d love so much to attend this, but I’m struggling a bit with the visa thing.

    The visa requires flight and hotel booking info, or an invitation letter. I’m in the middle of sorting out some stuff with my passport here in the UK and there’s a risk that might clash with this.

    I’m happy to take a hit on the $275 for this if the passport stuff here screws me up and I’m not able to attend, but really can’t swallow the cost of the flight and the hotel if I can’t go.

    Is there any way that you (Ian, Jin or anyone else there) can issue me an invitation letter for a tourist visa?

    From Prince Visa (the company we used last time’s) website:
    Invitation Letter from inviting friends/family, must include:
    Full Name as in passport, address, contact number, gender, date of birth of Applicant
    Date of intended visit to China
    Purpose of visit to China

  7. Half the tickets are gone.

    No bga ever again probably, the school was not a reliable partner.

    Yes, our Chinese comoany can write an invite letter. Send your order number to Ian at this site and I will send the template. I ask for order number otherwise ill be getting random requests for the rest of my life :P you don’t need it, but want to note here also that we won’t be able to provide the dually authorized unit letters from the government. It is too expensive and time consuming for a hacker camp, and the government will be shut down all month February.

  8. Awesome, thanks very much!

    I’ve hit the ‘contact’ button at the top to send you the order number. If you need any other info, please let me know.

    You guys rock!!

    Thanks again!!

  9. Ian, once again about the BGA course… is it possible for me myself to do some courses like reballing, BGA soldering and alike after the hacker camp?

    1. You could try to arrange the course at the cell phone repair school on your own. They don’t do short courses though, that was special for us. You’d have to arrange that with them, and also find a translator if you don’t speak Chinese. They are called “Lande Mobile Repair School”. Good luck!

    1. What do you learn? What do you learn? Whaaaa? You clearly miss the point of Hacker Camp Shenzhen :P This is a learning free zone. But more seriously see “Schedule” above…

      The school was a COMPLETELY unreliable partner. We refuse to work with them again. No tools. No equipment. Other students hanging out in our classroom playing games, smoking, yelling at each other. It was a complete disaster both times we did it, and we only did it the first two camps.

      1. I guess a lot of the other students are in the handphone business. Then it would be of no surprise: the smoking, the gaming, etc., pretty typical of Chinese handphone sellers in my country too. Given their level of education, not too surprising. It would be hard to ask those fellows to behave like they are in a university lecture class.. But they are pretty darn competitive, even small stalls often have temp-controlled iron for minor repairs. And the most successful ones blow a lot of dough on GT cars or night racing, stuff like that…

      2. Its not really about the behavior of the students. We’re ticked off cause we paid big bucks to rent the classroom and teacher, and they didn’t even clear out the room for us or prepare tools. I really don’t care how anyone behaves, they shouldn’t have been there at all.

      3. Ouch, yeah, I guess plenty of Third World businesses have not got the notion of good customer service and professionalism hammered into their heads. Sometimes when they are making money, they start thinking they are the Big Man and customers need them more than they need customers. I agree, drop this school, I would rather spend my money on other more worthy businesses…

      4. KH: China isn’t Third World in either the original or newer definition of the term and never was. Your generalization from a complaint about a specific school in China, to Chinese handphone sellers in your country and finally to Chinese “third world” businesses is quite derogatory.

      5. I’m chinese *yawn* Sure there are good businesses and good workers, I was discussing a certain demographic with a lot of negatives. If you bump across them, don’t be surprised… Then again, there are plenty of businesses that try to maximize their profit and fleece customers in all societies, especially e.g. tourist traps where they do not expect customers to come back, then they are Number One, not the customers.
        This is an age when Political Correctness often hampers productive dialogue. Personally, I do not intend to walk on eggshells just for some folks. Pretty soon, one becomes so absorbed with the walking on eggshells skill that one stops thinking clearly of other stuff.

  10. For sure, this has nothing to do with “third world” in any sense. There’s a thing called professionalism. You are or you are not.

    Anyway: Shenzhen, here I go! =)

  11. If anyone can’t make it for any reason – let me know (more than happy to buy the spot from ya)!

    Didnt realize how limited tickets were and sat on the buy page for a few days too long!

  12. Any possibility to pay for a one day ticket? I will be in Shenzen working with an ip camera manufacturer, Zmodo and will be working all week. I will have Saturday off and would love to attend that day.

  13. “SIM cards will be Hong Kong Cross Border SIMs without internet content filtering.”

    VPN-less SIMS from HK? Where? Howmuch? Detail plz? I’m on the way to HK/SZ in April, and **HATE** having to do the PCCW SIM dance every time.

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