Shenzhen Electronic Markets
Its been 3 weeks since I got back from China and I wanted to write a quick post about my my trip.
I started off in Hong Kong where I spent 3 days exploring parts of the city and taking in as much as I could before moving on to mainland China. Once my time in Hong Kong was over I moved an hour north to Shenzhen, just across the border. Rather than stay in a hotel I booked an apartment for the week I was there. This turned out to be great; it was really cheap at only £20 a night and within a 5 minute walk of the metro and a 15 minute walk of the electronics markets.
I arrived a day before the Dangerous Prototypes course started so I went looking for the electronics markets. I had been building these up in my head in the lead up to the trip; they needed to be pretty amazing to live up to my expectations, thankfully I wasn't disappointed!
They were amazing, almost everything I wanted they had. I didn't really have a specific project in mind when I went so I bought a lot of what I would call 'useful' items. The prices varied a lot but for most of the items I was buying they were significantly cheaper than you would find in the UK. Unfortunately I was limited by a baggage allowance but I think I did a decent job of stocking up.
The soldering workshop turned out to be really interesting and in addition to this were talks from others who were working in the area or had made the move to live in China. I have no plans to move to China but I know a lot more now and if I needed to head out there to make something I think I could make a decent stab of it.
The final part of the trip was the Shenzhen Maker Faire, this was being held in a rather odd area of town out to the west. The whole of Shenzhen felt very un-chinese to me, the city is very young and didn't have the opportunity to evolve over time like Hong Kong did which explains this but the Maker Faire was something else. It was held in an area of town that was even newer and it felt very European. The Maker Faire was good but I didn't find it very exciting. Most of the stallholders were companies there to sell items rather than individuals showing off their things. There were some things to see and look at but the Brighton Mini Maker Faire (which is the only other one I have been to) is a lot more interesting.
Below is a quick video of me looking through some of the things I picked up