Out and about

Updated: 2014-01-26 07:22

(China Daily)

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Beijing

Soul of Spain

The Beijing arm of the Cervantes Institute offers language classes, art and theater salons and exhibitions in the global network's quest to spread Iberian culture. Check the website for lectures and movies, most presented in Spanish and Chinese.

9 am-6 pm, daily except Sundays. A1 Gongti Nanlu (South Road), opposite Workers Stadium South Gate. 010-5879-9666.

Great Wall runs

This spring, two separate events, courses and dates have one thing in common - a full or half-marathon that take happy feet up on that magnificent ancient structure. Both are taking registrations now, with shorter distance runs also available. The Great Wall Marathon Race takes sign-ups until March 20. The six- or seven-day race starts May 17 in Tianjin at Huangyaguan, Ji county. Register online at www.great-wall-marathon.com. Great Wall of China Marathon Race takes sign-ups until April 15. The race starts on May 1 at Jinshanling Great Wall, Luanping county, Hebei province. Adult entry starts at 250 yuan. Register online at Greatwallchinamarathon.com.

Get fit at the Y

If you slept through making New Year's resolutions on Jan 1, the imminent arrival of the Year of the Horse offers another chance. Look to the familiar YMCA to get in shape again for decent rates (480 yuan for 30 times in three months; 1,288 for 100 times in one year). Look for the classics: a pool, boxing equipment and classes such as belly dancing and yoga.

10 am-9:30 pm, daily. Building 13, Nolita Center, Guangqumennei Dajie (Main Street), Chaoyang district. 010-6719-5151. Ymcabj.org.

- Mike Peters

Hong Kong

2014 Lunar New Year Cup

Japan-League's FC Tokyo, Russia Premier League Krylya Sovetov Samara and Portuguese First Division's SC Olhanense will be squaring off with Hong Kong's best in the 2014 Lunar New Year Cup in Causeway Bay. The three-day elimination tournament is organized by the Citizen Athletic Association.

Semi Finals, 3-5:30 pm, Jan 31. Play-off and Final 3-5:30 pm, Feb 3. HK$100-$380. Hong Kong Stadium, Causeway Bay. 852-6696-5658. Hkfa.com

Hong Kong Harbor festive days

Hong Kong's 19th Lunar New Year parade sponsored by Cathay Pacific will be held on the first day of the holidays with a stunning array of colored floats and performers from all over the world snaking through Tsim Sha Tsui. The district's biggest street party will be followed up with an astonishing pyrotechnic display the following day, visible from both sides of the harbor. The Chinese New Year's Day Parade starts at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Piazza in Tsim Sha Tsui and proceeds along Canton, Haiphong, Nathan and Salisbury roads, finishing at the Sheraton Hong Kong Hotel and Towers.

LNY Parade: 8-9:30 pm, Jan 31. LNY Fireworks: 8 pm, Feb 1. Victoria Harbor between Central and Tsim Sha Tsui. 852-2508-1234.

Year of the horse, racing

Is there a more auspicious way to spend the start of the Year of the Horse than at the races? Sha Tin Racecourse will be pulsing with ground-pounding action drawn from a full program of traditional and colorful festivities on-course, including a grand opening show, the traditional lion dance and a variety of cultural and entertainment performances. Visitors are admitted for free with valid travel documents.

11 am-6 pm, Feb 2. Sha Tin Racecourse. Hkjc.com

- Timo Chui

Shanghai

Taobao for beginners

Being able to navigate your way around China's largest online shopping website can result in huge savings, not to mention the convenience of having difficult-to-find items delivered to your door. This makes the 300 yuan fee for this course a worthwhile investment for non-Chinese speakers. The classes, which run for several weeks, explain how to sign up for a Taobao account, overcome the language barrier, and negotiate, pay for and return unwanted items. Attendees should bring their laptop and an additional 102 yuan to activate their new account. Class times can be adjusted for groups of at least four students.

Noon-2:30 pm, Jan 27. CCS Pudong Center, 2F, The Greenhills Clubhouse, Lane 418, Jinxiu Donglu (East Road). pudongclass@communitycenter.cn.

Night bike tour

This midweek tour of Shanghai costs 100 yuan and is a good way to burn calories while making friends with other cycling club members. It is the brainchild of 27Bike Club founder Yang Qi, whose shop focuses on high-end brands. The price includes bike rental and a helmet, but children shorter than 1.4 meters will need to bring their own bicycles. Although the route has yet to be decided, it will start and end at Qi's bike shop near the former French concession. The shop also offers a range of riding activities for individuals and corporations. This weekly event will be canceled in the event of rain.

7-9:30 pm, Jan 29. 27 Bike Club, 27 Lane 396 Wulumuqi Nanlu (South Road), near Zhaojiabang Lu (Road). 021-3382-1770 (for general inquiries regarding events organized by Community Center Shanghai).

- Matt Hodges

(China Daily 01/26/2014 page5)