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Hong Kong




The Community Advice Bureau (2815 5444; www.cab.org.hk; Room 16C, Right Emperor Commercial Bldg, 122-126 Wellington St, Central; 9.30am-4.30pm Mon-Fri) is a fabulous source of information on courses of all kinds in Hong Kong. The YMCA (2771 9111; www.ymca.org.hk) and the YWCA (3476 1300; www.ywca.org.hk) both offer a range of cultural classes and three-month courses, from basic Cantonese and mahjong to yoga and t’ai chi.

For visual arts, check with the Hong Kong Museum of Art (2721 0116), the Hong Kong Visual Arts Centre (2521 3008) or the Hong Kong Arts Centre (2582 0200). The Fringe Club (2521 7251; www.hkfringe.com.hk; 2 Lower Albert Rd, Central) offers any number of courses and workshops.

The Cultural Kaleidoscope Meet the People program organised by the HKTB (2508 1234; www.discover hongkong.com) will whet your appetite to learn more about everything from Chinese tea and opera to t’ai chi and jade. It is unique in that it allows you to visit galleries, antique shops, jewellers to grade pearls and jade, teahouses, even a feng shui master’s studio and a t’ai chi class. It’s an excellent way to learn first-hand about Hong Kong Chinese culture. For details on times and locations see the HKTB website.

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The New Asia-Yale-in-China Chinese Language Centre at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (2609 6727; www.cuhk.edu.hk/clc; Fong Shu Chuen Bldg, Ma Liu Shui, New Territories) offers regular courses in Cantonese and Mandarin. There are four terms a year – four- and 11-week summer sessions and two regular 15-week terms in spring and autumn. The cost of the four-week summer term is $8000, the 11-week session $18, 960, while the 15-week semesters are $23, 700. In addition there are shorter two-week introductory courses such as Elementary Cantonese for $5400.

Another good place for learning Cantonese, Mandarin and other Asian languages is the School of Professional and Continuing Education at Hong Kong University (2559 9771; hkuspace.hku.hk; Room 304, 3rd fl, TT Tsui Bldg, Pok Fu Lam Rd, Pok Fu Lam).

A number of private-language schools cater to individuals or companies. These schools offer more flexibility and even dispatch teachers to companies to teach the whole staff. For one-on-one instruction, expect to pay $200 plus per hour. Language schools to consider:

Essential Chinese Language Centre (2544 6979; eclc.com.hk; 8th fl, Man On Commercial Bldg, 12-13 Jubilee St, Central)

Hong Kong Institute of Languages (2877 6160; www.hklanguages.com; 6th fl, Wellington Plaza, 56-58 Wellington St, Central)

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