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I've never been to a KTV. What did I miss?

Popularity 10Viewed 5589 times 2014-2-18 04:30 |System category:Life| KTV, karaoke

I just got back from my 4th trip to Guangzhou, and do you know, I've never been to a KTV? I see a lot of negative comments about those places here. They are just karaoke bars, right? Sounds like it might be a good time.

I'm unlikely to return to China for several years, so please tell me what I missed.

(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)





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Comment Comment (11 comments)

Reply Report KCH 2014-2-18 15:58
A KTV is more than a place where people sing.
Reply Report tedbrent 2014-2-18 16:14
I have never set foot in such places as well. If you are married, dude, I suggest that you think twice about whether to visit such posh clubs or not.   You can find lots of dissolute sorts in such places, Just like KCH implied. And China seems to be carrying out dragoncian inspections  on such activities , thus,  just stay away from such places, dude, lest you simply  dig yourself   into a hole by visiting  such glitzy clubs.  

  Have a nice stay in China.
Reply Report Judy_Zhu 2014-2-19 03:48
I remember there were pure KTVs for singing and friends gathering ten years ago when I was in my undergraduate days. The name is 'xx Qian Gui', something like this. They are not pubs or bars. But I have no idea as to what you refered. Maybe there have been too many changes during these years.
Reply Report Dr.Bill.Shen 2014-2-20 00:17
Most KTV is hour-based. You just rent a room with your friends and singing. Nothing else. If you are talking about night club or hostess bar, that is different. Even with that, you did not miss that much in my view.
Reply Report Zoggles 2014-2-20 12:41
With a good group of friends KTV is a fun place to spend an evening drinking and singing. However, unless you can sing Chinese, the choices are somewhat limited. Often times Chinese friends want to hear me sing an English song, but out of the options available, there is usually precious little I've heard of, so I just stick to Chinese or Cantonese instead. Also be aware that most of the onscreen lyrics are traditional chinese, which does pose another problem if you are not very familiar with the lyrics.
Reply Report Newtown 2014-2-20 13:52
Karaoke bars come in a fair variety of shapes and sizes. They have been a reasonably long standing traditional form of entertainment and relaxation in China. The ones I've attended have ranged from a very modest, semi-outdoors setting where the cost was a couple of yuan for the beers and a small donation for requests, to much more expensive up-market establishments where there is a drinks waitress serving customers in the room, and you pay a whole lot more to rent the room for its plush design and expensive sound video system. Thrifty Chinese may also choose to rent karaoke rooms more cheaply in the afternoons which also might dissuade customers from smoking and drinking to excess. Friends can also club together to purchase snacks to eat betwixt braying out various pop anthems or - for the old stagers - Chinese military anthems.

Depending on the number of people in the room and the degree of alcoholic consumption, the karaoke bars can range from being very mild mannered and friendly  to more raucious and outlandish behaviour, kick out the jams, middle kingdom style. The latter is often encouraged by the rattle, rattle, rattle of the cupped dice in the ( execrable ) Chinese beer drinking game or via the tin ears of the singers who seek to engage as microphone fiends and to belt out their favourite tunes totally off key. Dancing is not on the menu except perhaps for the horizontal folk variety.

Basically all fun and games if you can stand the claustrophobia and aim to emerge with a few brain cells intact. Sex, drugs, and rock and roll are add on options but 98 per cent of the songs will be in Chinese, the follow-the-bouncing-ball English lyrics being popular to only rarely sighted species of "laowei. Few bars have warning signs about playing "California Hotel" and "Stairway to Heaven" has never been spotted on the playlist by this babe in the woods punter.
Reply Report snappysammy 2014-2-24 17:05
KTV is a lot of's drinking singing and drinking games....Nothing nasty happens at KTV.....sometimes if you like your girl, you can invite her to your home or hotel....IF SHE AGREES YOU WILL HAVE TO PAY, MOST OF THE TIME...

Reply Report MissBarbara 2014-3-16 21:10
It is not a dissolute place at all. It is a place where friends can get together in a private room, and sing songs. We go there for birthday parties and such, bring our juice and sodas, and sing. That's all.
Reply Report carolsong1987 2014-3-18 01:55
no i think ktv is a good place,you can relax yourself ,try it and i believe you will like it

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