KTV, the Chinese abbreviation for karaoke, is a heavenly place where Chinese people hit up and let loose. Unlike small Karaoke bars in America tucked away in quiet corners, Chinese KTV joints are a lot more serious. They are grand, three-story buildings broken into rooms that come with their own karaoke setup and ten thousand Chinese and international songs for you and your friends to sing until your lungs give out.

At KTV, any ordinary Joe in China can feel like a superstar. Chinese karaoke never fails to fulfill your deepest desires. Want to sing Karaoke classics? Pick John Denver’s Take me home, country roads. Or choose Lady Gaga’s Telephone in case you haven’t seen the music video on YouTube yet. Want to show off your singing in foreign languages? Japanese, Spanish, Korean, and other foreign songs are also available. Is the original note too high for you? Change it to match your pitch. Want your friends to participate? Hand them the maracas. Sing until you starve? There’s a free buffet on the second floor. Want to hawk the microphone all night long? KTV doesn’t close. What else do you need? Exactly.

While Westerners may never think of using karaoke to break the ice, KTV is a Chinese icebreaker that never ends. The 5×8 sq.m. private rooms are not only a place for you to unleash your superstar alter ego, but also a place for you to impress your acquaintances, share unforgettable moments with your boyfriend/girlfriend, and even seal a business deal in the middle of singing Kayne West’s Gold digger. In short, KTV can be whatever you want it to be – and beyond.

So if your travel takes you through China in the future, remember to pack your microphone for the trip. Anyone can be a superstar in China, just break a smile and shine.

This is the first post by Napatra Charassuvichakanich, who will be writing about China. She describes herself as a Bangkok-born, Melbourne & Virginia-bred young professional now working in Beijing. She can easily be found on a badminton court, a DDR pad, or on her Beijing bicycle. Read more about Napatra’s Beijing experience at Napatra

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About the author

Napatra Charassuvichakanich is a Bangkok-born, Melbourne & Virginia-bred young professional now working in Beijing. She is a development fellowship recipient, working in fundraising and microfinance project management at a local grassroots NGO in cultural heritage preservation.