KTV is quite different from traditional western karaoke which is usually just a big screen at the front of the bar and a guy with a crappy computer program running the music and organizing the waiting list of singers.In China, KTV is a more private affair with private rooms, with a big flat screen TV, a fancy entertainment system and couches. It is a place, where Chinese people go to sing and have fun with friends. KTV is usually an evening activity, but many clubs in big cities are open 24 hours. So KTV can really be something to do any time of day or night. Typically, the rooms are booked for a minimum time (for example, 2 or 3 hours). KTV clubs are full-service and you can order a full array of snacks and drinks throughout the evening.
If you are not going to KTV with Chinese friends or Chinese colleagues and you don’t know how to go about making a reservation, I would advise having a local friend, your hotel concierge or your tour agent to help you.
Especially in big cities on weekends, KTV is a popular thing to do. You may be able to walk up and book but you don’t want to plan a big night out only to find the rooms fully booked. Rooms vary in size so you’ll have made the reservation for the appropriate number of people. The rooms are usually big enough for up to 10 people but it can depend. Furthermore there are many different quality levels of KTV – it ranges from quite cheap to extremely expensive.
Advice: It is best to make sure you know the location of your party’s room before you leave to look for the washroom, as the hallway design is quite confusing, and if you’ve already had a few drinks – it may take you a long time to find your party room again!
KTV is a really fun way to spend some hours doing something that millions of locals enjoy doing, so you can consider it an authentic cultural experience.
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