Coming to China, I knew that a trip to a karaoke bar was inevitable. I was involved with music for quite a few years, so I’m not particularly tone deaf but I try to limit my singing to the car and shower. This being the case, I’d never done karaoke prior to this experience, so I really had no idea what to expect. I was pleasantly surpirsed when we arrived at the venue and the host took us to a private room. I’ve seen enough movies to make an assumption that most karaoke bars in the US are simply bars with a microphone and karaoke machine in the corner, and everyone in the bar has to listen to you sing. That is absolutely not the case in China. The host takes your group into a room depending on the size of the party, and you pay for the amount of hours you would like to sing and possibly drinks and food. The karaoke bar we ended up at was rather swanky, so it was a little pricey for only an hour and a half but they gave us some alcoholic beverages and a fruit tray (pictures at the bottom). I had a great time! Particularly after a few drinks. The song selection was very large (including the American/UK hits), so no one could use the excuse “I don’t know any of these songs!”. And because you’re only singing in front of a small group of people, the experience isn’t quite as nerve-racking. Well, that was the case for me. It’s interesting how many people I’ve met in China that absolutely love karaoke. This is not to say that all Chinese are great vocalists and love showing off–it seems to be more about making a fool of yourself, and letting go of your inhibitions. The Chinese are a very expressive people, so the more feeling you put into the singing (whether it be good or bad singing) the more they cheered. You get a sense of family from it–like everyone in the room is a little karaoke family, and you support them in their singing no matter what. There’s never anything but good vibes in a karaoke room, and a sense of unity. I really must say, I can’t wait to go again.