Three of the Best Karaoke Cities
Three of the Best Karaoke Cities
It doesn't matter if you don't know the lyrics, just sing along!
We have a lot to thank Japan for. Known for being at the forefront of technological advancements, over the decades the Land of the Rising Sun has provided us with pocket calculators, CDs, DVDs, DSLR cameras and instant noodles; quite frankly, the world (and the world’s hangovers) would be an entirely different place if it weren’t for these Japanese inventions.
And then there’s karaoke. Arguably something the world could do without, the practice of singing awkwardly in public emerged as a craze in the late 1960s, shadowing the development of audio-visual recording equipment. It took Japan by storm, soon spreading throughout Asia and beyond, until the echoes of a million off-key voices could be heard world-wide.
Love it or hate it, Karaoke is here to stay. Once only associated with dingy, sticky-carpeted back street pubs, it has since re-emerged as a classy pastime, found in the most chic and elite bars and clubs, as well as dive bars. Deluxe private booths and extensive cocktail menus mean you can sing to your heart’s content, with an intimate audience of your closest – and hopefully least critical – friends.
My Destination brings you three chart-topping karaoke venues from around the world as well as some of the best karaoke tracks to try while you’re at it!
Asia is by far the best place to visit for an authentic karaoke experience. Nightlife in Bangkok can be wild, so this might just be the place to unleash your inner Lady Gaga. The advantage of unveiling your talents in Thailand is that the national custom of saving face (the urgent need to save themselves and others from embarrassment) means your audience will appear enraptured by your efforts, even if on the inside, they’re praying desperately for a power cut.
If you’re a serious karaoke veteran you should make sure your Bangkok accommodation is close to all the karaoke hotspots. Check out the Hip Hotel, Ratchada, where – you guessed it – 21 private karaoke rooms accommodating up to 20 guests await you. Open from 6pm to 2am, you could even pop down from your hotel room in your pyjamas for a quick sing-along.
The British are not known for being extroverts, but once they’ve had a few to drink, social graces and timid pardon me’s go out the window and are swiftly traded for flushed faces and misplaced over-confidence. The key here is enthusiasm; Brits love an underdog, so they’ll love you no matter how awful you sound, as long as you’re giving it 100%. If you do manage to pry the microphone out of an eager local’s hands, go for crowd-pleasers like Oasis’ Wonderwall or the classic Angels by Robbie Williams. The more people who sing along, the less prominent your warbling...
Nightlife in London is diverse and karaoke venues are popping up everywhere. Lucky Voice is a chain of UK karaoke bars, with sites in Manchester and Cardiff to name a few, as well as two branches in London. Ranging from £5 to £10 per person per hour, let the ambient lighting in the plush private rooms lull you into a false sense of security – and if that doesn’t work, a couple of cocktails should.
Where better to recreate Shania Twain’s classic hit, Man! I Feel Like a Woman! than in the capital of her home province, Ontario ? Or, if country crooners aren’t your thing, perhaps you’ll prefer to recreate the epic Baby by Canada’s main export, Justin Bieber? It’s perhaps worth having a quick scan of the clientele before you offend their ears. Karaoke bars in Toronto are a dime a dozen and cater for all tastes; from Hip Hop Karaoke to traditional Japanese booths, this is one side of Toronto’s nightlife you don’t want to miss.
If you feel your skills are deserving of a multi-platinum album award, take your entourage to Ten 23 in Markham. A la carte menus and candlelight ensure this karaoke bar is more than a one hit wonder. It’s a little on the pricey side, but the talent wants what the talent wants...
The beauty of trying out karaoke on your travels is the anonymity. If you suffer from stage fright, get a little overzealous with the air guitar, or shatter a window with your falsetto, at least you can make a swift exit stage left and seek comfort in the knowledge that your unfortunate fame is fleeting.
If you are imbued with a new found confidence after a rendition of Sinatra’s My Way, at least you know there are plenty of karaoke venues at home where your talents may be nurtured. Just don’t attempt Bohemian Rhapsody until you’re truly ready.
...the practice of singing awkwardly in public emerged as a craze in the late 1960s...
By Themes (All Destinations)
- Central America
- Middle East
- North America
- South America
"People travel to faraway places to watch, in fascination, the kind of people they ignore at home" - Dagobert D. Runes