The Republic of Singing People

I know that maybe you won’t have the chance to be really interested in Chinese songs on your China tour, but I’m sure that you have already heard some songs even if you didn’t pay attention to it. People who have never travelled to China may think that Chinese songs are like Japanese or Korean […]

I know that maybe you won’t have the chance to be really interested in Chinese songs on your China tour, but I’m sure that you have already heard some songs even if you didn’t pay attention to it. People who have never travelled to China may think that Chinese songs are like Japanese or Korean Pop, or like Beijing’s opera songs. Yet, even if they have traditional songs, they listen to all kind of music, but it’s true that they prefer ballads to rap or hard rock music. You will notice that techno music is widely displayed at the hair dresser’s, shops, malls, arcade game centers or to promote something.

Music is very present into their lives, but I think that they rather like singing than listening to songs. Yes, Chinese people like to sing songs. In my life I’ve never seen as many advertisements where people are singing on it to promote random products. Moreover all their shows have a musical part; a dance, a song, or an instrument. It’s common to hear people singing in the subway. They are not afraid or ashamed to show their vocal talents in front of a crowd with their headphones on their ears. And if you go to some parks, you will see that elderly people gather everyday together to practise taichi, play cards/majong, discuss, dance and sing. Karaoke is the symbol of their passion for singing. You can be sure that on every city of China you will be, you will find at least 1 KTV. In these last past years, Arcade game centers started to put karaoke cabins on service too.

Chinese National Anthem Jìnxíngqǔ

Qǐlái! Búyuàn zuò núlì de rénmen!
Bǎ wǒmen de xuèròu,
zhùchéng wǒmen xīn de chángchéng!
Zhōnghuá mínzú dàoliǎo zuì wēixiǎn de shíhòu.
Měi ge rén bèipòzhe fāchū zuìhòu de hǒushēng.
Qǐlái! Qǐlái! Qǐlái!
Wǒmen wànzhòngyìxīn,
Màozhe dírén de pàohuǒ, qiánjìn!
Màozhe dírén de pàohuǒ, qiánjìn!
Qiánjìn! Qiánjìn! Jìn!

最炫民族风 zuì xuàn mín zú fēng

This is a very popular song in China, like the most trendy since a lot of videos on youkou and youtube are made with this cover. This song is the buzz of the year 2010, I’ve listened it few times, and now I keep singing this song in my head everyday. You can find it on copy the name of the song in chinese and watch funny videos and corporate flash mobs about this song.

cāng máng de tiān yá shì wǒ de ài
mián mián de qīng shān jiǎo xià huā zhèng kāi
shí me yàng de jié zòu shì zuì yā zuì yáo bǎi
shí me yàng de gē shēng cái shì zuì kāi huái

wān wān de hé shuǐ cóng tiān shàng lái
líu xiàng nà wàn zǐ qiān hóng yī piàn hǎi
huǒ là là de gē yáo shì wǒ men de qī dài
yī lù biān zǒu biān chàng cái shì zuì zì zài
wǒ men yào chàng jìu yào chàng dé zuì tòng kuài

Chorus:
nǐ shì wǒ tiān biān zuì měi de yún cǎi
ràng wǒ yòng xīn bǎ nǐ líu xià lái ( líu xià lái )
yōu yōu de chàng zhe zuì xuàn de mín zú fēng
ràng ài juàn zǒu suǒ yǒu de chén āi( wǒ zhī dào )
nǐ shì wǒ xīn zhōng zuì měi de yún cǎi
zhēn mǎn měi jǐu ràng nǐ líu xià lái ( líu xià lái )
yǒng yuǎn dōu chàng zhe zuì xuàn de mín zú fēng
shì zhěng piàn tiān kōng zuì měi de zī tài ( líu xià lái )

( yo lā lā hē lā bài )
( yī lā suo lā hē lā bài yā )
wǒ tīng jiàn nǐ xīn zhōng dòng rén de tiān lài
dēng shàng tiān wài yún xiāo de wǔ tái

cāng máng de tiān yá shì wǒ de ài
mián mián de qīng shān jiǎo xià huā zhèng kāi
shí me yàng de jié zòu shì zuì yā zuì yáo bǎi
shí me yàng de gē shēng cái shì zuì kāi huái

wān wān de hé shuǐ cóng tiān shàng lái
líu xiàng nà wàn zǐ qiān hóng yī piàn hǎi
huǒ là là de gē yáo shì wǒ men de qī dài
yī lù biān zǒu biān chàng cái shì zuì zì zài
wǒ men yào chàng jìu yào chàng dé zuì tòng kuài

Chorus x2

Songs are also a good way to create links and connect people. I’m sure that it would be easier to break the ice with Chinese people that you’ll meet during your trip. Here are some famous songs in pinyin to practice at home before flying to China.

Tagged with:  

Gaming in Beijing

Travelling in an Asian country without stepping into an amusement arcade would be a shame. These venues were very popular in the 1990’s, it isn’t as popular now but they still do exist especially in Japan, Korea and of course China. So, save some time and don’t forget to step by an amusement arcade during […]

Travelling in an Asian country without stepping into an amusement arcade would be a shame. These venues were very popular in the 1990’s, it isn’t as popular now but they still do exist especially in Japan, Korea and of course China. So, save some time and don’t forget to step by an amusement arcade during your China travel. Getting there will be the occasion for you to relax, have some fun and wake your inner child up. Indeed, not only geek teenagers and children enjoy these places, you could find lot of adults and women too (actually I like going there).

During your Beijing tour you will find a lot of shopping malls with some video game arcades inside, in general they are located on the top floor of the building or in the underground. This place mainly provides you machines that works with tokens. Each token costs 2RMB, and 1 token equals to 1 game. Moreover, when you win the game some tickets are given to you, you just have to take it from the slot of the machine. Once you have enough tickets you can exchange them for numerous prizes like puppets, bags, or bicycles for examples, sure you probably would have spent more money on games than the prizes actual price but at least you had fun. You can enjoy classical game to latest hot ones!

Actually a video game arcade just opened in the new shopping center near my place. When I was young I often used to go at game centers playing all the afternoon (I used to live in Macao). I liked playing the mini basketball game, squashing moving crocodile’s head or pretending to be a F1 pilot. This time I noticed that nothing really changed since I was 5. There were the same type of machines, and people were still amazed by the “star dancer” at Dance Dance Revolution. The funny thing is that the best players at this game look like employees at some random office, and sometimes they bring their girlfriend to do some battles. Besides, I have noticed something new, something I have never seen of my life actually, the karaoke cabin. It’s a small cabin which can welcome 1 to 3 persons with a bench and a tv, the form of the cabin looks like a big car. But the thing is that even if you’re in the cabin you sing in a microphone and everyone around can listen to you. Moreover now in some fun centers slot machines are authorized you can even gamble there!

I think that even if you are skeptical, or if you have already been there in your country, hanging out in video game arcades is still fun and takes you to another world or just rewind in the past and remind you the 90’s.

Tagged with:  

KTV True Life

On June 26, 2012, in China Attractions, Cool Places, Nightlife, Tips & Ideas, by Jack Li

Back in the States I’ve always been a big fan on karaoke, and this past semester I was graced without Wednesday classes so every Tuesday night my friends and I would go to karaoke at our local haunt.  When I decided to travel to Beijing I was delighted to find that karaoke is extremely popular […]

Back in the States I’ve always been a big fan on karaoke, and this past semester I was graced without Wednesday classes so every Tuesday night my friends and I would go to karaoke at our local haunt.  When I decided to travel to Beijing I was delighted to find that karaoke is extremely popular here.  The first thing I did after I got off my Beijing flights after I unpacked my apartment was to check out some local Karaoke.

A bar with karaoke in The US is usually set up like an open-mic night, with a stage where anyone can sign up to sing in front of the entire bar.  This is a lot of fun, but has two major drawbacks: you have to sing in front of strangers, and strangers have to sing in front of you.  Sometimes this is great and leads to new friends and seeing amazing talent.  More often however, it’s like being forced to watch a string of rejects from American Idol.

Conversely, in China karaoke is a very intimate experience.  With KTV (Karaoke Television) you rent out private rooms for you and your friends that can range for a small room for 6-12 people, to a massive two story hall.  You are given a few microphones, and a computer terminal to the side of the room controls what songs are played.  There is a huge selection of popular Western and Eastern music to choose from.  The songs play in whatever order you choose on the screen.  In my experience everyone who wants to sing crowds around the microphones, and they are passed from person to person.  You’re all singing to each other rather than singing to an audience.

KTV is a great way to spend an evening, and to see a different approach to an international trend.  When I go to KTV I get to sing my heart out with my friends just like I would back home, but with a Chinese twist.  Karaoke is much more mainstream and popular here than it is back home where I usually found myself dragging my friends to the bar and pushing them on stage.  In China, karaoke is a small and intimate experience where everyone gets excited and  everyone participates.  As part of your China travel check out a KTV venue near you, and if you’re staying for a long time like I am invite your Chinese friends!  Nothing brings people together quite like drinks, songs, and laughter.

Tagged with:  

Singing Karaoke

On June 13, 2012, in Activities, China Travel Gossip, Cultural Experience, Nightlife, by Jack Li

If you travel to Beijing, one of the local pastimes that you absolutely have to take part in is karaoke. Karaoke is a very popular way to spend an evening here in China and due to its popularity, there are many locations where you can take part in singing karaoke. You have the option to […]

If you travel to Beijing, one of the local pastimes that you absolutely have to take part in is karaoke. Karaoke is a very popular way to spend an evening here in China and due to its popularity, there are many locations where you can take part in singing karaoke. You have the option to either sing in front of a large group or in a small room with a group of friends. Either way, you are guaranteed a fabulous time. In the United States, karaoke is not nearly as popular so in order to have a unique karaoke experience that would be impossible to have anywhere else, travel to Beijing!

The karaoke here is an experience like none other. In terms of the atmosphere, it is easily comparable to an upscale theater. I say this because once you walk in and after you determine which beverage you will be drinking while singing your heart out, you can see hallways of rooms with doors closed, but once inside the room it’s as if you are in your own private movie theater with a large screen in the front of the room and a couch and tables facing the screen. Then someone will bring you your beverage of choice along with some other snacks. The karaoke bar that I went to served us watermelon, popcorn, and soft drinks. After getting settled, we let the singing begin!

From Brittany Spears to Michael Jackson, our group thoroughly enjoyed every song that came up on screen. It was a lot more fun to sing the older songs that were played, so if I were to make any sort of recommendation, it would be to have some good oldies in mind before heading out! However, it’s not about the songs you sing that make karaoke a good time; it’s about the people you are with. By the end of the night, you are undoubtedly going to have made new friends due to this unique experience. Although I personally am not a star singer, neither were the majority of people in our group, which was half the fun, so even if you are a little bit more reserved, karaoke can still be a positive experience. It was immediately apparent to me why people in China love to go sing karaoke; it creates friendships and is simultaneously a great time.

Despite my inability to sing, my vocal cords were more than worn out after my first real Chinese Karaoke experience, one that I could only experience due to my travel to Beijing. After leaving the Karaoke place, I immediately wished that the United States had something similar. I was fortunate enough to experience karaoke on my first evening in Beijing and because of that first night, I have great new friends that I otherwise may not have met had I let my fear of singing in front of people hold me back. If you find yourself in China with a free evening, I definitely recommend gathering a group and taking part in the karaoke scene. 

Tagged with:  

Let’s hear it for KTV!

On May 11, 2012, in Entertainment, Nightlife, Nightlife, by Jack Li

You’ve been busy all day and now it’s time to kick-back and let your hair down. Hitting the KTV clubs (Karaoke) in China is one of the funniest and most sociable ways in which to do this. KTV is quite estranged from the arch-typical trip to China, but sure enough, there may well be one […]

You’ve been busy all day and now it’s time to kick-back and let your hair down. Hitting the KTV clubs (Karaoke) in China is one of the funniest and most sociable ways in which to do this. KTV is quite estranged from the arch-typical trip to China, but sure enough, there may well be one of these nearby to your China hotels for you and your friends to spend an exhilarating evening. Without doubt, the sparkly-clean veneer of some of the KTV clubs with their attentive service makes it an excellent venue to unwind, especially after your China flights.

Twice I have been to KTV and both times were a barrel-of-laughs. I found that to really enjoy the experiences, you need to stay for a good few hours (after which you have loosened up from a few drinks). Even if singing is not your talent (and I’m certainly no Pavarotti); then grab a maraca and shake away! Or, for the more rhythmical individual, especially if you’re placed in a large room, there is the option of taking to the dance floor and showing off some moves.

Compared to the western world, karaoke in China is big business comprising of large venues. The KTV club I went to with friends is typical of what to expect with Chinese karaoke. It is a large building with numerous private function rooms to allow you and your friends to enjoy a good-old sing-song to your heart’s content. Indeed, the layout of the clubs is a stark contrast to the usual western karaoke open bar setting. Due to KTV clubs having lots of private function rooms and often staying open for twenty-four hours, criticism has come in the form of liking the clubs to sleaze. Nevertheless, by booking a private room at KTV you will be guaranteed to be safe in the knowledge that you will be singing in front of familiar faces.

Listening to a Chinese friend’s advice before booking a KTV room is recommended to ensure that the venue is fit for your purpose. Amongst other things, pre-booking is advisable as KTV clubs are very popular and may be fully booked upon arrival. In addition, it’s worth confirming your playlist beforehand, unless you would like to sing Chinese songs. With all said (or sung) and done, KTV is a cultural part of modern China which should not go amiss on any China travel schedule.

 

Tagged with:  

KTV: Sing, Dance and Be Merry!

On September 8, 2011, in Beijing, Cultural Experience, Entertainment, Nightlife, by Jack Li

KTV (short for Karaoke Television) is a popular social activity in the far east, and is an interesting twist on the typical bars and clubs we commonly visit in the UK, Australia and America. It is an experience any tourist should try at least once when they travel to Beijing and there are KTV venues […]

KTV (short for Karaoke Television) is a popular social activity in the far east, and is an interesting twist on the typical bars and clubs we commonly visit in the UK, Australia and America. It is an experience any tourist should try at least once when they travel to Beijing and there are KTV venues located all over the city near to many Beijing hotels and attractions, you will usually spot them by their big sign with ‘KTV’ in neon lettering.

 

 

The entrance lobbies are generally very grand with extravagant decor, vibrant colours and giant chandeliers. You are usually met at the entrance and shown to your booth for the evening. KTV rooms are available to rent for an evening or per hour, and there is a broad price range which varies between establishments.

 

 

They have many different rooms ranging from a simple 2 person room right up to big rooms suitable for work gatherings and birthday parties.  The idea is to rent out a booth with a group of your friends, select your favourite tracks and sing your heart out. The booth is closed off and private, and provides television screens with the music video and lyrics so everyone can sing along with you. In Chinese culture it is a very popular pastime even if you are not so vocally talented, and the locals use it as a place to vent their emotions, socialise and relax.

 

KTV establishments normally provide food and beverages or have them available to purchase giving you no reason to leave your private area, and each room has a spacious dance floor for those who feel less than confident about singing in front of their friends!

 

There is normally a variety of music to choose from with both English and Chinese favourites available, including all the latest popular chart hits from back home. Karaoke rooms are kitted out in style with fancy couches, a modern computer playlist and giant flat screen televisions. The atmosphere is generally very party orientated with twinkling coloured lights, disco balls and dimmed lights.

 

KTV was originally invented in Japan and came to China about 25 years ago, originally existing in mostly expensive four and five star hotels, before moving on to nightclubs and specific KTV establishments. Alongside the private rooms there is usually a general public karaoke area where groups can gather and sing together.

 

KTV is the perfect way to chill out with your friends and sample the culture first hand, a must see on for your China travel itinerary!

Karaoke

On October 19, 2010, in Cultural Experience, Entertainment, Nightlife, by Jack Li

When I use to think of Karaoke, I thought of drunken Chav’s screeching very badly to lame cheesy music in a very rough pub with a pint of  dirty beer! This being the case when I was invited to go to a Chinese bar by a business client I was very surprised and obviously a […]

When I use to think of Karaoke, I thought of drunken Chav’s screeching very badly to lame cheesy music in a very rough pub with

a pint of  dirty beer! This being the case when I was invited to go to a Chinese bar by a business client I was very surprised and obviously a little sceptical! However it turns out karaoke in China is actually for the elite and powerful business men.

The karaoke Bars are like nothing i’ve ever seen before really posh and lush with lavish private rooms and personal waiters. Alcohol is served by the bottle and compared with the rest of china the prices are very expensive! Its well worth it  has a great sound system with any song you can think of available to sing in either Chinese or English.

Most of the Karaoke TV places are open around the clock, which makes it one of the most sociable and entertaining activates rivalling clubbing, lots of young and old people partake in Karaoke!

At first people are obviously going to feel shy and a bit uncomfortable but the best way to get over this is to get the alcohol flowing and just get into it! You can also order an array of delicious but quite pricey nibbles to snack on whilst you sing which are always a welcome treat. The average price of a private room depending on the size can be rented for as little as 150 Yuan per hour this sometimes comes with a complimentary bottle of spirit the rooms are all designated with there own waiter

who will assist with getting drinks and also the technology of the karaoke machine!

I spent an enjoyable hour and a half at the Karaoke bar and will be going back I would 100% recommend doing this activity it’s an experience not to be missed!!

Tagged with:  
Page 1 of 11