What is KTV?
KTV/卡拉OK (KalaOK) is a staple of Chinese nightlife. Your Chinese friends and work colleagues may invite you out to what is basically a nightclub to Karaoke. You’ll pay for a room usually for at least a few hours and then you get to sing, drink and dance the night away!
My first KTV
I first went to KTV almost 4 years ago. I had just arrived in Nanjing and was still getting used to the culture shock of living in China, when before I knew what was happening a bunch of us were heading out to a KTV. The experience was intense, it started off with our two Chinese friends each singing a Chinese pop ballad extremely well, which would make most people feel nervous.
Luckily for me this was also my first time trying 白酒 (baijiu) – Chinese rice wine, which took the edge off! Soon we were all mumbling along to the pop songs we knew most of the words to and by the end we were singing full belt to Queen. We left at 5 am, after close to 6 hours of singing. It was one of my fondest memories of my first time in China and since then has become one of my favourite pastimes.
Some people’s Marmite
Love it or hate it KTV, can certainly make or break friendships. Often the first-time can be nerve-racking, and whether you need some liquid courage or just the support of friends, it’s important that everyone feels relaxed and not judged, as at the end of the day 90% of people don’t have golden pipes! You’ll probably discover who is accepting of other people’s music taste and who presses the skip button when they don’t like something. Most importantly you’re not auditioning for The Voice, so the emphasis is on fun!
What to expect
There is a plethora of choice when it comes to KTV. Sometimes it will be a palatial structure full of mirrors and disco lights, or sometimes it is just a simple affair with a cosier feel. Based on how much you are willing to pay you can book a small room or a huge auditorium with a balcony. You pay for the room, so the more of you there are, the cheaper it will be!
They may provide you with drinks and even food for free. There may be instruments such as tambourines and maracas in the room and even a bar and toilet. KTVs will have Western songs, however the choice may vary from just famous pop songs all the way through to a vast collection of classics!
KTVs in Zhuhai
Usually it is helpful to get a Chinese friend to help you book a KTV in advance, so that you don’t get there and find it is fully booked!
Below is a list of some of the best KTVs to visit in Zhuhai:
- GTWO 量贩KTV
- 音乐匣子（Yinyuexiazi）- Music Box
Whether you give a heart rending rendition of your favourite ballad or scream into a microphone as you attempt to make up for your lack of pitch, either way it’s going to be a laugh!
My name is Alizée and I am currently doing an internship in Zhuhai through InternChina. At the end of my Bachelor’s degree, my need to explore new horizons automatically brought me to China. It was the most logical choice, being the farthest country and, by all standards, the most different. But after only a week, I already felt right at home. Here are a few of the first things I discovered about Zhuhai.
InternChina – View from BanZhangShan Mountain
1. Guangdong is the land of the Cantonese
Zhuhai situated in Guangdong, and being so close to Hong Kong and Macau, has quite the Cantonese influence. Along with the language (both Mandarin and Cantonese), comes delicious Cantonese food! It is the most populated province in China, Guangdong’s capital is Guangzhou. It’s hard for me to believe, coming from France where we are 66 million people in total, but Guangzhou hosts over 50 million habitants, in one city only. In comparison, 10 million people live in Paris. These proportions are hard to grasp.
2. Beware of the Karaoke!
Here, it’s called KTV (short for Karaoke TV, as you might have guessed). Basically, you gather all your friends into a private room and sing loudly together. In China, KTV is a cultural institution, suitable for all generations and social backgrounds. The name for us westerners can be quite off putting. Since it is not being broadcasted, why is it called TV ? It originated when new piracy laws from the GATT’s Uruguay round shut down it’s predecessor in 1988, MTV (MovieTV, Netflix’s ancestor). The company, not put off in the least, then simply switched it’s market to a less regulated sector; the music industry, and changed the first M to a K, with little regards for it’s meaning.
My first experience with this strange practice was during my company’s party, reuniting over 30 people from different branches, in a large pandemonium of beer and music. It was quite fascinating to watch my colleagues, usually so assiduous and solemn, turn into such party animals. The classic studious and hardworking stigma that is usually observed, was largely proven wrong during those few hours of letting loose. Unfortunately, knowing no Chinese music, I relied on a good ol’ Beatles song, and got away with it. My second experience was in the home of my host family daughter’s friend. In a smaller setting, it was indeed quite a different mood, and I got to pay greater attention to the meaning of the songs. In order to be prepared, I could advise everyone to learn one famous Chinese song; it’ll make them laugh, and make you practice your pronunciation!
3. Menu Tasting & Furniture Shopping
My company is on the verge of opening its new vegetarian restaurant. So for lunch, Juan (another Indonesian intern) and I taste tested the new menu. My personal favourite is the tangyuan, which is the Chinese version of the Japanese mochi, a glutinous rice cake filled with various pastes or nuts. Part of the Japanese Washoku, listed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, it’s Chinese equivalent is just as delicious.
The following day, we went to buy furniture for the new restaurant. On the outskirts of the city lays a vast warehouse-like furniture store, specialized in traditional goods, which is actually composed of multiple little shops. From old locks, to carved doors, to tea tables and stone water fountains, it was quite a delight to the eye.
4. A Peak at the Local Life
For anyone wishing to truly experience the local life, I can’t insist enough on how great a homestay can be. I was extremely fortunate to intrude into the life of the Kong family. They have welcomed me into their daily routine and have been continuously generous and attentive. They have already promised to come visit me in my hometown, and I really hope they do! Having come to China to experience being a fish out of water, I quickly realized that all human beings are the same, no matter how far apart they seem to be. Sure, the food is different (it’s delicious!) and the language’s structure is arduous to grasp, but in the end, it’s a small world, after all.
5. Oh, one more thing:
Most public place doors here aren’t outward opening as they are in the west. So don’t look foolish (like I did for a week): open doors as you would in your house, inward.
If you looking to immerse yourself in Chinese culture whilst getting yourself valuable internship experience, apply here now!
Many of the interns come to Zhuhai or in general to China, to do their internship. Sometimes it’s part of their studies or they have just graduated and want to go out to gain some work experience in the real business world. However, why should you go to China for your first ever work experience? You are young, inexperienced and want to see the world – doing an internship in China, you can save time and do these two things together.
Will you have time to experience China while doing a full-time internship? Yes of course, you will have the weekends, the governmental holidays and of course, some days you can take off from work. 🙂
Zhuhai is located in the south of China – that means the weather is very nice all year round. Summers are really hot and humid, winters are mild so you only need to have a thin jacket. Many outdoor activities can be done all year round. I usually go running along the seaside, called Loversroad – but in summer I usually stay inside as it gets really hot. 🙂
For those hot days, InternChina organizes weekend trips to one of the 146 islands all around Zhuhai. So you can refresh yourself in the cool sea, have some really good fresh grilled seafood and a really good time together with your friends here in China. If we stayed in the city we would usually chill at the Jida Beach in Zhuhai or go shopping in the cool underground market. Every Friday we spend the evening on the office building rooftop, drinking beer and enjoying the start of the weekend.
When it starts getting cooler, you can be more active outside, start to play badminton as well as volleyball outside in the courtyards or at the beach. You can go to one of the four nature parks we have here in Zhuhai. We also have some mountains right in-between the city so hiking fans are very welcomed.
Further away from the city center we have the paintballing place – to get into the competitive spirit and to let go your anger about everything you will have on your mind. If you are done with that and found yourself again- you can go to one of the hot-springs resorts to relax and get prepared for the following workdays. The hot springs are small pools with hot water flavored with coffee, flowers, tea or some crazy stuff like beer or wine.
For the weekdays and after work-activities you will find many KTVs, places where you can go go-karting, bowling and also skating. You can go for a massage or get your nails done (which is really cheap here in china) and you can do many other things where you only need an evening to do it.
For those who want to see and learn more about the Chinese culture, Zhuhai has it’s own Zhuhai History Museum and a porcelain museum. You can also go to the parks to practice Tai-Chi or watch the old people do this and see them concentrate very hard. By the way Tai-Chi is not as simple as it looks – it is hard work, believe me. Once, we also went to a traditional artist to learn the Chinese Calligraphy, a very traditional kind of Chinese Art.
For long weekends we plan trips to places that are interesting in the South China area, we went to Guilin (the mountains you can see on the 20RMB note) http://internchina.com/internchina-trip-to-yangshuo/, the place of the famous “Penis-mountain” called Dan Xia Park (http://internchina.com/ic-trip-to-dan-xia-park/ ) and to Fujian with the huge Hakka Houses (http://internchina.com/fujian-trip/).
During Christmas and New Year, I took some time off work to fly to Beijijng and Shanghai, so I also saw the most famous parts of China. I went to the great wall, the Forbidden City and the hutongs, I went to the Bund and shopping in those huge fake-markets.
So you see, half a year in China doing an internship you will still have enough time to see many parts of China and to learn more about the country, people and culture.
If you want to join me and the others pushing our careers AND experience a total different world then apply now.
Just like many other people, when I started to study Chinese, I had to face a lot of difficulties. I asked myself things like: Will I ever be able to produce those sounds and tones correctly? Or: How would I be able to learn all of those characters? Of course studying is a lot of hard work and if you want to study a language you will never stop learning. But then I found my ways to have some fun while studying.
This is basically about the spoken language, because there is no other way but to study the characters a lot, if you want to be able to memorize them.
No.1 Listen to music
Do you like music? Then find some good Chinese songs from your favourite music genre and start listening. Maybe you can find the lyrics in Chinese and pinyin, sometimes they have translations too. It also helps a lot to sing along, because you can practice your pronunciation and in music, as it’s all about the melody, the tones aren’t that important. Also remember going to Karaoke, or as the Chinese call it, KTV. This is one of Chinese people’s most favourite past-times, where you can make friends and have a lot of fun.
No. 2 Watch movies or TV
I started getting interested in China after my first Jackie Chan movie and I have always liked to watch movies. Then I also found my love for Asian television drama. When you watch Chinese movies you can put on subtitles first so you know what’s going on. Chinese movies and TV usually have Chinese subtitles, too, so if you’re already good, try to read along. Whilst watching you can practice your listening comprehension and also learn about Chinese culture. As Chinese love to make their own history into movies, you can learn about the main events in a faster way than reading a book. And if you meet Chinese people you will have something fun to talk about.
No. 3 Learn tongue twisters
I know it can be a little hard and maybe people will laugh at you first, but it’s still fun. It will help you with your pronunciation and studying the tones, because Chinese tongue twisters are also mainly about the tones. If you listen to the song 中国话Zhōngguóhuà by Taiwanese girlgroup S.H.E. you can hear some famous tongue twisters. You can also teach Chinese people your country’s tongue twister and laugh at them. 😉 Here is a really simple one for the first try:
sì shì sì, shí shì shí, shí sì shì shí sì, sì shí shì sì shí.
Four is four, Ten is Ten, Fourteen is Fourteen, Forty is Forty.
No. 4 Learn how to say and read your favourite dishes
As food is an important thing here in China and there are so many different dishes, you will have to find out which food you like and how to order it. In the meantime you can also study a lot of useful vocabulary that has to do with food, such as different types of vegetables or meat. You can combine studying and enjoying a delicious meal. Every city or region has their own special dish. The city I’ve studied in is famous for 扬州炒饭 Yángzhōuchǎofàn, which you can get in Chinese restaurants all over the world, but it still tastes the best in Yangzhou. 😉
No. 5 Find a language partner
Of course the best way to learn a language is to speak it and with a native speaker it’s the most efficient. So if you are still in University you should find out if there is a program to find a language partner or you can try to make Chinese friends via the internet. You can do all the fun things you do with your other friends and improve your Chinese at the same time. The easiest way to learn is if you come to China, because you will quickly find friends whom you can practice Chinese with.
Apart from the great business and work opportunities that Zhuhai has to offer, it also has a great nightlife for those that like to have fun on their nights off.
There are many various places you can go to enjoy your Friday night, whether it be KTV, Bar Street (where all the clubs are) or the downtown bars.
KTV is a favorite amongst the Chinese locals, they absolutely love KTV’ing. KTV is actually so much fun, you get your own private room with a massive TV and sound system, and you can karaoke privately with your friends. If you don’t feel like singing, you’ve basically got yourself a private club for the night! Drinks tend to be expensive, but it all evens out because the price to rent the room for the night is very inexpensive. KTV’s can be found all over the city.
Bar Street is a favorite amongst the interns because there is a street full of bars and clubs. 88 Club in particular is the main club to go to when you are in Zhuhai. Opening, and happening every night of the week, you can always expect dance music, flashing lights, live dancers and free glow sticks. Because the drinks tend to be a little expensive, the interns usually buy drinks from the 7/11 down the street, drink them by the big lit-up tree outside of 88, and then enter the club when they are ready to party.
Right next to Bar Street is BBQ Street, where you can find lots of delicious street vendors ready to make you food at 2:00am when you’re drunk and hungry.
For those more relaxed nights, there are many great bars to go to. London Lounge, for example, which is located opposite the Jida beach, has become very popular. Sports games are played on the regular, and there is always great live music. If you’re craving western delights such as sausage rolls or fish’n’chips, this is the place to come to. If you’re a little tired of drinking Chinese beer and feel like a nice change, London Lounge serves Guinness, Tuborg, Carlsberg, Heineken, Corona’s, etc.
King’s Flanc is another hidden gem in Zhuhai. They offer a vast variety of wines and other drinks for those more classy nights.
There are many great places to have a great night when in Zhuhai. Here is a list of some other great places:
The Factory Restaurant & Bar
Location: Street: Huafa New Century Plaza 113
珠 海 香 洲 -拱 北 昌 盛 路 华 发 世 纪 城3113号
Chicago Brewery & Grill
Location: Dongfeng Road 6
香 洲 区 东 风 路 6号
London Lounge Bar
Location: Ground Floor, Ridong Square
香 洲 区 情 侣 中 路 51号 日 东 广 场
Location: Jiu ba jie
香 洲 区 拱 北 水 湾 路 酒 吧 街 203号
Location: Jiu ba jie
香 洲 区 拱 北 水 湾 路 酒 吧 街
To find out more about what events and fun things are planned for Zhuhai, visit www.zhuhainights.com
Are you interested in gaining some great experience, as well as having a great time with people your age? Come to Zhuhai to experience the great party scene! Apply now to InternChina by sending your CV and cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hello, I am Calum a summer intern in the InternChina Zhuhai office. I am here for two months before I go back to University to complete my degree. I have been in China for less than three weeks and already have so many stories to tell. I was introduced to the nightlife in Zhuhai very early and have been pleasantly surprised with how much fun KTV is. I came to China unable to speak any Chinese so have attended a language exchange every week to learn from locals and try and make conversation on a daily basis easier.
I have been introduced quickly to InternChina traditions such as going for a beer on the roof every Friday night and weekly events and trips to dinner. I have also been welcomed into sporting activities such as a game of football against Chinese locals every Sunday and squash on a Monday night.
My job role involves helping set up events, marketing and going on business meetings to see potential partner companies for InternChina. Recently, I have also been to interview other interns to see how they are getting on within their company.
This week I went to an arranged visit to a beautiful place called Guilin where we went on boat and bamboo-rafting rides, had water gun battles, visited the beautiful Yinzi cave and got to check out the nightlife which is fair to say didn’t disappoint.
From what I have experienced so far I have thoroughly enjoyed my internship and time in China and look forward to what’s in store during the next few months 🙂
I cannot believe how fast time flies by when you are having fun. It has already been 4 weeks since I first came to Qingdao. During these 3 weeks, I have met new people and visited many interesting places around the city. Intern China organizes events every week and it is through these events that I have met new people. Last Thursday, Intern China organized a Korean BBQ dinner and 20 people arrived, which, was great! We ordered a lot of food (beef, pork, vegetables and Korean pancakes) and drinks (Soju and Qingdao beer). We all had a good time and there was even a drinking competition!After the dinner, we all decided to go to KTV (karaoke) since the night was still young and we all ended up having an awesome time! We got a big karaoke room with a big screen and everyone sang. The atmosphere was good and I’m sure everyone had an awesome time.
On Saturday, there was a traditional event called Students’ Round Table where all interns and locals come together and hang out. The meeting point for this event was in a hostel in the old town. There were many interns as well as Chinese people. We could drink as much cocktails as we wanted for only 50RMB for girls, 80RMB for guys and 50RMB if you come as a couple. In conclusion, we all had a great time and it was an awesome week! This coming weekend, there will be a party in our apartment and kung-fu class!!!!!!