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!
After living in Zhuhai for about 4 months, it seems about time to speak about the after-work possibilities. No matter if you just want to sip a cocktail, have a quiet wine or want to dance to wild electronic tunes, our beautiful city can offer you all of the above!
Location: South, Jida/Gongbei
Being a newbie in the city you cannot miss out on Zhuhai’s 300 meter long bar street 酒吧街 «Jiǔbājiē». As soon as it gets dark, bar street lights up. Here businessmen, yuppies and tourists rub shoulders to enjoy a drink or two, play dice or on occasion rock-paper-scissors at one of the more upscale clubs or dozen open-air bars. If you want to have a taste of the local beer, go for a Haizhu.
88 (Ba Ba)
- Being the first bar at the corner of bar street it is also the most popular bar in the city. Don’t be shy and join the locals to play a round of dice! The drinks are generally quite expensive there but don’t worry, we also have a solution for that: get yourself a can of beer at one of the shops across the street and enjoy it on one of the benches in front of the bar. 88 is open until 5am 7 days a week.
Cohiba (Xi Yang Hui)
- For a more quiet beer have a seat in the outdoor area of Cohiba or listen to the live singers inside the bar. It can also be a nice break from the electronic sounds of 88. A beer costs roughly ¥20-30.
La Bohemia (桂缘), 珠海市水湾路酒吧街
- La Bohemia is the first bar on bar street if coming from the North East. Its Latin dance parties on Friday nights are very popular. It is a great place to enjoy Portuguese or Mediterranean food and it also offers a large selection of cocktails and wines.
- This is also a nice place to go if you fancy a quiet wine and some fine dining.
- 1520 is one block down from 88 towards the ocean. This bar is similar to 88 but has karaoke/ KTV rooms upstairs.
Location: North of the City Centre, Lanpu
Midtown富华里«fu4 hua2 li3» is the place to go if you want a night out with a more western atmosphere. Here we recommend A-Club and specifically their outside beer-garden area.
Location: South-East, Huafa Century City
In this very new and modern district of Zhuhai live most of Zhuhai’s expats. Bars and clubs we recommend you to go to are: The Factory, M2 and MiuMiu.
Whilst they have live music every Friday, The Factory is still a good place to meet friends to chat and drink, with delicious western food, live music and a round of pool. If you prefer to dance to modern electric sounds like there’s no tomorrow then make the short trip from here to M2 or MiuMiu.
With a little bit of luck, you can also spot one or two fancy cars, and even a hello-kitty version of a Ferrari boasting both Zhuhai and Macau license plates:
Location: East Coast, Jida
When the weather is good, which in Zhuhai it often is, at the bars along Jida beach you can enjoy a perfect view over the ocean. The bars are reasonably priced considering their location and have a range of alcoholic beverages and juices on offer. For low-budget travellers we strongly recommend a few “beach beers” which you can get from one of the many small shops around.
Very close to Jida Beach you can find London Lounge, which is a very popular bar amongst expats. Their Chinese as well as Western staff are always ready to crack a joke and also the Open-Mic sessions every second Thursday are worth checking out!
If you also want to experience Zhuhai and get a tour around the city, apply now!