In East Asia, karaoke bars are synonymous with Karaoke Television
(KTV). But instead of drunken patrons butchering 90s classics, KTV provides private rooms equipped with microphones, TVs, a seemingly endless array of songs, and, if you want them, booze and food. Go to any part of Shanghai and you’ll find these singing rooms. Here are the ones you can’t go wrong with.
The first on any list, K Party is a favorite for good reason. The extensive song selection can’t be beaten, the rooms are glamorous, and the prices are reasonable. This Taiwanese chain can be found in several Shanghai locations, but the one to check out is located next to the Dapuqiao metro station. The center is massive, but extremely well organized. The floors are marble and the microphones are the retro standing kind that will make you feel like a 1940s jazz singer. A variety of western and Chinese foods are available for a la carte purchase, or you can buy a room deal that includes snacks and alcohol. The staff are very professional and helpful. If, for instance, you leave your phone in one of the rooms, the staff will find it, charge it, and return it to you promptly. Rooms are hired by the hour, and prices vary based on time and size.
618 Xujiahui Rd. Floor 3, Xuhui District, Shanghai, China, 200025
With 33 locations throughout Shanghai, Haoledi is the best option for spontaneous KTV. Song selection is vast and varied, although there could stand to be more English-language songs. Many of the western songs Haoledi does offer come paired with a standard, somewhat bizarre music video of a woman writhing around on the beach. Prices here are cheap. A bar and snacks menu is available with whole crates of Tsingtao beer being a point in Haoledi’s favor. If all you want to do is drink a lot and shriek into a microphone, this is your place.
Getting into swanky territory is MuseK, backed by C-pop star and actress Carina Lau. The vibe here is more personal nightclub than jaunty singalong with friends. Each room comes decked out with leather sofas with built-in touch screen song selectors, a personal bartender, cameras for “make your own music videos,” and personalized TV monitors. Some of the larger rooms even include pool tables and floor to ceiling windows. Of course, this all comes at a price.
Floor 3, Building 6, South block, Xintiandi, 123 Xingye Rd, Huangpu District, Shanghai, China, 200000
A proper list of Shanghai singing rooms can’t leave out the kitschy themed KTVs. Many V-Show rooms come with a unique theme, like Astroboy, Hello Kitty, or Audrey Hepburn. What any of those things has to do with karaoke is a mystery, but it primes you for a fun, lighthearted occasion. And if kitsch isn’t your thing, non theme rooms are available as well. The playlist is up to date, with even the most recent western releases, perhaps the biggest reason to choose this over a competitor. Prices here are very reasonable. There are two V-Show locations in the city (not to be confused with V-Show’s other, non-KTV spaces).