Karaoke is something that people either seem to love or hate. In South Korea though, everyone loves it- and so will you.
Karaoke is called Narabang in Korean which translates to singing room. Instead of being in front of a bunch of strangers at a bar, you rent out a room with your friends. In your private room you will be served beer and soju (Korean hard alcohol). Having your own room makes this less of a talent contest and more like a house party. Because you are only with your friends the environment is a lot more comfortable and relaxed- the cheap soju might have something to do with that too.
Each room usually has tacky wallpaper, a large table in the middle for drinks, and couches along the wall. These couches are great for standing on and dancing…although, I’m pretty sure that’s not what they’re there for. The rooms always have a couple of microphones so you never have to sing alone. There is also a book and computer gadget that you insert your song number into. You will find the English songs at the back of the book.
The great thing about Norabangs is that they are literally everywhere! Just look for a neon sing that says 노래방. And you don’t have to worry about closing time. You can go on a casual Tuesday night with your friends or at 5 a.m. after the bar. After a couple of hours of singing and downing bottle after bottle of soju the bill will only come to about $12 per person. Not bad for a private room and bottle service.
This is a must do when visiting South Korea and I promise that you will have the time of your life. Here is a n embarrassing clip of some friends and I singing during a fun night out in Busan.