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Korean Karaoke (No-Rae-Bang)

September 7, 2008


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So, you like Karaoke you say? Well you’ve got NOTHING on the love that Koreans have for Karaoke. Once you find yourself living in Bucheon or Korea you will find Karaoke – or 노래방 (no-rae-bong) as they call it in Korea – unavoidable, as these no-rae-bongs will be all over the place. They is popular amongst all ages, including your 50+ year old co-workers. Before you get excited, though, you should know that there are a few major differences between a North American karaoke bar and a Korean no-rae-bong. A noraebong translates to “singing room,” and that’s exactly what it is: a single room for you and your friends to wail away in, behind closed doors, where you don’t have to worry about making a fool of yourself in front of total strangers. They have both Korean and English songs to choose from (along with some German songs, as you will soon find out), so don’t worry about not being able to sing if you’re being dragged out by your co-workers. Just be prepared for a night of potentially heavy drinking, as you can order alcohol straight to your room. From what we’ve heard, people tend to get really drunk while at noraebongs – probably to build up more confidence for singing, or it could be due to the terrible sounds escaping their friends’ mouths. If you’re looking for a noraebong in Bucheon, you have to learn to read 노래방 because we’ve only seen it written in Korean. Just don’t mix up 노래방(no-rae-bahng) for 피시방 (pee-see-bang or PC bang). A 피시방, like we mentioned before in our Korean video gaming post, is a super popular gaming room where people go to play online games (like Starcraft or Warcraft) or to just use the internet.

This past Friday we went out with some friends here in Bucheon to our first Korean Karaoke room, and we knew that we had to make a video of it for the site, regardless of how embarrassing the video may be. The one we went to is right in what we consider the heart of Bucheon – close to Rhythm and Booze (which we went to again on Friday) and the Hyundai Department store. As well, if any of you know the song that Simon is singing, then you’re part of a super-cool and elite club. If not, click here for the original version



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