May 03 2011
For the record, before I moved to Asia I hated karaoke. Hated with a capital H. I grew up on the prairies where karaoke was someone named Lurleen screaming a country song about divorcing a dog into a microphone while everyone drank themselves to heaven. There’s something supremely unsettling about having a bunch of drunk old men listen to you mangle a Karen Carpenter song.
Enter: box karaoke. The Japanese pioneered this fantastic concept which efficiently deals with the mortifying shame of singing (badly) in front of strangers. At box karaoke, every group gets their own room which is sound proof and has its own karaoke machine.
Songs are selected from an electronic list and queued automatically. Staff are on hand to bring towers of beer and food, which you order by phone, so that you don’t miss your chance to belt out “Billie Jean”. It’s amazing; the only scorn you have to fear is that of your friends.
Bangkok as several box karaoke places, but one of the best is called Rabbits 3 Karaoke. It used to be called BigEcho, which is a karaoke chain in Japan, but for some reason they decided that Rabbits 3 Karaoke would play better for the Thai market. Many of the home grown Thai box karaoke places have a really limited English song selection, but not Rabbits 3, which showcases one of the best selections in Bangkok.
When you arrive at Rabbits 3 Karaoke, you select a room based on the number of people in your group — the price rises with the size of the room, starting at 400 baht per hour for a three- to four-person room. Between 18:00 to 22:00 every evening, the room charge is waived for up to four hours as long as everyone eats or drinks at least 300 baht per person (400 baht per person on Fridays).
The staff will load everyone into their assigned room and take drink and food orders. Don’t feel like you have to order anything if you don’t want to, but they quite often have some good deals on beer and Thai spirits (you might want to consider some drinks in the neighbourhood beforehand to get into the mood).
As soon as the karaoke machine comes on, your time begins, so start queuing up those songs!
Rabbits 3 Karaoke
Asok Tower Building, Asoke Rd, Klong Toei Neua
Wattana, Bangkok 10110, Thailand
T: (02) 261 2593
11:00 – 01:00, daily
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