Another curiousity item, but given the huge popularity of Karaoke in this part of the world, how many of you end up spending part of your vacation here in Karaoke bars drinking and singing with the "locals"? I'm am invariably sucked into doing Karaoke once or twice a month by my wife or friends. Anyone else here find themselves doing the Karaoke thing while here?
When I lived in Bangkok in the late 90's and was dating local girls, we would often wind up at a Karaoke place for a few hours. It was like going to a bar where something resembling singing broke out. I haven't done it much since then. It is a good idea though, and perhaps the next time someone asks where they should go to meet people, you can point them in the direction of the nearest Karaoke joint.
I don't think it is the traditional dancing or arts and crafts that people imagine when they think of Thailand, but I agree that it is a big part of the more modern culture and a fun way to spend a few hours. Plus, it is a good way to participate in rather than just observe Thai life, and an opportunity to meet people. We should definitely suggest it when people say they want to meet people or participate in something.
What is the going rate for the Karaoke parlors in Mukdahan these days? Are there a full range of regular and VIP rooms? Are there drop in sessions, like a pick-up basketball game, or do you need to arrive with your own crew? Sounds like we need to get somtam and tilapia and a few others together with a big bucket of ice cold beer and run through some traditional Thai songs. That could be great fun.
I have one place I go to fairly often because my wife's friends run it. It's of the not naughty variety and they have a decent restaurant as part of it. Almost all of the singing is atrocious and I like to sit outside on the patio and talk with her friends. There's no rate there - they make their money through drinks and food.
There's a place over at the Ploy that has private booths. I think they're 150 baht an hour plus drinks. I haven't been there in years though.
Otherwise all the places here are of the naughty variety. They make their money via customers buying drinks for themselves and the girls and bar fining the girls.