Lounges grow in pop­u­lar­ity af­ter shak­ing off du­bi­ous im­age

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - WORLD -

HO CHI MINH CITY, Viet­nam — Nor­mally Thu Phuong is as timid as a mouse, afraid of stand­ing in front of a group of peo­ple. But last week­end, her per­sona changed as she took the mi­cro­phone and belted out a bal­lad in front of her col­leagues.

In Viet­nam, karaoke venues are be­com­ing an in­creas­ingly pop­u­lar choice of en­ter­tain­ment with es­tab­lish­ments of­fer­ing more and more lux­u­ri­ous spa­ces and themes, such as the inside of a mod­ern space­craft and an an­cient Egyp­tian tomb, and in­creas­ingly pow­er­ful mu­sic sys­tems as the so­ci­ety de­vel­ops.

Karaoke be­gan to find pop­u­lar­ity in Viet­nam in the 1980s and was char­ac­ter­ized by poor au­dio equip­ment and small venues.

But as it has grown in pop­u­lar­ity, a va­ri­ety of es­tab­lish­ments have sprung up, in­clud­ing lux­ury fa­cil­i­ties boast­ing up to 50 rooms which can hold from two to 200 peo­ple.

“’Clean’ karaoke venues, not ‘hug­ging’ ones, are now much more com­mon than the il­le­gal

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