There are few things in Korea that I have loved discovering more than Noreabang. What is Noreabang ? I hear you cry. Noreabang or 노래방 translates as ‘singing room’ and it does exactly what it says on the tin. These small rooms are normally located in basements and can be found on every street in Korea. You can find a 노래 (Noreabang) sign flashing even down the darkest of alleys. How to use them is simple. You go in with a group of friends (or alone as many Koreans do), pay for an hour and sing your heart out but be warned you may find yourself in one of these for most of the night.
Every Noreabang is different. Some look like a 1970’s pimp’s den and some look like a suite at the four seasons. My favourite is the dark and dingy kind. It feels like you’ve stepped back in time and for some reason its easier to let your inhibitions go.
Once you’re in your little room you will find a variety of strange objects. Microphones with little shower caps on, a very thick book with English songs near the back and a tambourine or too.
Stick in the number of your chosen track , the lights will change and you will be the center of your own personal disco. The cheesy images that accompany each video are worth the trip. Think kittens frolicking in feathers while you sing a hard core metal song.
Before coming to Korea I had a fear of singing in public. I use to sing when I was little and after messing up in front of a lot of people the fear set in and I didn’t sing again. Lee on the other hand had NEVER sung in public. He couldn’t even watch singing TV shows because he’d cringe at the idea of singing. Cut to two years in Korea and you can’t drag us out of a Noreabang. These little private rooms with your friends don’t just make singing less daunting than Karaoke, they make it down right fantastic.
Many of my favourite memories in Korea all take place in a Noreabang. When friends come to visit I take them straight there, and although a lot of people are skeptical the pull of acting like a fool normally wins out.
Lee’s family, my friends and all the people we have met here have sung their hearts out in front of us (sometimes even rapped). If we were business minded we’d be opening them up all over the UK. These little rooms contain a lot of memories for me.
Just makes sure to scream every note during the chorus and add the obligatory ‘so good So Good SO GOOD’ during the chorus.
Great for practicing your guitar air solos
This is my particular favourite. I love any excuse to twist but its made all the more fun when you have friends to help you scream along to the chorus with.
It sounds like a random song choice but seeing a room full of people jumping around like crazy and attempting to mosh after a few beers… it’s magical
This is one of Lee’s favourites . It is great to get everyone dancing. I also know when Lee wants to Noreabang because he will go around our flat humming this. Norea’s always on his mind.
This is what I like to call the anthem of Canada. After getting to know a few Canadians this is our go to song. Screaming every part of it is necessary.
Enough said really. Sing it and sing it loud.
This cheesy romantic number is great to get the tambourine out and sway with your friends. As long as you are ready to get to your knee and proclaim your love to every one of your friends. We had a group sing along to this when a lot of our friends were leaving Korea. I never thought that this would be a song I actually got emotional about. That’s the power of Noreabang.
If you know this song then you will know why this is such a great one to belt out. Plus there’s a lot of talking for those non singers out there.
I think you all knew that this would be on the list. It’s a classic and a great one. IT may be obvious but some times its those obvious ones that get everyone up and dancing. The perfect way to end any Noreabang.
* I really wanted to include the videos my friends have made over the last two years of us all singing like fools but what happens in Noreabang really does need to stay in Noreabang .
Have you or would you like to Noreabang? What is your go to song? Have I left out any classics here? When can I Noreabang ?!?!? These are all very important questions. We look forward to hearing from you all x