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Five karaoke joints with the X factor

Five karaoke joints with the X factor

Not all KTVs are created equal. We hunted down five of the best, with selling points including top-notch songbooks, family friendliness and 10-pin bowling

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Blue-O Rhythm and Bowl Platinum Room
It may come as a surprise to some, but not everyone likes karaoke, so it’s handy to have an alternative activity for those who aren’t The Voice wannabes. In Blue-O Rhythm and Bowl’s private Platinum Room, big groups can split their time between singing and bowling on two private lanes. You need to have a big group, because the room is $100 per hour. The karaoke computer has a decent selection of English-language songs (yes, it has Total Eclipse of the Heart) and the sound system gets loud. Bowling shoe rental is $1 and you can buy socks for $1 a pair. Drinks are available at the bar.
Level 2, Aeon Mall, Sothearos Boulevard. Open 9am-midnight. 023 901 000.

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Champs D’ELysees
Paris’ Champs D’Elysees is the wide and romantic boulevard that leads to the Arc de Triomphe. There’s nothing monumental about Phnom Penh’s Champs D’Elysees, the big and brash hotel on Street 63 with a wildly popular KTV. With laser lights and glowing tables in the bigger rooms, the cheesy clubbing vibe is fun if you let your hair down. Most importantly, you can follow it up with decent dim sum within staggering distance at the attached restaurant, which stays open until 4am.
#185 Street 63.

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Woodball
For many in the Western karaoke set, it’s all about the songbook. That’s why Woodball, an unassuming new Japanese bar just off Street 51, has quickly attracted a loyal following. Guests, who pay $2.50 a head for the privilege, can sing along with a largely Japanese clientele at the bar downstairs or commandeer the small upstairs room, which seats about 12. Manager Ayumi Miyagawa’s helpful staff keeps the drinks and free potato chips flowing and, really, where else in town can you sing 20-plus Radiohead songs… or Ben Folds… or Elvis Costello…
#50 Street 174. 069 205 490.

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Big Apple KTV
One of Phnom Penh’s few family-oriented KTVs, Big Apple has 26 private karaoke rooms with a decent selection of songs in English. Downstairs a mini-mart sells snacks and drinks that you can take up to the rooms, or you can order from a menu. If you’re having a birthday party, they’ll give you a free cake, too. The price per hour depends on the number of participants and time. In the evening, it ranges from $8 for up to four people to $20 for between 16 and 20. It’s much cheaper during the day.
#40-42 Street 67 (behind Sorya Super Market). Open 9am until 2am. 023 988 966.

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Dream Music Family Karaoke
Japan is the spiritual home of karaoke, so of course Japanese-owned Aeon Mall offers a snazzy karaoke joint complete with authentic Japanese-style rooms. It’s also handy if you get a hankering to belt out a tune or two while you’re doing the weekly groceries. Dream Music Family Karaoke has rooms accommodating two, four, six and 10, plus VIP rooms for up to 20 people and songs in Khmer, Japanese, Korean, English, Thai and Chinese. The cost is $3 per person during the week and $4 per person on weekends.
Level 2, Aeon Mall, Sothearos Boulevard. Open 8am until midnight. 023 901 110.

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