I’ve noticed one thing that usually happens around animal cafes.
The animals don’t care about you.
Well most of the time anyway. If they’re dogs, they’ are either lazily sleeping or looking for the next person with food in their pockets or hands or if they’re cats, they are either lazily sleeping or plain ignoring you. You don’t strike a bond with these creatures because they see different people everyday and being a star is exhausting isn’t it? It’s like having to sign autographs 8-5 with few breaks in between. I can just imagine the boredom of these creatures.
But I am an animal lover. I wanted them to love me as well so when I decided to go to Thanks Nature Cafe in Seoul Korea, I wanted the sheep to like me as well. How else could I attract their attention. Hm… by dressing up as a sheep of course! I remembered my mom went to a sheep farm somewhere in Taiwan and she bought me this Sheep hat. It is SUPER CUTE and actually will help keep your face, head and ears warm. You can also put your hands in the long flaps of the hat as well to help you not freeze to death.
So let’s go to Thanks Nature Cafe!
It’s located near Hongik station, on the main road of Hongik-Ro but be careful. You might miss it because it’s located downstairs in the basement with only a small sign to signal its presence. Once you go down, you will immediately smell the scent of wildlife (or sheep poo and sheep smell) and the little cafe right beside it.
Image from Google Maps
We arrived a bit early around 10:30 am (sorry was too excited!) but the cafe was closed so we kinda roamed around a bit checking out shoes at the nearby New Balance store. Once the clock struck 11, we dashed towards the cafe and got the best seats in the house because we were the only customers there. The interior of the cafe was cute and filled with little sheep paraphernalia.
We got caramel macchiato, hot chocolate and green matcha tea. While they weren’t exactly mind blowing drinks (the hot chocolate tasted a bit like swiss miss chocolate but I liked it), their waffles though were in a totally different league. The ice cream blended the crispiness of the waffle and the fresh taste of the fruits. When in Korea, I swear order strawberry everything because these fruits are divine during the winter-spring season. I wish I could eat this everyday. A friend who went there also praised their crème brûlée and cherry blossom white chocolate.
We decided to eat first as 1 drink purchase automatically gave you access to the petting sheep area. Wait for the old caretaker or waitress before going in so that you’d know the simple protocols. Feed the sheep with grass, no flash photography and do not scare the sheep with bleeting noises (okay I just made the last one up).
I was so happy that there really was no crowd, which was a breath of fresh air from other animal cafes and we had the whole place to ourselves. The sheep as predictable only noticed you when you had grass in your hand so taking photos required a special balancing skill. How do you keep the sheep still for a photo but still feed them at the same time? Timing was of the essence and if you have an SLR camera, it would certainly help. The cafe has two sheep mainly Mongsil and Boksil. Tried to get their attention by bleating out their names. No success though, they only went in for the grass.
I am still so happy though because I was able to fulfill my sheep dreams. Even for just an hour, I was able to hug them and pet them. Their coat is just the softest thing ever.
So will disguising as a sheep help your sheep endeavor? No, but it does make great photos!
Thanks Nature Cafe
Address: 486 Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul, South Korea