Friday, January 17, 2014

Thanks Nature Cafe (Sheep cafe)

Animals cafes are quite popular among everyone nowadays. For my previous trip to korea in summer, I saw this unique cafe on the website and went for a visit. However, the sheep are not around due to the hot weather and it was quite disappointing -.- Hence for this trip, I find out the details whether the sheep would be around and include in my schedule.
Location: 121, B1F Prugio, 486, Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul, Korea | 121, B1F Prugio, 486, Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul, Korea
Take train to hongik station exit 9. Walk straight toward the traffic junction and turn left. Continue walking for another 5 minutes and u would see the cafe located on the right side. It is located on the basement quite hard to spot.

When we first arrived at the cafe, the sheep are busy eating and ignoring us -.- There is indoor and outdoor seating for cafe but we decided to go indoor as the cage area stink a bit 0.0

Interior design of the cafe

Decoration around the cafe

Cute menu

Green tea latte which is really nice. Remind me of the green tea latte which I had on busan tower. It has nice fragrance too :)
After eating, the sheep finally look at us. One of them went inside the cage.

Another sheep resting on the floor.

When the owner went to wash the cafe, the sheep are just roaming around the whole area.

I guess the sheep are still hungry after spending most of their time eating ... They straight away dash for the plants and start chewing on them again 0.0
Although the whole hongik area is busy with all the activities at night, this cafe is still peaceful quiet for people to relax. Overall, it is quite unique experience to visit such a cute cafe and come in close contact with the sheep. I am looking forward to visit other cute animals cafe around the world like the rabbit cafe in Japan :) Hope to open my own animal cafe when i am retiring too!

Interesting places around insadong (anguk station)

Previously, I have blogged about insadong, Bukchon Hanok Village and Changdeokgung Palace. There are quite a lot other interesting places around this station like: Samcheong-dong, Unhyeongung Royal Residence and Jogyesa Temple. For this post, I will be introducing Unhyeongung Royal Residence and Jogyesa Temple
Unhyeongung Royal Residence

How to go there: Alight at Anguk station and come out from exit 4. Walk straight for a few minutes and it is located on the left side.

The entrance fee for palace is 700 won. However, if you happen to go on weekday during lunch hour, it is free. I didn't know about this beforehand. Just nice i came at the right timing :)

It is really much smaller compared to other palace around Seoul. It only took me less than 1 hour to tour around the whole place. Unhyeongung Royal Residence used to be the home of young Gojong until he became the Emperor during the Joseon Dynasty. It was damaged during the Japanese colonial period and the Korean War. Hence, the residence is a much smaller version compared to the past.
So what make this residence so special and interesting? There is human figures placed around the residence area to show the clothing and lifestyle in the past. This really help us to have a better overview of the past.

Photos around the residence. Rest of the structure is quite similar to mini version of the palace design. There is also a small gallery inside the residence to learn more about the history. Overall, it is quite interesting to visit place and learn about the history.

Jogyesa Temple
How to go there: Alight at Anguk station and come out from exit 6. Walk straight and cross the street. Walk for 50m and you will reach the temple.

Although this temple is not big or grand compared to other temples like Bonguensa Temple in gangnam area, it is quite famous due to the central location. It is popular among tourists who are on a short trip. The temple is surrounded by all the tall buildings. There is also 500 years old baeksong tree in front of the main building.

Tall pagoda

Beautiful craving on the wall

Musical building
This temple also offer temple stay and tour if you are interested. I always like to visit temple on trip so I can learn more about their culture and also pray at the same time. *Praying that I will get a decent job which would enable me to progress well in my career :) After praying, I went to shop around insa-dong which is good place to get gifts for your friends. I will update about the sheep cafe later on. Look for it :)

Thursday, January 16, 2014

cat cafe in myeongdong

Lily cat cafe

Godabang cat cafe
Other than dog cafe in myeongdong, there are also other interesting cafes there like cat cafes. I am not sure exactly how many cat cafes are there but I saw at least 2 of them. I arrived early in the morning around 11am but both cat cafes are not opened even though the time stated for lily cat cafe is 11am. Hence, I went to shop around for my friends skin care products and had my lunch. Since godabang is nearer to me, I decided to give it a try. The entrance fees for godabang is 8000won.
Operating hour for godabang: weekdays 1pm to 10pm | weekends 12pm to 10pm
On the way up, I was greeted by this "dao" garfield.
Entrance of the cat cafe
Upon entering, the owner asked me to change to the slipper given and wash my hands. She also briefed us on the rules of the cafe. The entrance fees was paid at the cashier and I made my free drink order.
U also can buy treats for the cats!!
Rules of the cafe
There are total of 22 cats in this cafe and they have description of every single cats on this wall.
No all cats are friendly so the staff tied a yellow scarf to let us know which cats don't really like human touch

Try spotting how many cats are in this photo :p
Do ri mi cat sequence which is very cute

Simply just love this cat face when he is sleeping *can't really take clear photo due to the sunlight -.-
Bucket of toys in the middle of the cafe where customers can use the toys to interact with the cat. Although there is only 2 staff at that moment, they still interact with the customers and teach us on how to use these toys. Every cats also like different toys.

I choose this tail to interact with the cats
This is my favorite cat who is always looking out of the window. Quite hard to catch his attention. Maybe plotting his way to escape *.*
The cat with leopard spot which enjoy ball game like cute dog :)
One last photo! This cat is always building sand castle in the air unless u try to use ribbon to play with him.

Overall, it is really quite a nice and clean cafe for relaxing and taking a break after a few hours of shopping at myeongdong. It is really quite affordable. It is lesser than $10 with a drink as compared to Sg Neko cat cafe hourly charge which I went before going Korea -.- Furthermore, there is only 2 staff but they are really friendly and interact with the customers. They don't just hide behind the counter unlike most of Sg Neko cat cafe staff talking among themselves. (There is 1 staff at Neko cat cafe who interacts with the customers but his tone doesn't sound friendly. It is more like nagging and scolding. Maybe he needs to change his tone to make customers feel more friendly:) I just don't see the point having so many staff but they are not providing good customer service.)

Godabang staff even teach customer on what toys to interact with the cats which make everyone feel like home. Although I am neutral toward cats, I feel welcome at the cat cafe. It is one of the best customer service and I just simply enjoy it.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Farm stay

Previously when I went Korea, I wanted to try the farm stay but I didn't have sufficient time for it. For this trip, I allocated 3 days for the farm stay. It is like playing my favorite harvest moon game which I love it when I was young.
The farm I am going is "EDU farm" located at Gyeonggi-do.
How to go there: Take train to yangpyeong station located on JungAng line. Take bus bound for HangGeumRi which is located in front of the traditional market. Alight at UnRimSi.
As it is located on rural area, the bus service is not that frequent. I noticed there is some times before the bus would arrive so I explore the traditional market. Subsequently, I took the bus and arrived at the farm.

I was greeted with this male cat named Maricon which mean gay in spanish .... U must be thinking why the owner gave the cat such a weird name? Previously, the owner had male cat but died in car accident cause he went out to meet female cat outside. Hence, the owner decided to name this male cat Maricon so hoping that he would stay safe. This cat is really cute and enjoys human touch. Whenever we are out in the farm to work, he would follow us and wait patiently until we finish our job.

While the owner was preparing lunch, I went out to explore his farm. His farm consists of a house, education center for the kids, hens and dogs cage and a big piece of land for farming.

The farm is just located near the river bank with a beautiful scenery. Hope to retire in such nice place but it is impossible in Singapore...

As it is winter, there is limited stuffs to do as there is no plantation or harvest during this period. Here is some of the item which I did during the farm stay.

The house still uses the traditional way of heating unlike the electric system in Seoul during winter so I had to change every morning and evening to keep the house warm during winter.

I also had to collect eggs from the chicken every morning and evening. These chickens can fly up to height that is taller than me 0.0 Whenever i enter the cage, I am worried about these chickens going to peck me cause I am "stealing" their eggs.

Clearing his farm. I think I chopped so many trees during the farm stay. All these trees are unwanted which compete with the useful one for nutrients so we had to remove them during winter. Look at the amount of trees piled over here!!

For those thicker logs, we will pile them over here and burn to keep the place warm. Other than these tasks, I also help in preparing materials needed for the kids coming to the farm a few days later.
Overall, the owner is really nice and prepares nice meals for me to eat. I really enjoy the farm stay and I would definitely try in the future but I would choose other seasons to come as there is limited things to do. You can also choose to come with your friends which would be more enjoyable. If you are really interested in farmstay, can check out here. U can also check out wwoof which also offers farmstay in other countries.