Tips for Visiting The Thanks Nature Sheep Cafe in Seoul, Korea | The Travel Breakdown

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

So I went to a sheep cafe. That's right... you read that correctly. A sheep cafe. Sheep cafes are an actual thing in Seoul, Korea so you know I had to check it out. I went there with my friend Taryn and we went to the Thanks Nature Cafe in Hongdae. In the video that I made for The Travel Breakdown, you can see that we got a little lost trying to find it, so hopefully this blog post will prevent that for you if you're planning on going and also give you some quick tips! :)

Let's get to the Travel Breakdown....

Getting There
Ah directions. I'm terrible at them. I wish I was a better navigator but alas I am not. I mean I'm really bad... I'd consider myself directly challenged. Now that we've gotten that fact out of the way, let me tell you how we were able to find the Thanks Nature Cafe. Well, first of all, the Thanks Nature Cafe to me is a little hidden. From the street, you would almost miss it. You can see in the travel vlog that Taryn and I ended up wandering around Hongdae for about an hour. Don't get me wrong, we enjoyed every minute and took advantage of being lost by shopping and eating along the way :) How did we finally find the sheep cafe you ask?! We asked someone. Around Seoul, especially in the tourist-y areas, there are people standing around with red vests. These people usually speak English, Chinese and Korean and can help you find wherever you're trying to go. Plus, they supplied us with a nifty map :D 
마포구 서교동 486 서교푸르지오상가 B121 Seoul, Korea
Phone Number: 
+82 2-335-7470
When you finally find the cafe, you'll see that it's actually below the street level so you walk down the stairs and see the sheep enclosure. BOY WAS IT STINKY! haha. 
You'll see a menu at the base of the stairs before you walk into the actual eating/drinking area so be sure to pick something! This is like your entrance into the cafe. There are lots of lovely options though :) 
Once inside, you can't smell the sheep. At least I couldn't and I have a very sensitive nose. See that order here sign? Yeah that's where you order. haha. 
I really enjoyed the interior of the cafe. Let me take you on a little virtual tour, yes? :)
Around the cafe, they had adorable little sheep accents. I also loved how open and airy the cafe itself was. 
 They had magazines there for you to look and they also had a little charging station for phones! I didn't take a picture but take my word for it! I thought that was a very nice touch. 
 They also had lots of potted plants around the cafe. 
 -Don't overwhelm the sheep! They had an enclosure within the enclosure that you're not allowed to go into. You can enter the first gate, just not the second. 
-We went during the week around 5pm and it wasn't too busy. 
-It is a little stinky. haha. So be prepared.
-Don't be afraid to ask for directions! Like I mentioned, the people in the red vests are there to help. We would have never found the cafe had we not asked. 
-Check out their Facebook for updates! You can also see cute pictures of them out for walks :D 
Taryn got some type of carbonated blueberry drink and I got an iced caffe latte :) Delicious! 
Well thanks for coming to the Thanks Nature Cafe with me!! Isn't this fun?! It's like you're with me going to all the fun places!! Don't forget to follow my blog for more of The Travel Breakdown and of course, beauty posts! Love you! :) 

Tips for Visiting a Dog Cafe in Seoul, Korea | The Travel Breakdown

Monday, April 11, 2016

Dog Cafes. Seriously a dream that has materialized right in front of my eyes. I've heard about them and have always wanted to go so when I was in Seoul, I made a point to go! I mean, let's face it. Seoul, Korea is the mecca for themed cafes so naturally, dog cafes, cat cafes, hello kitty cafes, charlie brown cafes, reptile cafes...the list goes on... are very popular. If you're every in Seoul, please check out a few of these fun cafes. They're worth experiencing! Back to the Dog Cafe though... 

Let's get to the breakdown...
 My Experience
Ok, first let me tell you about my experience going to one of these because boy, it was a not easy for me! I was determined to go in the morning right when they opened because I wanted to be the first to play with the dogs. I figured they'd have the most energy then and that I would get some great shots for my youtube channel, The Beauty Breakdown, and pictures for this blog post. All of which happened and was great. However, the actual operating hours seemed to be...flexible to put it politely. I kid you not, I went to this dog cafe 3 times at opening hours and found it wasn't open! Why put hours on the door if you're not going to abide by them?! I finally got in... 2 and half hours after when they said they'd be open. Ugh. Well, I finally got in, applied the hand sanitizer they require you to use before entering, paid about $10 USD for a coffee (that's the entrance fee... you're required to buy one drink!) and got busy playing with some doggies :D. The dogs were all high energy! The man who was taking care of all the dogs was running around cleaning up after them because yes, they just go to the bathroom on the floor. But he was pretty on top of everything so surprisingly, it didn't smell. It smelled like cleaning supplies haha. However, the floor would sometimes be wet, which the dogs would tramp through and then jump on you. So you do get messy. Keep in mind, this is a dog cafe. Dogs are a little messy and they are easily excitable so be prepared. All worth it though :) The dogs seemed like they were really taken care of...  and this is where I want to make a quite note. 
NOTE: From what I could see, the dogs really liked the man working there and would get visibly excited when he walked by. One of the bull dogs had an eye infection and I actually saw the man working there tending to it and putting drops in its eyes. So, to me, it seemed like the dogs were well taken care of. Some of you commented that in my video that some of the dogs looked thin and under nourished. However, you need to pay attention to the breed of the dog. I think most of you were pointing to the afghan hound because it's spine was visible. But these breeds are naturally very thin and that's just a feature of these dogs. Please look up photos if you don't believe me! They had a back room, where people are not allowed to go and there was dog food a little place to lay down if they felt overwhelmed. No, I do not know how often they get to go out. But I will say, I don't think they live there.  Actually, one of the mornings I went before it opened and I couldn't hear any dogs barking. So they were not there that morning and I'm assuming were taken home (or at least out for a walk). The other two mornings that I went before they opened I could hear the dogs barking. So it was obvious to me that the dogs get taken out. I know this was a little long winded, but please be aware that I wouldn't go to a business that was not taking care of their animals. To me, the dogs seemed really happy and well taken care of. No, I can not be certain but I'm comfortable with my observations. Anyways...

When you're done and ready to leave, they have a station equipped with lint rollers, wipes, fabric freshener, and hand sanitizer.  So you can get fairly cleaned up. However, don't prepare to go to any hot dates immediately after because I did still feel like I needed to take a shower. Again, all worth it :) 
 How it Works
-You're required to use hand sanitizer before entering. Don't want to expose the doggies to a ton of germs!
-The entrance fee is buying a drink. It depends on what you order, but this usually ranges from $8-$10 USD.
-The dogs go EVERYWHERE. So keep your drinks and belongings high. 
-Enjoy your time playing with the dogs :) 
-Don't bring anything fragile. The dogs go everywhere including tables, seats, etc and they will get into your stuff if you don't keep an eye on it!
-Wear clothes you don't mind getting messy
-The dogs are jumpy and jump on you so keep that in mind if you're sensitive to that kind of thing. 
-Be careful not to step in dog mess.. they do just go on the floor but the workers clean up right after.
-Try to go earlier or right when they open because I know these places get busy!
-I would hope I wouldn't have to tell you this if you're going to a dog cafe but BE RESPECTIVE OF THE DOGS. Don't get in their faces, touch them when they're eating (their foods in the back room anyways and you're not allowed back there), and leave them alone when they looked tired. You wouldn't want someone bugging you while you're tired and trying to relax right? :)
There are several dog cafes around Seoul (there's actually two in Myeongdong where I was!) but here's the location of the specific one I went to. 
중구 명동2가 32-2 경도빌딩 3층, Seoul, Korea 100-809중구 명동2가 32-2 경도빌딩 3층, Seoul, Korea 100-809
I had a BLAST. I think cafes like these are so fun and worth going to once in your life :) It was really nice getting a little break from the busy bali bali culture of Korea and playing with some cute dogs for a little bit :) Have you ever gone to one of these? I want to hear your experience!!