Cat Playground Cat Café (고양이 놀이터)
Animal-themed cafés are very common in Korea, but the most popular ones are cat and dog ones. There's a sheep café too if you're interested! It's called Thanks Nature Café and it's located in Hongdae (홍대). The cat café we went to, Cat Playground (고양이 놀이터), is in Myeongdong (명동) and you can check out its Facebook page here.
When you're in Myeongdong, you won't miss the place—the sign is a bright yellow colour and there is usually two people in cat costumes out on the streets promoting the place. But for ease of reference, the address is: Level 3, 37-14 Myeongdong 8-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul (서울 중구 명동8길 37-14 3층).
When we first arrived, we changed into some slippers and got our hands sanitised. Then we went to pay entry fee of 8,000 won a person and got our free drinks. We ordered: sweet potato latte, green tea latte, and english breakfast tea. And I have to say, the sweet potato latte was amazing—I would go back just for the drink!
After ordering our drinks, the staff gave us huge plastic bags to put our belongings inside because we were told that the cats might pee over our stuff—in fact, we actually witnessed a cat peeing over another person's belongings! But of course, it was covered with the protective bag.
The café itself was much more spacious than I thought, and there were cats everywhere. We went around 1:00pm and almost half of the cats were sleeping, but there were still many that we could play with. Luckily, it wasn't very busy either.
I fell in love with cats in 2010 because of Hu Ge (胡歌), and while I'm not nearly big of a fan as I was back then, my love for cats grew. They're animals of full of personality, character, and sassiness. Before going to the café, I was a little nervous at first but excited at the same time because I've never really approached a cat ever since "our" cat died over 15 years ago.
Fortunately for me, this experience in a cat café confirmed my love for cats. They were absolutely adorable. True to popular belief, they don't actually care for you if you approach them telling them to love you (ha), but will come to you if you're just sitting there.
In the café, there were teasers with bits of plastic decorations on the end, which the cats seemed to really like. The cat that I played with the most Marco (마르코)—he LOVED that thing.
We also put the string on chubby Rangi (랑이), who didn't like it at all. But instead of getting annoyed and moving way, he started crying and hid underneath the corner of the box. My heart broke! #poorbaby #dammnitshirley
My favourite cats were: Marco, Dara (다라), Sha-ku (샤쿠), and Yangi (양이).
If you're a cat lover, you must go to a cat café when you're in Seoul—whether it's one in Myeongdong, Hongdae (홍대) or Gangnam (강남). Shirley's the only one who's been to a cat café before in Sydney, but she said that Cat Playground was much better because the cats were more active and responsive to human interaction.