Only in Korea – Seoul’s Meerkat Cafe

Seoul has become famous for its unique cafe culture in recent years, and we have just found the newest addition to this city’s offerings in odd experiences. Starting with the typical and expected dog and cat cafes- catering towards people unable to have pets of their own, the past ten years have seen a steady rise in popularity. What was once a simple and fun place to have a coffee and interact with animals has transformed into a competition for the most exotic and unexpected animals possible.


Seoul // MEERKAT CAFE


In all of our years of living in South Korea, we’ve experienced dog cafes, cat cafes, cafes where fish eat the dead skin off of your feet, sheep cafes, and even last year’s latest: Raccoon Cafes. Check out our friend’s over at Bobo and ChiChi to find out more information about the raccoons! Recently, though, on a trip to Hongdae, we stumbled across an advertisement for the most ridiculous of the animal cafes we’ve heard of in Seoul: a Meerkat Cafe.


Originally, we were skeptical. We thought, “This surely isn’t real. They most likely just have an Africa theme.” We fought off excitement, sure that it would only lead to disappointment. As we climbed the stairs of a hidden and nondescript building down a typical Hongdae alley, our pulses quickened. The first thing we heard were little chirps and sounds that don’t come out of any animal any of us had ever heard. As the sounds emanated down the stairwell, we had our first indication that we’d found the right place and that we’d soon be in our own dream world of Meerkat Manor.

Once inside, we promptly removed our shoes, disinfected our hands, ordered 10,000 won drinks (required and includes fees), and sat down to soak in the ridiculous establishment we found ourselves in. Two glass cages were placed in the middle of the cafe, each containing 6-10 meerkats and floor mats for visitors to sit on during 10-minute play intervals. We stood in line to patiently wait for our newly realized dream of playing with meerkats before it was our turn. Inside, chaos ensued as the little furry animals crawled over, under, and sometimes through our laps in their curious sort of way. As it is probably clear from the video, we had a wonderful, albeit surreal, time at this cafe and highly recommend it to anyone wanting to see the newest trend in Seoul’s animal cafe scene.

 

Directions

Seoul // MEERKAT CAFE

Near Hongik Children’s Park, this cafe is very easy to find in the alley west of the park, and is located on the second floor of the building. Signs and banners advertise the meerkats, so it should be fairly simple to find, once you’re in the area. For those unfamiliar with the area, exiting Hongdae University, Line 2, Exit 9 and walking will probably be the easiest method outside of taking a taxi and showing the address.



Know any other strange cafes in Seoul?
Let us know, we love to hear from you!

Seoul // MEERKAT CAFE

2017-05-16T22:08:41+00:00 By |Only in Korea, Videos|8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. […] Meerkat Cafe– If you can’t get enough of the animal cafes then this one is for you! Full of meerkats, yes MEERKATS, arctic foxes, and even raccoons to make for a really unique cafe experience. – 364-3 Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu […]

  2. elphie1 May 17, 2017 at 10:08 am - Reply

    Oh my gosh!!!! I’ve heard of all of these strange cafes but not a freaking MEERKAT cafe!!! They are so adorable and this is so cute and crazy!

    • Hedgers Abroad May 22, 2017 at 1:03 pm - Reply

      RIGHT?! We couldn’t say no to such a odd animal cafe. They acted like frisky kittens but wayyy more klepto.

  3. City Cookie May 21, 2017 at 6:03 pm - Reply

    This is amazing! I loved your video and now I really want to go! I went to a dog cafe went I visited Seoul but this looks even better. I had no idea meerkats were so curious/klepto! Another one I want to go to is the hedgehog cafe in Tokyo.

    • Hedgers Abroad May 22, 2017 at 1:04 pm - Reply

      Ohh I’ve never heard of the hedgehog cafe in Tokyo! We aren’t big fans of the dog cafes as they just get overly excited and pee a lot. The meerkats were definitely a lot more cuddly and fun to interact with.

  4. Paige Wunder May 22, 2017 at 10:28 am - Reply

    This seems really interesting. I’ve been reading about the owl cafes and stuff, but I’m not sure yet if I think I would go. I’ve definitely done some questionable things in the past (like bottle-feeding leopard cub) and have felt a lot of guilt about it, so I’ve been trying to really investigate before I do things. Do you think it feels like an ethical experience? Like that the animals are treated well?

    • Hedgers Abroad May 22, 2017 at 1:11 pm - Reply

      I totally get your apprehension. The owl cafes in Tokyo are depressing as they are chained by the feet to prevent them from flying. I don’t think they are a very good animal to have in that kind of environment. The leopard/tiger “sanctuaries” in SE Asia are well known for drugging the animals.

      This cafe seemed fine. The meerkats had a good sized enclosure where they felt safe, were fed, played with and loved on. They acted very domesticated, and their lives are basically the same as that of a domesticated cat, but I would say they get played with even more because people are specifically coming in to see them and love on them. The raccoon was in a cage when we were there, but raccoons are nocturnal and so are only active at night, in which case they let him out to run around and play. Most animal cafes in Korea seem ethical, including the sheep cafe where the owner has a farm that the sheep live on 3-4 months out of the year.

  5. abcdefghizzy May 23, 2017 at 2:53 pm - Reply

    At first I was worried about the ethics of the cafe because I know the owl cafes in Tokyo have been getting some flak as of late but its really good to know that all seemed good and well. I like that the fees aren’t outrageous, I mean the whole point of going to a cafe is to get a light beverage so its good that that’s the only prerequisite for entering. And it was good seeing your friend was up for participating in the vlog! A lot of my friends are too shy to join in on the fun! 😛

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