New trend alert! New trend alert! When in Korea, well, you know the last part. Since I live in one of the cafe capitols of the world, why not check out all that is offered to me? I absolutely love cafe hopping. No joke. Koreans love their cafes just as much as I do and as a result there are over (# of cafes in Seoul). Seoul’s cafes are great places to spend dreary winter or rainy days. The more unique a cafe is, the more I want to visit.
As many know, Seoul is very condensed, making it very difficult to keep a pet. To get my pet fix, I visited Wanggwan House and I was not disappointed. There were birds everywhere. Like beautiful brightly colored birds you see in Amazon rainforests. The best part? It only cost 5,000 won to get in and that included a drink. The point of the cafe is not to go for the libations but to spend your afternoon enjoying time with an animal.
All animals are not created equal and have their own personalities and quirks. Be careful with some of the birds as they can be incredibly aggressive. One of them bit me (not hard enough to draw blood), and it made me incredibly skittish after. If you go into the cafe, bring a long-sleeved shirt so in case one decides to take a chunk out of your finger, you’ll be somewhat padded.
Also, wear a shirt you don’t really care about because birds are birds and they will poop on you.
When you walk into the cafe, you are immediately told to pay the 5,000 won entrance fee. The cashier takes your order for what juice you would like. When you sit down, go to the tables closest to the birds. There, you will be given a stand and you can pick which bird you’d like to pet and play with.
Along the walls, in front of the cage room, are ropes where the birds sit and play with each other. You can pick which bird you like and offer your finger. If they bend down to nip you, don’t even bother with that bird. I had awful luck with the first few birds being afraid or trying to bite me.
Once you find a docile bird that takes to you, you can offer your finger and bring him to the perch on your table. The birds have their wings clipped so they cannot fly far and some of them push each other off the ropes and land of the floor. Don’t be alarmed and just pick them up and put them back on.
The bigger and more tropical birds are kept on perches away from the other birds. I found an entertaining cockatoo who liked to bounce and say, “Anyeong.” Further down, there is a blue parrot. Be careful of him as he is very aggressive. He’s beautiful to look at, just don’t touch him.
Sometimes the cafe lady would come around with a small bowl of a bird snacks. If she’s feeling gracious, she’ll let you have it so you can feed the birds. I think you can also buy bird snacks at the cafe or bring organic sunflower seeds.
The cafe is kept pretty clean for the most part. The animals are in the same vicinity as your drink, so luckily they are covered with plastic lids. The birds poop on the floor and even though the staff quickly cleans this up, I think it would be better if they had cat litter boxes under the rope where the birds perch.
If you’re feeling like a cheapo and want to do something interesting for the afternoon, I definitely recommend coming to this cafe. I would give a thumbs down to one of the staff not being very friendly. (I’m hoping there’s other staff there who are cooler.) For 5,000 won you can have a great cafe experience and make friends with a colorful bird. I didn’t know my bird’s name, but I dubbed my feathery friend, Duke Henry. I hope you all find this cafe as awesome as I did! Have you been? How was your experience? If you haven’t gone, would you consider going?
How To Get There
Take the train to Ewha Women’s University 이대역 (Line 2) and walk out Exit 2. Walk about 5 minutes, down three rights until you get to a large intersection. You’ll see an NH Bank on your right. Walk past Cafe Drama. Walk down the street until you reach your second right. There will be a brown cafe building. Walk into the alley, look up, and Wanggwan will be on your right.
Address: Seoul, Seodaemun-gu, Daehyeon-dong 101-5, 2nd floor
서울시 서대문구 대현동 101-5, 2층
Hours: 11 am-7 pm