Samcheung Goyangi Café: A must-go place in Pyeongtaek for cat lovers

Photos by ChiHon Kim
Photos by ChiHon Kim

Samcheung Goyangi Café: A must-go place in Pyeongtaek for cat lovers

by ChiHon Kim
Stripes Korea

I am a dog person through and through. Yet, sometimes I can imagine relaxing with a nice cup of coffee while watching the playful antics of adorable cats.

If you’re a feline fan or animal lover, who like me isn’t allowed to have pets due to lease restrictions, don’t despair, Korea has plenty of cat cafes to fill the void you might be feeling.

Samcheung Goyangi café near LOTTE MART shopping mall in Pyeongtaek has been offering furry friends to play with in a cozy setting for almost two years. The café is on the third floor as implied by its name “Samcheung,” which literally means the third floor.

Owner Sin, Jung-Hyeon started her career as a cat caretaker when she was in high school, but opened the cafe two years ago without cats.

At friends’ requests, she began adopting abandoned cats and she gradually started to see her current business take shape. Today, Jung-Hyeon help a cat shelter find forever homes through her café.

When I arrived at Samcheung Goyangi, I had to remove my shoes and put on indoor slippers. The café is separated into a cat play space and what looks like an average coffee shop offering various teas, coffees and other beverages. From the café, you can watch the cats hanging out in the play area.

I paid 7,000 won for admission, and then purchased a green tea latte for 1,000 won (about $0.83). You can chill out with cats as long as you like during the weekdays, but on the weekend, there is a 3-hour time limit per customer.

As I waited for my tea latte, I learned the proper way to pet a cat from a poster near the drink pick-up area. I was glad I saw this otherwise the cats would’ve endured an unexpected ordeal because according to the poster, cats do not like being touched on the belly or tail. I now know only to pet their head, chin and cheeks.

Soon, it was my turn to enter the cat lounge, but first I had to wash my hands. A few cats greeted me when I entered, and I saw about 20 different types of cats, including Scottish fold cats and Bengal cats all roaming freely in the area. There were different cat trees and scratching posts for the residents to climb up and scratch to their hearts’ content.

As I pet a chubby British short hair lounging on a log chair, the owner of the café came in and delivered the tasty green tea latte that I ordered. Most cat cafes do not allow visitors to pet the cats unless they approach you first, but here you can engage the cats freely.

Most of my time in the play area was spent with this relaxed and adorable British cat who had plump cheeks. Near the window there were stacked cubes the feline residents used as napping cubicles.

As I moved about the room, some curious cats approached to say hello with their curved tails.

A dog in a cat café? 
This cat café has an odd resident. Eun Dal-rae, a 3-year-old Italian greyhound, is a rescue who also calls Samcheung Goyangi home. Much like some of the cats around her, she steers clear from humans. She was friendly enough and seemed to have adjusted to her roommates’ habits.

Before visiting Samcheung Goyangi, I didn’t know whether or not I was allergic to cats. And while I enjoyed seeing them and playing with them, after my visit, I realized I am, in fact, allergic. So, I suppose there will be no shelter cat in my near future, meaning I will remain a dog person.

Cat boarding
The cat café also offers cat boarding service. For the service, you’re required to bring your cat’s food for their stay. The rooms are not like luxurious “pet hotels,” but the knowledgeable owner of the café will take good care of your friend while you are gone. The boarding area includes beds, bedding, bowls, treats, temperature control and a lot of love.

The prices for boarding cost from 25,000 to 35,000 won per night (up to 2 cats) - one more cat in the same shared space costs an extra 5,000 won per night.

What to know 
• All cats must be fully vaccinated. 
• All cats must be flea free and disease free.
• All cats must be neutered. 
• All cats must be over 6 months old.

Samcheung Goyangi Café

Note: Children under 12 years of age are not allowed entrance without an adult. 
Address: 3F, 22, Pyeongtaek 5-ro 34beon-gil, Pyeongtaek-si 
Entrance Fee: 5,000 won; Drinks 2,000 won (optional); Chicken breast for cats (2,000 won) 
Operation Hours: 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.(weekdays), 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. (3-hour time limit on weekends & holidays)
Weekend Entrance fee 8,000 won; Drinks 2,000won (optional)
Contact Info: 031-691-5579, 010-2061-0891
Website: http://0316915579.tshome.co.kr/

 

Chakan Goyangi

Only five-minute walk from Pyeongtaek Station, is Chakan Goyangi, another great place to socialize with adorable cats while sipping coffee. The lounge area that is home to around cute 20 felines ranging from Russian blue to Scottish Fold, offers plenty of space for visitors to play with the cats or play board games while the cats lounge about. It is clean, bright, and has plenty of cool scratch posts and furniture for its furry residents. For human friends, the café offers a wide variety of drinks including coffee, tea, soft drinks, and even tasty food like fried rice and desserts. Regular admission for adult is 9000 won (or about $7.19) including one free drink for the whole day and 8000 won for children under 18. This café is easily accessible via public transportation and parking is difficult in this congested area, so I would avoid driving there. All in all, despite the parking situation, Chakan Goyangi is still a good place to relax with a nice cup of coffee and plenty of cute kitties.

Address: 3F, 38-1, Pyeongtaek-ro, Pyeongtaek-si
Entrance Fee: 9,000 won for adult, 8,000 won for children under 18.
Operation Hours: Noon to 10 p.m., Noon to 5 p.m. (Monday only)
Contact Info: 031-658-2517

 

Speakin' Korean

Cat: Go-yang-i
Meow of cat: Ya-ong 

Are you a dog person or a cat person?
Gae-reul joh-a-ha-se-yo?
A-ni-myeon go-yang-i-reul joh-a-ha-se-yo?

I think I’m more of a cat (dog) person. 
Jeo-neun goyang-i(gea)-leul joh-a-he-yo.

Your cat is so cute!
Goyang-i neo-mu gwi-yeom-ne-yo!

How old is your cat?
Goyang-i myeot sa-ri-e-yo?

May I pet your cat?
Goyang-i han-beon man-jyeo bwa-do dwae-yo?

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