Saturday, September 24th, 2016

Puppy Playtime at the Bau House in Seoul

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Bau House Hongdae Seoul

One of the ways Korea surprised me was that it’s home to an amazing cafe culture. Koreans love their coffee, and you’ll find excellent independent coffee shops — all of them wired with lots of plugs and excellent wifi — throughout the country.

And that’s not all — Seoul is home to several dog and cat cafes where you can sip your coffee while playing with furry critters for hours. We experienced this first-hand at the Bau House, a dog cafe in the Hongdae neighborhood of Seoul.

Sally and the Beagle

Our new friend Sally of A Breath of Foreign Air, a dog lover and English teacher who has been living in rural Korea for more than a year, invited us to this fun place.

Bau House Hongdae Seoul

Once inside, we were surrounded by dogs: a schnauzer, a golden retriever, a few Cavalier King Charleses, a beagle, a giant wolf-like dog, and lots more that I couldn’t identify, all of them perfectly groomed and extremely well behaved. The staff is very conscientious and you can tell that they’re well cared for.

Sally and a poddle pup

You can also bring your own dog if they fit a list of qualifications. Sally cuddled this tiny bichon until she realized that she was playing with someone else’s pet!

The dog and cat cafes in Seoul are generally free to visit, but they charge higher than average fees for beverages. You can spend a whole afternoon with the dogs for less than $10 — in my mind, that’s a steal!

Bau House Hongdae Seoul

The dogs were sweet, but they love their treats far more than they love people — dogs will only come to you long enough to lap up a treat, then wander off again.

Except for one. Little Eric.

Eric the puppy

Eric was an older dog, and it looked like he couldn’t see very well, but he loved us, cuddled us, and stayed with us all afternoon, even when we didn’t have any treats. (Mario named him after his favorite footballer of all time, Eric Cantona.)

Mario loves dogs. Adores them. But in all the time we’ve been together, we haven’t spent much time with dogs. This was the first time I really got to see the dog-lover side of Mario. Look how happy he is!

Mario and Eric the dog

In the months since, I’ve learned that Mario is the kind of guy who needs to have a dog. He misses having a dog so much. Yep, that means that we are probably going to get a dog someday — something I had never planned on doing. But I could do it if it was a sweet little dog like Eric.

Kate and Eric

I mean, look at how cute he is. How could I say no to that little tail?

Bau House Hongdae Seoul

“That’s me!” Mario exclaimed upon seeing the tallest, skinniest dog in the room. I love when people pick out the dogs that look like them — especially the Project Runway episode when the designers had to make dog clothes and each ended up choosing their own canine lookalike by accident!

“Do any of them look like me?” I asked.

“No, none of these ones do…”

Then on the way out, we came across a puffy, big-eyed Pomeranian with a goofy smile. “Now, that’s you,” Mario said definitively. I couldn’t agree more.

If you’ve been traveling for awhile and missing your dog, the Bau House is a great spot to get in some puppy cuddle time. The next time I come to Korea, you can bet I’ll be checking out the cat cafes as well!

Essential Info: The Bau House’s website is inaccessible outside of South Korea — check them out on TripAdvisor or Korean expat resource Eat Your Kimchi. Admission is free, but you must buy a drink, and they’re more expensive than drinks in traditional cafes. We each paid about 7,500 won ($7) for a coffee drink. A bag of dog treats cost us 4,500 won ($4) and lasted us a few hours.

Do you wish there was a dog cafe in your own town? Share away!

Comments

41 Responses to “Puppy Playtime at the Bau House in Seoul”
  1. Sally says:

    The pictures turned out great! I’m glad you liked it.

    And now you’ve seen so many kinds of dogs, you’ll have a head start on picking a breed in a few years (or whenever you guys get a dog). 🙂

    It was nice to spend time with you guys! Enjoy the rest of the trip! 🙂

  2. Ali says:

    OMG I have such a dog obsession these days! I’m constantly pointing out cute dogs to Andy, and I’d love to have one, although I’m not sure I really want the responsibility of training it and having to take it out for walks in the winter. I need a neighbor with a cute dog I can borrow. Or someplace like this right around the corner. They are so cute!

  3. I am drooooooling!! I love all of the shih tzus shots – my family has had them since our first dog 19 years ago, and they’re the greatest breed, apart from being easy on allergy-stricken owners.

    I actually had a dream my boyfriend bought me two…but we travel far too much to have one 🙁

  4. Laura says:

    Ahhh, I love this idea; how adorable! I definitely always miss my dog when I travel, so this sounds perfect.

  5. Kara says:

    Awwwwwwww this is such a cute post. The dogs are so adorable!!! =)

  6. Michelle says:

    Wow this looks like so much fun! I’ve never heard of a place like this.

  7. Aktar says:

    Wow! very adorable dogs………… I too like dogs a lot. Great pics.

  8. I’m such a dog person so it’s cool to see cafes like this exist. I especially love the Golden Retriever. They’re such great, good tempered dogs!

  9. Joe says:

    This looks like a great place! As a dog-lover, I’ll plan on swinging by there someday soon. While we don’t have any dog cafes with house dogs (that I know of), I do love that my hometown Seattle has tons of dog-friendly bars. It’s great to head out for a lazy Sunday afternoon pint and have some dog just chilling nearby and randomly walk over to hang out. There’s even a bunny rental service that will bring by dozens of bunnies for you to play with.

  10. Amanda says:

    So cute! Though I am decidedly more of a cat person than a dog person – so I would much prefer visiting a cat cafe!

  11. Looks like a adorable and fun place to visit.

  12. Brittany says:

    Cute! I travel with my dog a lot and I am always on the look out for places I can take him. It’s nice to see more and more dog friendly places!

  13. Renuka says:

    Very unique idea! Coffee with dog-cuddling! I must recommend this place to all my dog lover friends. 🙂

  14. Pamela says:

    oh man, the dogs are just way too cute!
    So most of the dogs there are the owner’s own?

  15. What an awesome idea, and I will definitely check out the Bau House when I get to Seoul! I wish they had cafes like this in New York, being that I greatly enjoy hanging out with man’s best friend. 🙂 I would spend a lot of time in such a place . . .

  16. This is awesome and looks like our kind of place. We went to Portland recently and they are very dog friendly there too. A few places we had breakfast at welcomed dogs and we loved playing with them while we were there 🙂

  17. Megan says:

    So cute. It’s amazing how time with dogs can cheer you up. I miss having a dog but it’s so hard when I travel – as you’d know even better than me 🙂

  18. Paul Murray says:

    Oh wow, this is awesome, I’m definatley going there if I can find the place one day.

  19. Emma says:

    I just love this post Kate! What a great place – now I want to visit Korea…

  20. Nice, Korea is full of interesting cafes that is sure the dog and cat ones are just the most unusual. I do love Hongdae it’s a great area to explore!

  21. Beth says:

    I’ve been to a few cat cafes in Japan and Hong Kong, but I’m much more a dog person! Will def have to check out Bau House while I’m in Korea!

  22. Andrea says:

    Awwww – I wish they had one of these where I live. I’d be there once a week!

  23. I just love all of those whacky cafes in Korea. I don’t think I could ever leave the dog cafe. How cute are those dogs?

  24. Jeta says:

    This reminding me of the bridal shower in Bridesmaids! Where’s Megan??? Cute pictures 😉

    http://www.global-lipstick.com

  25. Katie says:

    I have been following your blog for a while, but this is the first time I have posted. I absolutely LOVED this, a dog cafe is such an amazing idea! One of my worries about traveling is that I will have to leave my dog. I know he will be ok, I am worried about me! I love him, and I am terrified I will miss him too much. I am also the kind of person that needs to have a dog around. I love the idea that I can go to another country and still get my dog fix! Thank you so much for writing this, it has given me hope 🙂

  26. Nick Paton says:

    This sounds like heaven. Coffee and dogs, I’m sold!

  27. Megan says:

    This place looks like my DREAM cafe! I have an (admittedly unhealthy) obsession with my dog and always miss him tremendously when I travel. And I’m so glad I have my pup, but finding someone to watch him when I travel is a colossal pain in the ass…the main downside to dog ownership!

  28. Jaime says:

    This is too cool! Where do the cafe dogs usually live? Are they the cafe owner’s pets?

  29. I just visited a cat café in Tokyo and left thinking “this would be so much better with dogs”! It looks like I was right.

  30. John says:

    All these puppies ar soo cute ….. I’d wish I had one…

  31. that is too cute. I wish we had a dog cafe. I wish we could take our dog freely on the train or bus (sans crate). What a wonderful world it would be to take my dog to the coffee shop.

  32. Bau House! It’s alright, but not a fan how the dogs only come if you have treats (which cost more). Still, it’s fun for a little while. I actually prefer the cat cafes – Goyangi Darakbang (고양이 다락방) is a great one with several locations in Seoul, and the cats don’t really care about treats in the same way that the dogs do.

  33. I’ve been missing the family dog like crazy! Tell me they have something like this in London!

  34. Bianca says:

    That cafe looks like my heaven.

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