If you’re going to Taipei anytime soon, here’s one place that should be on your itinerary: the alpaca café (Oia伊亞藝術咖啡館) on the outskirt of Taipei. Before anything, you need to see this video that might just convince you immediately.
Located pretty far from the nearest MRT, Tamsui Station, the journey is worthwhile is simply because of two words: cuteness overload.
The café offers western food that are priced slightly higher than the usual restaurants in Taiwan, but honestly no one is there for the food: they’re all there for the alpacas that will be roaming freely in the café.
Within the café, there are two alpacas: one adult and one younger one. The adult alpaca, Snow, will usually be actively walking around, biting (or it’s chewing) anything that he can find, from the menu to your bag to sometimes even your food if you leave them unattended! In case you’re not aware, alpacas are primarily from South America and are like a smaller version of llamas, or a sheep on diet with a giraffe neck. They are usually sociable and live in a group—that explains why they’re not a bit afraid of visitors! Outside the café, there would be more fenced alpacas, and they are just as adorable, though not as active.
The café lets you do anything to them: from taking selfies to kissing them to feeding them with sliced carrots that they provide. However, getting there won’t be as easy: you’ll need to take a bus from Tamsui Station and that could take an hour. Alternatively, you can take a taxi (fondly known as 小黄 to the locals) that that lined outside the station. But here’s the trick: book an Uber instead.
It’s almost 40% cheaper, and there’re plentiful of Uber cars in Taiwan major cities. Do note that as it is not fully legalized yet, your Uber app will show the last two digits (or first two—I can’t remember!) of the car plate number instead of the full plate number.
One thing that you would really have to note while you’re there is to ensure that you take care of your belongings, because the adult alpaca tend to chew on your unattended bags or food (and, well, that’s the only way to keep that cute one close to you!).
We let the alpaca chew on a Kate Spade bag that we brought, and here’s what happened to it after a few minutes of chewing (and kissing of the alpaca and selfies with the alpaca and cuteness overload to the max). But still, seeing the alpaca and getting close to it is worth it! Oh, you’re wondering how is the food? Actually, I forgot—I just took a few bite of the chicken and left it there.
Who cares about food when there’re alpacas! But in case you really want to see whether the food is Instagram-able, here’s one for your reference.
Location: 新北市三芝區後厝里北勢子12-1號 Xinbei 25242
Tel: +886 2 2636 3766
Open Daily from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
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