Creature comforts

Cafes that serve up more than just food

The last two years have been stressful, to say the least. The people of today may feel a lot of pressure with work, life and with the pandemic still looming in the background. Guru lists several places close to home that can help destress and get closer to nature and animals.


Blooming Butterflies

Little Big wings: Butterfly & Garden

For those who would like to be mesmerised by the beauty and grace of butterflies, Little Big Wings: Butterfly & Garden is a small paradise. This little butterfly heaven has two branches; one on Phutthamonthon Sai 2 and the other in Sansiri Backyard on Sukhumvit 77. The two branches differ opening times and entry fees, so make sure to check details and contact them before so you don't miss anything.

(Photo: Little Big Wings: Butterfly & Garden)

Pleasing to the eyes but also fodder for the brain, activities include learning about butterfly eggs, feeding nectar to the butterflies and touching the larvae and pupae of butterflies. Learn while having fun there with their additional workshops and activities with additional fees like making a kaleidoscope from butterfly wings for B120 or releasing butterflies into the butterfly house for B490.

The entry fee at the Phutthamonthon Sai 2 branch is B120 for adults and B80 for children not taller than 130cm and, at the Sansiri Backyard branch, it is B120 for adults and free for children not taller than 100cm. Visit fb.com/LittleBigWingsTH

Organic life

Sansiri Backyard

For those with a sustainable heart, Sansiri Backyard on Sukhumvit 77 is the place for you. With the slogan of "The Co-Growing Community For Sustainable Urban Living", the space features the Chul farm that grows its own organic vegetables and fruit to use at the restaurant. The farm is open for visitors to come and learn about the green, organic, zero-waste life. The entry fee is free with additional costs if you would like to take part in some activities, which include vegetable harvesting (B119), egg harvesting (B99) and feeding animals such as fish, ducks, chickens, goats and sheep. Plus, there's a branch of Little Big Wings: Butterfly & Garden there, too!

(Photo: Sansiri Backyard)

The farm is an open space you can walk into at any time but the activities are available every day from 4 -6pm on Mondays to Fridays and from 9am-6pm on the weekends. Visit fb.com/SansiriBackyard.

Alpaca Love

Alpaca Hill

Alpacas have taken the internet and the world by storm. They seem like creatures that are so far away, unlikely to be seen in Thailand, but not anymore! You can come to see them up close and even pet them at Alpaca Hill in Suanphung Ratchaburi, an alpaca farm that also has a mini zoo of cute exotic pets such as wallabies, giants rabbits, ferrets, prairie dogs and many more. If you plan to visit Alpaca Hill, the things you'll need to bring are hats, water, umbrellas and wet wipes. The farm doesn't allow any food or drink from outside to be given to the creatures (so don't bring your own animal food).

(Photo: Alpaca Hill)

In non-Covid times, the farm required guests to make online reservations so as to not stress out the animals with large crowds, but as the pandemic is still in full swing guests can now walk in at their own convenience. The entry fee starts at B290 and the farm is daily from 9.30am-5pm on Mondays to Thursdays and 9am-6pm on Fridays to Sundays. Visitalpacahill.com.

Creature Friendship

Puan Deratchan Mini Zoo

In the heart of Ram Intra sits a mini zoo, which was set up with the intention to make humans understand that animals are our friends and not enemies. The Puan Deratchan mini zoo is a place where people have donated rare and wondrous animals for the sake of learning. There is no entry fee. However, if you're coming with a large group, you can pay an additional fee to have lunch there with advanced notice, of course.

(Photo: Puan Deratchan Mini Zoo)

For the most part, the mini zoo only carries small animals safely but comfortably encaged. They don't only have wild animals there, some exotic pets are also present, so some of them can be touched and observed closely too, such as exotic cat breeds, hedgehogs and much more.

The Puan Deratchan mini zoo is open from Tuesdays to Sundays with the exception of national holidays from 10am-6pm. Visit fb.com/peuanderatchan.

Fish are friends

Chompla cafe

Chompla Cafe is the first fish cafe in Chanthaburi. It doesn't just have any fish, it's koi crazy! The cafe has no entry fees, you can go in and chill with the fish. Their recommended dishes include Chompla coffee and Calamondin lime honey Americano. But coffee isn't the only thing on the menu, there are also non-caffeinated drinks, teas, fruit juices, main courses and baked goods. You can buy fish food for B20 to have fun with the colourful creatures of the water. Taking photos is also welcomed as there are many photoshoot-worthy spots.

(Photo: Chompla Cafe)

The cafe is open daily; Mondays to Fridays from 8am-6pm and on the weekends from 8am-7pm. Visit fb.com/ChomplaCafe.

Elephants & shows

Mongchang café

If you love elephants, you will love Mongchang Café, a cafe in Pattaya. The cafe is more like a spectacle where an abundance of activities is presented to guests every single day. These activities include elephant trekking, elephant bathing (or bathing with the elephants), an array of shows, feeding the animals in the mini zoo and worshipping the Katchakanesh Devalai. A wide range of food and drinks is available for those who want to spend the entire day indulging in all the shows and activities they present.

(Photo: Little Big Wings: Butterfly & Garden)

The cafe is open daily without exceptions for public holidays from 10am-7pm. There is also no entry fee, however, a courtesy drink or meal is required. For reservations, visit fb.com/Mongchangcafe.

Every bird has its day

Happy Bird's Day

Nestled in the heart of Bangkok, there is a bird cafe hidden in Ekkamai called Happy Bird's Day. A cafe with all types of winged friends that you can imagine from several types of colourful birds, Call ducks and Silkie chickens. Spend the entire day there, get up close and personal with the birds and live out your Cinderella fantasy to your heart's content. With the entry fee of B350, you'll get a free drink, one round of food for the little animals and a polaroid. Additional drinks or animal food will require additional payment.

The cafe is open seven days a week from 11am-7pm and no reservation is required. However, it would be safer to contact them beforehand. Visit fb.com/happybirdsday.

(Photo: Sansiri Backyard)

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