Cafe hopping in Chiang Mai & The Cat Cafe Experience

Chiang Mai, Thailand

Cafe hopping in Chiang Mai. I visit Catmosphere, my first cat cafe!


Summer 2015

It seems that just about every other business in Chiang Mai is a trendy cafe.

Each one has a unique style that makes it stand out. I spent a fair amount of time cafe hopping, getting assignments done and sipping countless coffees and Thai teas.

There was a 24 hour cafe with five stories, a cafe with a massive two-story mustachio’d cat statue in front of it, a cafe that functioned as a pumping night club after dark, and a cafe that was part treehouse. My memories of these places aren’t that great, since I spent my time there writing essays and stressing about grades. However, I do know that I had many delicious beverages. My favorite place has to be Ristr8to, which served gourmet coffee that was definitely the most delicious I have ever had (pricey for Thailand, though!). Ristr8to happens to be where I spent my last afternoon in Chiang Mai.

One of the places I was excited to see in Chiang Mai was its Cat Cafe.

Cat Cafes are a pretty recent trend that started in Taiwan and became popular through Japan.

If you aren’t familiar with the concept, a cat cafe is a cafe with cats.

You go in to cuddle with cats and drink coffee. The concept does makes sense if you want to be at home snuggling a cat with your favorite mug of coffee, but aren’t anywhere near a home with a cat or your favorite mug. The concept doesn’t make sense if you’ve ever worked in the food industry.

I personally love the concept, and I felt like it’s a great way to relieve stress while doing homework. Besides, these businesses adopt cats that would otherwise not go to loving homes. Win-win-win!

I had always wanted to visit a cat cafe, but they aren’t very popular in California (yet). Living in Chiang Mai for a few months gave me the perfect opportunity to see what the hype was all about.

Catmosphere was located within walking distance of CMU, although it was a bit difficult to find on our own.

Catmosphere: Chiang Mai's trendy cat cafe

Catmosphere: Chiang Mai’s trendy cat cafe

A grumpy-looking fur ball greeted us enthusiastically at the door.

Our first Cat Cafe host

Our first Cat Cafe host

We took our shoes off outside and piled them with the others. Then, we used the hand-sanitizing station to sterilize ourselves before entering.

It was Space themed, and the cats all had star wars related names.

Family photos

(picture taken from internet) Family photos

There were WAY more cats than the poster would suggest. We recognized a couple from their picture on the wall, but there were a lot of kitties that didn’t have an official photo.

Cuddle time

(Picture taken from internet) Cuddle time

I ordered a Thai tea flavored cake and an iced green tea latte.

The place was popping, and we had to go upstairs to find a table. On our way up, we could see that there was a litter of kittens behind a child-gate. They mewed at us curiously.

We were seated upstairs around a low table, with cushions for us to sit on. Quirky colorful murals of cats wearing spacesuits were plastered on every wall.

(taken from internet) Festive Murels

(taken from internet) Festive Murals

There were a bunch of toys for us to dangle in front of the cats.

Some cats clearly didn’t want to interact, and we did our best to let them be. Many of the cats seemed pretty agitated. I don’t blame them, considering how many feline citizens were living in such close quarters.

The cats would some time get in little tizzy fits with one another. One male cat even sprayed on the wall, and a worker had to come and clean up.

Making sleepy friends

Making sleepy friends

We spent an hour or so doing homework and danging toys in front of the cats. It was a lot of fun, although I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t a little bit weird.

Bucket list item: check!

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