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Everything You Need to Know About Ulsan

A Purrfect Cafe in Ulsan

By Melissa Lang

cat playground

They say dogs are a man’s best friends, but this hidden gem of a cafe argues otherwise. Last weekend a teacher from my school took me to her favourite cafe with complimentary sea front view, and  a dozen beautiful cats rescued from the streets by compassionate owner, Heung Ho Yeong. Called Cafe “Haemil”, it means the clear sky that has emerged after a rainstorm, the beauty following the chaos. The name was a poignant metaphor reflecting the sanctuary that is now a lovely home for many lost misfit cats.   This place was definitely “the cat’s meow.” Its just this little venue tucked away by the coastline and I could tell the owner really had a passion for her cafe and her furry tenants. The establishment had a vintage feel, with a wood stove and dangling old-fashioned birdcages for lights.  Her impressive little homemade cat motifs decorated around every nook and corner was really a reflection of her spirit and enthusiasm for a cozy and hospitable aesthetic.


The cat room was well groomed, fresh smelling and spotless, not to mention separate from the actual café area. The kitty ornaments left no space unturned smiling at you with welcome whiskers, complete with even a cat exercise wheel! The cats were all gregarious and the sweetest group of felines I have encountered in a long time. You could tell all are treated very well and love visitors. The owner took furballs of all kinds. Some of them have disabilities. One is blind and another cat has some kind of neurological handicap, but that did not stop them from running over to me as soon as they heard my footsteps. These cats are mifsfits no more.


Cafe Haemil is on the outskirts of Ulsan near the famous Ganjeolgot Cape. The map of the location is at the end of this article.  The best way to go there is by taxi or car because it’s a bit out of the ways, but totally worth it.image

I fell in love with this cafe the minute I came in. If you are an animal lover, and just love a relaxing and tranquil sanctuary to get away to this is the place for you.  The coffee was good and the owner specializes in organic teas.


Melissa Lang is a free Canadian spirit with a passion to write, immersing into another culture, and chronicling her experiences on the other side of the world.  You can read more of her observations of South Korean life on her blog ‘Slice of Kimchi’.