The Oia Alpaca Cafe houses several alpacas, or affectionately known as Cao Ni Ma （草泥马）in Taiwan, are such cute animals that spit at you when they are pissed.
“Differences between Alpacas and Llamas:
- Their ears: Alpaca ears have short spear-shaped ears while llamas have much longer, banana-shaped ears.
- Their size: Alpacas generally weigh in at around 150 pounds while llamas can get as heavy as 400 pounds. At the shoulder, an average alpaca stands between 34 and 36 inches, while a llama generally ranges between 42 and 46 inches.
- Their faces: Llamas have a longer face; an alpaca’s face is a bit more blunt, giving them a “smooshed in” look.
- Their purpose: For more than 5,000 years alpacas have been bred for fiber (and in Peru for meat as well), while llamas have been bred for the same amount of time as pack animals and meat.
- Their hair: The alpaca produces a much finer fiber than the llama. The alpaca also produces more fleece than its larger cousin and in a much greater variety of colors. Llamas also generally do not have as much hair on their head and face as alpacas do.
- Their dispositions: Alpacas are very much herd animals, while llamas are more independent minded. Alpacas also tend to be a bit more skittish than llamas, which are often used as guard animals for alpacas, sheep, and other small livestock.” -information from modernfarmer–
Throwback to 21 Feb 17
At the Oia Alpaca Cafe
The cafe opens daily from 11 am to 8 pm. To visit, each guest has to either order a meal or pay NT$100 to look around. During public holidays, there is a limit of 2 hours per guest.
Extremely excited, we went in, got our seats, ordered our food and started to try attracting the alpacas to us. There were two of them in the cafe, free roaming, or rather roaming to where there was food. The smaller (black) alpaca has a fetish for chewing plastics and when nobody is feeding it food, it will be busy chewing off plastic.
HAN-dy tip: If you are thinking of taking a wefie with the alpacas, go get the strips of vegetable from the counter and place it in front of your face, with your back facing the alpaca and you can take the perfect wefie! Just be careful not to let them chew on your hair.
At the back of the cafe, there were more alpacas hanging around in their pans.
Final thoughts on Oia Alpaca Cafe
- Well, the food and drinks were okay and affordable but be ready to finish your food quickly before the alpacas try to get to them.
- Hygiene wised, just make sure you’ve washed your hands (before and after interacting with the alpacas) and prevent the alpacas from coming near your food.
- As for the interaction time with the alpacas, don’t expect them to come and play with you. You have to proactively lure them with the vegetable from the counter, which can be empty at times. When we were there, there weren’t a lot of customers and yet we didn’t get to interact much with the alpacas until we learned the trick from a fellow customer to attract them over for a wefie.
- Overall, we had a fun and memorable time at the cafe but probably would not return in the near future.
How to get to Oia Alpaca Cafe?
After seeing the photos that my friends sent me when they visited the OIA Alpaca Cafe, it has been on my to visit list for a while. Traveling to the cafe from Taipei Main Station was quite a long journey:
- take the metro to Tamsui station
- walk to the bus interchange next to the station
- take bus no. 860; 863; 865; 867 (NT$30)
- alight at “Huo Cuo (後厝)” (about 1.5 hrs)
- the cafe is just within walking distance from the bus stop
HAN-dy tip: Ask the bus driver to let you know when you have reached the stop (Just tell them you are going to the Cao Ni Ma cafe). Taiwanese are one of the friendliest people so don’t be shy to ask when in doubt.
For dinner, we went to meet our friends for steamboat at Cash City Shabu Shabu (钱都刷刷锅). The food was cheap and good! They come in set meals and the food were very fresh and the soup was delicious too (especially after a few rounds of cooking). The set meals were available from NT$180.
There are several outlets in Taipei and I would highly recommend trying the food when visiting Taipei.
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