If you know anything about me, I have a thing for unique cafés, especially in Korea. Whether it’s the whimsical Enrogel Teapot Café in the middle of nowhere or the incredibly pretty Grand Garden in along the coast, I’m willing to go out of my way to spend an afternoon sipping coffee. It shouldn’t surprise you that I’ve had the Dreamy Camera Café on my radar for quite a while!
While the rest of Seoul is bustling with activity and tight spaces, there is a calm, spacious café in the shape of a Rolliflex Twin Lens Camera 40 miles away in Yangpyeong county. Its owners, two former military pilots, opened the café to celebrate dreams and the pursuit of them. In a country where the definition of success often looks the same from family to family, this couple wants to celebrate those who dare to dream differently.
Make no mistake, while the unique shape of the café will attract shutterbugs and Instagram lovers, it’s meant for so much more. When you settle in, either Park Sung Hwan or his wife, Kwak Myung Hee, will hand you their menu. Besides the drinks and treats, you can read their story and inspiration behind the Dreamy Camera Café as well as look through the dreams of former visitors. You will then get a piece of paper to write your own dreams (five of them) as well as a place to write something encouraging. Someone will then take a polaroid for you to keep while you leave your paper behind for others to read.
It’s such a calming place. I came straight from Myeongdong, an area known for its crowded shopping, and spent nearly two hours on the subway to get there. The two places could not be more different. I brought my laptop to do some work and enjoy being in the countryside once more. Recording my dreams, doing what I love, and reflecting on the past was exactly the kind of day I needed in the middle of my post-contract travels.
If you do find yourself coming out here, don’t feel sheepish taking photos of the place (trust me I have tons), but also don’t rush out of there after ordering your drink. Take the day, relax, and dream.
MORE ABOUT THE DREAMY CAMERA CAFÉ
- Korean Name: 꿈꾸는사진기
- Time: 11:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.
- Closed Monday + Sunday
- How to Get There: Take a subway to Yongmun Station. Take a taxi
- Address: 341-13, Jung-won-ri, Yongmun-myeon, Yangpyeong-gun, Gyeonggi-do (경기도 양평군 용문면 중원리 341-13)
- Use their Facebook page for updates. Sometimes they do close for personal reasons.
- The Verge’s “Drinking Coffee Inside a Two-Story Camera”
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