Whether you call it the Lunar New Year or the Chinese New Year, the moon’s cycle starts anew on February 19, 2015. It’s officially the year of the sheep (or goat) – so why not go pet some sheep?
Beyond my own stories involving sheep, I asked some fellow travel bloggers to share their sheep stories – check them out below!
The Sheep Cafe – Seoul, South Korea
Seoul has no shortage of places to get your caffeine buzz, including cat café’s and dog café’s. Located near Hongik University, the sheep cafe holds a pair of cute sheep for your photographing, coffee-drinking pleasure. If you’ve been to Hongdae before, you’ve almost certainly passed by them as you walked towards the university or the better-known bar and club district – and never knew they were there.
From exit 9 of the Hongik University station (Seoul subway line 2) walk 100 meters and turn left. You’ll pass a building containing a number of restaurants (including Subway and Dos Tacos) as you walk uphill towards the university. Where that building ends is a set of stairs heading down and a large tree providing shade – head down the stairs for the Thanks Nature Cafe.
Swiss Sheep Farm – south-central Thailand
One of the weirder places we’ve been to, this farm in Phetchaburi, Thailand has everything from a plethora of places to get selfies to sheep to a green Hulk made of gears and mechanical parts. Of course there are plenty of sheep to feed, though they’re not exactly the main focus here. Play some carnival games, ride a mechanical bull, or of course feed some sheep.
Starting from Cha-am, you’ll probably find a taxi to be the fastest. Starting from Phetchaburi, bus 420 goes south from Phetchaburi to Cha-am. We paid 50 baht per person for the 30 minute ride.
The Hug You Sheep Farm – Lampang (northern Thailand)
With plenty of facades and signs to take selfies with, the Hug You Sheep Farm in Lampang is one of the more interesting attractions in northern Thailand. Most of the sheep are enclosed in one pen – for the full experience, pay 20 baht for a handful of grass and let the sheep chase you a bit.
Alternatively, try to get cozy with the five-meter-tall sheep you see above. Ain’t he cute?
From the Lampang train station, head southwest down route 1 / Phahonyolthin road. It’s right at 20 kilometers straight down the highway. You’ll be getting close after crossing the second river – look left for the large sheep and colorful signage.
The Dairy Hut Sheep Farm – Phang Nga (southern Thailand)
While my post on the Dairy Hut Sheep Farm is scheduled for next month, I couldn’t resist making this part of the post. Here’s one of the only places where the sheep are really the main attraction – after paying your admission fee there’s dozens of sheep to be seen. Some of them have been dyed – awwwww – but most of them remain their white, fluffy selves. A few selfie opportunities and faux buildings are around, but the animals are the stars here.
From Phang Nga’s Somdet Phra Srinagarindra Park (or the intersection of route 4 and route 4311), head southeast on route 4311 for about 2.5 kilometers. Look for the sheep farm on your left.
Chokchai Farm – cows, sheep, and more (central Thailand)
While the sheep aren’t the main attraction here, there are enough animals at the Farm Chokchai here to keep you busy for half a day. Expect to see plenty of cows being milked, an artificial insemination building, and demonstrations of rope tricks and horse-riding. Some deer and sheep are around a free-range part of the park, along with some rabbits you’re cautioned about feeding or getting too close to.
Chokchai Farm is roughly halfway between Bangkok and Nakhon Ratchasima – we started from Nakhon Ratchasima and took a bus towards Bangkok. Be sure to mention where you’re looking to get off when buying your ticket. This is about a 90 kilometer ride, so budget between 1 and 1 1/2 hours to arrive.
The Beekman Mansion – New York
The Beekman Mansion in Sharon Springs, New York is open several times a year to visitors and the farm has a large herd of curious goats. The Beekman farm, owned by Dr. Brent Ridge and best-selling author Josh Kilmer-Purcell (of the Fabulous Beekman Boys TV show), is known around the world for its goat cheese, which is prized by celebrity chefs. During the weekends when the farm is open to the public, you can wander in the vegetable garden, sample food and, of course, head into the barn to meet the prized goats. If you’re there in the late evening, you might even spot the ghosts, which have been known to inhabit the mansion.
Knitted sheep in Ireland
I expected to see sheep when I drove over the rugged Conor Pass on the Dingle Peninsula in Ireland—after all, this area is reputed to have more sheep than residents. But I was a tad surprised, and delighted, to find a knitted flock of these fuzzy guys inhabiting the window of a gift shop in Dingle Town. I still regret that I didn’t purchase at least one for a souvenir. What was I thinking?
Carole Terwilliger Meyers is a travel writer and blogger over at Berkeley and Beyond.
Farm Sanctuary – Watkins Glen, New York, USA
In the quaint village of Watkins Glen in the Finger Lakes Region of New York state, you’ll find plenty of farmer’s fields on the outskirts of this sleepy town. One of those farms is home to hundreds of rescued farm animals, now safe at their forever home: Farm Sanctuary. On our visit to Farm Sanctuary, we were introduced to many beautiful creatures who were saved from abusive situations at factory farms or rescued in the wake of natural disasters. We had the opportunity to meet some inquisitive sheep on our tour of the farm. Our tour guide allowed us to sit in the barn with the sheep, informing us that the sheep may not be very responsive to the presence of people as they get spooked quite easily. Justin and I crouched down in the sheep barn, making eye contact with a few of the sheep who were relaxing in a shady spot. Slowly, one by one, the sheep started standing up and walking towards us. Soon enough, we were surrounded by so many adorable sheep, all vying for our attention. I would give one sheep a friendly scratch on his wooly head, and another would instantly demand scratches. Then, the first sheep would want more attention! It was so much fun to be around them, and sheep give the best hugs! If you’d love to spend the day with farm animals and assist an incredible charitable organization, be sure to visit Farm Sanctuary!
Lauren is one half of Justin Plus Lauren. She loves to travel, take photos, and write all about it! Lauren eats a plant-based diet and seeks out yummy vegan food on her travels. She loves nature, animals, outdoor adventures, coffee, and her cat, Chickpea.
Goats on Kos island, Greece
Watching wild mountain goats on Kos island in Greece is an amazing experience! They are free, happy and they have no harness. Don’t be afraid though! These cuties are really calm and won’t hurt you. Kos is an unique Island, where goats are more popular than dogs. They are almost everywhere! They eat everything, including… cars, haha. Once we saw a goat eating fender in the car. Too bad we couldn’t see the vehicle owner’s face when he came back and saw that his car’s fender was… eaten 😉
Karolina and Patryk are young couple who are travelling around the world, blogging and inspiring others to fulfill their dreams. See their website at http://karolinapatryk.com
Isle of Iona, Scotland
I visited the Isle of Iona, on the west coast of Scotland, while I was staying on the Isle of Mull. It’s a tiny island. I decided to escape the crowds and continued on past the abbey. I went through a gate into a field full of sheep and cows. Normally, sheep stay where they are, or move away when they see people. What I wasn’t expecting was a sheep to come up to me and rub its head on my leg. It wanted to be petted like a dog. So, this sheep gets the friendliest sheep award.
Teresa Keane is the blogger behind independenttravelhelp.com, which focuses on independent travel for women over 35.
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Also published on Medium.