No man’s cafe in Jeju island

Driving Miss Age
March 14, 2011
Runaway to Sister’s city : Atlanta, Georgia, USA
March 19, 2011

No man’s cafe in Jeju island

How much would you pay for a cup of coffee and a seat?

What would you do, in the café when you are about to leave, and no one’s watching? How much would you pay and more importantly, are you going to pay?

There’s this place in Jeju Island. Beautifully decorated, serves tea, coffee and juice just like any other coffee shop but only difference is that no one’s watching or helping. Meaning, there’s no manager behind the bar or waitress who serves you the drinks.

Coffee is ready in the pot, juice is in the fridge, kettle is available, green tea bags, plenty of cups and even some snacks are there. Have anything as much as you want and pay fair amount of money. That’s the rule. Oh and you have to do your dishes as well.


Jim, who was my guide for a day said this kind of place is never going to work in England, where he came from. I agree and I wonder if it works in Seoul even. First I know about this place I thought ‘How Jeju-ish.’ Jeju is well known for its safety. Not because it’s dangerous. Even though Jeju is the most touristic place in the country, it is still the safest place to live. When I was in the guesthouse with Ailing, we’ve been out for several hours to get some food or to local market with door open. The guesthouse is filled with awesome stuff but no one seems have interests in stealing stuff. This is one of many reasons why I love about Jeju, the liberal spirit. One of the post from Bohemian Traveler, No Beggers, No Thieves shows the great spirit of Jeju that I like.

So yes, I went there with Jim, we had a cup of tea, coffee and some snack. We cleaned our mess and leave fair amount of money in the bucket.


On the way out, there was a sign from the owner. He said, he wants to make a world that peaceful enough that we all can live without laws or rules. I noticed that people were very respectful to use the facility. They understood the spirit and did what was right. I’m sure there’s quite amount of people that just went in and out without leave any money behind but most of people would. Good for him to make this cafe, and good for people who can enjoy it. Hope this palce is really helping to biuld a better world. Well, one cup of coffee can’t change the whole world just like that but at least it can give people an idea how to.


Juno Kim
Juno Kim
Juno Kim, Originally from Seoul, South Korea, Juno set off for the wider world to pursue her passion for travel and storytelling. She traveled the world as an award-winning travel blogger and photographer, witnessing the everyday life of different cultures. Currently based in Anchorage, Alaska and exploring this amazing Last Frontier. Follow my journey through @RunawayJuno and Instagram .


  1. Lauren says:

    Wow, what a great idea, it sounds like a wonderful place!

    It definitely wouldn’t work here in England, nobody would pay a thing!!

    • Juno says:

      You think?? 🙂 Good for Jeju then!! I really impressed by the idea. I think only handful place that this idea could work. Well, actually more than I think but it’s not easy for sure.

  2. Gray says:

    What a great concept! I don’t think that would work where I live, sadly (too many freeloaders!), but I love the idea of it.

  3. Ceri says:

    What a cool place. They say that statistically speaking people will always leave money in that situation because they think someone’s unseen but still watching.

  4. This place looks so cool! You should be President of the Jeju tourism board– your posts make me want to visit!

    • Juno says:

      You think? Please tell everybody. 🙂 When I find a tourism related job, I should ask you to write me a recommendation letter!! 🙂

  5. Stephen says:

    Wow, this is really cool. I’ve seen things with this concept before, but never a whole cafe, just left open for people. Amazing. I think most people in this world are honest and good. I like to think that anyway.

    • Juno says:

      Yes I was really impressived by everyone there and the owner. I’d love to think as most of the people are nice and good heart inside, when I’m not harrased by them. 🙂

  6. Jinwoo KIM says:

    Why don’t you open that kind of cafe in Seoul? It’s the most beautiful cafe I’ve ever heard.

    • Juno says:

      I don’t think I have that much strength to do this in Seoul. I would do it, but in more peaceful place than here. Why don’t you do it? I would love to be a supporter!

  7. Giulia says:

    Oh, I bet the owner is a dreamer… just like me:)
    I wish the world could be always like that! I would definitely go to this cafe if I had the chance of visiting Jeju 🙂

  8. ayngelina says:

    What an amazing story, we need more places like this.

  9. it works. There is a similar cafe in seattle, only there are baristas but you pay, or don’t pay what you want. They say that they actualy make more money per cup of coffee than they would if they charged a set price!

    • Juno says:

      Ha, really? World is great place to live for sure. Yes if a Barista around, people would pay more… Maybe because the coffee there is made by visitors as well, so coffee was really really weak.
      Good to know there another place like this! Maybe we should do more..

  10. Chishikoff says:

    This is soo cool !! I really enjoyed reading this. Thanks so much for your photos! Good design!!

  11. What a cool story. If everyone acted like the residents of Jeju the world would be so much simpler\. Thanks for writing, great article

  12. Irene says:

    Just found the place a couple of weeks ago and really like what you have written about it. Lots of us new to Jeju and all of us enjoying the experience. So many coffee shops, such great coffee.

  13. George says:

    What a lovely post, and idea. I think it might work in Britain the point is that people like to think they are getting away with things but if there is noting to get away with then the attraction isn’t there to steal it. Still some would see it as a place for a free cup of coffee.

  14. Alex m says:

    I’ll be going to Jeju soon–was the actual name ‘no mans cafe’? or what is the address? it sounds great!

  15. Christina Lau says:

    Can I know the address of this cafe as I will be visiting Jeju soon. Thanks for the great info

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