Most people have heard of cat cafes where many adorable felines wander freely around the cafe. But who's heard of Southeast Asia's fish cafes? These cafes can be found in Thailand, Vietnam, and, perhaps, other countries in the region. Some of these cafes are turned into a shallow tank and diners have their feet in the shallow water. In others, the tables are in pods in the pond surrounded by fish.

These restaurants and cafes are some of the world's most original and are great for people wanting a unique and adventurous experience. They can be a great way to experience the atmosphere of Southeast Asia in a very different way.

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Amix Coffee - Vietnam

The first such fish cafe that inspired others in the region was Amix Coffee in Vietnam's Ho Chi Minh City. This original cafe offered dozens of decorative fish swimming or even nibbling one's feet as one enjoys a cup of coffee.

It is certainly a unique and unforgettable way to enjoy a brew or coffee in the tropical Southeast Asian country. The cafe featured two flooded floors filled with hundreds of fish, these fish are both large and small. Each floor covers an area of 20 square meters with water up to 25 centimeters (or 10 inches) deep.

  • Depth: Up to 25 cm or 10 Inches
  • Fish: Japanese Carp And Other Small Fish
  • Location: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

It goes without saying that to get into the cafe, guests needed to remove their shoes (also they needed to clean their feet). The cafe had around 10,000 liters of water. Challenges for the cafe included keeping the water clean and preventing patrons from stressing the fish out too much.

Amix Coffee was started by 23-year-old Nguyen Duoc Hoa. Unfortunately, Amix Coffee closed down after a few months, but not before it inspired other cafes in Vietnam with the novel idea.

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Sweet Fishs Café - Thailand

Sweet Fishs Café in Thailand was inspired by the Amix Coffee cafe. Here one can also enjoy the company of dozens of koi fish in ankle-deep water. Sweet Fishs Cafe is supposedly located in Khanom in Thailand and immediately became a hit on Facebook and Instagram after opening.

  • Fish: Dozens of Koi Fish
  • Location: Apparently: Ton Than Resort and Spa, Khanom, Thailand

According to Oddity Central, one will need to do some sleuthing to find this cafe as its exact location was never revealed. Some sources speculated that the place was located somewhere in Vietnam - although Oddity Central also points out that a Google search shows it to be located in Khanom, Thailand.

This was the first such cafe to open up in Thailand after the original idea first appeared in Vietnam. As with the first cafe, keeping the water clean has proven to be one of the greatest logistical challenges.

The cafe has a filtration system with four large pool filters working 24 hours a day. Every day the staff need to change the water before the cafe opens in the morning and again in the evening after the last patron leaves.

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Other Koi Coffee Shops In Ho Chi Minh City

Some of these cafes have faced criticism from animal rights and other quarters. So if one doesn't want to put one's feet into the water that the fish are defecating in all day, then there were other options in Vietnam.

Vietnam is a country with a fascination for Koi carp and has a number of fish-themed cafes. There are cafes where one can enjoy a drink in the middle of a pond filled with beautiful koi fish. One can hand feed the fish while relaxing.

Ho Chi Minh Fish Themed Cafes:

  • Koi Melody Café
  • New Koi Coffee
  • Koi Coffee Garden
  • Queen Koi Coffee Garden
  • KOI Sakura Coffee
  • KOI Coffee Garden ISLAND
  • Royal Koi Garden Coffee

One such cafe is Koi Melody Café, located in Tan Phu district’s Tay Thach. The coffee shop sports a shallow pond filled with colorful koi fish and dotted with small islands where patrons can relax. There are 10 interconnected circular islands in which one sits and can feed and touch the fish.

Other options are New Koi Coffee in the city's District 7’s Tan Thuan Dong Ward and Dao Koi Coffee Garden - an outdoor koi cafe dubbed an island in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City.

  • Name: Koi Fish Are Called "Nishikigoi" In Japan

Koi fish are common in East and Southeast Asia and hail from Japan. They are the product of the Japanese cross-breeding them over 200 years ago and are kept for decorative purposes in outdoor koi ponds or water gardens.

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