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Backpackers dilemma

For years, backpacking has been the most wallet-friendly solution for people who want to visit Cambodia, but do not have the means to stay at swanky five-star hotels, of course, this is when the realm of the Hostel kicks in and what awesome places they can be.  So after our three months traveling up and down the length of Cambodia here are our considered opinions of where to hold up during your adventure in Kampuchea.

Recently, a growing population of “flashpackers”, these are backpackers that travel with a bit more room in their budget and are willing to pay for flashier accommodations –has created a market for flashpacker hostels in Cambodia that give that community feel, but with nicer amenities, we have tried to include the very best of backpackers and flashpackers accommodation on our list, but our list is not exhaustive, we used rankings and ratings available on trip advisor to choose our hotels before we booked.

  1. THE MAD MONKEY—Siem Reap, Phnom Penh, Kampot & Koh Rong Samloem


Siem Reap photo

The Mad Monkey is the largest Hostel chain in Phnom Phenh and they are proud to be a socially responsible business, in fact probably one of the larger social enterprises in Cambodia.

A portion of the money they earn goes to the local water wells for the rural poor and funding for education locally, which is just one of the reasons why we are awarding them our top spot.  We managed to stay for 4 days in the Siem Reap Hostel, 3 days in Kampot and 2 days in their new hostel in Koh rong Samloem, unfortunately, we only managed a one night breeze through in Phnom Penh which was a real shame as this was by far our favorite out of them all.

All of the hostels offer a party atmosphere, so if you are not looking to the party they may not be for you.  They have two bars at the Siem Reap hostel which was one of the best bars we visited in Cambodia, the roof bar they have overlooked the Phnom Penh city skyline gave us the best sunset shots of our trip.

There is no shortage of socialization, and the combination of so many backpackers with a fun-filled schedule of tours and events means you will never be bored for your entire stay at any of the Mad Monkeys. The Phnom Penh hostel is located in a quiet and safe part of town, away from the central area of Phnom Penh. This means after your visit with the city nightlife, you can relax and unwind in a quiet place if you choose. They have mixed or female only dorms as well as private rooms for you to stay in, so no matter what your budget, you are covered at each of their hostels.

For all of the reasons above we award The Mad Monkey as our best hostel in Cambodia, stay here if you can but book early as they are normally full.




Photo by ronancrowley

Here Be Dragons is a Hostel/Bar that is located on the East bank of the Sangker River. The hostel overlooks the riverside park where the locals come to hang out, exercise and socialize at dusk and dawn. It is a ten-minute walk from the town center and a ten-minute tuk-tuk ride from the beautiful countryside. Here Be Dragons is a great place to socialize and have a few drinks after a day of exploring the town and surrounding areas.

The clean private rooms are brightly colored, with bamboo shelving, and the bar is a great place to socialize and meet new people. The serenity of the quiet riverside park is a great place to recover from all of that socializing.


Opening in 2014, Backpacker Heaven has already seen over fifteen thousand backpackers from around the world come through its doors. There is a variety of different sized dorms and rooms to choose from. Hot water, towels, and linen are included, and some of the rooms come with a spectacular view of the sea.

They have a poolside bar and restaurant for all of your lounging needs. There is a PlayStation lounge and billiards area for when you are in the mood for some gaming, and there is Wi-Fi throughout the entire hostel. Other amenities included are daily newspapers, books, movie nights, and even board games! They have everything you could possibly for a fun, relaxing stay.


Deep in the rural area around Takeo, you will find the Takeo Backpackers Inn. Starting at four dollars US, it is very affordable, and the common areas have a very relaxed feel with hammocks, a terrace, and a quiet room for meditation. There is even an option to stay a while longer and get involved with the local Khmer people by helping out in hospitals or helping to teach in schools in exchange for a roof over your head.

There is also a trail of ancient temples in the area, which includes Phnom Da, Cambodia’s oldest temple. You can even float on an inner tube by the Phnom Da temple!



KOH RONG photo

Photo by Happytimeblog

We headed into Koh Rong after spending a few days at The Mad Monkey Koh Rong Samloem, originally it was not on our plan and we were intending to stay for more days in Sihanookville, it was only after the suggestion of the manager at The Mad Monkey that we decided to catch a lift on the supply boat between Koh Rong Samloem to Koh Rong, just $5!

Monkey Island is well set up and we loved the staff there, although not as new as The Mad Monkey on the other island the bungalow that we rented came with its own private sea view, balcony and hammocks. It was cleaned every day and the bathrooms were clean and well decorated. The food here is amazing, try some of the Thai concoctions on the menu for a full and happy belly.


The Golden Mango, in Siem Reap is a Khmer family-run business that tries to make people feel like home in their hostel. They feature private deluxe rooms with satellite TVs, hot showers, and fresh towels.  We stayed here on the way back to Bangkok as the Mad Monkey was full on our return, but from our perspective the stay was comfortable and we were still able to visit the bar at The Mad Monkey.

The Staff knows where all the local hot spots so feel free to ask, and they are a short distance from the main areas of the city. Some of the free amenities they provide are free use of bicycles, free breakfast, free in-room minibar, free tuk-tuk trip to the old market and pub street, and a free welcome drink with a cold towel.

There are of course many another hostel in Cambodia for you to try out and the above is our experience only, so do your research online by looking at and make your choice.  So concludes our best hostels in Cambodia, we hoped you liked it if you did please like and share this article so others can find it.

Photo by Happytimeblog

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