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The Mad Monkey Hostel in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

The sight of numerous backpackers wearing these huge towering bags from their back checking in and out of Mad Monkey Hostel greeted me when I arrived around 8am at the reception. Actually a while back, it took me around 45 minutes from the Phnom Penh airport until I reach Street 302. I am still a bit groggy from the overnight layover in Kuala Lumpur.  But my tuktuk ride refreshed me and it was a great chance to take a peek of the capital of Cambodia’s scenery along the road. Smaller wats, mobile carts, motorbikes, monks and a lot more tuktuks turned out to be a delight in my own eyes since this is my first time visit in this country.  

While I wait for my turn I overhear these young travelers which I am guessing the age ranges from early twenties to mid - thirties mention their origin like London, Australia, Central &  North America and more.  Once an individual or group is done, another one pops in! I am not surprised at all that their guests come from all over the world because on google and websites that provide list of accommodation for backpackers, Mad Monkey Hostel is one of those that appear on top of the searches.

After quietly waiting I finally get hold of Dary, she is a senior staff from my understanding. She was really attentive and very patient to answer my questions. I am quite struggling to understand her accent. I know she speaks good English but the pronunciation is the challenge since I am not used to talk to Cambodians like her. Then she brought me to my dorm room which is in the other side of the road. I realized they got two - one is a 3-floor villa where the reception is located and another is a 4-floor building that has restaurant and rooftop bar.

I have seen a lot of hostels here in Manila, Singapore and Malaysia. Mad Monkey  is one of those that stand out and  I would say a first-class type. Hostels are usually for backpackers who are on a budget but Mad Monkey was built more than that. Let’s start from the room  - it was spacious and my bed can fit two persons of my body size. Actually the whole building and the villa are all wide with high ceilings.   I am very much particular about the space when it comes to vacation.  You go on a holiday to relax your mind and body away especially if you live in a crowded city .

Only after I took a warm shower I felt that my tummy is hungry so I went down and check out their restaurant below. I love the vibe, again for the wide space, the cool music and I give extra special points to those native decorative lamps hanging in front. It adds a native’s touch and meant recognizing the local craft industry. 

Their menu has a lot of options - Asian and Western they got it all for you. Also one more thing that I learned about the food at Mad Monkey is that the ingredients are mostly locally produced, organic and adheres to the international standard for hygiene. In my four days of stay, for morning meals I love their continental breakfast and pancake with a scoop of ice cream. For lunch since I come from a country who eats rice, I love their fish amok, roasted eggplant with minced  pork and another one I forgot the name which is like a rice porridge served in hot spicy soup. 

When I went back to my bed I met girls who are solo backpackers from all over the world. This is exactly the reason why I chose to stay in a shared accommodation whenever I travel alone in some occasions because I am really up to meeting fellow travellers and get to know their stories. I made a separate post for that alone and you can check it here. To those who are planning to go backpacking in Phnom Penh you may also check here .

Now my problem of whose gonna take a picture of me and to be able to pay cheaply have been solved while going to the tourist spots in the city.   When the night comes, we checked out the rooftop bar which is just a few floors up.  I also got to see a portion of   Phnom Penh’s skyline. The bar is pretty much complete with the basic needs for a great night life but I think it would have been better if they have a live band or performers because I see that the crowd is is always full.

After drinking a cocktail and two glasses of Cambodian craft beers (I haven't partied for a while and I am looking to get up early for an online task), I really felt drowsy so I skipped the bar crawl, a fund-raising charity of going to three bars every Thursday where guests who pay for $5 get a bracelet and this fee goes straight to the many causes of Mad Monkey Hostel. Anyway when I woke up the next morning I just bought the bracelet alone at least I am able to help without the fun in the bar.

On my last day I requested Dary If I can see the rest of the  different rooms of the building and the villa. I was assisted by Sophea, she was really nice while she show me around. I want to thank her for helping me take photos and for doing it again if the angle is not that I want to see.  My camera died on the day I left for my trip so I only used my mobile phone for the entire trip. She knows how to keep the conversation going, knows how to compliment a thing when needed and she speaks good English. Awesome for an 18 year old like her!

Below are the photos of three rooms you will see at Mad Monkey Hostel: the Dorm for 6 - 12 persons  ($5-$7 each) Deluxe double room ($14) and  Family room for 4 ($23). The rates vary depending on the season so better check it first via the website.  

Dorm Room

Room for 4

Room for 2

If you are backpacking across Cambodia, I suggest you stay at Mad Monkey Hostel because it is like a one-stop shop accommodation. They have branches at Siem Reap, Kampot and Koh Rong Samloem.  They also have presence in the neighboring countries of Vietnam and Thailand.

Mad Monkey Hostel offers hundreds of tours that all I need to do is just go to the reception and book it.  I love the sunset cruise and they got accredited tuktuk drivers that I use every time I go out for my peace of mind. They also offer visa assistance and has contacts to many modes of  transportation from bus to vans to taxis. 

And of course I save the best for last.  Of all the good things I mentioned above, Mad Monkey Hostel is a social enterprise run business.  Your stay here also benefits the many causes it supports to the needy Khmer locals in the area from clean water projects, education and arts program.  

My four days seemed to be too short to explore Cambodia. Most of the travelers I have met there is that they use Mad Monkey Hostel Phnom Penh  since this is where the airport is located as a stopover for a night or two before or after seeing Siem Reap where the famous Angkor Wats are.  

Mad Monkey Hostel is about to open its 5th branch and 1st offshore in Boracay, Philippines. It is scheduled to open mid of this year. We'll update you once it is ready. Who knows you'll be one of first guests there.

More details of Mad Monkey Hostel below:

Address: #26 Street 302, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Mad Monkey Hostel is now open in Boracay, Philippines. I stayed there for 3 nights, please check HERE my review.

Note: This is a trip sponsored by Mad Monkey Hostel as part of their Creative Hub project where they look for photographers, bloggers, videographers, musicians & DJ's, artists and journalists to stay for free in exchange of skills  that can be shared.  Opinions and insights are all mine. For more details to send your  email pitch please click here .


  1. Awesome! So timing we are looking for a hostel in Cambodia for this summer! Would like to know how far is this to Siem Reap? Jill

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