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Mad Monkey Hostel

Cheap beds, rooftop bar

What we say: 3.5 stars

With the demise of Boeung Kak lakeside area, backpackers in Phnom Penh have been searching for a new place to call their own. Many have ended up at the Mad Monkey, a funky hostel with $7 dorm beds, delicious food and a fun rooftop bar.

Come for the cheap dorm, stay for the food.

Come for the cheap dorm, stay for the delicious food.

The Mad Monkey boasts they have “the best dorm beds in Phnom Penh” and they deliver with super-single mattresses, clean linens, huge lockers and both air-conditioning and fans to keep the rooms cool and breezy. Best yet, each dorm room has its own attached toilet and hot shower so you don’t have to walk the halls in your PJs if nature calls in the middle of the night. The three dorm rooms are all mixed gender and the price is $7 whether you’re in a six-bed or eight-bed room.

The private rooms – priced from $14-20 per night depending on whether you want an en suite bathroom – are less impressive. Though the rooms pass in terms of cleanliness and spaciousness, overall they’re nothing special with minimal furniture and no TV. The colour scheme reminds us of a hospital, which is especially disappointing considering the hallways are painted with psychedelic murals. Light sleepers should avoid rooms 1 and 2 which have a “window” overlooking the ground floor restaurant and are noisy until the bar closes at 23:00 and again starting at 07:30 when the breakfast orders start coming in.

Tough decisions at the rooftop bar.

Tough decisions at the rooftop bar.

In spite of the resulting noise, the Mad Monkey’s restaurant is one of the highlights of staying here and everything we tried from Khmer noodle soup ($3.50) to beef burritos with salad ($6.50) was absolutely delicious. Unfortunately breakfast is not included and you will end up spending more on a meal than on a dorm bed, but your tummy will thank you for it. The rooftop bar starts to fill up around 15:00 when happy hour begins and is the perfect setting for swapping travel tales over $4 jugs of draft beer. There’s also an impressive selection of wine, cider and more than 40 different cocktails.

Mad Monkey is a hostel with a conscience and all of its Cambodian staff are paid 150% of a typical salary and receive free health care. It’s clear that the staff are happy to work here as the service is phenomenal and always comes with a genuine smile. If you need anything – a tuk tuk, a visa, a bus ticket – just ask and they’ll take care of it.


Bargains within.

In terms of location, the Mad Monkey is away from the main tourist drag while still being central. The neighbourhood is known as BKK1 and considered the safest neighbourhood in Phnom Penh. This means you can feel secure walking home at night from nearby bars like Heart of Darkness, but that you’ll need a tuk tuk (from $2) to get to the central market or riverfront.

Make a reservation online now

Contact details:

Building 26, Street 302, Phnom Penh.  T: (097) 720 7355 
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What we were quoted

Type of room Low season High season Notes
Dorm air-con 7 USD 7 USD
Dbl air-con share b'room 14 USD 14 USD
Dbl air-con private b'room 20 USD 20 USD

Added to Travelfish on: 6th June, 2013
Last visited or updated on: 12th March, 2014

Last reviewed by:
Tanya Procyshyn is a Singapore-based freelance writer and photographer. With a passion for unusual destinations, she has camped alongside Komodo dragons and shook hands with soldiers in North Korea. She blogs at
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Mad Monkey Hostel
Building 26, Street 302, Phnom Penh. 
T: (097) 720 7355

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