Photo: Relax and enjoy the view.

Monkey Maya

A jungle-hideaway

Ream National Park, Ream T: (078) 760 853  [email protected]

Monkey Maya

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Monkey Maya; a delightful, secluded retreat on the edge of Ream National Park lies a 45-minute journey but world away from the hustle and bustle of Ochheuteal or Otres.

With spot-on chalets, genuinely deserted beaches and an abundance of tropical nature, this, of all the spots we checked out, was the one that made us wish we were on holiday! The adjacent sandy beach is lined with palm trees rather than cafes and devoid of any vendors, ambulant pedicurists, masseuses, jet-ski hire or happy hours with the only bar for miles around being Monkey Maya’s own low-key one.

Escape the rain and enjoy the view.

Escape the rain and enjoy the view. Photo: Mark Ord

Chalets have well-positioned balconies and the magnificently situated house cafe and seating area is raised on stilts to provide spectacular views across the bay so simply kicking back and admiring the scenery or catching up on some quality reading time, (there is no WiFi access by the way), are popular options. So, limited opportunities for party-goers but a wealth of possibilities for nature lovers.

The well preserved (for now) surrounding forest contains plentiful birdlife and staff can indicate self-guided hiking trails to various points and beaches within the national park. Monkey Maya also propose guided hikes should you prefer, for $8 per person, taking a couple of hours to complete as well as various boat trips. Alternatively you can also sign up for one of the national park’s organised tours—the office is back by the airport—which can include combinations of trekking, bird-watching and boat trips through the mangroves. The resort also has kayaks for rent so you can explore the coastline under your own steam while the shallow bay is perfect for swimming. (Kayak rental is one hour $5, half day $10.) Finally, particularly in dry season, there are tracks and trails you can discover on two wheels if you can get hold of a bicycle or motorbike. (Ask reception to help you out with rental and directions.)

Rooms enjoy a lush outlook.

Rooms enjoy a lush outlook. Photo: Mark Ord

Accommodation is very good too and ranges from budget dormitory beds up to smart, new air-con chalets with ensuite and fan-cooled, older wooden ones. There are also family options available for both the fan and air-con chalets. Note that for now Monkey Maya is still off the grid—in tourism terms but we’re referring to the national grid—and rely on a generator to provide electricity. Power is generally on between 17:00 and 00:00.

The 16-bed dorm is classic style with two rows of mosquito net draped bunk beds aligned in a large wooden bungalow. The balcony, with spectacular sea views, certainly isn’t standard. Mattresses were good thick ones and each bed comes with safety deposit box. The older rustic, fan chalets also have sea views and contain a double plus bunk bed so perfect for families. Interiors are simple bare wood though ensuite bathrooms were spick and span.

Beach scenes.

Beach scenes. Photo: Nicky Sullivan

The stars of the show though are their new air-con chalets situated on the hillside across the track from the main resort. Very feng shui with a lush, forested backdrop and sea vista foreground and come with wooden decking verandas out front to let you profit from the views. Wide French doors lead onto the terrace. Interiors are spotless and spacious with tiled floors, white walls and rustic style wooden furniture.

The bar and restaurant area is designed for comfort, with cane chairs and large cushions for lounging around or bar stools along the counter for recounting the day’s adventures. Fortunately, the selection of Khmer, other Asian and Western dishes are well-prepared and generously served and there’s a full bar, as they do have rather a captive audience. When we visited there was no WiFi access with just games, a few used paperbacks and fellow guests providing diversions.

No WiFi so earn a free beer instead.

No WiFi so earn a free beer instead. Photo: Mark Ord

Monkey Maya is owned by the same guys as Monkey Republic on Ochheuteal’s Serendipity Beach Road so if you’re in town you can book transport and accommodation from there and they organise a $6 per person transfer at 11:00 daily. With only a handful of chalets available we’d advise reserving as far ahead as possible. If you’re arriving by bus, get out at the airport/Ream bus stop from where they’ll pick you up for free with the house tuk tuk. (You will obviously need to call them first.) We’ve heard all companies except Giant Ibis will stop there if you give them warning. If you have your own transport then just keep going on the road past the airport.

Wonderful for nature lovers—forget it if you want to party—but we know where we’re going on our next Cambodia hols.

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Walk-in rates at Monkey Maya

Type of room
Type of room, low and high season prices
Dorm fan cooled
Up to $8 in high season
Bungalow air-con private bathroom
Family room
Room: Dorm fan cooled, low season: US$5, high season US$6. Notes: Up to $8 in high season
Room: Bungalow air-con private bathroom, low season: US$30, high season US$35. Notes:
Room: Family room, low season: US$40, high season US$40. Notes:

Where is Monkey Maya

Monkey Maya
Ream National Park, Ream
T: (078) 760 853 
[email protected]
Coordinates (for GPS): 103º39'13.03" E, 10º29'57.59" N
Room rates: US$10 to 35

Map for Monkey Maya

Map for Monkey Maya

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