Nestled between Thailand and Vietnam, Cambodia is a lesser-traveled destination compared to its neighbors, but it’s one that should not be missed.
Known as the Kingdom of Wonder, Cambodia will always leave you curious. A population that has been struck by extreme pain in modern history has been rebuilt by smiles, resilience, and a culture that makes anything possible.
Cambodia boasts the mighty Angkor Wat, the world’s largest religious structure and one of the Seven Wonders of the world. Despite this, Cambodia remains one of South East Asia’s more undeveloped lands. With miles of untouched scenery and a low cost of living, you will be guaranteed an authentic cultural experience.
So, where is best to stay during your exploration of the Kingdom of Wonder? We’re about to uncover our top recommendations for the best hostels in Cambodia, including jungle retreats, lazy river towns, paradise islands, and partying in Cambodia! Travellers will fall in love with the hostels Cambodia has to offer.
Continue reading for our favorite Cambodia hostels.
Best Hostels in Koh Rong Sanloem
Are you in search of Koh Rong Cambodia hostels? Take a look at Koh Rong hostels:
If you’re looking to meet new people, drink cocktail jugs at a pool party, and wake up to do it all over again, then look no further than Mad Monkey Hostel Cambodia. With hostels in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, and Koh Rong Sanloem, Mad Monkey is a popular choice for backpackers in Cambodia looking for a more lively experience.
Mad Monkey hostels in Cambodia have their own pool, private rooms, and shared dorms, with daily tours and nightly entertainment.
A switch up from its city center locations, Mad Monkey on Koh Rong Samloem is set within its own private bay, so you can expect to swap the swimming pool for clear ocean water exclusive to Mad Monkey guests.
Prices range from $7.50/night for a dorm bed to $30/night for a private room. It is 2 minutes away from Lovely Jubbly Villa but sadly, this hostel has closed.
Another hostel Phnom Penh has to offer. The Big Easy is an old-schooler in Cambodia’s hostel scene. Originally in Sihanoukville, The Big Easy moved to Phnom Penh and has recently opened on Koh Rong Sanloem.
The Big Easy’s Koh Rong Sanloam hostel makes it onto our list of favorite Cambodia hostels. This brand new hostel brings Big Easy’s fun reputation to the blissful Saracen Bay, providing private bungalows, dorms, and a lively bar with nightly entertainment.
The Big Easy on Koh Rong Sanloam is a great spot to take in the beautiful Koh Rong Sanloam island whilst enjoying a sociable hostel, guaranteed to bring a whole lot of fun.
Prices for private bungalows are from $19/night and dorm beds from $6/night. It is 5 minutes away from Mad Monkey Phnom Penh and 3 minutes away from Sla Boutique Hostel which is not closed.
The Twizt Lifestyle Hostel is located in the heart of Temple Town and is one of our favorite Siem Reap hostels. Designed to be a community space for guests to interact and feel at home, the Twizt provides a social spot with a laidback atmosphere.
There’s a really unique vibe from the moment you pull up in your tuk-tuk. Recently renovated whilst keeping its old colonial facade, you’ll get a touch of authenticity amongst the hostel’s modern facilities.
What’s more, there’s a stunning rooftop pool for a sunset swim after a day at the temples. You’ll understand why it’s one of our best hostels in Cambodia from just the photos.
The Twizt Lifestyle Hostel has mixed and female-only dorms, private single rooms, and deluxe double or twin rooms. Prices for a dorm bed start at $9, private single rooms come in around $20, and deluxe rooms up to $45.
Lub D is one of our best hostels in Cambodia for its funky vibes and sociable setting. Originating in Thailand, Lub D opened its brand new Cambodia location in the Temple Town of Siem Reap just this year.
Lub D is clean and affordable, with a huge capacity, so you’re guaranteed to meet new people during your stay. Enjoy their awesome outdoor swimming pool and bar area, plus bicycle rental and a range of activities during your stay.
There are 72 private rooms, 15 dorms, and a choice of social spaces to hang out. Dorm beds start from $5.75/night, ranging up to $30 for private rooms and $60 for family suites. There really is a room choice for everyone! It is 5 minutes away from Mad Monkey Siem Reap.
Onederz Hostel is a well-known chain running throughout Cambodia, with hostels in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Kampot, Sihanoukville, and Koh Rong Samloem. This is a particularly good hostel to know about when traveling to the islands via Sihanoukville and finding yourself in need of an overnight stay.
Sihanoukville was a backpacker favorite but in recent years has been the target of Chinese investment. What was a tourist-centric, coastal town is now unrecognizable and we would only recommend staying there if you have to? Should that be the case, Onederz is your go-to hostel (and probably one of the last remaining in the area).
Onederz Hostel offers modern accommodation choices for both dorm beds and private rooms, starting from around $6/night.
All locations offer comfortable lounge areas and a swimming pool. If you’re looking for a cheap hostel throughout Cambodia, then you’re guaranteed a comfortable stay at any Onederz Hostel. This is also great for you if you want to be near the pub street.
Karma Traders Kampot is a relaxing hostel nestled outside of Kampot’s lazy river town centre at the foot of Bokor Mountain. Surrounded by greenery, this hostel provides a mix of comfortable private rooms and dorms, a rooftop bar and restaurant, and a swimming pool.
Karma Traders hosts weekly events, including their famous Taco Tuesday, with live music and delicious food. This is Kampot’s biggest event and a favorite amongst backpackers.
Karma Traders Kampot is a great all-rounder for its relaxed yet fun atmosphere and beautiful view. They have a large common area that is perfect for meeting new people. During your stay, you can rent a moto directly from the hostel and enjoy tours of Kampot’s world-famous pepper plantation and Bokor National Park.
Prices start from $5 for a dorm bed and $15 for a private room.
What was Cambodia’s party island is now less so, with many businesses having to close during the pandemic? The good news is that the hostels that remain are buzzing so you’re still guaranteed a social experience whilst soaking up those island rays.
Located on Cambodia’s beautiful Koh Rong Island, Nest Beach Club is a thriving spot for tourists and ex-pats alike.
This sea-front hostel has a restaurant, bar, and garden situated on the idyllic Long Set Beach. Enjoy Nest’s private beach area before you take a short walk to Koh Rong Diving Center and heighten your island experience.
With a range of basic rooms, you can choose between a dorm or private room, with a balcony or a room with a kitchenette if you’re missing being able to cook. Prices start from around $7/bed.
Best Hostels in Battambang: The Place Hostel & Rooftop Bar
Battambang is a detour from your regular backpacker route, but it’s worth it if you have the time. Cambodia’s second-largest city is a relaxing blend of urbanization and natural surroundings, and you can enjoy unique experiences, including the bamboo train!
The Place Hostel & Rooftop Bar is in the center of Battambang city, with a stylish rooftop bar that adds a social vibe to your comfortable stay. Here, you have a choice of dorm beds, including superior pods (from $5.35), deluxe capsules ($4.85), and standard dorm beds ($4.30). There are also private rooms for $17/night.
Sen Monorom is in the mountains of Mondulkiri province, where you can trek through jungles, spend time with elephants, and truly immerse yourself in Cambodia’s natural beauty.
Tree Lodge is a peaceful, family-run, hostel located in the Mondulkiri jungle. Enjoy the hillside deck and restaurant before you embark on the Elephant Valley Project, Asia’s largest captive elephant sanctuary.
Use Tree Lodge as your base whilst you venture out into the jungle. With the Elephant Valley Project, you can select the number of tour days, which include eating with locals, jungle treks, and greeting the elephants being looked after at the sanctuary.
Tree Lodge is an authentic stay in the Cambodian jungle, with basic bungalows and a choice of one to three beds, starting at $7/night.
Sacred Lotus pairs up as a vegan cafe and hostel located in the center of Phnom Penh. If you’re looking for a safe and comfortable spot to escape the bustling city streets, then this quiet hostel is a good choice.
Sacred Lotus provides clean and simple rooms with a chilled rooftop space, and serves up some of Phnom Penh’s best vegan food. They have a private dorm and budget options, starting at just $7/bed… Great value for a capital city.
There you have our top 10 of the best hostels in Cambodia! We’re sure you’re going to enjoy staying here as much as we did.
In case you’re wondering about the best route to take from hostel to hostel, continue reading for our recommendation for your journey through the Kingdom of Wonder.
1st Stop: Phnom Penh
The chances are that you’ll arrive via Phnom Penh to start your trip. The city can be overwhelming, especially if it is your first time, but fear not. When you know where to go, Phnom Penh is a fun and vibrant place.
Bassac Lane is a bustling alley filled with independent bars and clubs. Langka Lane is a similar vibe, but with more food options. We recommend heading to Langka Lane for food – try BurgerShack for your McDonald’s fix or Katanashi for Japanese tapas and games – before strolling across to Bassac Lane to soak up Phnom Penh’s nightlife.
Not to forget, Phnom Penh is the home of the heartbreaking S21 museum and Killing Fields, where millions of Cambodians were murdered during the Khmer Rouge rule. Once you’ve visited these places, your understanding and appreciation of Cambodia will deepen.
Tip: Don’t visit S21 or the Killing Fields after a heavy night on Bassac Lane. It’s an emotional experience and hangovers aren’t recommended!
2nd Stop: Kampot
Kampot is approximately three hours south of Phnom Penh, and a great place to break up your journey from the city to the islands. Situated at the foot of Bokor Mountain, Kampot is a lazy town with lots of food choices and nature activities.
Settle into Karma Traders and explore its surroundings. There are a number of nearby riverside hangouts to enjoy. Try kayaking the Green Cathedral Loop from Meraki, high diving from the platform at The Hideaway, and relaxing on Sabay Beach’s sandy river spot.
Whilst you’re based in Kampot, there’s also the adventurous Climbodia where you can rock climb up caves, visit the famous Pepper Plantation, and venture down to the quiet coastal town of Kep.
3rd Stop: Koh Rong / Koh Rong Sanloem
Koh Rong and Koh Rong Sanloem are two tropical islands that are definitely worth visiting. Much lesser known than their neighboring Thai islands, they are equally tranquil and a perfect oasis to complement your Cambodian trip.
To get there, you will need to take a ferry from Sihanoukville. Like we mentioned earlier, only stay in Sihanoukville if you have to. It’s better to travel directly from Kampot to the ferry port and make your way to the islands in one go.
You can access both islands from the same ferry port, so don’t worry if you haven’t decided which one to go to first. Koh Rong has transformed from a party island into a more laid-back setting. Koh Rong Sanloem was the quieter option, but now has Mad Monkey and The Big Easy pumping some fun through its bays. Basically, they’ve switched yet are equally attractive.
4th Stop: Battambang
Now you’re in the Southern part of Cambodia, getting back up North is going to take a relatively long bus journey. Sometimes, it is best to take the hit and get the journey over and done with in one go. But, if you’d prefer to break it up, you can always stop in Kampot or Phnom Penh as you make your way North.
Whatever you decide, Battambang will be worth it when you arrive. With hillside temples and the famous bamboo train, Battambang will immerse you in Cambodian culture.
Battambang’s bamboo train is a unique experience! If you’re not into a bumpy ride, then this train isn’t for you. You’ll be hurdled up and down as you journey through Battambang’s industrial route, seeing how Cambodia works from a whole new perspective.
5th Stop: Siem Reap
You can’t visit Cambodia without spending time in the wonderful Siem Reap.
Visit Angkor Wat at sunrise and watch the mind-blowing structure come to life as the sun emerges over its ancient ruins. Hire a bicycle (if you’re not afraid to sweat) or rent a daily tuk-tuk driver to take you from temple to temple.
From famous scenes in Angelina Jolie’s ‘Tomb Raider’ to faces carved into giant structures, Angkor Wat and its surrounding temples are an incredible way to soak up Cambodia’s rich history and culture.
When day turns to night, Siem Reap’s ‘Pub Street’ is a fun-filled strip bouncing with music blasting from bar to bar, drinks deals, street entertainers, and more. It’s a tourist trap but we love it!
Final Stop: Mondulkiri
Mondulkiri is a province in North West Cambodia and is off the regular backpacking route. This journey will take approximately 10 hours from Siem Reap, traveling across the North of the country. Alternatively, you can make a return trip to Mondulkiri from Phnom Penh.
The time it takes to travel to Mondulkiri makes sense when you get there. A province of vast untouched scenery, an elephant sanctuary, and wildlife preservation projects is best kept far from urbanization.
You’re guaranteed to connect with nature and leave feeling refreshed, with a new perspective of Cambodia that you won’t get from the rest of your backpacking route.
More Hostel Worth a Mention
We have listed the best of the best hostels that you can find in Cambodia, but if you feel like you still want to see more, we have another hostel you might want to consider.
One Stop Hostel Siem Reap
One Stop Hostel is clean, comfortable, well-designed, and welcoming. One Stop Hostel is a quality hostel near Siem Reap’s Pub Street. You can meet friends from across the world in our large common area, enjoy free internet and Wi-Fi, and relax in our TV room. Their helpful team will provide city information.
One Stop is 20 minutes from Siem Reap airport. If your flight comes before 9pm, they can pick you up for free. They are located on Pub Street, where you can get street food, drinks, and cocktails. Angkor Night Market and Pub Street are only 1-2 minutes apart by foot and are popular backpacker hangouts.
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Is Cambodia safe to visit?
People travelling by themselves in Cambodia need not be concerned about their safety in any way. In this breathtakingly beautiful region of the world, all you need to do to experience the vacation of a lifetime is use a little bit of common sense and make some preparations in advance.