Sihanoukville, Cambodia is a pretty weird bubble of a place. It’s all about lazing on the beach all day, eating good food and partying at the beach bars all night. It’s not the beaches of Thailand or the partying of Laos, and you won’t find any sights here, but its chilled out easy-going atmosphere is addictive. And the best hostel that reflects this new way of life (that’s hard to leave) is Monkey Republic.
This place is no-frills all the way. With a bucket flushing toilet and cold showers, it’s not exactly a palace, but the charm of the individual pale blue bungalows more than makes up for it. And to be honest, you’d be hard pressed to find hot running water in Sihanoukville anyway. The cute bungalows with their wicker furniture and quaint porches are in a formation around a courtyard out back, with the main house being a popular hangout for guests. It has the usual bar and pool table you’d find in most hostels but what really makes this place special is the split levels with the highest floor filled with hammocks. It’s like being in a treehouse. And the atmosphere in there is just so chilled and content. Even though there is the occasional power cut, it’s impossible not to be happy here.
Location-wise it’s up amongst a few hostels near the Three Lions Roundabout, opposite Top Cat cinema (the best and weirdest cinema I’ve ever been to – think beanbags and private dens). And it’s only a 5 minute walk to the beach and more importantly the best bars. And the food they serve in the restaurant is perfect. Full English breakfast anyone?
It’s honestly one my favourite hostels and at £3 a night, you’d be silly not to stay there.