Popular Monkey Republic has opened a new backpackers hostel, bringing their trademark brand of fun, food, and cheap beds to Kampot. Monkey Republic has become an institution in the Cambodia backpacking world, starting with their original location in Sihanoukville. In recent years some of the partners have branched out and opened their own Monkey Republics in other cities, and each offers everything that a budget traveler could ask for — they clearly know what they are doing!
The Kampot Monkey Republic is no different, offering beds in pristine air-conditioned dorms for just $5, as well as inexpensive private rooms. The dorms are some of the nicest we’ve seen in Cambodia. Each has a private locker, on which you can use your own lock for added security. Dorm beds each have a curtain, so creeps can’t watch you sleep, and there’s an international electric outlet inside so you can charge your electronics overnight. When we visited, the dorm was mercifully cool — they aren’t being stingy with the air-conditioning. The shared bathroom has private shower and toilet rooms.
At the time of writing there are two dorms with 12 beds each, but another 24 beds are on the way, and a women’s dorm is in the works. Right now the dorms are mixed, but they try to place women together to makes things a bit less intimidating for those who are new to backpacking.
In another building, there are tidy budget rooms with either a single or double bed. These are fan-cooled and each has their own bathroom with cool-water shower. The rooms are sunny and freshly painted, and each has a security locker. The private rooms offer excellent value for money, and there are more on the way as they renovate the original building on the premises.
All of the Monkey Republics are known for their good food and large portions, and Kampot is no exception. The menu is slightly different, reflecting the taste of the owners, Lee, Tavie, and Paddy. You’ll find paninis, wraps, Cambodian food, and traditional UK favorites such as a proper English breakfast and bangers and mash.
Another Monkey Republic convention is to have a bar that is so good that guests end up extending their stay and never leaving the premises. We visited during the day, and the place is new, so there was no obvious partying going on when we were there. That said, we are sure that once word gets around about the sweet-ass dorms, the place will be packed. The bar has a happy hour from 4 til 8 p.m. to get everyone suitably lubricated with 75-cent draft beers ($2.50 for a pitcher), $1.50 glasses of wine, and $1.50 for spirits and mixers. They also sell locally produced Kampot cider.
Prices for the fan rooms are between $6 and $10 (depending on single versus double and high or low season), and the dorms are $4 or $5. Even by Kampot standards, this is a good deal. Bookings can be made direct or though Booking.com or Hostelworld. Walk-in rates are the same as online.