On the morning of my reluctant departure from Monkey Island Resort on Koh Rong, a smashing English Breakfast laid before me … Phnom Penh, after a day or two in Sihanoukville to reconnect with e-mail and blog work, was the next big destination in my sights.
While I did not want to leave the perfect tropical island hideaway, Koh Rong, the travelling roadshow known as The Pursuit of Excitement needed to go on … and so it was. After two days and nights spent on the mainland doing work on the blog as mentioned above, as well as splashing around in a hotel pool (beats getting harassed by child beggars anyday) and watching live NHL hockey at 9am on the cable TV in my room, it was time to give Phnom Penh a proper chance, unlike last year.
You see, when I breezed through last year, I had an unfortunate encounter with bed bugs at the Angkor International Hotel (do NOT stay there!), and I was in a rush to see Vietnam in the 2 and 1/2 weeks I had left in my trip. That expedited schedule gave what was once one of the most elegant cities in French Indochina, and one of SE Asia’s most rapidly rising stars in the present day the short shrift. I made sure that I gave plenty of time to PP this time around, to experience urban Cambodia at its finest!
But I needed a solid base of operations on this visit, unlike the roach hotel I backed into previously. Examining online reviews, I chose The 88 Backpackers Hostel, located in the north of the city, near Wat Phnom.
And it didn’t disappoint.
The main restaurant/bar area, where food is served and drinks are slinged from early morning until about 12/1AM … the atmosphere isn’t overly rowdy, but it is very sociable, and the staff is rather friendly!
You may have been distracted by a feature behind the BBQ table in the last pic … yes, that is your very own pool, complete with jets to make for a really cool shot in the early evening dusk! Believe me, when you tramp around this city all day seeing sights in the Hot season (temps of 35-40c not figuring the humidity), you’ll be grateful for this luxurious touch to this backpacker hostel…!
So you’re thinking that you’ll have to pay an extortionate price to live in luxury as a backpacker in Phnom Penh? Not at all, my good friend! For all the above amenities, you will only have to shell out the paltry sum of $7 USD per night to enjoy the budget travelers’ equivalent of a four star hotel!
I love Cambodia.