Posted by: James Shannon | October 21, 2012

The 88 Backpackers: An Oasis Of Budget Travel Luxury In Dusty Phnom Penh, Cambodia

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!

Once or twice a week, a Cambodian BBQ is held, with tons of tangy, meaty treats on offer…

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…!

Made some new mates over drinks? Challenge them to a friendly game of billiards…

…or maybe to an arcade game!

Insofar as your living quarters go, they are all dorms, but the mattresses are comfortable, and the rooms have AC.

All dorm rooms also come with an ensuite bathroom, with a sink separate from the shower and toilet if all you need to do is freshen up a little…

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. ๐Ÿ™‚



  1. THAT was in Cambodia?! Wow! That looks more like a B&B than a hostel! And just $7 a night? Niiice find ๐Ÿ˜€

    • Yeah, beats a begbug/roach hotel any day of the week! Found it on, love that site…!

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