If you’re travelling on a shoestring, Cambodia is the place to be. And for those wanting to catch a glimpse of glorious Angkor Wat without splashing the cash on accommodation, Siem Reap is awash with quality budget beds. Here are seven of the best bargain boltholes.
If it’s bargain digs you’re after, then European Guesthouse ticks all the boxes. Located near Wat Bo temple – on the quieter side of the river – the accommodation comes with a swimming pool, tropical gardens and ample sunbathing space. Private rooms feature cable TV and en suite bathrooms with a hot shower, while dorms include shared bathrooms. All options are air-conditioned, with wi-fi access. The on-site restaurant dishes up Khmer and Western food, such as pizza, curry and crêpes. While there’s also a bar serving alcohol, the guesthouse is only a 10-minute walk away from the night-time hotspot of Pub Street. Dorms are $4 (£3.20) and $5 (£4), with private rooms costing $14 (£11.20) a night.
Also proving comfort and quality don’t have to break the bank is The Siem Reap Hostel. Complete with a poolside bar and restaurant, plenty of secluded spots and several common areas to relax in and share travellers’ tales, the hostel has basic ($8/£6) and deluxe ($11/£9) dorms, as well as private rooms ($34-$45/£27-£36). Wi-fi is available throughout the guesthouse, while balconies and en suite bathrooms come as standard in all private rooms and the deluxe dorm. Buffet breakfast is included with the former, or is $2 (£1.60) for others. There’s also the chance to get involved with a range of activities, from daily film screenings to the yoga sessions, barbecues and pool parties that run throughout the week.
It’s easy to see why Jasmine Family Hostel has become a firm favourite on the Siem Reap backpacker scene. Owned and run by a warm and welcoming Cambodian family, this charming place showcases Khmer hospitality at its finest. Home to a swimming pool, restaurant, dorms (from $7/£5.60) and a selection of private rooms ($17-$40/£14-£32), the hostel also offers a range of unique budget trips to guests – think traditional Khmer weddings, ox-cart journeys and trips to floating villages. To be honest, you wouldn’t expect anything less from the sister property to the hugely popular Jasmine Lodge.
The Mad Monkey brand is a hit with party-minded backpackers across Cambodia, with hostels in Phnom Penh, Kampot and Koh Rong Samloem. Clean, cool and fun, the Siem Reap property boasts a pool and beach-themed rooftop bar – think a floor of sand and beer pong and drinking games come evening. They sure know how to party at the Mad Monkey Hostel, so if it’s a lively stay you’re after, then book up here. Several dorm options are available (from $4/£3.20), with private rooms ranging from $16-$28 (£13-£23).
Hostel Salakamreuk is a top choice for those travelling on a shoestring. Dorms start from $2.50 (£2), with private rooms from $12 (£10). Comfy and clean, this bargain haunt is known for its friendly staff and great amenities, such as free bikes and spacious terraces to hang out on. While its location is slightly out of town, it’s quiet and tranquil, yet the centre of Siem Reap is still within walking distance.
Since opening in 2016, Funky Flashpacker has taken the hip travelling crowd by storm, as well as those looking to party. Rooms are spacious and cheap, with dorms starting at $8 (£6.40) and private options from $20 (£16). Art features heavily throughout the property, with contemporary sketches adding splashes of colour to the walls. There’s also a swimming pool, two bars, a restaurant, cinema room and nightclub.
Offering dorm-only accommodation and a laid-back vibe, Blue Lizard Hostel is a great place to forge friendships with like-minded people. Home to three balconies – one large enough to fit in 15 people – this chilled-out joint features plenty of spots to kick back with a beer. Guests are free to rustle up their own meals in the large kitchen, using its fridge, microwave, gas stoves, toaster, blender and rice cooker. It also has a custom-made, human-sized foosball pitch and a mini bar. Dorms cost $4-$6 (£3.20-£4.80).