I have recently made an unusually long side trip to Cambodia by way of Bangkok, and in this trip I found a gem in the midst of flashpackers hostel Siem Reap , the Mad Monkey Hostel certainly upped their game compared to other popular hostels in the area. I’m pretty sure they are giving them a run for their money.
Flashpacking or backpacking, usually cater to people who are traveling on a tight budget, you can say that this is the exact opposite of luxury travelers where they travel first class and stay in 5 star hotels. This demographic includes seasoned backpackers and the ever growing number of young and partygoing budget travellers. Because of this increase, certain hostels have targeted their campaigns to the young and party going types.
I discovered that this place is not just your typical cheap hostel where you crash for the night and forget you were even in there for the trip. It’s a hostel that adds to the total travel experience. It boasts of great food both western and khmer (organic), has varied accommodations that can fit whatever budget you have(dorms, shared or single occupancy) fun daily activities(beerpong!), special events and socially responsible tour packages.
In Siem Reaps Flashpacker Heaven, The Mad Monkey’s Top Banana is the only rooftop beach bar with real beach sand. Yep! you read that right, you can have your own little beach party up top before you head out to Pub Street or after that long tiring Ankor Wat day tour. It’s also an awesome place to watch the Siem Reap sunset with your special friend. The beach Bar is so popular that even other hostel dwellers choose it a start off point for the night.
Yes, this Hostel has Fun written all over it, after all, that’s what their tagline says and it’s a tagline they rightfully coined.
At the core of all the fun and exciting activities is the company’s social responsibility. Mad Monkey Siem Reap has an amazing involvement in its community and they encourage clients/tourists to do the same thing. Social Awareness has become an integral part of this company making it not just popular for international travellers looking to have fun but also among locals looking for a great place to work in or relax.
Most of Mad Monkey’s staff are locals, and they have gone the extra mile by actively hiring people with intellectual disabilities. They also hire the locally disadvantaged youth, paying them fairly and progressively, providing them benefits like medical coverage and even funding for language classes.
In Mad Monkey, they do fundraisers for the education of children through “crawl for school” and is doing great work by helping provide clean drinkable water to the local communities by funding about 100 water wells all throughout Cambodia.
It’s the kind of place you want to stay in because it’s fun and socially responsible, and the prospect of meeting like-minded people gives solo travellers something to look forward to. It’s also the kind of company you want to be associated with because you are treated fairly, and you become a part of a company that has it sights set in making a difference, the kind of difference that a country like Cambodia seriously needs and this Hostel has its roots firmly planted in the locality they are in, helping boost the communities they have nurtured with positive experiences through the tourism industry.
I used to think that Backpacking will always be an awesome and fun adventure, exciting especially if you are doing it alone. Yes, you will hear horror stories every now and then, but you get to meet a lot of new people, experience different cultures and make friends along the way and it used to be just that. Once in a while though, you will come across something like this, where the experience is taken to a whole different level and completely changes the way you impact the place you leave behind. I never thought can make a difference by being that backpacking tourist until I checked out Mad Monkey had to offer. It’s no longer just soaking up the sun, guys!