Want to join the Monkey Republic of Cambodia?

Monkey Republic: the gateway to Monkey Island, Koh Rong.

It was breakfast time when we arrived after our overnight bus following a day spent in the foetal position in Siem Reap with a stomach bug. Only surviving the journey due to my trusty friend Imodium and my angel of a friend who organised everything for our journey to Koh Rong.

Our friends who had arrived the previous day greeted us with cheers and massive grins after an epic night out. We went straight to check in and were surprised that our room would be ready within half an hour – this was at 7am!

Quickly, we were in our twin room for $10US ($5US for dorms) and were offered free welcome drinks. Skipping my drink, I sat at the table for some plain toast, jealous of the full English breakfasts being devoured around the table.

My friend had already tracked down the Monkey Island office in Siem Reap and had booked our ferry and bungalow so we could relax for the day. Others in our group booked their bungalows at the Monkey Island desk in the main bar / dining area of Monkey Republic.

The hostel is located just up the hill from the jetty on the main street of Sihanoukville, and couldn’t be better positioned. Tuk-tuks to Otress Beach were only $3US or $1US each for larger groups, so this made planning our day a breeze. After all, my Imodium-filled body couldn’t resist a trip to the beach.

Revitalised from a day in the ocean and tired of a diet of plain food, I opted for a chip butty for dinner. For those of you who don’t know what that it is, it is carbs on carbs with a good dose of fats (aka hot chips in a buttered fresh bread roll). I enjoyed a foodgasm from the moment it hit my taste buds. I savoured every mouthful but could only manage to get halfway through it before feeling deathly ill, stomach twisting and turning. It was time for me to curl back up in the foetal position in our cool, clean and comfortable room as everyone else went out to celebrate one of the gang’s birthday.

Checking out the next day was just as smooth as check in. Organisation and efficiency isn’t something we were used to on the backpacking trail in SE Asia; it’s as rare as hot showers, so we lapped it up before heading down to the jetty to depart for paradise.


All opinions are subjective to the writers personal travel experience. The writer travelled at her own expense.


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