Where to stay in Siem Reap on a budget: review of Uncle’s House hostel

Uncle’s House is the cheapest hostel in Siem Reap, Cambodia. You can get the first night free if you’re on Couchsurfing, then use Agoda to only pay $1 per night ($2 walk-in).
It goes by 3 different names: Uncle’s House, Auntie’s House, World Walker Hostel. It’s all the same place, so don’t get too confused!

This page references the hostel rooms since that’s the budget-friendly choice and what I stayed in.

budget accommodation review of uncle's house hostel

How I heard about them

I flew to Cambodia last-minute because I broke my shoulder on my last visa day in Vietnam. From previous times, I knew I needed a place to stay for at least a week. So I tried looking for places on Couchsurfing. I came across Sovann TB, who was advertising for one night free at his hostel. As it was getting late, I decided to message him to stay at least one night there and then either try to find another host or stay at his hostel. Luckily, Uncle’s House was the cheapest hostel and I ended up stay for about 9 days.

Facts about Uncle’s House Hostel

Online ratings

7.8 on Agoda (61 reviews)
8.2 on Booking.com (166 reviews)
Mostly good on Couchsurfing

Dorm rooms

3 of them
-12-bed fan dorm – it was cooler in here than outside during the daytime and reverse at night, which was comfortable. Each bed has its own handheld and automatic fan, outlet, and side table though the fans don’t always work
-6-bed air-con dorm which never has anyone in it
-5-bed fan dorm upstairs – hotter than the bigger one, which makes a difference when the days are 35 degrees plus humidity!

The bathrooms have no partition between the shower and toilet, like much of Asia. Wanted to include this just in case this was your first stop~

Location and distance from town

Located 15-minutes walk south-west of downtown, it’s easy to get to but hard to find the first few times if your sense of direction isn’t great or if you’re going there at different times (daytime and nighttime). It’s a 3- to 5-minute tuk-tuk drive from the central part of town which should cost $1 or 4000 KHR (riel)

Amenities/facilities

  • Airport pickup and drop-off is just $5 with advance notice (basically the going rate outside official airport transportation)
  • 24-hour front desk (just wake up the person sleeping behind the desk)
  • Restaurant available sporadically (not too late at night, as cook goes home). The food is around $2 which is fine, but the drinks are a bit pricey.
  • Wi-Fi of course
  • Ticket and tour services (not recommended to buy from them, see below)
  • Bicycle rental
  • Luggage storage
  • Drinks (not cold because they don’t turn on the fridge, just store things in there, and overpriced)
  • Laundry service
  • Book exchange
  • Lockers if you bring your own lock (can buy from them). They’re right beside the front desk.
  • Express check-in and check-out
  • Have staff speaking English, French, Khmer, Thai, and apparently German and Mandarin

Tour offerings

Every tourist-related place in Siem Reap offers the same roster of tours, ticket bookings, and transportation. Whether you need to take a bus to Bangkok, book a tuk-tuk driver for Angkor Archeological Park, or book a full-on tour, it’s all the same…except for the price.

Uncle’s House offers cheap beds because they increase the prices of everything else. After shopping around, they have the most expensive tours, tuk-tuk drivers, and transportation tickets! I cannot recommend you book with them when there are much cheaper options available.

Pros and cons

The good/okay

  • + no smoking on the property but right outside the gate is apparently ok (I hate cigarette smoke)
  • + 3 bathrooms inside the 12-bed dorm with toilet and shower, one with warm water; 2 bathrooms in the 5-bed dorm; 2 bathrooms in the 6-bed air-con dorm
  • + allows people to check out late for late-night buses (sometimes charges $1 if very late)
  • + you can rent a towel for $1
  • + the owner is quite friendly-seeming
  • + they’re a little disorganized but this is the norm in Southeast Asia so that’s fine

The bad

  • -literally selling everything more expensive than everywhere else because that’s how they make money. They hook you in with the cheap bed prices and then upsell and overcharge on food, transportation, and tours
  • -turned away my tuk-tuk driver for an externally booked bus TO LEAVE THE COUNTRY TO CATCH A FLIGHT because I wasn’t *right* there to see them do so (still salty). I almost missed the bus because they called another tuk-tuk (which they said I had to pay $5 for) came almost half an hour later. (I paid the guy the normal rate of $1 because he drove fast)
  • -they become different people when they find out you book something externally, be it a tour or a driver or a bus ticket
  • -don’t include blankets; must pay $0.50 or 2000 KHR for one for your whole stay
  • -some beds’ fans don’t work
  • -some lamps don’t work
  • -lights are rather dim
  • -not much space to hang up your towel
  • -lots of mosquitoes in the common area, which is outside
  • -dorms feel a little dirty
  • -they don’t always change the bed sheets between guests, especially if there’s a late checkout and late night/early morning check-in
  • -a weird thing is that the sink is always outside the bathrooms. For the 12-bed dorm, it’s outside the dorm itself in the common area. The other two dorms have them inside the dorm rooms (one each) but outside the bathroom stalls.
  • -only cash is allowed for everything
  • -a little difficult to get to by rideshare if they don’t know the hostel as it’s down some alleyways (that just fit a car) and the sign is rather small
  • -they made me change rooms twice (because of other bookings, I suppose). This was an issue because I had a broken shoulder and couldn’t pack easily nor bring my bags around. The staff member helping me put on a fake smile (I could tell) when asking for help to move my bags each time. Rather than letting me stay for the final one or two nights in the upstairs room, they wanted me to move downstairs again…such an inconvenience.

You’ve been warned.

Photo Gallery

Summary

Despite the shortcomings and issues I faced, I would still recommend Uncle’s House hostel, mainly because of the price and quiet area. This place is for you if you:

  • Are on a very tight budget
  • Have the necessities with you (because you’re given the bare minimum)
  • Like a quiet neighbourhood and a 15-minute walk into town
  • Can handle the sass and somewhat underhanded nature of the staff

I think I would’ve had a better time if I knew to expect the bare minimum (for this price, I should’ve!), they didn’t make me move rooms twice, and they didn’t turn away my tuk-tuk driver. That being said, you now know everything so you can make an informed decision to book with them or not.

How to book

The cheapest you’ll find them is on Agoda, but first, you should sign up for Couchsurfing and contact him (Sovann TB in Siem Reap) there if you want to save one dollar.

You can find my Couchsurfing and Cambodia posts here and below~

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