THE ARCADIA BACKPACKER HOSTEL in Kampot (a small town in the south of Cambodia) sits on the Preaek Tuek Chhu River. Instead of using their 150m of unobstructed riverfront only for ordinary swimming, the hostel created a Swiss Family Robinson-style water park with features that will launch you into the air for your plunge deep into the river. There aren’t a lot of modern amenities in the village where Arcadia is, but the surrounding area has a natural beauty that makes you want to explore, and Kampot (15 minutes away) has some of the best restaurants in Cambodia.

How to get there

Arcadia Backpackers Hostel is 130km from Phnom Penh and 90 km from Sihanoukville. For detailed directions, you’ll want to go to the Arcadia website.

What to consider

  • Arcadia is rural. As in power outages, no bank machines, no chain stores.
  • Arcadia caters to adventurous people and offers kayak and bicycles for rent, as well as daily hikes.
  • The Arcadia bar is quite lively with organized events and free-form socializing.
  • They only accept cash, so bring it with you, because there are no ATMs in the village.
  • There’s fresh food on premises. The kitchen is open from 7 AM to 8:30 PM and the food is of good quality and locally sourced.
  • Rooms range from a 12-person dorm (~$7/night) to a Double (~$20/night) — all have fans.
  • If you’re not staying at the hostel, you can still enjoy the waterpark for $7 a day (free for guests).