Siem Reap Angkor Marathon – Where to be during the most run-tastic weekend of the year in Siem Reap
Angkor Marathon is an annual event when the world’s marathon runners and their families converge in Siem Reap to experience one of the most breathtaking marathon tracks you can find – the historic Angkor ruins. And it’s now that time of year again. Check out our list of suggestions for this year’s marathon to make sure you get the most out of the amazing options for food, relaxation and wellness to make the most of your running visit to Siem Reap.
This ultimate marathon weekend guide includes suggestions to get you ready before, on, and after race day ….Carbo load…Caffeinate…Celebrate…Recover… At BE Happy Guesthouse you can enjoy our on-site massage spa, saltwater pool, a BBQ at neighbouring Baby Elephant Boutique Hotel, and much more – but we’ve gathered some activities together that you can enjoy out on the town too.
Pre-marathon Carbo Load
We’ve got the skinny on where to get your carb fix in Siem Reap this exciting Angkor Marathon weekend. Between one and three days leading up to the Angkor Marathon athletes will do what’s known as carbo loading. Siem Reap has a wonderful restaurant and cafe culture, with lots of new opportunities to enjoy a carbohydrate-rich dinner – and with many new options we thought we’d let you know what might have popped up since your last visit to Siem Reap.
Dolce Vita Siem Reap is a relatively new but already well-loved Italian restaurant run by a passionate Italian restaurateur couple and their friends. Driven by good food and good wine, the Italian hospitality team and their Cambodian colleagues produce fresh Italian products daily such as mascarpone cheese and make tiramisù, ricotta cheese, lasagna, parmigiana and more. The menu includes excellent pizza, pasta and breads of course! The restaurant is beautifully designed and tucked away in the small alley of Bamboo Street. A modern and romantic setting hidden from the noise of Pub Street and the city center, we recommend Dolce Vita if you want to enjoy a real Italian dinner, surrounded by never-ending smiles and a lovely atmosphere.
Tuesday to Sunday, 6-11pm; Dolce Vita; Bamboo Street, Wat Damnak; 096 686 6539; www.facebook.com/DolceVitaSiemReap
What runner doesn’t deserve a delicious burger? Wat Beast in Siem Reap serves up delicious, well-thought out American comfort food with a lot of heart poured into it. The open-air restaurant on Night Market Road is walking distance from BE Happy Guesthouse and purveys craft beer, bespoke cocktails, a selection of mac & cheese (including paleo and vegan options), plus loads of delicious burgers, sweets and snack foods. Previously located in Sihanoukville, the owners recently relocated to Siem Reap and have already developed a cult following amongst locals, expats and tourists.
Wednesday to Monday, 11am-10pm; Wat Beast; Angkor Night Market St.; 010 419 197; www.facebook.com/watbeast
The mecca of all things indulgent in Siem Reap, Bang Bang Bakery & Cafe has become known as one of the best modern bakeries in town, offering sourdough, rye, and many specialty styles of bread not often seen in Southeast Asia (think pretzels and challa loaves!). Open for brunch and coffee we recommend this place for the challa French toast, the breakfast bagel and their very generous and delicious range of vegan-friendly options. With regular specials we recently enjoyed the bubble tea with their own handmade tapioca balls. And if you have a particularly sweet tooth, the cake cabinet is never short of decadent cakes, pies and slices, all served in generous portions. Note they do charge for packaging, so if you happen to have your own bag or carton for takeaways then do take it along with you!
Wednesday to Sunday, 9am-7pm; Bang Bang Bakery-Cafe; Taphul Road (opposite Idea Decor, and along from Hotel Angkor 89); +855 98 976 987; www.facebook.com/bakerybangbang
Ready, set… Caffeinated for the Angkor Marathon
Our four years of hosting Angkor Marathon runners have taught us a lot about what people need and want to enjoy when they visit Siem Reap for this annual December athletic event. And what we have found is that no marathon weekender is complete without enjoying the lively coffee culture! At BE Happy Guesthouse you can enjoy our drip filter coffee – free with your included breakfast – but there are a growing smorgasboard of excellent espresso coffee options around town, so make sure to get out there and experience it all!
The Little Red Fox has been the centre of coffee in Siem Reap for many years now. Popular with locals, expats and international travellers alike this is a must-visit coffee hub with a deep signature bean that packs a punch. We also like to enjoy their delicious coffee in an espresso martini just as much as in a flat white or latte. As with any dedicated coffee house, The Little Red Fox also offers cold brews, pour overs, specialty lattes like turmeric and beetroot, and an array of teas. The food menu is lush, offering exceptional sweet treats and breakfast foods – but also boasts an ever-evolving and creative array of wholefoods, salads, Cambodian foods and other all-day dining options.
Thursday to Tuesday, 7am-5pm; The Little Red Fox; Hup Guan St., Kandal Village; 016 669 724; www.thelittleredfoxespresso.com
Run by one of the coolest Cambodian women you will ever meet, Crane dubs itself a clubhouse, a place to hang out and chill but above all to drink coffee in. The dark wood, black and DIY style two-level venue is filled with street fashion created by its founders. Crane is also a hub for music, coffee, art, cakes and offers home-style meals. Eclectic and quirky, this little place to chill is an environment conducive to the creative process, and inclusive to all. We recommend checking out the menu and choosing one of the Cambodian or Thai options as the kitchen team excel in this area.
Open 7 days, 7.30am-10pm; Crane; Central Market St.; 089 675 761; www.cranecambodia.com
A speciality coffee shop and bar full of good vibes, chilled conversation and a welcoming space for all. Serving up specialty coffee in the morning and craft beer, cocktails and wines from around the world of an evening. A Cambodian and Australian partnership, Dialogue has made its mission connecting people from around the world. The head barista and co-founder Piseth Seng is renowned in Cambodia for his barista skills and creative business approach. The rustic French-style building is adorned by murals by artists Jo Peel and Chris Jarrett. It’s a lovely spot to sit and enjoy a cup of coffee made by the team of one of Cambodia’s best baristas.
Open 7 days, Dialogue; 6.30am-midnight; Street 27; 081 725 518; www.facebook.com/DialogueSiemReap/
You did it! Celebrate
After the Angkor Marathon, Siem Reap is an amazing town to be in to let your hair down. There will be some wonderful options to relax and celebrate your personal best! Enjoy the saltwater pool at BE Happy Guesthouse or check out these options to while away your afternoon in Siem Reap.
Just next door to BE Happy Guesthouse is Baby Elephant Boutique Hotel. The saltwater pool is a popular place on Sundays. With loads of space around the sunny pool with shaded areas too, you’ll find marathon runners, walkers, spectators, supporters & late-risers alike joining for a delicious post-marathon Sunday BBQ. Enjoy your victory with bubbles, revitalizing isotonic cocktails, kombucha & drink specials by the pool or in our gorgeous garden. Whether or not you’re taking part in the race, this will be a celebration for all!
- 🥂Free Flow Mimosa & Bellini Package 10am-12pm for $20
- 🍴All-You-Can-Eat BBQ – $9 Meat | $7 Vegan/Vegetarian
- 🍾Codorniu Classico Cava by the bottle – $25
- 💆💆♂️30% discount at Baby Elephant’s In-House Spa
Reception open 24 hours, bar & restaurant open daily from 7am-11pm (last food orders 9.45pm); Baby Elephant Boutique Hotel; Street 53, Vihear Chin; 077 769 126; www.babyelephant.asia
Siem Reap doesn’t have a beach but that’s no bother! We now have our very own beach club. Cambo Beach Club has parties almost every night of the week and features a 30-metre saltwater pool, dive pool, restaurants, bars, games, live music and more. It’s a spacious outdoor venue close to the backpacker action and great for families too. If you like the beach club vibe of Bali then this place is for you, with loads of drinks, food and of course electronic music. They even have Balinese ribs and duck on offer for those craving the flavours of Indonesia to go alongside their beach club experience.
Open 7 days, 9am-10pm; Cambo Beach Club; Cambo Beach Lane, Siem Reap; 087 466 616; https://www.cambobeachclub.com/;
The BE Happy Guesthouse team loves Balthazar as a central, cool (yes the AC!), and trendy riverside haven, with the best Aperol spritz, charcuterie platters and wine selection in town. For a great selection of wine from around the world and some tasty food, head to The Balthazar on Street 26. It has two outdoor seating areas, one street side – to watch the world go by. A perfect spot to chill out and wind down after a busy day in temple town.
Open 7 days, 5pm-midnight; The Balthazar at Street 26 Wine Bar; Street 26, Siem Reap; 087 994 433; thebalthazar.org;
Feeling a little flat or sore after your marathon efforts? Come find community and love while enjoying some yoga practice at Yoga Space Siem Reap. The balcony yoga studio is amongst the tree-tops in the historic Kings Road Angkor complex, and the location alone makes this a must visit! A team of very experienced yoga and movement teachers offer a diverse range of practices which include Sivananda, flow, pilates-fusion and NIA move to heal classes. On Monday 9 December there will be a deep release and marathon recovery yoga class from 10am – 11.15am. Limited mats available so make sure to message on Facebook or email in advance to book your mat.
Open 7 days; Yoga Space Siem Reap; Kings Road Angkor; 010 588 005; visit www.sugarsiemreap.com/yoga-space-siem-reap or www.facebook.com/yogaspacesiemreap for class schedule; https://sugarsiemreap.com/yoga-space-siem-reap
If you’re really looking to go deep in your recovery then Hariharalaya would be a great option. A blissful six-night spiritual retreat in the Cambodian countryside, Hariharalaya has become world-famous for its incredible schedule of yoga and transformative workshops with the goal of sending you out into the world having embraced yoga and meditation as a lifestyle choice. We never stop hearing from our guests about how much they enjoyed their experience at Hariharalaya, and we hear the vegan food on offer is exceptionally delicious too! We do recommend a bridging night or two either side in Siem Reap, and we have excellent rates on rooms so get in touch to book a room.
Prasat Bakong Temple; 031 222 6570; www.hariharalaya.com/
This social enterprise beauty and grooming spa offers eco-luxe conscious beauty and men’s grooming that doesn’t cost the earth. The gorgeous hygienic spa (which shares a location with Yoga Space) provides beauty services including hair styling, waxing, eyelash extensions, eyebrow design, manicures, pedicures, skincare, facials, massage and a boutique shop with skincare and fashion. The ethos is to provide sustainable employment to women from backgrounds of extreme hardship including human trafficking, a way for them to maintain employment through excellent international-standard training and skills development. Ever fancied trying eyelash extensions? This is the place to try it with our Japanese natural fibre lashes.
Monday 12.30-8pm, Tuesday-Saturday 9am-8pm, Sunday 12-5pm; Kings Road Angkor complex; 010 588 005; www.sugarsiemreap.com
Where to stay?
BE Happy Guesthouse Siem Reap is a small affordable guest house with 12 rooms in an old converted colonial French guest house, with a beautiful external facade, surrounded by tropical plants, outdoor lounge seating, saltwater pool and gardens. The rooms are small with combined toilet-and-shower Asian private bathrooms. BE Happy is off a quiet lane only about 10 minutes walk to town, you’ll enjoy the peaceful quiet while being close to everything. The hotel is situated just 7 kilometres from Angkor Wat, and 20 minutes from the airport. You’ll also have access to the Baby Elephant Boutique Hotel facilities including spa and tours and transport services, so what are you waiting for!
Visit our website and book direct for the best deals. When you book direct, we don’t pay a commission and this helps us to invest even more into our team and also to expand our services and facilities.
What is your favourite way to prepare for a marathon?
Let us know if the comment section below!