If you prefer to see the world using your two feet and thinking of where to go for your next run-cation, why not consider Cambodia, one of Southeast Asia’s most historical cities. Not only will you be able to put in some good mileage in preparation for your next race, you will be able to ‘spice up’ your run and experience what this amazing country has to offer.
Taking into account the temperature and humidity, Cambodia is a great place to run. Road surfaces may vary depending on where you are in Cambodia. In the capital, Phnom Penh, there are proper roads but do look out for the potholes and puddles of water that you would want to avoid. Traffic is also pretty heavy so you would need to plan your route carefully. If you are in Siem Reap, I would recommend putting on your trail running shoes just to be safe!
Here is a list of the top running routes in Cambodia for you to consider when you plan your run-cation to Cambodia.
1. The Royal Palace
Fancy seeing some majestic beauty while running? Then this route is for you. Get on a tuk-tuk and travel to Preah Thineang Chan Chhaya. When you arrive, you will see the vast gardens of the Royal Palace. Here, you can do your warm-ups and stretches. Begin your run by heading down Samdach Sothearos Boulevard.
Make a right turn and in no time, you will see the entrance to the Royal Palace. Run along the parameter wall of the Palace where you will be able to take in the sights of the palace from every angle. The road surface on this route is flat and smooth.
You will not have worry much about bumps and potholes. However, do watch out for some heavy traffic at the intersections.
2. Angkor Wat
You can begin your run at the Angkor Wat itself and run through several of the temples along the “Grand Tour.” This route is around 26km. You can also do your run through the more crowded “Small Tour” circuit which also starts at the Angkor Wat and ends at Angkor Thom and the famous Bayon. This shorter route is approximately 17km.
To enter the vicinity of the temples, you will need to purchase a ticket and I would recommend buying a ticket the day before if you plan to begin your run early the next morning. Wear trail running shoes for a more comfortable run as the route is not fully paved.
The breath-taking view of one of the wonders of the world is a truly refreshing experience- so what are you waiting for!
3. Riverside Park
Take a tuk-tuk to the Phnom Penh night market but do not enter the market just yet. Cross the road to the riverside and you will see the beautiful view of the Tonle Sap river. This route is awesome for those of you who want to get some fresh air to help you relax and unwind after a long day.
Begin your run heading alongside the river towards the Royal Palace Park. Once there, make a U-turn and head back to your starting point.
Total distance for this route is approximately 2.4 km and is great for intervals if you want to do a short, quick and effective workout. The surface is smooth and flat. Coupled with the fact that the path is pedestrians only and has low foot traffic, this is an ideal route for every runner.
Run in the evening around 6 pm and you will be able to catch the sunset and end off your evening with a delicious meal at Phnom Penh night market with some shopping after.
4. Wat Botum Park
This park is not only scenic but also holds a significant amount of history. The is a monument there commemorating the killing of sixteen people outside the old National Assembly building on March 30, 1997, when grenades were thrown into a rally led by the Sam Rainsy party.
It is a common meeting point for locals and there is a children’s play area too. Do go for your run in the morning as it may get crowded in the afternoons and evenings. Also, the traffic on the roads surrounding the park are less crowded in the early mornings. It is truly amazing to find a place to have a peace of mind in the midst the hustle and bustle of the city and if you are ever in the area, why not go for a run at Wat Botum Park!
5. Olympic Stadium, National Sports Complex
Another historical site that is a must-not-miss for runners and athletes. Located near the intersection of Preah Sihanouk and Monireth Boulevard, the stadium was built to host the 1963 Southeast Asian Peninsular Games, but the games were cancelled due to political problems in Cambodia.
The stadium, a popular gathering spot for local running clubs, plays an important role for residents and many Cambodians who utilise the stadium’s facilities for training and recreation. Also, lots of sporting activities that take place here and some of them may be open to the public as well.
If you are looking to have a good running session and meet some new people in the process, then the Olympic Stadium is the place for you.
My personal favourite? Honestly, I do not have one. Cambodia is such a great country with so much to see and putting on my running shoes and running/walking just about anywhere in Cambodia is always an amazing experience!