Opened in 2001, the Angkor Muscle Gym is the largest Gym in Siem Reap. Let’s as usual start with their location. Take the road out of Siem Reap, South, along the river bank towards Tonle Sap Lake. It’s less than 1km down there to the crocodile farm. You can’t miss that by the side of the river. Cross the river at this point and at the end of the bridge, slightly to the left is the gym.
OK, we’ve got you there. I went and met Mister Sok Sour, the owner of the place. He’s very welcoming and friendly, although his English is poor. I had the help of a friendly interpreter. And I have to say, that’s the whole tone of the place – friendly. Now I don’t know if you’re like me – ageing, overweight, out of condition. I find gyms generally quite intimidating. They (and this one is no exception) tend to be filled with hugely muscled dedicated guys, who seem to be dedicated to their sport and put my puny – yes I will use the word – fat figure to shame. My insides scream “run”.
Well, I have to say that once you get over the feeling, the people inside the gym couldn’t be more welcoming and helpful. Sour, showed me round. He explained they have a fee of $1 per visit for Westerners, and that allows you to do all the weight training. There is a small extra fee for the running machines.
Originally the place was very “home made”. The benches and equipment was locally produced and it showed. But it worked. Again initially it was only known about by a few locals and was really a locals only place. However this has all changed. Now, there is plenty of modern equipment, and the gym is known to many. Westerners are welcome.
They run toning classes three times a day. From 10 am to 11.30 it’s the men. Ladies are from 3.00 pm to 4.00 and kids from 7.00 pm to 8.00. These classes include some cardio and then work to improve abs, shoulders, arms … you get the picture.
They welcome all comers to the toning classes. Even if you’re only in Siem Reap for a few days and want to lose the few extra pounds your holiday has put on, then it’s worth going along. They also have personal trainers who will work with you and help you to shed those inches in the wrong place. They also have an internet room where you can park your kids and they can drink fizzy drinks, putting on the pounds they will work so hard in later life taking off!
Give it a try. I did and had fun, and I will become a regular!