Last year when we went to Cambodia to visit Adam and Jax (see our post on Phnom Penh, Cambodia) we were talking about how our next visit to Camboida would most likely be to Siem Reap and Angkor Wat to visit the temples. Once we realized that we could do so while also running a 1/2 marathon, it got added to our Asia Bucket list. So in June 2016 we signed up and booked our trip for the race which wouldn’t take place until December 4th, 2016 – a week after we got back from Thanksgiving. Angkor Wat is a series of ancient temples that were built in the 12th century and have been largely preserved for tourists to visit. The area in which the temples encompass is massive and the 1/2 marathon course was designed to begin and end at Angkor Wat and weave through the other smaller temples along the way. Knowing that we were mainly there for the marathon this ended up being a pretty short trip for us.
We took off Saturday morning and landed Saturday afternoon in time to stop by race check in to pick up our packet/bibs before heading to our own hotel to check in. Scot’s dad had also flew into Hong Kong to visit the week before and then tagged along to Angkor Wat to join us for the 1/2 marathon as well. Because he was on different flights, he got in a day before we landed. We met Steve at the hotel and then went into the town for a late dinner of pasta and wine at a local italian restaurant, il Forno, that we had read reviews about. After dinner we headed to bed, as we had a 4 am wake up call for the race.
The next morning we rose early and traveled by tuk tuk to Angkor Wat where the race began. As far as races go, the race was extremely disorganized and started about 15 minutes late, but luckily there weren’t too many people running it (compared to what we’re used to in Chicago). Scot and Steve slowed their pace to Sarah’s, so we could all run together- since nobody was shooting for a PR we took time to stop along the race path and take pictures at the various temples along the way.
After the race we were pretty exhausted so we grabbed a beer to-go and tuk tuk’d back to the hotel for some relaxation by the pool. Steve was flying back to Hong Kong that afternoon, so after a quick lunch by the pool we saw him off and fell asleep for a while in the sun. Later that evening we showered and headed to Pub Street, which is a series of cool bars and restaurants in the center of Siem Reap. We chose a bar called the Old Wooden House for drinks and canapes- the bar had a really cool atmosphere with large bed swings and cozy pillows to sit on, so it was almost like we were lounging on the porch enjoying some drinks. After some drinks at the Old Wooden House we headed to get a foot massage. We were so exhausted from the early wake up call that we walked around for a little bit and then headed home for the night.
The next morning we packed up to head back to Hong Kong. We spoiled ourselves and ordered breakfast in bed, then went to the airport to catch our flight. It was a quick trip, but the 1/2 marathon was a great way to see the temples!