Cambodia – Mr Ly’s Gym, Siem Reap

Location: Mr Ly’s Gym, Bakheng Road, Taphul village, Svay Dangkum commune, Siem Reap.
Google maps: Click here
Phone number: 012579000
Opening hours: 6am to 8.30pm 

Like the look of this gym? If you want to stay nearby then you can check out the links to hotels within walking distance at the end of this article.

Review: Mr Ly’s Gym is another gym housed in something similar to a warehouse. Mr Ly’s gym is not as advanced as Angkor Muscle Fitness, nor is the equipment as modern, but it was still enough to get a good workout. 
It also has a number of pieces of equipment that AMF does not have. (See what happened there? Casual unexplained abbreviations. Bet you worked it out though didn’t you? Anyway, the time saved has now been wasted reading this, so we are now even.) The one unique feature of Mr Ly’s Gym is that they have a kickboxing ring. They offer one on one training with a kickboxing coach and they have pads, shin protectors, headgear and body protectors to use. As well as the ring, they have an area with punch bags, including two long bags and an uppercut bag. Sessions are approximately $5, so if you are looking to train boxing or kickboxing then this is likely to be the place for you. Monthly training is available for $40.
Entrance to the gym on a day pass is $1 for $15 for monthly membership. The entrance fee also covers the costs of a sweat towel, which you will need because there is no a/c or fans. The equipment is pretty dated, but it all works. The cables are a little jerky and could use an oil change, but other than that it all does what it should. 
Inside of this gym, you will discover the following equipment items:
  • Dumbbells unto 40kg
  • Olympic bars 
  • Squat rack 
  • Adjustable bench 
  • Incline barbell bench 
  • Flat barbell bench 
  • Decline barbell bench 
  • Smith machine 
  • Cables 
  • Lat pull-down 
  • Leg press
  • Leg extension 
  • Leg curl 
  • Chest press machine 
  • Incline Chest press machine 
  • Shoulder press machine 
  • Easy bar 
As far as refreshments and supplements go, this gym sells water for $0.50 for a big bottle and whey isolate for $2. From the tubs on the makeshift counter as you walk in, it would seem they also sell weight gainer but Mr Ly did not mention this when I asked him about what supplements he sold.
Another unique feature of this gym is the fact that the music is controlled from a laptop with massive speakers attached. People seem to take turns being the DJ, so you get a mix of music. I was surprised by how modern their selection was but it created a great environment to train in. I wasn’t brave enough to go play DJ but maybe someone else will be. If you train here and get to pick the music let me know what you played in the comments below. 
Who is this gym for? I trained here twice and on neither time did I see another westerner. This gym seems to be more for locals than tourists, but I was made to feel welcome enough training here. I also saw a few Cambodian women training here, but again, it seems that they don’t really train weights. I would fall short of advising against lone female travellers training here, but I would probably advise that they go to Angkor Muscle Fitness if they are at all worried. However, in both gyms, people seemed to be more concerned about looking int the mirror than interacting with the tourists. 
Tips: The same culture of shirtless training, and unbridled vanity, persists in this gym too. It will be interesting to see if this custom permeates through the whole of Cambodia on the rest of my trip. What is fascinating, is the total lack of self-awareness in relation to this behaviour. It really is interesting to watch from a behavioural point of view. Made me chuckle between sets anyway.

Nearby Hotels:

$ – Okay 1 VillaOkay 1 Villa: From £8

$$ – Angkor Pearl Hotel: From £15

$$$ – Motherhome Boutique: From £20