The Blue Dragon which opened four months ago must have one of the best locations in Phnom Penh. Situated on street 184 it commands an amazing view of the Royal Palace. It also has views of the river and is very close to the National Museum and Silver Pagoda.
The Chairman is back...
Having missed the official opening party on Monday it was time to check out the latest addition to the Phnom Penh bar scene.
Mao’s commands the corner of street 106 and Sisowath Quay on the riverfront.
According to a press release, In the 1920s, Mao’s previous owner was a Chinese rice trader. His landing stage for his products on the Tonle Sap was only a few meters from his door. Some years later the headquarters of a Chinese business association was added.
On first sight the bar is just about as plain as plain can be. On second sight too.
A shoebox of a place, deep and narrow. Simple wooden bar, aluminum stools, some boothish tables with padded wooden benches. A basic selection of beers and spirits - Lao, Tiger, Angkor and the like. Another glance around reveals a bit more trimming - a few rock & roll posters - Kiss, Led Zeppelin and ELP - the Stars and Bars emblazoned with a Lynyrd Skynyrd skull & crossbones tacked high, some splats and stars adorning the walls. Still nothing to write home about, at least quite yet. Elbow up to the bar or stretch back into one of the booths and the service is right there, often with limited English, but earnest and ready to please, hinting at the homey space this is.
The Exchange – Phnom Penh, St #47 Nr Wat Phnom
Situated in very close proximity to one of Phnom Penh’s more beautiful tourist spots; Wat Phnom - The Exchange is an ideal place to take a break from your sight-seeing expeditions, get some grub and relax.
From the outside, the building itself is rather impressive. In stark contrast to most bars and restaurants in Phnom Penh, this is architecturally very western and at first glance looks comparable to a Hollywood mansion.
With framed Propaganda Art hanging on the walls out front and photographic images of Vietnam in the lounge bar area out back, The Spot is a welcome mid-range addition to Hanoi’s eating and drinking scene. It also marks a departure from the typical, grungier restobars so prevalent in the tourist friendly Old Quarter.
“Workers of The World, Unite” reads the red banner in four languages at the entrance to Factory. And while this extravagant but surprisingly tasteful addition to Hanoi’s former Pub Street is hardly a working man’s bar, the labour, socialist theme runs through the whole space.