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.
As it is away from the main drag, with the endless traffic noise and activity it is also is a very peaceful place to sit and just relax. In the the park opposite pigeons and doves flock together and are fed by passers by. In many capitals they would probably be poisoned, even in Trafalgar square the pigeons are considered a menace. But here they are tolerated and just add to the scenery.
The Blue Dragon is not a restaurant and hardly even a cafe although it will provide a toasted cheese and ham sandwich with your choice of beverage. The establishment is actually more of a souvenir shop. It is like one of those trendy bookshops that also have a cafe area. The merchandise consists of artifacts and paintings and tourist knick knacks from all around South East Asia, not solely Cambodia. The wooden day beds and chairs are locally made beautiful and are very reasonably priced. Five percent of all the takings are donated to The Cambodian Acid Survivors charity.
Outside there are only two tables placed on tiles that resemble a sunken red jig saw puzzle. The only coffee sold is espresso and wine is also unavailable as is draft beer. So really it is beer with or with out ice cubes or spirits to choose from.
But this all adds to the charm, and the tables are shared, and every customer who comes in bids a hullo to the others already there, or shakes hands, and if there are not enough chairs another is found. It appears to cater for the lone eccentric expat who might or might not have spent a few too many years in Phnom Penh, but is willing to share his or her story or exchange the days gossip, around those makeshift wicker tables.
I am sure this will change as tourists discover this place and stop for a breather and an espresso.
Blue Dragon cafe and souvenirs is located at number 184 street 391 and opens from about two in the afternoon until midnight.