Head out of the capital and the temples of Angkor. What’s out there? Vast countryside, basically. Scattered across over 181000 square kilometers of pristine tropical greenery are quiet and rustic villages. One in particular sets the example of what to expect out here in the Cambodian outback. Introduce Kratie. A small town indeed, yet still a capital of a province. Let’s see what’s here.
Many come to Kratie to escape the hot spots of Phnome Penh and Siem Reap. And what a fine choice it is. The town is all the way out in Eastern Cambodia, on the banks of the Mekong River. It exudes your typical rural atmosphere, making for a truly relaxing time. Speaking of the Mekong River, some Irrawaddy Dolphins do make an appearance or two here. That is one of the main reasons why people come here. If you are able to snap a picture of one, keep it! They are very rare animals. How rare? Less than 60 are left in the area.
So, where are the best spots to see these elusive marine mammals? Head over to Kampi Village, about 15 kilometers from the town center. They tend to pop up from the waters in the late afternoon. So bring your hat and sun lotion!
Alright, so you’ve spot the dolphin, took a snapshot of it and feeling good. What’s to do in this town? Well, the town is quite small, so you can go for a little walk and see most of it. One such site is Phnom Sombok, a small temple located on a hill north of town. Prepare yourself because the pictures here depict torture, reminding you of the punishment that awaits if do not lead a virtuous life. A short two kilometer walk from the town center takes you to Wat Roka Kandal on the riverfront. It is an ancient Lao style stupa which has been beautifully restored throughout its time.
If you want to see some craft, just head out of town. Chheu Teil Ploch is about 15 kilometers away and this Cham basket weaving village is the largest in the province with approximately 4000 people.
And as we mentioned before, the town is quiet, rustic and peaceful. Some spend their time just wandering around and absorbing the atmosphere. Others may take a cold beer or beverage, sit by the riverfront and watch the sun set.
Explore some of Cambodia’s most scenic and possibly most laid back areas along the Mekong. Take where the river takes you with temples, villages, friendly folks and maybe even the rare Irrawaddy Dolphin greeting you on your journey. See more Cambodia tours here.
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