Dolphin-spotting in the Kratie Province
One thing that makes Kratie fun are the dolphins. Splashing in at 20km north of Kratie and located at the village of Kampi live the Mekong Irrawaddy dolphins. If it's your dream to be part of a dolphin-watching expedition of a different kind, Trip Guru can recommend no better place to try than in Kratie.
The people of Kratie live their lives connected to the riverbanks of the Mekong. Beyond it, there are thick forests and in the stretch of river live the Mekong dolphins, rare because they can live in fresh water, rather than salt. These dolphins are the main reason why travellers are excited to visit, although they are soon enchanted as well by the town's laid-back atmosphere, with sandbars and large islands with gentle bends to and fro the river. Overall it’s a refreshing sight, especially in today’s fast-paced world of buildings and concrete.
The architecture found in Kratie is beautiful and French, adding to an overall pleasant feeling. There is also a busy and bustling market full of delicious food and fresh vegetables available for barter. The market is also the best way to observe rural Cambodian life and to sample what they eat on a daily basis. These beautiful animals don't approach boats and don't really display the same curiosity as their saltwater counterparts--but the dry season has better odds of them grouping up together. To do your part in protecting these dolphins, make sure that the boatmen follow all the dolphin watching guidelines provided and be careful to only use oars when the boat comes a little closer to the dolphins.
To get to Kratie, there are buses, taxis, and even pickup trucks that are ready and at your service. Note that during rainy season, everything becomes slightly less expensive and the drivers become more negotiable, as long as they drive a taxi or pickup truck. Buses have fixed prices, and from Phnom Penh, the buses depart at 7:00am, 7:15am and 8:00am with the entire trip to Kratie taking six or seven hours, depending on traffic as of this writing.