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If you want to visit a charming and cheerful town on your Mekong River Cruise, you’ll like Kratie. The one exciting fact that you need to know about Kratie before you arrive is the fact that it is best known and famed for its dolphins. Animal lovers will be enamoured by the friendly nature, and fluid movement of the Mekong Irrawaddy dolphins and around 80 of them have made the village of Kampi, 20km north of Kratie their home. If you want to find some of the clearest swirling waters in the world, you need to see the dolphins here.

Things To See And Do

There are way more things to see and do than what the dolphins have to offer though! It's one of the best places to explore and base yourself when you are coming off a river cruise, and you can explore the local Koh Trong, which is one of the prettiest riverfront islands to explore locally. There are clean and beautiful villages that are surrounded by palm trees and banana trees, and you can hop on a hired bicycle to explore these up close.

Boat trip off the coast of Koh Trong
Boat trip off the coast of Koh Trong

Kratie has some of the most beautiful colonial architecture that is not to be missed, and with the guesthouses that border along the river, there will always be somewhere for you to stay so that you can rest up after a wander. Some delicious eateries are growing in numbers to meet the demand from tourists that are using Kratie as a stopover on their journey. Riverside Cambodia has never looked or been so exciting, and you can soak up the stilted wooden homes that are bordered by lush, thick green palms. In the south, you'll find some other riverside towns nestled to explore including Chhlong. This was once a busy colonial outpost, and you can still see hints of this in the Le Relais Hotel. While the hotel itself has been closed for the past five years, it's still available to look at.

Kratie Coastline
Kratie Coastline

There are plenty of guided tours that you can enjoy on your own, including those that take you to Sambor with its picturesque villages and tree-lined lanes. The route to Chhlong is ensconced with tall and stilted homes in the fields, and this is designed to protect the houses from flooding.

Kratie town is right in the market, which is small but as lively as any significant market. There are pop songs playing, and while Kratie is one of the quieter towns, there's enough to enjoy for everyone. There's good food, excellent places to barter for jewellery and cloth and plenty of wildlife to see. When you stop on your Pandaw river cruise, don't forget to try and spot the dolphins; they're a sight not to be missed.

Dolphin at Kratie
Dolphin at Kratie

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