Kratie’s primary attraction is the Mekong River, more particularly dolphin watching the Irrawaddy Dolphins that live in the river to the north of Kratie.
These dolphins live in both fresh-water and sea-water and there are only 80-or-so left of the particular ones we saw in the Mekong River, which are listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List.
It was the first time I had ever seen dolphins in the wild (although we did see Whales in Sri Lanka). We paid $7 each for our boat (1 hour’s worth of Dolphin spotting), and about $5 each to get there from Kratie by Tuk Tuk.
It’s well worth the money to see the dolphins, but if you do go, please ensure that your boat driver doesn’t use the engine, instead he should paddle you out and around. The sound of the engine both scares the dolphins away, and does further long-term damage to the already dwindling population.
Sadly, a couple who were out on the river at the same time as us did not obey this rule and coerced their driver to use the engine. They also jumped in to the river to cool down, and thus scared away any chance of dolphins after this!
While in Kratie, we spent some time killing bugs in our room (they were BIG), checking out the local market (pigs heads anyone?), and dodging some serious evening thunderstorms!
It was a mixed start to Cambodia, up next is Phnom Penh, and then our first view of a beach for a loooong time in Sihanoukville.