Without doubt, Angkor Wat is Cambodia’s national icon – especially where tourism is concerned. But there is much more to this beautiful country and if you want to see the real regional Cambodia, where the tourists are few and far apart, head to the north east township of Kratie. Some travellers on their way to Laos from Phnom Peng, drive via Kratie, but many fail to stop. It’s a shame because they are missing something special.
Life in Kratie is very different to that of the larger cities. Agriculture is the main source of income. The pace is slow and most people live on or near the banks of the Mekong River. It’s a sleepy township with markets, a few basic shops here and there plus a few restaurants.
Apart from strolling through the township, there are a few wonderful ways to pass some time. A boat trip on the Mekong, spotting the Irrawaddy dolphins, is a must-do. These rare mammals are not that hard to spot because they tend to live in a small section of the river where the water is deeper and where the fish live. Whilst they might not be that hard to spot, they are very hard to photograph. They pop up briefly for a quick breath of air every 5 minutes or so and unless you are ready to press the shutter at an instant, you may be disappointed with your snaps. The boats leave from a jetty (I use the word loosely) about a 15 minute drive north of the township.
The other great thing to see and do in this area, is to walk along the road – also north of the main town - among the traditional wooden houses. The locals are keen to interact with you – especially the children. Do this in the afternoon because when the sun sets on these homes, it’s hard to find a more tranquil setting!
If this sounds like your kind of destination, join Blue Dot Travel for one of our unique adventures. Click here for more information on our small group tours Cambodia, Laos & Myanmar.
|Brett & Kate Goulston exploring the Mekong River Kratie Cambodia|