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Kratie
1.Introduction

Kratie is one of Cambodia's eastern provinces with less population, who make their lives on the riverbanks of the Mekong. Beyond the riverbanks it is a remote place with almost no population and thick-forested areas to calm down. The provincial capital is also called Kratie and lies also on the banks of the mighty Mekong River, which emboss the province from the North to the South.

The stretch of the river around Kratie town is home to a group of rare sweet water Irrawaddy dolphins. Therefore the dolphins are the main tourist attraction of the province and the town. The river also has hundreds of green island, and circling water, which are also attracting some tourists. Kratie town is sleepy but picturesque with sandbars and big islands out front and bends in the river. Unlike in many towns around Cambodia, the war years were fairly kind to the French architecture and the roads, at least in the town itself.

There are some nice-looking homes of French and Khmer style scattered about, adding to the pleasant feel of the place. You'll also find a bustling market which is a great place to watch frogs being skinned (and escaping first through the holes in the nets), sample some delicious foods (such as freshly grilled corn cakes) and generally take in rural Cambodian life. The rare freshwater Irrawaddy dolphins make their home in the Mekong River, just north of Kratie. With only around 120 remaining, they are surely worth a visit.

Whether you are just on a trip seeing the river towns along the Mekong or taking a full circuit trip around the east and northeast, Kratie is a nice place to spend a night or two. The river scene of Kratie has a beautiful river boulevard with dozens of snack and drink stands in the late afternoon and evening, making this a nice spot to chill out and watch the people parading by. There are also a few big concrete decks along the river scene. The river road is a great place for a stroll or jog. Enjoy the dramatic sunsets over the Mekong. 

2.Geography

Kratie province comprises of 11,094 square kilometers big, which is categorized into several areas such as 83% forest, agricultural land 8% and red land 0.5% in Snoul district. It's located in the East of the Cambodia country and is bordering to the North with Stueng Treng, to the East with Mondulkiri province, to the West with Kampong Thom and to the South with Kampong Cham province.

The province consists mainly of thick rained forested area, where you still can see the 1970-75 bombings due to big craters in the countryside, some filled with water. You also may find the typical plain wet area for Cambodia, covering rice fields and other agricultural plantations, even if it's just a small percentage of agriculturally used land concerning the rest of Cambodia. The province features the biggest river of the country (approx. 140 kilometers of it), the mighty Mekong River with its small rapids and critically endangered Irrawaddy dolphins. Please come and visit our birthplace of dolphins. 

3.Climate

The country has a tropical climate - warm and humid. In the monsoon season, abundant rain allows for the cultivation of a wide variety of crops. This year-round tropical climate makes Cambodia ideal for developing tourism. Travellers need not to fear natural disasters such as erupting volcanoes or earthquakes, and the country is not directly affected by tropical storms.

Climate: Cambodia can be visited throughout the year. However, those plans to travel extensively by road should be avoided the last two months of the rainy season when some countryside roads may be impassable. The average temperature is about 27 degrees Celsius; the minimum temperature is about 16 degrees. December and January are the coolest months, whereas the hottest is in April.

General information about the provincial climate:

  • Cool season  : November - March (18-26c)
  • Hot season    : March - May (27c -35c)
  • Rainy season: May - October (26-34c, with humidity up to 90%).  
4.Population

Kratie is one of Cambodia's eastern provinces with less population, who make their lives on the riverbanks of the Mekong. Beyond the riverbanks it is a remote place with almost no population and thick-forested areas to calm down. The provincial capital is also called Kratie and lies also on the banks of the mighty Mekong River, which emboss the province from the North to the South.

The stretch of the river around Kratie town is home to a group of rare sweet water Irrawaddy dolphins. Therefore the dolphins are the main tourist attraction of the province and the town. The river also has hundreds of green island, and circling water, which are also attracting some tourists. Kratie town is sleepy but picturesque with sandbars and big islands out front and bends in the river. Unlike in many towns around Cambodia, the war years were fairly kind to the French architecture and the roads, at least in the town itself. The current population of Kratie is approximately 290,000 and the population density is 26 people per sq.km. Roughly 70% of the people live along the river, whereas 30% live in the mountainous area. There are seven types of tribes in Kratie: the Phnorng, the Kouy, the Mil, the Khonh, the Steang, and the Thamoun. 

5.Economy

Kratie is one of Cambodia's eastern provinces with less population, who make their lives on the riverbanks of the Mekong. Beyond the riverbanks it is a remote place with almost no population and thick-forested areas to calm down. The provincial capital is also called Kratie and lies also on the banks of the mighty Mekong River, which emboss the province from the North to the South.

The stretch of the river around Kratie town is home to a group of rare sweet water Irrawaddy dolphins. Therefore the dolphins are the main tourist attraction of the province and the town. The river also has hundreds of green island, and circling water, which are also attracting some tourists. Kratie town is sleepy but picturesque with sandbars and big islands out front and bends in the river. Unlike in many towns around Cambodia, the war years were fairly kind to the French architecture and the roads, at least in the town itself.

In an effort to entice foreign investment, the province is offering generous business concessions to those who wish to invest in rubber plantations inside the country. Kampong Cham and Kratie have an abundance of red soil and water resources, which create ideal conditions for the cultivation of rubber. Generally, the people make their living from rubber and cashew nut plantation, fishing, rice farming and producing a rich array of fruits in fertile orchards, including durian, rambutans and lychees. 

6. How to Get There

Bus:

Coming from Phnom Penh, Kratie town is accessible via NH No 7 (348km). There are several bus companies, such as PPPT, Hour Lean and Sorya going to Kratie or passing by while they are heading to Stung Treng or Rattanakiri. The easiest way to get there is to buy a ticket at the central bus station southwest of the central market. Sorya goes twice a day, at 7am in the morning and 12am noon. The trip will take around 6-7hours and costs approx. US$6.

Share Taxis:

Share taxis are going frequently and for sure faster to your desired destination. Departing opposite of the central bus station behind the gas station you?ll find one of these or a minibus. The price comes at US$10-12. It may happen that you have to change the taxi in Kampong Cham as some taxis just go there and back. Others will already wait for you to take you to Kratie or further up.

Bullet Boat:

There are several alternatives to get to Kratie, the easiest of which is by the bullet boats that ply the Mekong River. If you are coming from Kampong Cham and don't have a motorcycle, the bullet boat is an easy and comfortable option. The bullet boat from Phnom Penh isn't departing anymore to Kratie, as the road conditions are wonderful and most of the people go with the quick and affordable bus. Although it is possible to take one bullet boat from Kampong Cham or back departing early in the morning around 7am. The boat pier in Kampong Cham is directly in front of the Mekong Hotel. The trip takes just three hours and costs US$7. The Kratie-Stung Treng bullet boat trip only runs during the rainy season when the water level in the Mekong is sufficient enough to allow the boats to get through the numerous stretches of shallow rapids and various other obstacles on this stretch of the river. The trip upriver to Stung Treng takes around 6-7 hours, with the trip back down to Kratie, going with the current, taking about 4 hours. The price is around US$8.

Motorcycle Touring Info:

Phnom Penh to Kratie If you are going to Kratie from Phnom Penh, the road to Kampong Cham is excellent (National Highway No 6, after the round about in Skun National Highway No 7), the road from Kampong Cham to the Snoul (also Mondulkiri) junction isn't that great, but it's definitely doable. The last section taking you to Kratie from Snoul was recently new paved and remains in a so-to-say perfect condition. This magnificent Highway No 7 led until the Lao border in the country's rough North. Snoul to Mondulkiri If you are heading to Sen Monorom from Kratie, proceed to Snoul and pass through the main town area. You will come to a fork in the road where you stay to the left. Follow this about 7 km and you will come to a four-way junction where you turn left. This laterit-paved highway takes you to Sen Monorom. The road is nice and level having been cut by logging companies for their trucks. Fuel and food are available in Snoul town and at the four-way junction. Security on these stretches is not a problem.

Kratie to Stung Treng:

The National Highway No 7 led through a nice remote countryside, where you rarely meet other vehicles. There are several small villages near the highway where you can gas up your vehicle or pop into one of the tiny basic-need stalls to eat something. 

7.What to See

The Dolphin Habitat, Kratie is a spectacular wildlife and nature reserve of Kratie. The Dolphin Habitat, Kratie is a favorite haven for the nature lovers and the wildlife conservationists. The Dolphin Habitat in Kratie is situated at Kampee Village in the Sambok Commune. The Dolphin Habitat, Kratie is only 15 kilometers away from the provincial town of Kratie.

Besides being a wonderful tourist hub the Dolphin Habitat, Kratie also plays a significant role in the conservation of dolphins. The amazing spectacle of the playful dolphins splashing in water is indeed a feast for the eyes. The Kratie Dolphin Habitat is considered one of the notable tourist attractions in Kratie. The Dolphin Habitat, Kratie has attained extreme popularity with the kids. The Dolphin Habitat, Kratie is also one of the preferred destinations of the foreign visitors. The Dolphin Habitat, Kratie is one of the must see places in Kratie. 

8.Where to Eat

There is a typical market right one block into the town centre, which has the usual range of cheap food stalls with Cambodian, Vietnamese and Chinese dishes. You may also have cheap food on the riverfront during the evening when lots of small food stalls set up. The place is awesome at sunset overlooking the Mekong with the sunset right in front.

Thea Sdav Restaurant:

Simple restaurant and take away near the Wat Orussey. This authentic khmer restaurant serves delicious soups and a variety of khmer dishes as khmer meat BBQ, fish, mango/papaya/banana-blossom salads, duck eggs and home made prahok.

Red Sun Falling:

This place has fine furnishings, good music and a small bookstore included. The menu unites a small selection of Asian food and some Western dishes, including excellent homemade brownies. It's one of the most crowded places by night.

Mlop Duong Restaurant:

Coming from Lao you might be starving for some new experience referring to the local Cambodian food. So this place comes as a garden restaurant and offers you Khmer specialities completing with a local live band. Do not wonder about the time between you order and the time you may go for the tasty food, the cook takes his time.

Heng Heng Hotel & Restaurant:

This place has some very good food and some Western dishes, with an English menu to boot. Some staff speaks English and it is directly situated on the riverfront.

Apsara Guesthouse & Restaurant:

The food is okay and they can make a few Western dishes as well. The manager speaks English.

Golden Star Restaurant:

It's a simple place with big ambition. It features decent Khmer food and beer girls, with a small late-night dance venue thrown in as well.

Mekong Restaurant:

This is quite a reliable little place offering an English menu with a fair range of local dishes, as well as some interpretations of barang favourites such as thom long jean?(French fries). Simple Khmer fare located just in front of the 30 December Hotel.

30 December Guesthouse & Restaurant:

They have an English menu and simple, cheap dishes. 

9.Where to Stay

Oudom Sambath Hotel: (tel: 012/965944)

The Oudom Sambath Hotel is set in a convenient location 150m North from the boat landing stage and is enhanced with modern amenities. All the guestrooms at the hotel have all the comforts expected in a hotel in its class (2 stars) to make guests feel at home. This place is one of the most comfortable ones in town and comes with fully equipped rooms; cable TV, AC, hot water, fridge and Western bath. They also offer smaller rooms with fan and bathroom at a lower price. Prices from US$23 to 35.

Re Lais Du Chlong Hotel Kratie:

This 2 stars hotel is located right next to the riverside just 100m far from the pagoda. All the guestrooms at the hotel have all the comforts expected in a hotel in its class to make guests feel at home. Convenient location, a dedicated staff and first-rate facilities make this hotel a favourite among travellers. The rooms have cable TV, AC, hot water, fridge and Western bath. Prices from US$77.

Santepheap Hotel: (tel: 072/971537)

A place you can find different rooms at different prices. It is a kind of all-rounder in town, with cheaper fan-cooled rooms in the main building with the added extra of hot water. It's located just across the river road from the boat landing. It's the sister hotel of the Mekong Hotel in Kampong Cham town. It features rooms with a river view, a big Western bath, twin beds, TV and a/c for US$ 15 a night. The fan rooms are US$ 7, but have no TV.

Heng Heng Hotel & Restaurant: (tel: 072/971405)

Located just across from the river, this place has a nice second-floor terrace and rooms with a nice river view. The staffs are very friendly and some speak English. The rooms are nice enough and have a Western bath, TV and fan for US$ 7. The same room with a/c is US$ 12. There is also a good restaurant on the premises on the ground floor.

Star Guesthouse: (tel: 072/971663)

One of the best budget deals in the whole town. Nice clean rooms with a Western bath and fan for US$ 5. There is a second-floor terrace overlooking the market and part of the river down the street. The owner?s sons speak English and are very helpful to give information on Kratie.

Apsara Guesthouse & Restaurant:

These rooms are small, with thin walls and a share bath. The place is kept fairly clean and comes at 8,000 riel for one bed or 10,000 riel for two beds, that's okay. There is a restaurant on the premises.

Hai Heng Guesthouse:

It's close to the Mean Guesthouse. With very low ceilings, a place for vertically challenged people, 10,000 riel per night.

Phnom Meas Guesthouse; Soksan Guesthouse; Nyta Guesthouse:

These three places are near each other just south of the market. They are all similar, clean, have a bathroom in the room and a fan. They are good value at US$ 3 a night.

Mean Guesthouse:

Similar to the Apsara Guesthouse with rooms going for 5,000-7,000 riel per night (basic). 

10.Shopping

Kratie is one of Cambodia's eastern provinces with less population, who make their lives on the riverbanks of the Mekong. Beyond the riverbanks it is a remote place with almost no population and thick-forested areas to calm down. The provincial capital is also called Kratie and lies also on the banks of the mighty Mekong River, which emboss the province from the North to the South.

The stretch of the river around Kratie town is home to a group of rare sweet water Irrawaddy dolphins. Therefore the dolphins are the main tourist attraction of the province and the town. The river also has hundreds of green island, and circling water, which are also attracting some tourists. Kratie town is sleepy but picturesque with sandbars and big islands out front and bends in the river. Unlike in many towns around Cambodia, the war years were fairly kind to the French architecture and the roads, at least in the town itself.

The Kratie local market are right in the thick of things, just a block from the river. It's the usual all-purpose variety with local shops dealing the local daily consumer products, like fish, fruits, vegetables, meats and other packed products. There are two small night market areas in kratie province to-day. One is across the road from the northern side of the market. The other market is on the street and just east of the Heng Heng Hotel. There are a couple of photo shops near the pack of guesthouses just west of the market. There are a few markets to do your shopping in this province. 

11.City Map

 


Tourist Attractions in Kratie

Irrawaddy Dolphins
Irrawaddy Dolphins about fifteen to twenty of these rare freshwater dolphins make their home on a beautiful stretch of the Mekong River near a small set of rapids. They make upward arches, breaking the surface of the water as they swim about the area. They are not jumpers like their sea-faring relatives and are quite a bit ...
Kampi Resort
Kampi Resort is the great natural resort providing shelter to Dolphins. When we travel along the National Road No.7 to the North about 15 Kilometers from the provincial town, we will arrive at a bridge of Prek Kampi where we have seen a very novel view of the Mekong River consisting of thousands of islands full of green water ...
Koh Pdao
Koh Pdao is an island located in Kratie Province in the Northeast of Cambodia. Koh Pdao is well known for its still existing fresh water dolphins living in the Mekong River. Tourists can enjoy the beautiful landscape of the Mekong River scenery while watching Irrawaddy dolphins swimming next to their boat. In the evenings ...
Phnom Preah
The Phnom Preah Mountain, Kratie is a picturesque wildlife and nature reserve alluring local as well as foreign visitors alike. The Phnom Preah, Kratie is geographically located at the Chrauy Thmar Leu Village in the Chhloug Commune. The Phnom Preah, Kratie is among the top tourist attractions in Kratie. Please come and visit ...
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