Kratie is a sleepy river town situated on the east bank of the mighty Mekong River. This picturesque town got off relatively lightly in the war years with much of the French architecture and the roads left in tact. There are many attractive French and Khmer homes scattered about, adding to the pleasant atmosphere and character of the place.
One of the main reasons to stop in Kratie is to try and catch a glimpse of the rare Irrawaddy dolphins. Between fifteen and twenty of these rare freshwater dolphins make their home on a beautiful stretch of the Mekong River near a small set of rapids 15km out of town. The hope is that their numbers will slowly increase, as more fishermen in the area are educated about them. They are most active in the early morning (around 6 am) and the late afternoon . A local family hires out their small towboat and “a son” to take you out on the river if you want a closer look. Accommodation in Kratie is basic. Kratie is usually accessed by local boat (3 hours) from Kampong Cham (a 3 hour drive from Phnom Penh on good roads). In the rainy season it is possible to take the boat all the way to Stung Treng near the Lao border.