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www.hotsia.com > Combodai > Kratie

 

 


Krati is one of Cambodias 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 Krati 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 Krati 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. Youll 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.
 

Kratie province is 11,094 square kilometres big, which is categorized into several areas such as 83% forest, agricultural land 8% and red land 0.5% in Snoul district. Its located in the East of the country and is bordering to the North with Stueng Treng, to the East with Mondulkiri, to the West with Kampong Thom and to the South with Kampong Cham. The province consists mainly of thick 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 its just a small percentage of agriculturally used land concerning the rest of Cambodia. The province features the biggest river of the country (approx. 140km of it), the mighty Mekong with its small rapids and critically endangered Irrawaddy dolphins.
 

 

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 youll 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 dont have a motorcycle, the bullet boat is an easy and comfortable option.
The bullet boat from Phnom Penh isnt 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 isnt that great, but its 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 countrys 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.
 

 

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.

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. Its 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:
Its 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.
 

 

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. Its located just across the river road from the boat landing. Its 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 owners 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, thats okay. There is a restaurant on the premises.

Hai Heng Guesthouse:
Its 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).

 

Shopping

The Kratie market is right in the thick of things, just a block from the river. Its 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. One is across the road from the northern side of the market. The other 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.

What to see

Chruoy Rey
Chruoy Rey is 3 km (15mn) from Provincial Town. Located in Kantring Village, Kaoch Trong Commune, Kratie Town.
 

Dolphin Habitat
Dolphin Habitat is15 km (15mn) From Provincial Town.
Location: Kampee Village, Sambok Commune, Kratie District.
Description: Nature & Wildlife Preserves.

 

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 shyer as well. They have good reason to be shy towards humans as they have been hunted and killed by fishermen in the past. 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 hours (around 6 am) and the late afternoon and early evening hours. However, we went during the mid-afternoon heat of the day and had numerous sightings. A local family hires out their small towboat and a son to take you out on the river for a closer look. The charge is 3,500 riel per person. To get there, just follow the road north from the Globe traffic circle for 14 km Turn left at the dolphin picture sign. The family and river are there.


 

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 plants. Usually from January to May, there are local and international visitors, who call on the Kampi resort for swimming, especially during the Khmer New Year.

Kampi resort has special features such as:
- The resort is closed to the National Road, assured safety and has large parking sites for motocycles and cars.
- The riverbank is full of sand, and there are many islands assuring the visit of thousands of visitors.
- The water is clear as mirror, has 0.5-1.30 meter depth and flows with undangerous speed. Kam Py resort has not only the good natural manner, but also been provided the good servises for visitors such as the crossing bridge, floating cottages, soft-drink shops, restaurants, emergency agency, guards and security as well. Nowadays, the provincial tourist office has endeavored to upgrade arranging the resort to be better and more attractive.
 

Phnom Preah
Phnom Preah is 30 km (1h) From Provincial Town.
Description: Nature & Wildlife Preserves.
Location: Chrauy Thmar Leu Village, Chhloug Commune, Chhloung District.

 

Phnom Sam Bok Resort
Phnom Sam Bok Resort is the natural and historical resort, locates at Thmor Kre Commune, Kratie District in 11-Kilometer distance from the provincial town by the National Road No 7, then turning more 500 Meters to the mountain.

Phnom Sam Bok is the cultural and main tourist resort of Kratie province. The resort has good location and assured safety for tourists to visit. Phnom Sam Bok has been arranged as the tourist resort since the Sang Kum Reas Ni Yum time.

The special features of Phnom Sam Bok are:
- Closed to the western mountain foot, there is a big pond full of clearwater and natural plants.
- The mountain has two peak, a dull peak and a pointed peak. On the mountain top, we can view the beautiful scene especially the Mekong River.
- The mountain rich in big trees and birds.
- There is a concrete stair stretching from the mountain foot to the top, and there are many resting place at the mountain.

The legend said that one upon the time, there was a king named Cha Krey Sara Varman a son of Preah Bat Hathak Athi Reah Varman. After he succeeded his father, he informed officials and high officials to serch gold mine. Then they found a place closed to the mountain foot of Sam Bok very rich in gold. The local people there called the place Kan Leng Sam Bo Meas means a place very rich in gold . Long time after that, the word changed to Phnom Sam Bok Meas , then only Phnom Sam Bor until now. The background of Phnom Sam Bok: At the beginning of 15th century, there was a monk named Neak Voan, the student who has the same teacher to the monk, Neak Sen. Neak Sen is the teacher of crocodile, Nen Thun and he does meditation on the mountaintop of Sam Bok. The monk, Neak Voan has very strong ritual formulas and he is well known to the near and far local people. The local people accompany each other to learn the ritual formulas from Neak voan. Since that, Phnom Sam Bok becomes the worshipping place until now.

 

Phnom Sopor Kaley
Phnom Sopor Kaley is 30 km (1h) from Provincial Town.
Description: Historical Sites and Buildings.
Location: Chrauy Banteay Village, Chrau Ampil Commune, Prey Prasap District.
 

Sambor Town
Sambor Town For a nice ride through the countryside hugging the Mekong River, you can head north past Phnom Sambok and past the dolphin site. About 24 km from the Globe circle, you come to a fork in the road. The road to the right goes to Stung Treng, but you want to follow the road to the left. This is the better of the two roads and the one that hugs the river to Sambor town, another 11 km away. Stay left at the fork as you near the town and you wind your way to Wat Sambor, located near the river. The front temple is fairly new, with a one hundred-year-old temple just beyond the rear of that temple. The town is pleasant and food, drinks, and fuel are available. As for the ruins shown on the official Cambodia map (south of Sambor), there is nothing left of them any more. Just one good- luck stone is all that the locals saved, putting it in a thatched temple hut a kilometer off the road. Wat Sray Sahn-tah-rah-boh Its a big name for a small temple on the river road.
 

The 100-Column Pagoda
The 100-Column Pagoda is located at Sam Bor District in 36-kilometer distance, North of the provincial town by the National Road No 7. The special features of Sar Sar-100 pagoda are: The 100-column pagoda was built on the place where the Royal Palace temple of Sam Phu Borak Capital of the Chen La time located. At the area, there are four-Buddist temples facing to different directions:
1- Vihear Lao faces to the West
2- Vihear Sar Sar-100 faces to the North
3- Vihear Kork Keut faces to the East
4- Vihear Kork faces to the South (this Buddhist temple has only base and mark remain).

During the Khmer New Year, the local people who live near the former sam Phu Bo Rak Capital usually celebrate the four-day festival by starting at Vihear Sar Sar-100 first, then Vihear Kork and Vihear Lao lastly. Background of Vihear Sar Sar-100: Was built in 1806 and the size is 30 Meters x 30 Meters. In the former time, at the 100th column, was thatched by Preah Ang Chan Reachea II for dedicating to the power of Vihear sar sar-100 to maintain the soul of Preah Neang Varakak, his daughter who was swallowed by the crocodile, Nen Thun. Vihear Sar Sar-100 is different to other temples because it faces to the North. About 100 years later, the temple was damaged by the strong lightening, which caused 22 columns burnt down and the statues dirtied by smoke. Because of this incident, the temple was pulled down and rebuilt by the local people, but it had only 78 columns. Until 1987, the 100-column pagoda has once again been renovated with 35-meter length, 18-meter width, 23-meter height and 116 columns; also, the temple

 

Wat Preah Vihear (Kratie)
Wat Preah Vihear (Kratie) Golden lions guard the gates that lead to peaceful and heavily shaded temple grounds. It bears the name of the internationally famous Preah Vihear Temple that straddles the Thai border in the Dangrek Mountains.
has completely been renovated, inaugurated and Sey Ma buried on January 14, 1998.

 

Wat Sray Sahn-tah-rah-boh
Wat Sray Sahn-tah-rah-boh Its a big name for a small temple on the river road.

 

Wat Vihear Kuk
Wat Vihear Kuk is 36 km (1h:30mn) from Provincial Town.
Description: Historical Sites and Buildings.
Location: Sambour Village, Sambour Commune, Sambour District.

 

Wat Vihear Lao
Wat Vihear Lao is 36 km (1h:30mn) from Provincial Town.
Description: Historical Sites and Buildings.
Location: Sambour Village, Sambour Commune, Sambour District.

 

Waterfall of Cham Pey
Waterfall Of Cham Pey is the natural resort locating at 35-kilometer distance from the provincial town along the road No 68. The resort consists of waterfall at the mountain valley, big rock having 500-square meter size, mountain full of trees and a lot of orchids and other colorfull varied flowers. At 500-meter distance from the waterfall, there is another natural and cultural resort, which has been arranged and organized by monks who make their meditation there. This resort named Rut Cham Pey having many varied statues depicting the process of human life-born and died and other religion and animal figures.

In addition, there are many other natural and historical resorts, which have been putting in the projects for development by the Provincial Tourist Office such as: - The area of Tonle Sar - The area of Ang Ou Ang Krang - The area of Pra Sat Seung - The area of Ang Tropeang Baray - The area of Pra Sat Pursat - The area of Cham Kar Kuy - The area of Beung Snour - The area of Tum Nup Thmey - The area of Tuol Kruos (Killing field and prison of Khmer Rouge).

 

 

 

 
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