A little town on the Mekong river, Kratie is a wonder of simplicity and charm, a beautiful place to relax or explore the Cambodian countryside.
The view you will find in most of the guesthouses, to the Mekong river and Koh Trong island.
While arriving to Kratie you will see that this cute and friendly town is quite small and filled with a special cozy feeling, not only due to its size and calm lifestyle but also due to the endless smiles and welcoming locals you will find during your stay here. It’s fairly easy to walk everywhere in the town itself but we highly recommend renting a bicycle to explore its surroundings. In terms of places to stay, the majority of the guesthouses are on the street along the river or very near to it. For a backpacker atmosphere, including a nice little restaurant with 75cent draft beer and a rooftop with great views to the Mekong, head to the Silver Dolphin Guesthouse, with accommodation as cheap as 3 dollars for a bed in the dorm or 5 dollars for a simple room (also available at higher rates dorm and rooms with AC). For the ones looking for something more upscale there is the River Dolphin Hotel, or a very trendy wooden guesthouse called Le Bungalow. Other great option, and with the advantage of helping a social empowerment project, is to sleep on the Le Tonle Tourism Training Centre. Nearby these options of accommodation you will also find a couple of western-style restaurants, cheap street food stalls and a local market filled with fresh fruits and traditional products. Don’t forget to try the local snacks krolan and nhem!
In the town itself you will find a quite pretty and charming pagoda.
In terms of sightseeing, the best is scattered around the town, with a bicycle (available in many places in Kratie for one dollar per day) being a perfect way to explore and savor the little villages you will find on the way. Interesting places to go are for instance Kampi, where you can hire a boat to see the famous Mekong Irrawaddy dolphins, the Wat Sarsar Mouy Roy (more know as the one hundred pillar pagoda) near Sambor village, or the picnic place at Mekong rapids for swimming or mingling with the locals (local families and friends often come here to hangout).
Traditional wooden houses on a road just out of town.
All these are on the north of Kratie but in the south will also find a route to Chhlong village with delightful spots to stop along the way. One is definitely the Wat Rokarkandal pagoda, from the 18th century but very well conserved, with an interesting aesthetic somehow resembling some temples in Laos. Around you will also find pretty wooden houses on stilts, along a wonderful red-colored dusty road filled with friendly locals that will never get tired of saying hello. Beware of children trying to stop you to chat or play, you will probably end up staying for a while having fun playing their games!
The cute Wat Rokarkandal pagoda.
On this region you will also find waterfalls and places with great views of the nearby countryside, have a look on this map from the Cambodia Mekong Trail for more info (and if you have time, seriously consider doing the trail along the Mekong to explore the local lifestyle of villages along the way and scenic views of this mighty river). Other great options are renting a kayak to explore a nearby flooded forest (ask around in town for places where you can rent one) or take the small ferry from Kratie downtown to Koh Trong, a small ecotourism island in the middle of the river.
If you are looking for some rest and to get to know more about the countryside of Cambodia and its lifestyle and traditions, Kratie is a great option full of charm and peaceful days for your holidays! Check some options for your onward traveling on Camboticket website, and for the return you can buy the ticket on Sorya office in town (for Phnom Penh, Mondulkiri, Laos and other destinations).