Quiet but pleasant town on the Mekong, good for river trips to see birds and dolphins.
One would probably only get to Kratie to or from the Cambodian/Laotian border. Yet, the place warrants a visit on its own merit, being an utterly peaceful, friendly town, a bit run down as so many Cambodian towns are. Old colonial buildings in the centre, traditional wooden houses in the outskirts (walking distance from the centre), a market. It is not so much the beauty of town, but the atmosphere that is attractive. And it has the benefit of being located on the Mekong, which provides the opportunity for boat trips, including ones aimed at spotting the Irriwaddy dolphins. Most of the time one would encounter some dolphins, but – notwithstanding what the local tourist brochures make you believe – don’t expect the jumpy type, with colourful balls dancing on their noses. It is more like a grey mass occasionally just touching the water surface, then diving under again. The real fun is the life on and along the river, fishermen, various types of boats ploughing up and down, and an array of birds.