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In the heart of the Cambodian countryside, the rural town of Kratie may be small, but this community on the banks of the mighty Mekong River offers some of the most striking sunsets in Cambodia, so should not be underestimated! Escape the tourist crowds elsewhere and stay in this rustic area, home to the unique Irrawaddy Dolphin, which is renowned for being the rarest creature in the region. These elusive animals are arguably the town’s main draw and can be spotted in the river north of Kratie throughout most of the year, especially during the dry season.

Cambodia’s countryside is celebrated for its laid back atmosphere and there is no better way to enjoy the gentle pace than cycling around the sleepy town; pass waving schoolchildren, welcoming marketplaces and elegant French colonial architecture that thankfully escaped the devastation of the war as you go.

The vibrant market is well worth exploring, where you can get a taste of local life and enjoy the delicacies at Kratie’s fresh food market during your stay here. The lively area makes for a quintessential Cambodian scene, with bright colours and friendly locals of all ages interacting with each other in every direction you look.

Nearby, within a forest bustling with wildlife lies the hilltop Phnom Sombok. For those looking for a more active or cultural experience, we recommend climbing the colourful staircase to admire this temple and its commanding views across the Mekong River. Visitors with a sense of adventure may also appreciate staying at Mekong Safari Tent, which is set on a beautiful sandbar, surrounded by flooded forest and abundant birdlife.

The riverside town’s sense of peace is palpable and Kratie provides the perfect pit-stop for a relaxing stay. Explore the Mekong River by kayak for rare dolphin-spotting in its fresh waters and discover the local character and charm of this tranquil town.

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My favourite thing is to go where I've never been.
Diane Arbus

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