The predominantly rural north-eastern province of Kratie is gaining momentum with visitors, thanks in most part to its riverine celebrities – a pocket of critically-endangered Irrawaddy dolphins that inhabit a stretch of the Mekong River. Of course, there’s plenty more things to do in Kratie. Here are our top five tips on what to do in Kratie.

Mekong Dolphin Spotting

They may not be the prettiest of marine mammals but watching the majestic creatures arching across the Mekong River is a pretty special experience – especially considering WWF estimates there are only about 80 Irrawaddy dolphins left cruising the water in between Kratie and the border with Laos. The best place to spot the critically-endangered species is from Kampi village, about 15km from Kratie town. There is no shortage of wooden boats waiting to take visitors to the dolphins. Alternatively, the more adventurous can opt to kayak to the site.

Koh Trong Island

While Kratie is relatively sleepy, to truly escape the humdrum of town life, hop on a ferry at Kratie pier, stump up 1,000 riel ($0.25) and five minutes later land at the idyllic Mekong island of Koh Trang where time has seemingly stood still. The only modes of transport around the island, which stretches 8km from top to bottom, are bicycles, motorbikes and ox carts. The majority of visitors hire a bicycle from vendors near the dock to explore the island, which is a patchwork of paddies, bamboo woods and farmland.

Kampi Rapids

Easily combined with a trip to see the dolphins, Kampi rapids is gaining traction with visitors to Kratie. Popular with locals, this is a stretch of the Mekong River where, during dry season water levels drop enough to create a shallow patch of fast-moving water. Wooden platforms are built above the rapids, with hammocks and mats available for rent. There are plenty of vendors flogging food and drinks, or you can join Cambodian families and bring your own picnic.

Krong Kracheh Pagoda

Kratie is dotted with picturesque pagodas, but this one is hard to miss thanks to its fancy glittering façade of golds and pinks. If there are no ceremonies taking place, visitors are welcome to enter the pagoda and soak up the intricate paintings that adorn the walls. Just remember to take your shoes off first and keep your shoulders covered. Often fortune-tellers can be found in the grounds of the temple. If you speak Khmer or have a translator with you, then they’re more than happy to predict what’s in store for a couple of bucks.

Eat Kralan

Kralan is Kratie’s local delicacy and early birds can see households across the province rise at about 3am every morning to start the lengthy process of making the beloved Cambodian treat by hand. The savoury snack is made from sticky rice and red beans that are steamed in bamboo. They can be found throughout the province, including being sold by roadside vendors so there’s no excuse not to sample Kratie’s signature snack.

Kratie Hotel

If you are looking for accommodation in Kratie, we suggest checking-in at Le Tonle Guesthouse. The social enterprise doubles up as a skills development and vocational training centre for disadvantaged youth in north-east Cambodia.

Distance from Phnom Penh to Kratie

Kratie is about 250 kilometres from the capital. A taxi from Phnom Penh to Kratie would cost you around $80. There are several buses to Kratie that leave from the capital. For more information about travelling around Cambodia, read our Travel in Cambodia Guide.

Discover more things to do in Kratie on our Cambodia map, or for even more inspiration visit Tourism Cambodia.