Area: 11,094 km2
Population: 372,825

Kratié, alternatively Kraches or Kracheh is a province of Cambodia located in the northeast. It borders Stung Treng to the north, Mondulkiri to the east, Kampong Thom and Kampong Cham to the west, and Tbong Khmum and Vietnam to the south. The capital of the province is the town of Kratié located in Kratié District.
Kratie Overview

Kratie is one of Cambodia's eastern provinces with a fairly small population, most of whom make their living on the banks of the Mekong River. Beyond the riverbanks it is a fairly remote place with almost no population and thick-forested areas. The provincial capital is also called Kratie and lies also on the banks of the mighty Mekong River, which splits the province in two, running from North to South.
The stretch of the river around Kratie town is home to a group of rare freshwater Irrawaddy dolphins. The dolphins really are the main tourist attraction of the province and the town.
The river also has hundreds of little islands, rapids and little whirlpools.
Kratie town is sleepy but picturesque with sandbars and islands along the twisting 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.

Kratie History

The area now known as Kratié was part of the early first millennium Kingdom of Funan until Funan itself was superseded and absorbed in the 6th century by Chenla. Sampheak Borak, the former Royal Capital during the Chenla  Era, is located in Sambo District. In addition, Kratié has Vihear Sasar Muayroy Pagoda built in the 16th century. This pagoda is related to a Khmer legend Krapeur Nen Thun (Venerable Monk Thun, the Crocodile). Kratié has several temples built in the 8th century such as Khvas Pi, Pram, and Koh Kring that has perfect deities, ancient halls, Khmer ancient houses, and French-style buildings. The area near Kratié along the Mekong River was one of the most densely populated regions of the Pre-Angkorian era of Cambodia.

Lon Nol was the province's governor in 1945. During the Vietnam and Cambodia Civil Wars and the subsequent Vietnamese presence against Khmer Rougr in Cambodia, intense fighting took place in Kratié. Operation Menu, the 1969-1970 United States bombing campaign targeting Vietnamese supply routes and bases in Cambodia and Laos, resulted in heavy bombardment of Kratié. Recovering unexploded ordnanace and de-mining has been a major initiative since at least the mid-2000s.

On December 30, 1978, Vietnamese forces captured Kratié to fight against Khmer Rouge.

Kratie climate and best time to visit

The best time to visit Kratie is between October and January. The weather is not hot, and the humidity is less during these months. Dolphins spotting is best during this time as well as many cruise options are open to the tourists. From late February, summer sets in slowly with March to May being the hottest months. Monsoon begins in late July and lasts until September, with the city witnessing landslides and floods.

Kratie Transportation
It is 250 Km from Phnom Penh and 350 Km from Siem Reap you are talking about 5 to 7-hour bus journeys depending on your start point.
The other options are available, i.e. taxi or minivan.

Things to do and see in Kratie

Irrawaddy dolphins: Nowadays the dolphins live mainly in the rivers and waterways Kratie and neighbouring Stung Treng province. The number of these mammals is estimated to be between 60 and 80 and they are often seen travelling in small pods of 6 to 10 individuals.
The best times to spot them are early in the mornings around 6 AM or early evening just before dusk.

(temples) :There are many Wats in this are in and around the town centre of Kratie such as:
Buddhist temple of Wat Roka Kandal. Unlike the much-visited huge temples to be found elsewhere in Cambodia, this small but perfectly formed temple makes a refreshing alternative. Phnom Sombok is another small temple just outside of town worth a visit. Located on a small hill, it also offers immense views of the town and the river.

Wat Sorsor Moi Roi is a Buddhist temple worth visiting in the village of Sambor, commonly known as the 100-column temple. Although an ancient wooden temple previously stood in this location, Wat Sorsor Moi Roi is an unusual temple in Cambodia because it is a modern one. Legend says that the original temple was built by a former King to honour his daughter, who was eaten by a crocodile. Her remains are said to be kept in the temple’s stupa to this day. Just 100 years after the temple was built, it was struck by lightning and partially burned down.

Chum Pey waterfall is a pretty place to visit, with a large rock pool at the bottom and hundreds of colourful orchids. Monks meditate at nearby Rut Cham Pey, where they have also arranged a number of interesting statues depicting the cycle of life.


Kratie Travel Tips

Restaurants here serve mainly traditional Asian food, however in the evening, if you are immune to street food, there are many stalls set up by the river in the evenings. It may come as a surprise, but one of the most popular restaurants in Kratie is found inside the town’s tourism training centre. Le Tonle Tourism Training Center has a number of trainees participating in its programmes at any one time, and they’re also tasked with preparing the restaurant’s delicious food.

Many of the restaurants in Kratie are simple and cheap, serving a range of local and international staples. Tokae Restaurant has a mixture of Khmer and international menu items, as does Heng Jeng Restaurant. For Khmer barbeque, Thea Sdav Restaurant is popular, while Sorya Café on the riverfront is popular for Khmer food or coffee and cake.

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