Kratie, Cambodia

Kratie is a thriving travel hub and the natural place to break the journey when travelling overland between Phnom Penh and Champasak in Southern Laos. It is the place in the country to see the rare Irrawaddy dolphins, which live in the Mekong River in ever-diminishing numbers. A lively riverside town, Kratie (pronounced kra-cheh) has an expansive riverfront and some of the best Mekong sunsets in Cambodia.

There is a rich legacy of French-era architecture, as it was spared the war-time bombing that destroyed so many other provincial centres. It was one of the first towns to be ‘liberated’ by the Khmer Rouge (actually it was the North Vietnamese, but the Khmer Rouge later took the credit) in the summer of 1970.

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