Kratie, Cambodia – 6

Kratié, Cambodia – Travel Guide

Welcome to Kratié, Cambodia’s easy-going riverside town! Pronounced ‘Kracheh’, this sleepy spot is beginning to make its name as a burgeoning ecotourism destination and is most famous for the Irrawaddy dolphins that call this stretch of the Mekong home.

Kratié is a haven for sunset seekers, adventure enthusiasts and wildlife lovers alike. And while it is slowly making its way onto traveller’s radars, it remains blissfully rural and authentic – a real insight into the day-to-day lives of ordinary Cambodians. 

I’ve visited Kratié twice now (nearly ten years apart!) and still absolutely love it. If you’re also looking to make the trip, this guide will tell you everything you need to know, from the best places to stay to the top things to see and do. 


Backpacking Kratié, Cambodia – Travel Guide 🇰🇭🧳

Kratié Map & Resources

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Best Time to Visit Kratié, Cambodia ☀️ 

While Kratié is a year-round destination, the best time to visit is during Cambodia’s dry season which runs from November to February. During the weekends, the town gets busy with visiting expats and locals from Phnom Penh. If you are looking at doing a dolphin tour at the weekend, it is best to book in advance as activities such as kayaking usually fill quickly. 

Kratie, Cambodia – header
Kratié is a popular weekend destination for those living in Phnom Penh.

“I opted to do a dolphin kayaking tour on Saturday. Of our group (there were eight in total), there were four Western expats, all working for NGOs and living in Phnom Penh. This is worth bearing in mind if you are a solo traveller looking to join a group tour for a lower price. Weekend tours fill up quicker!” 

Sheree Hooker, Editor at South East Asia Backpacker

Where to Stay in Kratié, Cambodia 🛏️ 

If you are visiting Kratié and looking for good access to all the main attractions, you should stay in the centre of town. Most accommodation options are clustered in and around Street 3, however, there are also ample mid-range options which sit along the road opposite the Mekong. 

Kratie, Cambodia – Streets
There are a range of accommodation options in Kratié, Cambodia.

If you are craving a traditional Cambodian homestay experience, head to Koh Trong Island and bed down in one of the four homestays. These cost from $5USD per person per night and promise a hugely fascinating cultural exchange! 


Top Accommodation in Kratié, Cambodia

Disclosure: Some links on this page are affiliate links. We always write our articles before checking if affiliate links are available.

Sorya Guesthouse

Home to Sorya Kayaking and Pete’s Pizza Café and Bar, this guesthouse offers some of the best sunset views over the Mekong that you’ll find. The accommodation has a retro airline theme and hosts eight clean and comfortable rooms.

Kratie, Cambodia – Sorya Guesthouse
Clean and comfortable digs plus pizza and beer? Count us in!

Privada Lodge

Set inside a French-style colonial building, this quirky offering is great for couples looking for a character stay. Its central location close to the market is ideal for exploring the waterfront and there is an epic rooftop bar where you can watch sunset over the river. 

Koh Trong Homestay

There are four homestays on Koh Trong which offer visitors the opportunity to stay with a local family. Accommodation is basic but functional and costs from $5USD per night. Arrange your stay at the tourist information building. 

Nomad Guesthouse

Cheap and cheerful lodgings located down Street 3, Nomad Guesthouse is a great budget-friendly base in Kratié. The staff can assist with laundry, local information and trip planning, plus arranging onward travel. 

Nomad Guesthouse
Nomad Guesthouse is a no-frills option for shoestring travellers.

Le Tonle 

Le Tonle was first established by Tourism for Help in 2007 to provide training in hospitality for vulnerable youths. They offer a range of comfy private rooms and incredible balcony views over the Mekong. This is a good value-for-money choice for families. 


Things to Do in Kratié, Cambodia 🐬

1. See the Rare Irrawaddy Dolphins

The Irrawaddy dolphin (called trey pisaut in Khmer) once existed in many countries across Asia. Now an endangered species, their numbers have rapidly diminished over recent years and only a few remain. In Laos, they recently became extinct which has strengthed the resolve of conservationists to preserve their numbers in Cambodia (currently estimated to be around 85).

YouTube video

Unlike their seawater counterparts, Irrawaddy dolphins live in freshwater and can be easily recognised by their curved faces and small dorsal fins (they lack the classic long nose you expect to see in dolphins). The best place to see them is Kampi, located around 15 km away from Kratié. This is the most popular thing to do in the area.

The cheapest way to see the Irrawaddy dolphins is to hire a tuk tuk to take you to the river (approx. $10USD return) and then jump in one of the many motorised boats (from $8USD per person depending on group size) to the spot where the dolphins tend to hang out. While this tends to offer the best value for money, it is not the most responsible way to see these rare creatures. The engines are very loud and some boat captains will pursue the dolphins at speed, frightening them off.  

Kratie, Cambodia – dolphin kayaking
Kayaking in a little-visited part of the Mekong is an amazing experience!

Irrawaddy Dolphins: Making the Ethical Choice

As numbers are so low, we all must do our bit to protect and care for the dolphins. If you want to see these animals in the wild, it is far better to opt for a less disruptive mode of transport to see them. Enter kayaking.  Sorya Kayaking runs half-day group tours to see dolphins, offering an excellent opportunity to see them ethically. Experience the Mekong as few do, paddling through a flooded forest, swimming in the river and witnessing some of Southeast Asia’s most special residents up close.  

2. Visit Koh Trong Eco-Community

Just a stone’s throw from Kratié town, Koh Trong is a worthy destination for a day trip. Accessible by the public ferry which costs just 1000 riel per person (approx. $0.25USD) in each direction, this is an experience in itself!

Kratie, Cambodia – Koh Trong
Go for a spin around Koh Trong!

Once you arrive at the island, you can hire a range of transport to get around. The choices are bicycle (which I recommend), motorcycle, cow cart or horse cart. It costs approximately $2USD to rent a bicycle for the entire day and as there are no motorised vehicles except motorbikes, the cycling experience is very pleasant.

Stop en route to practice your Khmer, sample the local cuisine and sip on coconuts. If you love the chilled-out vibe of Koh Trong, there is also the option to stay at one of the traditional homestays there. Not only is this a great insight into the lives of the locals but it is also incredibly budget-friendly! 

3. Visit a Local Village

Project Cambodia, a Kratié-based NGO, runs a range of tours and trips around the area to allow visitors to see a more authentic side of Kratié. They offer village visits, homestays, market tours, cooking classes and more. 

Kratie, Cambodia – Homestay
Take a peek into rural Cambodia!

4. Take in Sunset Over the Mekong

If you’re a sunset chaser, you will absolutely love Kratié. Famous for its blood-orange sunsets over the Mekong, no visit is complete without snapping a few photos of the deep red sky. 

Kratie, Cambodia – sunset
“It is almost impossible to watch a sunset and not dream.” – Bern Williams.

“Every evening I spend in Kratié, I strategically place myself for a good sunset. You can catch the spectacle all over town but my favourite place to take in the views is from Pete’s Pizza Café and Bar at Sorya Guesthouse. Watching the sun dip below the horizon line with a cold Cambodia never gets old!” 

Sheree Hooker, Editor at South East Asia Backpacker

5. Relax at the Kampi Rapids

A popular spot among the locals, this is the place to go to eat, drink, swim and relax with friends. December to June are the best months to visit and entry costs 1,000 riel (approx. $0.25). This will buy you a space in a bamboo hut with incredible Mekong views. If you want to pick your spot, it’ll cost an additional 10,000 riel (approx. $2.50USD). Bear in mind that in Southeast Asia, no one does anything quietly. There is likely to be loud music and laughter in this area!

6. Go Temple Spotting

If Cambodia hasn’t left you templed out, you’ll find loads of religious structures in and around Kratié. The easiest ones to access are Wat Rokar Kandal, the oldest temple in the area, and Krong Kracheh Pagoda which sits in the middle of town. These can both be accessed on foot. 

Kratie, Cambodia – Temple
This is the oldest temple in Kratié!

If you are thinking of renting a motorcycle and heading further afield, don’t miss the 100 Pillar Pagoda and Wat Phnom Sombok

7. Sample Kralan

If you are looking to try a street snack which originates in Kratié, look no further than Kralan. Sold in bamboo bundles from street carts on the street, one stick will set you back between 2,000 and 4,000 riel (approx. $0.50-1USD), depending on its size. 

Kratie, Cambodia – Kralan
Kralan is served in bamboo sticks!

Crammed full of rice mixture, the snack is made by combining sticky rice with black-eyed beans and coconut milk. A sweet high-energy boost that makes for a great breakfast!

“Kralan is much like the Bamboo sticky rice across much of Cambodia but with the added twist of beans! It’s a great snack on the go and costs very little – you pay per weight rather than per stick. So if you’re hungry, opt for a big one! You’ll find it for sale all over Kratie!”

Tim Ashdown, Writer at South East Asia Backpacker

8. Embark on the Mekong Discovery Trail 

Launched in 2006, the Mekong Discovery Trail spans 180km, from Kratié up to Stung Treng, close to the Laotian border. Offering a range of activities along this stretch of the Mekong, the trail allows travellers to get off the beaten track and gain real insight into the lives of the local people living here. 

Kratie, Cambodia – Mekong Discovery Trail
The Mekong Discovery Trail offers a great way to explore the area!

Kayaking, cycling, trekking, camping and homestays are some of the activities you can do along the Mekong Discovery Trail. While you can do this as part of a tour (Adventure Cambodia offer some highly rated ones), it is also possible to rent a bike and do much of the route independently. 

Mekong Turtle Conservation Centre 🐢

Before visiting Kratié, I had read a lot about the Mekong Turtle Conservation Centre and was keen to visit. Unfortunately, this has now closed. According to rumours online, the monks who ran it required more space and shut down the project, however, I cannot confirm or deny this. While I read that the centre may move to Kratié town, when I visited in 2024, the locals were under the impression it was permanently closed with no plans to reopen anywhere else. 

Food and Drink in Kratié 🍜

Street Three Eatery: Affiliated with Project Cambodia, this fusion restaurant is the perfect place to chow down after an exhausting day cycling around. They offer a range of dishes and cater to vegans, veggies and gluten-free travellers. The homemade kombucha is a must-try!  

Kratie, Cambodia – Street Three Eatery
The hefty sandwiches on offer at Street Three Eatery.

Pete’s Pizza Café and Bar: Located at Sorya Guesthouse, this is a good option if you are craving carbs. The menu is limited to pasta and pizza but the balcony views over the Mekong at sunset are the best in town. 

TIME Coffee and Bakery: If you can’t cope without your morning coffee, this is the place to come! There is also a book swap so you can grab your latest read.

Mekong Mojo Restaurant and Bar: Offering not only Khmer dishes but also those from wider Asia, this is a great place to get your fix of all your Southeast Asian favourites! They also have an entirely vegetarian menu – the laksa comes highly recommended! 

Kratie, Cambodia – Mekong Mojo
Veggie laksa with a view!

Jasmine Boat: One of the swankiest offerings in town, Jasmine Boat gets mentioned on websites a lot. However, recent reviews indicate that the food has gone downhill, especially when you consider the prices. 


Getting Around Kratié 🛺 

To get to Koh Trong, you’ll need to hop on the public ferry which costs around 1000 riel per person (approx. $0.25USD). Departures take place regularly throughout the day, ask at your accommodation for more information. Ferry departures begin around 6 am and finish around 6 pm. 

Kratie, Cambodia – Koh Trong ferry
The ferry to Koh Trong offers a very local experience!

If you have already travelled around a bit, you’ll likely already be familiar with the Cambodian Uber alternative PassApp. Unfortunately, it isn’t used in Kratié so the best way to get around is by tuk tuk. 

To ensure that you are paying a fair price for your ride, ask for an estimated cost at your accommodation. Tours to see the dolphins usually include return transport to/from town and most of the sights within the town itself are very walkable. 

Motorbikes can often be rented from your accommodation. The cost starts at around $5USD per day depending on where you are staying. Bicycles are also available in some places and cost even less. 

Kratie, Cambodia – Riverfront
Kratié town is pretty walkable.

How to Get to Kratié, Cambodia 🚌 

Kratié is easiest to reach from Phnom Penh, where there are several minibus services a day. The journey will take around six hours. Travelling to Kratie from Sen Monorom (journey time three hours) with a short stop in Snoul is also possible. If you stop here, make sure to look out for the bowls of bugs for sale! 

Snoul, Cambodia – insects food
Fried crickets anyone…?

If you cannot find onward travel to Kratié online, ask at your guesthouse. Not all minibus companies advertise their routes on popular ticket websites. 


Where to Go Next: 🚐 

Sen Monorom: Just three hours away, the capital of the eastern province Mondulkiri is a great next destination for those on a continuing quest to see wildlife. Home to the Elephant Valley Project (among others), you can see Asian elephants in their natural habitat here. Jahoo also offers gibbon spotting tours around the protected forest. 

Phnom Penh: A city that travellers tend to love or hate, Phnom Penh makes for a good place to learn about Cambodia’s history and culture. Visit the Killing Fields and S21 to understand more about the Khmer Rouge and their reign of terror.

Don Det (Laos): Minibuses depart Kratié for Don Det daily. One of the four large islands located in Si Phan Don (4000 Islands), this is an easily accessible gateway to Laos. Get your fill of adventure sports with tubing, kayaking and cycling here!


Contributors:

South East Asia Backpacker is a ‘travel diary for everyone’. This article has been written with the help of backpackers and local experts. We would like to thank…

🙏 Brian Stone | South East Asia Backpacker Community
🙏 Ben | Sorya Kayaking
🙏 Mitch and Phea | @pheastreats
🙏 Owner | Nomad Guesthouse
🙏 Tim | Gear Expert at South East Asia Backpacker

Sheree Hooker | Editor @ South East Asia Backpacker + Winging The World

Sheree is the awkward British wanderluster behind Winging The World, a blog designed to show that even the most useless of us can travel. Follow Sheree’s adventures as she blunders around the globe, falling into squat toilets, getting into cars with machete men and running away from angry peacocks. In recent years, Sheree has also taken on the role of editor at South East Asia Backpacker.

Find her on: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest

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