Kratie

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Kratié, pronounced “Kra-cheh” is the name of a province in Eastern Cambodia and of the largest town in that province, which serves as the provincial capital. The city, which is located on the Mekong River north of the town of Chhlong and far south of the town of Stung Treng, possesses some of the best preserved French colonial architecture in Eastern Cambodia because it was spared the ravages of the massive United States aerial bombardment of the country ordered by the Nixon administration and was also “liberated” comparatively early in the revolution of the Khmer Rouge. Kratie was ruled as part of the “Eastern Zone” under Khmer Rouge leader So Phim. The town was also fortunate because of the proximity of non-Khmer tribal villages which offered hiding places for some of the intended victims of the Khmer Rouge, in particular the Sino-Khmer. An ethnic Vietnamese fishing village was re-established across the river from Kratie after the Khmer Rouge were driven from power and the country liberated by Vietnam in 1979.

Kratie is now a minor tourist destination not so much because of its French colonial charm, although the social life along the riverbank in the evening is pleasant, but because of the pod of some 60 rare Irrawaddy freshwater dolphins which live in the Mekong River north of the town.

Traveling from Phnom Penh to Kratie takes approximately 5 hours. Although the town has no bank, jewelers in the town can change money but they insist on crisp new bills. There is also no hospital and the police do not speak English.

Provincial districts

  • Chhloung (also the name of a town on the Mekong River)
  • Kracheh
  • Preaek Prasab
  • Sambour
  • Snuol (also the name of a town close to the border with Vietnam)

External links

  • Photos
  • More Photos
  • Dolphin Photos
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