Kratie - The “Sweet Town” on the Riverbank of the Mekong River
by Blake Johnson Apr 01, 2017
Like other tourist hubs in the Kingdom of Wonder, the small province – Kratie does not let visitors down with its charming beauty. It enables travellers to approach the nature and Cambodian‘s life and culture with its idyllic landscape and ancient attractions.
Kratie which lies on the bank of Mekong River is a small province in the northeastern Cambodia. It was the part of the Kingdom of Funan until Funan itself was absorbed by Chenla in the 6th century. It is home of several temples built in the 8th century, ancient houses built in Khmer style and colonial French buildings.
Visiting Kratie, Don't Miss These 4 Things
Kampi is a village which is situated on the riverside of Mekong River and around 15km north of Kratie. It is considered as a paradise for the wildlife lovers since it is home of rare freshwater Irrawaddy Dolphin. In recent years, the number of Irrawaddy dolphins in Mekong River has been decreased due to the pollution. Thanks to freshwater, Kampi is one of the wonderful places to conserve this friendly animal. However, the dolphins in this region are not as active as their relatives in the sea because lots of them were hunted and killed in the past. They are best to be seen in the early morning, late afternoon and early evening. Unlike 4000 islands in Laos, Kampi offers you a chance to approach closer to these friendly animals thanks to the large stretch of water and small boats. It’s really interesting when you can hear some sounds like “greetings” from the dolphins when they approach your boat.
Another highlight in Kampi is Kampi resort where is full of sand, beautiful streams for visitors to relax and delicious foods. Moreover, thousands of islands full of green trees make it become one of the best natural attractions in Kratie. The charming characteristic of the village located on the riverside is reflected by the stilt houses and the wooden bridge across the river.
Thanks to the beautiful view of sunset in Kampi, this spot becomes more attractive to visitors. The common reason is the view of sunset brings you the relaxation and gives you an excellent way to end your day.
2. Koh Trong Island
The lovely island – Koh Trong which is well-known as an ecotourism paradise is front of Kratie. Taking the boat to this island is a great way to get the taste of Cambodia’s rural life. It leaves a strong impression on visitors with the picturesque landscape and the peaceful, laidback life of the native. There are no cars, no motorbikes in the land of rich soil and friendly people. The local will be happy to take you on a cart to explore this island or you can hire the bicycle to do it yourself because the trail in the Koh Trong is quite safe and beautiful.
Being famous as a rustic place, there’s no doubt that you can find the traditional Cambodian houses surrounded with many plants and trees in this island. These stilt houses are the places where you easily feel the cozy atmosphere of the smiley local family with the elders chatting on front door and the children playing happily outside. Moreover, you can also pay a visit to floating village to experience the lifestyle of the habitants, enjoy several delicious Khmer foods, contemplate the Vietnamese pagoda and relax yourself with the view to jungle and fresh air.
3. Vihear Sarsar Mouy Rouy
Vihear Sarsar Mouy Rouy known as 100-column pagoda was built in the 16th century with the support of 100 columns. It is located at Sam Bor district, Kratie province and famous for its long history, stunning ornaments inside and outside. In 1970s, this pagoda was damaged seriously by the Pol Pot Regime. It was not until 1997 that the pagoda was rebuilt and stood with the support of 116 columns as today. However, it still remains three wooden columns of the 16th pagoda, which is seen as a testament for the long history and culture value of this worshipping place.
It first was built to memory the daughter of King Chann Reachea who was killed by crocodile Nen Thun. However, after being rebuilt, it was used to dedicate to Buddhism. The yellow tiles on the roof as well as the decorative patterns engraved on the top of the door and column will leave the deep impression on visitors in the first time they see the pagoda. The next notable thing outside the pagoda is a big Buddha statue seated peacefully on a big lotus in the centre and surrounded with some smaller ones.
Inside this worshipping place, the ceiling and the wall are also ornamented with several colorful Buddhism paintings.
4. Wat Phnom Sambok
The beautiful Wat Phnom Sambok which was built in 18th century is located on the top of a hill sharing the same name. Like other ancient destinations, the hill and the Wat also have its own legends. According to the first tale, when King Chakrei Earsaravarman found one gold mine at the foot of a mountain, the residents in this area called this mountain as Kanliang Sambo Meas which means “very rich in gold”. However, this name gradually changed over time and finally this mountain is known as Phnom Sambok. Meanwhile, the second tale is about Monk Neak Voan who lived in 15th century. He had rich knowledge of magic and ritual, thus, when he went to the top Sambok mountain many people followed to learn from him and Wat Phnom Sambok became a worshipping place since then.
Apart from the legends, the 18th century temple attracts many visitors annually due to its own scenic beauty. Climbing over 300 steps to get the top of the hill, contemplate the temple and get magnificent view of the city and Mekong river is worthwhile.
The highlights on the way to the temple are lush green trees and a row of monk statues along the stairs, which makes the atmosphere more solemn.
When you come inside the temple, except for Buddha statues, you will see several paintings in which some of them depict the hell where the bad people are punished and the others will describe the stories of Buddhism.
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