Explore Cambodia: Kratie, the city of mesmerizing sunset

╫ City no.55 ╫ 100 Paintings from 100 cities

Kratie, a small town famous for some kind of dolphins, that was all I had heard about and so must have you. Explore Cambodia with me & find out what to see in Kratie with useful tips. Rainy season in Cambodia, not particularly favored by tourists, starts from the month of May and ends in November. My opinion is a little bit different about traveling to such exotic countries. I dared to explore Cambodia in its base weather. Such journey of mine started in May month and ended in mid-June. Through the unique essence of each city, I have painted series of paintings.

I hadn’t given much thought about exploring it. As a stop between my next destination, it seemed convenient halt for a day. Got into a morning bus from Phnom Penh and after just a little distance, this decision was much regretted. Should have taken a travel van I thought! Bus was very slow. Driver seemed to be this sunshine person, enjoying the road, listening to songs on his cell phone. He would easily get dominated by the very few local passengers. They would tell him to stop at random food stops or pee break and he would stop.

Way to Kratie from Phnom Penh in Cambodia Map
Exploring Cambodia's cuisine at Kratie

Fish cuisine called 'Nehm'

Only two others and I were the non-locals. They got off even before the halfway mark. A local lady, curious about me tried but failed to communicate something along the way. Hope it was not important =). Along the way we stopped at a restaurant with a lot of surprising food options. Kratie is famous for spiced, raw fish wrapped in banana leaves in various shapes called ‘nehm’. I tried one of these and thought it had an unusual taste. What I actually liked was called ‘Krolan’– sticky rice, beans and coconut milk steamed inside a bamboo tube. Another food specialty found here and around the area.

I had done my homework of reading about these things like a proper nerd before coming to the journey. So, I went to this roadside stall and pronounced the name with excess confidence, thinking it was right way. Nobody understood anything, definitely not the stall lady. A nearby passenger helped in pointing out what was wanted, and I was like- I could have done that.

Reached around three o’ clock. From the bus stop I walked through the rows of French era style houses. After checking into the hotel- Le Tonle Tourism Training Center, I decided to visit the riverside. People come a long way to see Irrawaddy dolphins in the huge bed of Mekong here. Although that is not the only curious thing to see here.

Exploring Cambodia, Kratie's sunset

While looking for restaurants to dine in, I kept seeing this gecko pic on many restaurant walls. I was in for another surprise. After dinner, I went to one of the outside sitting areas. This was when I heard a loud and weird call for the first time.

Sunset at Kratie

There is also a must-see dramatic sunset over the river. As I was walking alongside the river, colors of the sky started changing fast. It was meditative. I quickly took a couple of photos between my trance; I didn’t want to take my eyes off the water. Photos don’t do justice to the real scene, I thought. Those shades continue to entice you until you realize- oh it is dark already!

Exploring Cambodia Kratie city and it's temples

It is funny, I thought it as a rooster’s call but even after searching, source wasn’t found. Let it be a mystery to you as well till the next city when I got to know and see what it was. Next day early morning, I saw local Wats (Temples) with cursive designs and vibrant colors. Then I got on a travel van, finally, to Sen Monorom!

Painting from Kratie: Cyclic waters

My painting Cyclic Waters is based on my perception of the Mekong in Kratie.

To download one-page details about Kratie click the below link.

Manali Bonde

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and I have an unique eye to see, understand beauty in things around me. I collect lot of stories in my travels around the world , not just that but also I love to tell those stories and curious things. Go through various other articles on the website, I hope you find them amusing. To know more about me click below.

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