Kratie, Cambodia travel tips

Where we ate:

  • Krolan, a.k.a. bamboo rice – Along the roadside away from the tourist hotels, there are women with small roadside displays of bamboo tubes of various lengths and diameters. You’ll need to haggle a bit, but for much less than a dollar you get rice, beans and coconut cooked together in the bamboo. It’s a Kratie-style Power Bar. Unopened, it keeps unrefrigerated for a couple of days. Peel it like a banana: YEH
  • Coconut and bean rice in bamboo street food - Krati, Cambodia
    Krolan, coconut and bean rice in bamboo | Photo by Lauren Girardin
  • La Belle Restaurant – Order a beer, get peanuts. Didn’t eat any food, but they have a nice little bit of seating out front for enjoying the street scene of monks, teens, and tourists: YEH
  • U. Hong II Guesthouse a.k.a. You Hong II Guest House – The walls are decorated with posters of Cambodian dishes that are not available, so whatever you order seems like a compromise. They attempt Western-style breakfasts and it’s not good. Edible is about the best we can say about the rest of the food: MEH
  • Food stalls, on the riverside near Ph 5 (a street), across from River Side Hotel and Restaurant – Just as we biked up, one vendor ran out of the rice noodles with coconut sauce we’d been dreaming about. So we turned to the next vendor for grilled pork skewers that was beaten by the tasty accompanying vinegar slaw, as well as a pomelo with chili salt. All for about $2.50: YEH
  • Riverside street eats, grilled pork skewers - Krati, Cambodia
    Street food dinner of pork skewers | Photo by Lauren Girardin

Where we stayed:

  • U. Hong II Guesthouse a.k.a. You Hong II Guest House, Kratie – A friendly German recommended this place while we slurped soup together in Strung Treng. We did some comparison, and U. Hong had the best deal we saw. Hot water, clean rooms, slow wireless in the cafe downstairs, bikes available for rent ($3 for 2) in decent condition. See above for the cafe review: YEH

What we saw:

  • G.S.T. Express Bus from Strung Treng to Kratie – After we arrived in Strung Treng from our booked through border crossing, we heard from multiple sources that the day’s only local buses onward to Kratie had left, as they always do, early in the a.m. The mini-bus company was asking for $8 each, which we knew was too much. On a walk over to the local market for lunch, a man on a moped offered us the same trip for $6. We handed our US dollars over to this stranger, he handwrote two tickets, and drove off. We were a little concerned that some dude just scammed us out of $12, but we tried to relax about it and enjoy our mystery meat market soup and pumpkin-tapioca dessert. We wound up on the same minibus as everyone else, and the minibus guys were pissed at our ticket seller for selling low. Somehow in Cambodia, this is how it is: MEH
  • Phnom Sambok – Since the trees are too dense, climbing the hundreds of stairs up to this hilltop Buddhist monastery won’t get you a view of the countryside. Instead, you’ll get to check out Buddhist Hell in a series of goofy paintings. Worth the stop: YEH
  • "Refuses to climb" aka Lboogie unhappy at the towering staircase - Krati, Cambodia
    Only one of many staircases to Phnom Sambok | Photo by Lauren Girardin
  • Mekong Discovery Trail Website and Brochure – A remarkably thorough and thoughtful free brochure and website with local activities for independent travelers looking for responsible tourism ideas. Before you do anything else in Northeast Cambodia, read up here: YEH
  • Kampi Irrawaddy Dolphin Viewing Site, near Kratie in a town called Kampi – Worth a visit since it’s probably the reason you’re in Kratie anyway. Getting other tourists to join you in the boat makes the tour cheaper. Read more in our story about the Kratie: YEH