© 2011 notworkrelated - David Rutter & Helen Roscoe. All rights reserved. notworkrelated Kratie Cambodia

Cambodia – Kratie – 11th February

The next morning we got up early and arranged for Balcony to get us some bikes for the day, they do a rental at $1.50 a day. We knew we could get them cheaper in town but couldn’t find the man who was recommended to us so opted for the guesthouse ones. To be fair they were two of the best city bikes we’ve yet had on our travels. Our destination was to head north up the river towards the Kampi Rapids and see if we could spot any of the rare Irrawaddy Dolphins along the way. It took around an hour to get to the main viewing point on this part of the Mekong, however if we wanted to sit and watch the dolphins from the land we would have to pay $6 each and if we wanted to get a boat $10 each. We decided we didn’t want to spend this kind of money and opted for a little further up the road where we could stand and watch some of the rare dolphins rise to the surface. They don’t have a lot of space in this pool and there are around 90 dolphins there at the moment so if you hang around long enough they have to come up for air eventually!! Many people opt for the boat tour option but you can only get upto 100 meters from the dolphins, if you’re a keen spotter then we’d say do it.

Moving on from this point we cycled for a further 5 minutes or so and landed at the Kampi Rapids, a local bathing spot. We had been told about this place the day before and thought it would be worth checking out. The local community have built long wooden huts built on stilts, sitting around half a meter above the river level. They appear to be sectioned off so that each family who works there has a strip to rent out for those of us wanting to relax for the afternoon. The locals use it as a popular bathing and meeting place, families gather together, splash around in the rapid-like current, eat food cooked by the hut owners, sit around and drink, sleep in hammocks and so on. It’s more of a place for them to relax and take time out from work. We paid a dollar each to have our own little space in the huts and we both had a hammock to relax and read on. The owner of our plot kept pestering us to buy some food but we decided to wait until around midday to leave and get some grub at a nearby recommended family run restaurant. Before leaving we bathed our feet in the water, read our books and Helen practised some yoga, it was starting to get a little busier as we left at midday. The restaurant is just as you walk out of the rapids area on the left hand side, we didn’t pay much and each had noodles and stir-fried vegetables, an in-offensive meal that is a little bland.

On our way back to Kratie we stopped off at a temple on the mountain…a mountain that is all of 93m high!! They do have some warped ideas as to scale over here, but it is the highest point in the area so we were a little rewarded by views and bizarre hell vs heaven like paintings in the temples. Back in Kratie we organised our transport to Laos for the next day, we booked a minivan for $14 each which would fingers crossed take us all the way to Don Det at the 4000 Islands with a few en-route transport changes.

One night left in Cambodia, we will go away with fond memories of this beautiful country having both had a wonderful and heart warming experience here.

(Leica M9, Summicron-M 50mm f2.0 & Olympus PEN, 17mm f2.8 & 100mm f2.8, processed in Lightroom 3)

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One Comment

  1. Posted 16 Mar ’11 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    Wow, love the ripped/flaked painting shot. That looks really odd!!
    However, those crazed eyeballs on the previous painting will haunt me tonight!! :o (

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