Irrawaddy river dolphins, once in danger of extinction, are now
saving the rural north-eastern town of Kratie. For years the
dolphins were killed in now illegal fishing practices and hunted by
the Khmer Rouge, but their appeal to tourists is bringing the
welcome foreign dollars to the region. Kratie is accustomed to
budget travellers, with a choice of cheap guesthouses. All of these
offer motorbike drivers for the scenic 9 mile (15km) drive to the
dolphins' river home. From the river shore, tourists can rent small
boats to get closer. While the oarsmen retain a healthy distance
from the surfacing animals, viewers can get near enough to see a
similarity between Khmer and dolphin smiles.
Address: Kratie, about 4 or 5 hours from Phnom Phen Transportation: Buses to Kratie are available from Phnom
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