Irrawaddy Dolphins about fifteen to twenty of these rare freshwater dolphins make their home on a beautiful stretch of the Mekong River near a small set of rapids. They make upward arches, breaking the surface of the water as they swim about the area. They are not jumpers like their sea-faring relatives and are quite a bit shyer as well. They have good reason to be shy towards humans as they have been hunted and killed by fishermen in the past. The hope is that their numbers will slowly increase, as more fishermen in the area are educated about them. They are most active in the early morning hours (around 6 am) and the late afternoon and early evening hours.
However, we went during the mid-afternoon heat of the day and had numerous sightings. A local family hires out their small towboat and a son to take you out on the river for a closer look. The charge is 3,500 riel per person. To get there, just follow the road north from the Globe traffic circle for 14 km Turn left at the dolphin picture sign. The family and river are there.The Mekong River Irrawaddy dolphin (Orcaella brevirostris) population inhabits a 190km stretch of the Mekong River between Cambodia and Lao PDR. The latest population is estimated between 64 and 76 members (2008 figures). The Irrawaddy dolphin is identified by a bulging forehead, a short beak, and 12-19 teeth on each side of each jaw. The pectoral fin is broadly triangular. There is a small dorsal fin, on the posterior end of the back.
Kampi Resort is the great natural resort providing shelter to Dolphins. When we travel along the National Road No.7 to the North about 15 Kilometers from the provincial town, we will arrive at a bridge of Prek Kampi where we have seen a very novel view of the Mekong River consisting of thousands of islands full of green water plants. Usually from January to May, there are local and international visitors, who call on the Kampi resort for swimming, especially during the Khmer New Year.
Kampi resort has special features such as:
- The resort is closed to the National Road, assured safety and has large parking sites for motocycles and cars.
- The riverbank is full of sand, and there are many islands assuring the visit of thousands of visitors.
- The water is clear as mirror, has 0.5-1.30 meter depth and flows with undangerous speed. Kam Py resort has not only the good natural manner, but also been provided the good servises for visitors such as the crossing bridge, floating cottages, soft-drink shops, restaurants, emergency agency, guards and security as well. Nowadays, the provincial tourist office has endeavored to upgrade arranging the resort to be better and more attractive.
The 100-Column Pagoda is located at Sam Bor District in 36-kilometer distance, North of the provincial town by the National Road No 7. The special features of Sar Sar-100 pagoda are: The 100-column pagoda was built on the place where the Royal Palace temple of Sam Phu Borak Capital of the Chen La time located. At the area, there are four-Buddist temples facing to different directions: 1- Vihear Lao faces to the West 2- Vihear Sar Sar-100 faces to the North 3- Vihear Kork Keut faces to the East 4- Vihear Kork faces to the South (this Buddhist temple has only base and mark remain).
During the Khmer New Year, the local people who live near the former sam Phu Bo Rak Capital usually celebrate the four-day festival by starting at Vihear Sar Sar-100 first, then Vihear Kork and Vihear Lao lastly. Background of Vihear Sar Sar-100: Was built in 1806 and the size is 30 Meters x 30 Meters. In the former time, at the 100th column, was thatched by Preah Ang Chan Reachea II for dedicating to the power of Vihear sar sar-100 to maintain the soul of Preah Neang Varakak, his daughter who was swallowed by the crocodile, Nen Thun. Vihear Sar Sar-100 is different to other temples because it faces to the North.
About 100 years later, the temple was damaged by the strong lightening, which caused 22 columns burnt down and the statues dirtied by smoke. Because of this incident, the temple was pulled down and rebuilt by the local people, but it had only 78 columns. Until 1987, the 100-column pagoda has once again been renovated with 35-meter length, 18-meter width, 23-meter height and 116 columns; also, the temple has completely been renovated, inaugurated and Sey Ma buried on January 14, 1998.
The 100-Column Pagoda - Kratie
Phnom Sam Bok Resort is the natural and historical resort, locates at Thmor Kre Commune, Kratie District in 11-Kilometer distance from the provincial town by the National Road No 7, then turning more 500 Meters to the mountain.
Phnom Sam Bok is the cultural and main tourist resort of Kratie province. The resort has good location and assured safety for tourists to visit. Phnom Sam Bok has been arranged as the tourist resort since the Sang Kum Reas Ni Yum time. The special features of Phnom Sam Bok are: - Closed to the western mountain foot, there is a big pond full of clearwater and natural plants. - The mountain has two peak, a dull peak and a pointed peak. On the mountain top, we can view the beautiful scene especially the Mekong River. - The mountain rich in big trees and birds. - There is a concrete stair stretching from the mountain foot to the top, and there are many resting place at the mountain.
The legend said that one upon the time, there was a king named Cha Krey Sara Varman a son of Preah Bat Hathak Athi Reah Varman. After he succeeded his father, he informed officials and high officials to serch gold mine. Then they found a place closed to the mountain foot of Sam Bok very rich in gold.
The local people there called the place ?Kan Leng Sam Bo Meas? means ?a place very rich in gold ?. Long time after that, the word changed to ?Phnom Sam Bok Meas ?, then only ?Phnom Sam Bor? until now. The background of Phnom Sam Bok: At the beginning of 15th century, there was a monk named Neak Voan, the student who has the same teacher to the monk, Neak Sen. Neak Sen is the teacher of crocodile, Nen Thun and he does meditation on the mountaintop of Sam Bok. The monk, Neak Voan has very strong ritual formulas and he is well known to the near and far local people. The local people accompany each other to learn the ritual formulas from Neak voan. Since that, Phnom Sam Bok becomes the worshipping place until now.
Phnom Sombok, Kratie is one of the well known among the Tourist Attractions in Kratie. Phnom Sombok is a rather nifty temple north of town. Situated on the only hill to be found anywhere near Kratie, all you have to do to visit the Phnom Sombok in Kratie is head north and look out for the hill. A long set of stairs at the Phnom Sombok lead to a pavilion or porch. The interior of the pergola is painted with torture scenes as well as depictions of what is faced by those who are not virtuous enough to lead a consecrated lifestyle, characterized by piety.
Phnom Sombok, Kratie is also the name of a resort. The Phnom Sombok Resort is a natural and historical address, located at the Thmor Kre Commune. You can always stay over at the Phnom Sombok Kratie resort with a host of its facilities to impress you all the way. There is a big pond full of fresh water and natural plants. The mountain has two peaks, a blunt peak and a pointed one. On the top of the mountain, you will be able to view the beautiful panorama, especially that of the Mekong River.
The Phnom Sombok, Kratie makes for a good stop on your way back to or from the site of dolphin watching on the Irrawaddy River. The mountain terrain near the Phnom Sombok is rich in big trees and various species of birds. There is a concrete stairway stretching from the foothills of Sam Bok. It is extremely rich in gold. Legend has it that King Cha Krey Sara Varman, son of Preah Bat Hathak Athi Reach Varman, asked his subject to find a gold mine. Since then, the place a place came to be known as Phnom Sombok, meaning 'very rich in gold'.
Phnom Sam Bok Resort - Kratie
Waterfall Of Cham Pey is the natural resort locating at 35-kilometer distance from the provincial town along the road No 68. The resort consists of waterfall at the mountain valley, big rock having 500-square meter size, mountain full of trees and a lot of orchids and other colorfull varied flowers. At 500-meter distance from the waterfall, there is another natural and cultural resort, which has been arranged and organized by monks who make their meditation there. This resort named Rut Cham Pey having many varied statues depicting the process of human life-born and died and other religion and animal figures.
In addition, there are many other natural and historical resorts, which have been putting in the projects for development by the Provincial Tourist Office such as: - The area of Tonle Sar - The area of Ang Ou Ang Krang - The area of Pra Sat Seung - The area of Ang Tropeang Baray - The area of Pra Sat Pursat - The area of Cham Kar Kuy - The area of Beung Snour - The area of Tum Nup Thmey - The area of Tuol Kruos (Killing field and prison of Khmer Rouge).
Waterfall of Cham Pey - Kratie
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