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KRATIE - HOME OF FRESHWATER DOLPHINS
Kratie Is a sleepy Mekong River town situated on the east bank of the mighty river? It’s very picturesque with sandbars and big islands out front and bends in the river. Unlike in many towns around Cambodia, the war years were fairly kind to the French architecture and the roads, at least in the town itself. There are some nice-looking homes of French and Khmer style scattered about, adding to the pleasant feel of the place.
The rare freshwater Irrawaddy dolphins make their home in the Mekong River, just north of Kratie. With only around fifteen to twenty remaining, they are worth a visit. Whether you are just on a trip seeing the river towns along the Mekong or taking a full circuit trip around the east and northeast, Kratie is a nice place to spend a night or two.
Phnom Sambok Resort
Is the natural and historical resort, locates at Thmor Kre Commune, Kratie District in 11 – Km 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, adull 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 of Sam Bok very rich in gold. The local people there called the 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 Reach Varman. After he was on throne instead of his father, he informed officials and high officials to find where having gold mine. 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 Sambok Meas’. Then only ‘Phnom Sam Bor’ until now.
The background of Phnom Sam Bok: At the beginning of the 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 neditation 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 ritual formulas from Neak Voan. Since that, Phnom Sam Bok becomes the worshipping place until now.
The 100-Column Pagoda:
Located at Sam Bor District in 36-Km distance, North of the province 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 temple facing to 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 1860 and the size is 30 meter x 30 meters. In the former time, at the 100th century, was thatched by Preah Ang Chan Reachea II for dedicating to the power of Vihear Sar Sarr-100 to maintain the soul of Preah Neang Varakak, his daughter who swallowed by the crocodile, Nen Thun. Vihear Sar Sar-100 is different to other temples because it face 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 1978, the 100-columns 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
Is the great natural resort where is home to Dolphins. When we travel along the National Road No. 7 to the North about 15Km from the provincial town, we will arrive at abridge of Prek Kam Py 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 Kam Py resort for swimming, especially during the Khmer New Year. Kam Py resort has special features such as:
The resort is closed to the National Road, assured safety and has large parking site for motorcycles 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 services 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.