A Travellerspoint blog

To Kratie!

Buses shouldn't break down!

overcast 27 °C

So, we woke up stupidly early, at 4am, in order to be ready to be picked up for our 5:30am bus to Kratie, in the Northeast of Cambodia. By 5:25 we were beginning to worry slightly, so we woke up the poor security guard, who phoned the bus company.. They sent someone over in a tuk-tuk to pick us up, and as we got to town, we flagged the bus down in the middle of the street, and transferred ourselves over to it. The journey promised to our first excessive bus journey, of 8 hours, so we settled down. Luckily the bus wasn’t too full, so we had two seats each, and after watching the sunrise, we settled down to sleep. However, peaceful slumber was not to be; as the bus thundered down the road, we were woken by an almighty crash, as one of the tyres burst! We fell asleep again as the bus got the tyre mended, and woke up an hour later as the bus set off again. For the next 4 hours, John mostly slept, whilst Susie watched interesting things out of the window, such as people harvesting rice using oxen, cows being driven to market, lots of ladies riding along on top of a truck full of bricks, various sculpture makers, a large group of men in a cafe intently watching a WWF wrestling match, and a man on moto with a trailer with two massive jars on, each with a small child in it!
We suddenly stopped at 11am, and were told to change buses. This time we were lucky enough to have aircon, but there were less seats, so poor Susie had to deal with John lolling all over her as he slept! Another looooong 4 and a half hours later, we arrived in Kratie at 3pm, 9 and a half hours after we’d left Siem Reap. Hurray!

We got settled into Yon Hong guesthouse, into a $5 a night room with a private bathroom, and then wandered into Kratie and bought our bus tickets to take us to Laos tomorrow. Kratie is nice, very untouristy really, but really quite small. We then got a tuk-tuk out to see the Irrawaddy dolphins – the main reason we’d chosen here as our stop off point. The tuk-tuk ride out, 20km through lots of villages, was very pretty, and as ever, we enjoyed all the kids getting excited at waving to us! We got to Kampi, where the dolphins are, paid our $9 conservation and boat fee, and set off, onto the beautiful Mekong river. It was so calm and picturesque, as we went across. We saw really quite a few dolphins, about 7 different ones we think which, when there are now only about 80 in the whole Mekong, isn’t bad really! Some of them were fairly close to the boat, but they’re not as inquisitive or playful as other dolphins, so we didn’t manage to get any good pictures unfortunately.
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Susie on the boat

On the way back, the sun started to set, and it was just beautiful. The whole sky was pink and orange, and it was all reflected in the river. Just perfect! It lasted us most of the tuk-tuk ride back, before night fell and the hundreds of bugs started. Yuck! When we got back, we got some fried noodles where we’re staying, and fell into bed.

Posted by Susiep539 19:13 Archived in Cambodia Tagged bus siem_reap kratie irrawaddy_dolphins

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