Has anyone seen any dolphins near Kratie?
Yes - in January. For the dolphins safety the boats keep a fair distance away - but still saw them.
We went in July and we certainyl heard them snorting as they came out of the water but they are almost the same colour as the Mekong and not a lot of their body comes out of the water but we did see bits of them!
The boats, as menioned, don't get too close.
anne g,s observations are very revelant to any decision to do a dolphin "cruise" from kratie or any other part of upper mekong..you will need a camera with good lens (and a sharp eye) to get even partial shots of these rare animals
why bother when you can get beautiful camera shots of dolphins riding the bow waves of boats in several locations in australia?
Ditto #3. Sometimes the boats get close and scare the dolphins away. If people are swarming around, what chance do they have to mate?
What are there, about 50 of them left now?
If you are only going to see the dolphins to take pictures of them, you may be disappointed as they are very difficult to photograph unless you have super insane reaction time. Lots of pictures of water.
It is a very nice boat trip and you have a very good chance of seeing dolphins if you put your camera down...
We wet ourselves laughing about it still!
There were 5 of us with camera's (Husband, son, nieces and myself) and not one of us got anything close to a decent shot!!! We just were'nt quick enough, were'nt looking at the right place or even when we thought finally we have the perfect shot it all just looked the same colour!!! So Rasheed is correct - alot of photos of water!!
They are just so hard to see, even though you hear them, they have gone before you get to see much of them. Possibly they are too clever for us!Edited: 08 March 2011, 06:04
Our friend in Phnom Penh put us in touch with a local tour company called Cambodian Pride Tours ( www.cambodianpridetours.com). The company is run by two local guys who have lived in the area all their lives, On our first day we booked onto their 'One day classic tour" of the Mekong river life adventure! We had the most amazing day starting at the the Hotel, through the Vietnamese village to the Floating village before crossing the Mekong river (by Ferry). We then visited the Tobbacco farms and saw the production from picking to Drying. On our way through the villages the locals were more than happy to great us as we passed their houses.We then were shown the production on Palm suger and were even able to taste the fresh produce. Later we visited a traditional Cambodian house where we walked the gardens and saw how the fruit and vegatables are grown to support the family.Just before Sunset we ventured down to the beautiful unspoiled beach and relaxed in the warm Mekong as the sun set behind us! Safely back to the hotel for night time.
After an amazing day with our guide ( who is English speaking) we decided to book a second day with the company! We started in the afternoon and firsty visited the Phnom Sombok ( Sombok Mountain) really beautiful views over Kratie from the top of the winding staircase. Then we visted the Kampi rapids with amazing views onto the river and the houses of the people who live in this paradise. After the rapids we moved to the Dolphin pool to see the rare Irrawade dolphins, we were advised by the company to visit late afternoon as the sun is setting, all i can say is what great advice. As soon as we got into the boat the Dolphins started to appear, such an amazing oppotunity to see them in their habitat!
If you want to see the real Kratie i reccomend Cambodia Pride Tours. Not only are the Guides hard working local men they put 20% of their earnings back into the community!
I plan to return to kratie with my friends and family and will not hesitate in booking with these guys again.
you can contact them through their website www.cambodianpridetours.com.
for dolphins and more these are your guys..
hope this will help you.
Will morris ( England)
It is difficult to get still photos of the dolphins as they are always on the move and only surface for a few seconds at a time. Your best bet is to use a camera with video recording facility. I visited Kratie at the end of January 2011 and was lucky to have guides from www.cambodianpridetours.com. This is a genuine local enterprise which benefits local people and respects the environment and Cambodian way of life. After taking me to my hotel I was taken by motorbike to see the Irrawaddy dolphins. You can see my YouTube video here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=pyIe4lYs2B0
Then just before sunset to the nearby Kampi Rapids resort where I had a dip in the warm water - see my video here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kflow3DVHJI
You can trust these guys to get good info and fair prices.
Kratie is the best place to view the Irrawaddy dolphins on the Mekong. This is because during the dry season you are guaranteed to see them because they gather in the deep pools in the area. The best time for viewing is in the early morning and late afternoon when they are most active - during the day they also like to rest like all true Cambodians. The boatmen who take you out have received training in respecting the dolphins personal space and shouldn't go within 100m of the animals. This is one reason why it is extremely difficult to photograph them.
The viewing project was originally set up by an organisation called the Cambodian Rural Development Team (www.crdt.org.kh). They currently run two eco-tourism sites located on islands in the Mekong, Koh Pdao in Kratie province and Koh Preah in Stung Treng province. These also offer opportunities to view the dolphins away from the more crowded viewing spot at Kampi.
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