Located on the banks of the mighty Mekong river, Kratie is a small town dominated by a central market surrounded by French colonial buildings. During the peak season, backpackers stream through Kratie, however there is no large scale tourism in the town.
The province has a monsoonal climate, with a cool season from November to March, a hot season from March to May, and a rainy season from May to October. Flooding is frequent in Kratie with the Mekong sometimes overflowing by as much as 4 metres during the rainy season.
Kratie is known for its attractive riverside scenery and its green villages and paddies, and of course, the river dolphins.
The rare Irrawaddy dolphins can be found in the Mekong, and are Kratie’s main tourist attraction. Sadly, their numbers are diminishing, with estimations of between 66 and 86 of the rare dolphins remaining in the upper Cambodian Mekong area.
There is a substantial Vietnamese minority in Kratie Province. Kratie is home to seven indigenous groups: Phnorng, Kouy, Mil, Khonh, Kraol, Steang, and Thamoun. The majority of the province’s residents live along the Mekong River with the area beyond the river being sparsely populated. Approximately 8% of Kratie’s population is indigenous and it is one of four provinces with a substantial indigenous population.
The Mekong flows from the north of the province, to the south, with almost 140km of the mighty river being located in Kratie Province. Kratie’s fisheries are part of the Upper Mekong River Zone, which is important support for migratory species and subsistence fishing but does not play a major role in commercial fishing.