After a long time at the border and another few hours in the bus, I finally arrived at the Guesthouse Balcony Kratie around 4:30 pm. After checking in and an early dinner I walked around trying to get hold of some local cash. Took a while to find an ATM. A local next to me got Riel, but when I tried I could only withdrawal US$. I tried another ATM, there I didn´t even have the option to get Riel. Obviously with a foreign bank card you can´t withdrawal Riel. Pity, but well US$ it was then. I got only big notes which no one would take, great! I watched the sunset from the hostel terrace, got some computer work done and settled into bed reading. Next morning after breakfast I read a bit about the history and life in Cambodia. Later I took off with Sascha – a German from my dorm. We took the local boat for 1000 Riel (25 cents) to Kaoh Trong – an island in the Mekong.
There we rented bicycles and did the 10 km loop. It is a nice little island.
We also had lunch at a local place there.
We returned the bikes and took the boat back to the mainland. Sascha had to buy a bus ticket. He paid with one of my 100 dollar bills gave me the change and the price for the ticket in Riel. So I had smaller change and a few local notes as well. In Cambodia you always have two currencies in your wallet. 4000 Riel equal 1 US$. So if you have to pay something that costs 50 cents and pay with a one dollar bill, you get 2000 Riel as change. It is a bit confusing in the beginning, but you get used to it. We chilled a bit in the hostel, then rented a motorbike and drove around.
We went to the river dolphins viewing boat ramp to look for Irrawaddy Dolphins.
Those dolphins were almost extinct but since 2016 the numbers were going up again. We couldn´t see very well there so we drove a bit further south to a viewing point. We met two nice Cambodian girls who shared a few fruit with us.
Next stop was the Phnom Sambok Tempel for sunset
and also another viewpoint
and dinner at the night market.
Back in the hostel we played a bit of pool. The next morning it was already time to leave Kratie. I got picked up by a minivan at 8 am and was on my way to Phnom Phen.
Kratie is a nice little town, nothing really special and not that much to do, but a nice start into Cambodia.