River Dolphins, Phnom Penh - Stein Travel
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River Dolphins

Irrawaddy river dolphins, once in danger of extinction, are now saving the rural north-eastern town of Kratie. For years the dolphins were killed in now illegal fishing practices and hunted by the Khmer Rouge, but their appeal to tourists is bringing the welcome foreign dollars to the region. Kratie is accustomed to budget travellers, with a choice of cheap guesthouses. All of these offer motorbike drivers for the scenic 9 mile (15km) drive to the dolphins' river home. From the river shore, tourists can rent small boats to get closer. While the oarsmen retain a healthy distance from the surfacing animals, viewers can get near enough to see a similarity between Khmer and dolphin smiles.

Information & Facts

Address

Kratie, about 4 or 5 hours from Phnom Phen

Language

Khmer is the official language. French is also spoken, but English is fast becoming popular with the younger generation.

Money

Riel (KHR) is the official currency and is divided into 100 sen. Foreign currency is difficult to exchange with the exception of US Dollars. Most transactions require cash. US dollars and Thai Baht are accepted, although smaller transactions are usually done in riel. A torn US dollar note renders it useless. Credit cards are only accepted in a limited number of tourist-orientated hotels and restaurants in Phnom Penh and larger towns. There are a few ATMs in Phnom Penh, but they shouldn't be relied upon as a source of money; travellers cheques in US dollars or sterling can be cashed at a limited number of banks and larger hotels, though travellers cheques are not recommended due to limited acceptance.

Time

GMT +7.

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