Dolphin coming up for air. Patrik M. Loeff / Creative Commons
In one of Asia’s great rivers that spans several countries including Cambodia, the Mekong is home to the rare freshwater Irrawaddy dolphins. Reaching the length of 275 cm with a distinct small dorsal fin, a bulbous forehead and a short beak, the Mekong River Dolphins are found in a 190 km part of the river between the Cambodian province of Kratie and the Lao border.
Kratie is mostly a sleepy and remote province that gets its fair share of travellers who seek to experience rural Cambodian life amidst picturesque French architecture in its charming capital of the same name and to behold the endangered gentle creatures residing near its riverside town of Kampi.
To get to Kampi from the capital, just rent a motorbike, tuk-tuk, or car. The best viewing times are in the morning and late afternoon, though to avoid the crowds head there before 8 am. Once there, it costs around $9 per person ($7 per person for more than 2 people) to rent a boat.
Another thing you can do is to kayak your own way to see the dolphins in their natural habitat. Kayaking in Kratie means you’ll paddle across the river on your own, through a picturesque part of the Mekong, through the flooded forest, and cross back to (if you’re lucky) see the cetaceans swim and arch their slate grey bodies out of the water.
Dancing Mekong dolphin. Jim Davidson / Creative Commons.
Moored boats on Kratie, Cambodia. Pierre le Bigot / Creative Commons.
Similar Southeast Asia Experiences
For other unique animal experiences in Southeast Asia, go to the Philippines to see whale sharks in the wild, or watch birds in their natural habitat at Tonle Sap. A little further afield, you'll find the great Komodo Dragons of Indonesia around the Flores islands.
Explore the “Great Lake” - Tonle Sap – and find out what makes it unique. Its residents include a bird sanc...
Exploration of Thailand, Viet Nam and Cambodia's highlights – starting at Thailand's Grand Palace and ending at...VIEW DETAILS
Tour that takes guests through the best of Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Viet Nam. Buckle your seatbelts, this four-country it...VIEW DETAILS
Southeast Asia's cities look very different when seen from the river. You'll find out for yourself when you board the...VIEW DETAILS
• Helicopter Tours - Kintamani Volcano Sky Tour, Bedugul Lake Sky Tour, Uluwatu Coastline Sky Tour, Kuta Beach & Ta...VIEW DETAILS
Unravel the enigma of Jim Thompson in the Jim Thompson Mystery Trail - Jim Thompson’s eye for beauty was not only confi...VIEW DETAILS
One Island, One Resort - 300 acres of paradise with only a fraction occupied by a world renowned Pangkor Laut Resort. A Briti...VIEW DETAILS
Go on an epic Asean journey with AirAsia Asean Pass, a travel pass that allows you to book our base fares at least 14 days or...VIEW DETAILS
Rent a car for 2 days or more at participating locations in Asia and enjoy up to 15% offVIEW DETAILS
Hotel Royal is strategically located right in the heart of Singapore's most exclusive district and is only minutes away f...VIEW DETAILS
Room Rate Discount: 25% off BFR (Best Flexible Rate) on Junior Suite F&B Rate Discount: 15% off buffet lunch...VIEW DETAILS
Since its opening in 2007, Amara Sanctuary Resort Sentosa, Singapore has brought the rustic feel of a true resort and blended...VIEW DETAILS