Sunday, March 22, 2009

Frisky dolphins

Though we were out at 6am this morning to whizz up to Kampi to get our dolphin fix, it was well worth it as the 'early bird catches the worm' or in this instance a considerable amount of dolphin activity ranging from the regular splash when they slightly break the surface of the water, to full, head-out vertical appearances followed by full, body-out somersaults, which we didn't expect to see. There was one group of four dolphins who circled our boat for twenty minutes, providing us with a series of displays across the range I mentioned above. This was Kratie dolphins at their best and most customer-friendly. The boat pilot ferried us to three locations to catch sight of the dolphins, all within100-300 metres of the riverbank, most of the time using his oar rather than his engine so he didn't scare them off. It's difficult to judge how many dolphins were in the area, or whether we kept seeing the same ones, but it was certainly an experience that exceeded our expectations. And just for good measure, we were the only boat on the river during the hour-plus we were on the Mekong. For those who haven't seen the dolphins at Kampi, it's 16 kms north of Kratie, took 25 minutes by moto and the cost per person for the boat ride was $9, quite a hefty rise from recent years but if everyone has the experience we did, they'll think its worth it.
Following our dolphin fix, we carried on north as far as Wat Sarsar Mouy Rouy, the 116-pillar pagoda at Sambour, stopped at the village of Baay Samnom to chat to a group of women and children for half an hour, before heading back for a sticky-rice with nuns encounter at Phnom Sambok. We called into a few wats en route including Wat Thma Krae where I spotted a partial lintel at the base of some steps that was in good nick. Back in Kratie for 1pm, we ate at U-Hong restaurant next to the market despite there being a power-cut that affected the whole town. Now its time for some shut-eye for an hour or so. Tomorrow morning we head for Stung Treng before a cross-country adventure to rendezvous with our transport at Tbeng Meanchey (for the onward trip to Preah Vihear and Banteay Chhmar).

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Andy, glad to read that the Kratie dolphins put on their best circus act for you and your brother to see. Hope you can display some of the pictures here. Thanks.

March 24, 2009 12:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Andy,
is it true that from the top of Preah Vihear, on a clear day, you can see Phnom Kulen looming in the distance?
Have a nice trip - Aloysius

March 25, 2009 9:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not too familiar with the way blogs work, but is there a search engine, or is it possible to search the blog by subjects, or "labels", as I noticed they're called? Say, "Preah Vihear" or "Tuol Sleng", for instance, and get all the related posts? Thanks for any clues - Annie Henderson, Reno/US

March 27, 2009 12:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No news so far... we're all worried about your whereabouts, Andy. Leave a note on the next stop. We've been to the Musée Guimet today and, of course, Cambodia was the main subject of our conversation at an Odeon café.
Cheers and bon voyage. Andy's Blog Fan Club, Paris - Corinne, president, Natalie, secretary

March 28, 2009 5:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! "Frisky Dolphins" has reached the bottom of the page today. Before the post disappears, pls, Andy, don't forget my little question. From your answer depends the outcome of a betting with a friend of mine = $10. Thank you, very much. Al(oysius).

April 4, 2009 7:42 PM  
Blogger Andy Brouwer said...

I was at Preah Vihear on a clear day and couldn't make out Phnom Kulen, but then again I didn't try to spot it either, so your question remains unanswered!

Annie, there should be a BlogSearch feature at the top left of my blog for you to search your favourite topics. Not all of my posts have tags/labels but you can also try for more searches on topics.

April 4, 2009 11:51 PM  

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