Holiday weekends offer the best chance to get out to the provinces, but on a weekend like Khmer New Year, the sleepy river city of Kratie slows to a crawl. When my friends and I asked our guesthouse manager if anything was open, he called up Mr. Ben, a city resident with a Tuk- Tuk and the enthusiasm to show us the area, even during Cambodia’s biggest holiday.
Ben carted us through several districts, taking us to meet rice cake chefs, dolphins, a rice wine distiller and Cambodian tourists relaxing at Kampi Resort. As we ate a late lunch with an elderly palm sugar maker who tried to teach us French, Ben explained that he took us to meet the folks he met on his own provincial explorations. A city-slicker like me would struggle to nd these destinations, so it was worth every cent of the $60 in total the three of us paid for Ben’s services.
Ask any guesthouse managers for their small-town local guide recommendations, but if you and yourself in Kratie, message Ben at “Mrben Tuk Tuk Kratie” on Facebook for a memorable tour.