Irrawaddy River DolphinsFree: All time

If your travels should take you through the northeast portion of Cambodia, easily one of the most primitive areas of Cambodia and all of Asia, for that matter, you may want to duck into the little crossroads town of Kratie to see some the last of the fresh water dolphins. See these rare river dolphins while you still can. Irrawaddy dolphins are much like their saltwater cousins, though they lack the bottlenose snouts. While a bit more shy than their saltwater cousins, they have the same playful personalities dolphins the world over are known for. Personally, I haven’t seen them,  but my wife saw them last year when she was in the town of Stung Treng farther up river. Still, Kratie has the reputation as the best place to see them. I love dolphins so it is tempting for me to take the eight hour bus trip from Phnom Penh for that reason alone. If you are truly broke, take the river road north from Kratie toward Kampi Village as this is where you are most likely to see them, and yes, they are easily seen from shore. However, if you have a few bucks you can get one of the locals to take you to the dolphin’s favorite haunts by boat for about $20.

Address: Mekong River near Kratie, Cambodia
Hours: Any time during daylight hours
Directions: Take the bus from Phnom Penh to Kratie
Website: WWF Report on Mekong Dolphin

Photo credit: Save Our Species, Mat Honan (Flickr CC)