There is a few hours journey and a notoriously infamous border crossing between us and our first stop in Cambodia. Authority on both sides of the border is badly corrupt and you may be required to pay a small fee in order to receive the almighty stamp that allows you to leave Laos. On the other side the same story awaits you. The $30 Visas will cost you $35 and you may get pushed into a medical examination for another few bucks. We've read a few horror stories about this crossing, the monopoly of bus companies that ruthlessly operate under the protection of corrupted Police, but truth to be said we have arrived to Kratie relatively smoothly. This small town on Mekong usually serves tourists as a springboard to discover the surroundings. Temples, islands and Irrawaddy dolphins are the main attractions. Since we have seen many islands lately, we have watched the Dolphins at 4000 islands and we are a bit templed out, we opted to discover the town. Our guesthouse was on the river, so we have watched the sunset and headed for the market and some food later on. The busy market area has proved to be the eye magnet for me and also the sight of numerous kids with intravenous drip hooked to them. Yeah, this sight in west usually never leaves the walls of a clinic or hospital, yet here kids were on their drips while on motorbike with their parents, or while watching the sunset on Mekong, or any other seemingly normal everyday situation, except of the drip. One of the parents filled me in, told me that this is a medicine for kids that locals call 'the serum'. I suppose a kind of booster to fight the high mortality rate of young Cambodians.
Kratie was again a short stopover to break up the journey. Next stop, Phnom Penh...