We loved this sleepy little town. Our classic go to, Capitol tours, didn't go this far north, but after a little searching around pub street we found another company that did, and for $6 we made our way west.
Reviews of our guest house said that they didn't speak much English, that turned out to mean No English apart from 'air conditioning', still £7 a night we got a twin room close enough to the very few things in the town.
On our second day we set out to rent some bikes and cycle across the bamboo bridge to a small island in the middle of the Mekong. We headed down to the lazy mekong restaurant for breakfast, they offered the cheapest bikes in town and were suggested to be helpful with maps and suggestions - beating the running away our guest house owner did every Time we went near.
We had heard of a small ecotourism village, but dismissed it as it would take so long to get there. In the end the lazy mekongs owner suggested we got a bike for the day, meaning we could get ourselves out to the village, and still have time to do the island in the afternoon. We spent a wonderful day getting totally lost in both places, but getting to see a more rural side of cambodia. Here the children would shout hello and wave as you went past, nothing would be in English and things were still relatively unchanged by tourism. We drove through paddy fields, had to make u-turns when there were buffalo sleeping in the middle of the road and saw traditional farmers transporting their goods (including a full, dead, cow) by horse and cart. In the afternoon we stopped off at the Mekong bamboo hut resort, slightly misleading seeing it was a series of 20 hammocks under a bamboo cover, but it was charming. A relaxed hippy place that you could see people loosing weeks staring over the Mekong, exploring the island or playing the many handcrafted board games. We had hoped to return here after Kratie, stay for a night to break up our journey down south and miss phnom pehn, unfortunately they were full and in their laid back way weren't sure if anyone would bother moving on the next day or not.
We only spent two nights, one full day, before heading up to Kratie, but it is probably one of my favourite towns in Cambodia. Possibly for the friendliness of the lazy Mekong staff, and the fact they did stone baked pizzas with actually chorizo and mozerella. Heaven.