Chau Doc Town - Asia Travel & Leisure

Asia Travel & Leisure

Chau Doc Town

Chau Doc is a district and town in An Giang province, bordering Cambodia, in the Mekong Delta region of Vietnam. The town is located by the Hâu River (a branch of the Mekong River flowing through Vietnamese territory) and Vinh Te canal. It is 250km from Sai Gon. The site of Chau Doc was long in history a territory of the Kingdom of Funan (Vietnamese: Vương quốc Phù Nam). The territory became Vietnam’s about 300 years ago. The town is near the picturesque mount of Sam where the Sam mount lady (Vietnamese: Bà Chúa Xứ Núi Sam) is worshipped. The Sam Mount Lady Ceremony is held every April of lunar calendar (May) every year.

Chau Doc experiences two seasons: wet and dry. The wet season is from May until November; the dry season is from December until April. The best time to visit Chau Doc is during the dry season, a time when tourists will not be inconvenienced by rainy weather.

Travel advisory:

Chau Doc is close to the river border of Vietnam and Cambodia. Anyone who travels to and from Phnom Penh by boat will pass by the city, and staying overnight is highly recommended. Aside from the colours, visitors will also captivated by the locals; the people in Chau Doc, including the xe dap loi drivers, are nice and friendly. Foreigners need not worry too much about a language barrier – English is spoken in most hotels and guesthouses, while most restaurants have an English-language menu.

Those who look for the waterway from Vietnam to Cambodia should go to Chau Doc. The town has daily slow/fast boats taking tourists to Phnom Penh, Cambodia via Vinh Xuong - Kaam Samnor check points. Depart Chau Doc around 7:00AM and arrive in Phnom Penh about 4:00PM by slow boat and about 12:00PM by fast boat. Cambodian visa is available on arrival at check points

Hang Chau Speedboat: 7:00, daily, 25 USD/ticket

Cawaco speedboat: 8:30, Mar/Fri, 30 USD/ticket

There are some basic good hotels at the center of Chau Doc, near the market. However the 4-star Victoria hotel is beautifully located at riverside where you can spend hours to watch daily life on Chau Doc River. The swimming pool is a plus. Nice design. Beside that Victoria Nui Sam is also good 3 star hotel, you should spend 2-3 night hear for relaxation and exploring Chau Doc.

Highlights:

The main attraction in Chau Doc is the Sam Mountain, which is about seven kilometres north of town. The mountain is not really high, it just seems that way because of the plains of Mekong. This tourist destination is considered a local pilgrimage site because the mountain is home to many shrines and temples and there is a colourful temple at the base, and smaller places of worship on the way up the mountain. However, the most religiously significant is the Ba Chua Xu Temple, which has its own festival held between April and June.

An attraction history lovers would surely appreciate is the Tuc Dup Hill. This is where the U.S. forces failed to stop the small-scale insurgencies in the delta. The hill was guarded and dominated by the Viet Cong during the U.S. assault, which lasted for four months. Near the hill, one will see graves and memorials.

Another attraction worth visiting in Chau Doc is the Tra Su Bird Sanctuary. It takes 30km to Tra Su national cajuput forest - kingdom of birds and storks - where you can "float" yourself on grassland like golf with rowing boat. Coming to Tra Su, you also have chance to see the surrounding picturesque rice fields of Khmer ethnic people.