Chau Doc

Bordering Cambodia, An Giang province is best-known for being home to pastel-painted Chau Doc, the closest large town to the Vietnamese/Cambodian border crossing on the Mekong River. Wedged between the Cambodian frontier, Kieng Giang and Can Tho provinces to the south and Dong Thap province to the north, An Giang is a particularly riverine province, with both the Bassac and Mekong Rivers within its boundaries.

The nondescript provincial capital Long Xuyen lies around 50km southeast of the border with Cambodia. Some travellers may find it convenient chau docto pass through here for its transportation connections but there are otherwise few other reasons to stay in the capital.

Chau Doc sits at the junction of a tributary linking the Bassac and Mekong Rivers and the Bassac River itself. An incredibly friendly and bustling little city, it has a colour scheme to match its ambience, with bright pastel hues of green, blue and purple adorning many of the newer shopfronts. If you’re arriving here from Cambodia, be prepared for the shock into technicolour paradise.

Chau Doc locals are known for being very warm and approachable — even the xe dap loi drivers, as pestering as they are, are friendly. English is spoken in most of the foreigner-targeted guesthouses and hotels, and most restaurants have an English menu.

A highlight of a visit to Chau Doc is a boat trip on one of the small paddle boats that collect near the western end of the park. For a few dollars an hour they’ll paddle you around the many floating raft houses and fish farms. Doing this at dawn can be very photogenic and rewarding.

A second attraction, just outside Chau Doc, is Sam Mountain — more of a hillock in fact — which has reasonable views over the surrounds. The views are pretty rather than spectacular, though when combined with a visit to the pagodas around the hill’s base, this makes a worthwhile afternoon jaunt.

Chau Doc is also the closest large town to the Vietnamese/Cambodian river border crossing. If you’re heading to or from Phnom Penh by boat, you’ll pass through Chau Doc, so try to allow for an overnight stay.

What to do? A highlight of a visit to Chau Doc is a boat trip on one of the small paddle boats that collect near the western end of the park to many floating raft houses and fish farms. A second attraction, just outside Chau Doc, is Sam Mountain — more of a hillock in fact — which has reasonable views over the surrounds. The views are pretty rather than spectacular, though when combined with a visit to the pagodas around the hill’s base, this makes a worthwhile afternoon jaunt. Chau Doc is also the closest large town to the Vietnamese/Cambodian river border crossing. If you’re heading to or from Phnom Penh by boat, you’ll pass through Chau Doc, so try to allow for an overnight stay. Cruise the Mekong River between Chau Doc and Phnom Penh takes 5 hours.

When to go?

Trips to Mekong Delta are suitable all year round but the best time is the monsoon from June to September.

Travel Tips

Bring along camera, hat, sunscreen and insect repellant. Should keep your camera in a plastic bag when it is not in use as it is easy to get splashed by the wake of motorized boats.

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