Situated near the Cambodian border on the banks of the Bassac River, Chau Doc is a relaxed town with lots of Mekong Delta flair and some interesting sites to visit in the surrounding area. Its close proximity to Cambodia has made the town somewhat of a melting pot of Khmer, ethnic Chinese, Muslim Cham and Vietnamese people. A selection of good hotels and excellent restaurants make Chau Doc a great stopover for a few days of exploring and relaxing on a trip through the Meking Delta.
Places to See
Marvel at the buying and selling activity at Chau Doc's market. Stalls burst with fresh vegetables, fruit, herbs, fish, flowers, and household goods. This is a great place for sampling fresh fruit that's grown locally. Mangoes and pineapples are a must!
Ornate wall murals, rooftop dragons and statues make this temple by the market worth a visit. A nice place if you're looking for some tranquility after shopping at the market.
Rising from the lush green rice fields 5km southwest of Chau Doc, Sam Mountain is an important pilgrimage site for Vietnamese and ethnic Chinese, who come here to pray and worship at the many of pagodas and temples. Several of these are worth a visit, including the Temple of Lady Xu. Between the 23rd and 25th of the fourth lunar month thousands of pilgrims come here to watch the statue of Lady Xu getting ceremonially bathed and dressed. Also worth checking out is Tay An Pagoda, which is richly decorated with thousands of wood carved figures and guarded by two elephant statues. Its architecture shows some Hindu and Islamic influences.
Walking all the way to the summit is rewarded with spectacular views of the surrounding countryside with its rice fields and small canals, and Chau Doc. Sunset views are particularly lovely. Better yet, hire a motorbike to take you to the top, and walk down towards the main temple area. The summit is somewhat akin to an amusement park with plastic figures of dinosaurs and other animals.
For recommended hotels in Chau Doc, click here: Chau Doc Hotels.
Tropical climate. Hot and humid year round, with an average annual temperature of 27 C (81 F). Best time to visit is November to February when it is cooler and dryer.
Notes From the Field
“Chau Doc is a picturesque city with a fascinating mix of people. If you're considering taking an extended cruise in the Mekong Delta or traveling between Saigon and Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Chau Doc makes an excellent and interesting stop.
The city has a great market where you can buy delicious local fruits grown in the Mekong Delta. We tried our first "milk apple" in Chau Doc, which we had never heard of before. This fruit has the basic shape of an apple, with a darker green skin, and a delicious milky taste. There are plenty of good spots in Chau Doc to sit out on the river, enjoying a bag of "milk apples"!
In addition to exploring inside the city there's a mosque that the Muslim Cham attend just outside of town, and Sam Moutain, with excellent views of the surrounding area including the border with Cambodia.”
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