Châu Đốc is a city in An Giang Province, bordering Cambodia, in the Mekong Delta region of Vietnam. The city has a population of 157,298, and covers an area of 105.29 km².
The city is located by the Hậu River (a branch of the Mekong River flowing through Vietnamese territory) and Vinh Te canal. Châu Đốc is situated 250 km west of Ho Chi Minh City. It takes about six hours to travel by bus from Ho Chi Minh City.
Visiting Chau Doc
Coming to Chau Doc, you will a chance to visit the Sam Mt., travelling on the boat along the rivers, discovering the cultures of the Cham and Khmer people. Here are some tips for you before entering the amazing land of An Giang.
The town of Chau Doc has a long history with thrilling stories about the Lord Lady of Sam Mountain (the festival of the Lord Lady Mountain is held annually in Lunar April), and some historical sites like the Vinh Te Canal, and some others sites which were related to the first Indochina War and the Vietnam War.
There are many ways to travel to Chau Doc, depends on your budget and time. You can use planes, trains, or buses to travel to Ho Chi Minh City and from Ho Chi Minh City to Chau Doc.
Coming to Chau Doc (CD) using buses
Chau Doc City of An Giang Province is located 250km from Ho Chi Minh City, and it is best to purchase the bus ticket in Ho Chi Minh City at the West Station at 395 Kinh Duong Vuong Street, An Lac, Tan Binh District, HCMC, or contact (08) 38.752.953 – 38.776.594, which are the numbers for the destination in Chau Doc Station. There are many routes from HCMC to CD such as Phuong Trang, Mai Linh, Hung Cuong… with the prices vary from 100,000 to 150,000 VND (7.5 USD). Here is some details info:
- Phuong Trang (best) bus system:
- In CD: 076 3565333 — In HCMC: 08 38333468
- Hung Cuong bus system:
- In CD: (076) 3865116 – 3560807 – 3562040 — In HCMC: (08) 38572624 – 39551247 – 39555041
- Vinh An bus system:
- In CD: 08 38369229 — In HCMC: 076 3866495
- Tuan Tu bus system:
- In CD: 08 36003227 — In HCMC: 076 3727345 – 076 3575355 – 0907 356966
- Kim Kim Mai bus system:
- In CD: 08 54052575– In HCMC: 076 3550900 – 076 3603888
Coming to CD using personal vehicles
If you use the personal vehicle, which are cars or motorcycles, you can follow the 1A Highway, through Long An, Tien Giang, provinces, turn right after crossing My Thuan Bridge, follow Highway 80 to Sa Dec, using Vam Cong or An Hoa ferries and you have arrived in Long Xuyen City. Following Highway 91 for another 50 KM and you will arrive in Chau Doc. This is the most common route.
There is also the Vietnam—Cambodia route: Following the 1A Highway, turning right in Long An at Highway 62 (to Moc Hoa, Binh Hiep Border Gate), and following the Vietnam—Cambodia border route to come to Hong Ngu, Tan Chau, and then Chau Doc.
Hotel in Chau Doc
There are two areas for you to stay in Chau Doc: the Sam Mountain area of the downtown of Chau Doc.
In downtown: there are many hotels and motels in the midtown. The marketplace and near the Bo De (Bồ Đề đạo Tràng) pagoda are the easiest places to find a place to stay. You should contact the hotels for info and book the room beforehand because they can run out of room in weekends or holidays.
- Victoria Hotel: 32 Le Loi St, Chau Doc City, An Giang. Phone: 076 3562892
- Asian Hotel (Á Châu): 91 Highway, Chau Doc, An Giang. Phone: 076 3571777
- Hotel 777: 4 Nguyen Dinh Chieu, Chau Phu A, Chau Doc City, An Giang. Phone: 076 3866055
- Chau Pho Hotel: Trung Nu Vuong (Trưng Nữ Vương Nối dài), Chau Phu B, Chau Doc, An Giang. Phone: 076 3564119
- Hoang Chau 2 Hotel: 10 Nguyen Van Thoai, Chau Doc, An Giang. Phone: 076 3868891
- Hoa Binh Hotel: Le Loi, Chau Doc, An Giang. Phone: 076 3866280
- Hoang Tuyen Hotel: Group 12, Chau Thoi 2, Highway 91, Chau Phu B, Chau Doc, An Giang. Phone: 076 3561888
- Lam Hung Ky: 138 Trung Nu Vuong (Trưng Nữ Vương Nối dài), Chau Phu B, Chau Doc, An Giang. Phone: 076 3561564
- Vinh Phuoc Hotel: 12 Quang Trung. Chau Doc, An Giang. Phone: (076) 3866 242
- Thuan Loi Hotel: 18 Tran Hung Dao, Chau Doc, An Giang. Phone: (076) 3866 134
- Tai Ngan Hotel: 11 Nguyen Huu Canh, Chau Doc, An Giang. Phone: (076) 3866 435
- Mỹ Lộc Hotel: 51B Nguyễn Văn Thoại, Chau Doc, An Giang. Phone: 076 3866167
- Ngọc Phú Hotel: 17 Đốc Phú Thu, Chau Doc, An Giang. Phone: 076 3866484
- Thanh Bình Châu Đốc Hotel: 273 Thủ Khoa Huân, Châu Phú A, Chau Doc, An Giang. Phone: 076 3562917
- Trung Nguyễn Hotel: 86 Bạch Đằng, Châu Phú A, Chau Doc, An Giang. Phone: 076 3866158
- Thanh Thúy Motel: Highway 91, Chau Doc, An Giang. Phone: 076 3861006
- Mỹ Hạnh Motel: Highway 91, Chau Doc, An Giang. Phone: 076 3862230
- Thủy Linh Motel: Công Binh, Chau Doc, An Giang. Phone: 076 3861432
- Hoàng Liên Motel: Công Binh, Chau Doc, An Giang. Phone: 076 3861683
In Sam Mountain:
- Sam Mountain Rock Station Hotel (Bến Đá Núi Sam): Highway 91, Chau Doc, An Giang. Phone: 076 3861745
- Sam Mountain Post Office Hotel (Bưu điện Núi Sam): Vĩnh Tế, Chau Doc, An Giang. Phone: 076 3861666
- SFO Hotel: Sam Mountain, Highway 91, Chau Doc, An Giang. Phone: 076 3862809
- Ha Long Hotel: Sam Mountain, Chau Doc, An Giang. Phone: 076 3571661
- Hoàng Mai Hotel: Vĩnh Đông 1, Highway 91, Sam Mountain, Chau Doc, An Giang. Phone: 076 3571179
- Hue Binh Hotel: Tân lộ Kiếu Lương, Sam Mountain, Chau Doc, An Giang. Phone: 076 3568468
- Sam Mountain Hotel: Highway 91, Chau Doc, An Giang. Phone: 076 3861999
- Motel 27: Highway 91, Sam Mountain, Chau Doc, An Giang. Phone: 076 3861850
- Ngọc Trinh Motel: 36 Mai Thị Láng, Sam Mountain, Chau Doc, An Giang. Phone: 076 3861777
- Huyền Trân Motel: Mai Thị Láng, Sam Mountain, Chau Doc, An Giang. Phone: 076 3862012
There are many ways to travel around in Chau Doc. You can choose bicycle, taxi, motorcycle taxi…
- Taxi: Taxi Mai Linh-076383838
- Walk: You can walk in the midtown of Chau Doc: Chau Doc Market, Bo De pagoda, parks, Sam Mountain area, Tay An pagoda, The Lady Temple, Thoai Ngoc Hau Temple.
- Bike: The visiting destinations in Chau Doc are not far away from each other, so with just a bike you can discover the city yourself.
- Motorcycle taxi: Convinient and fast, you can contact the hotels to hire one. The price is varying from 120 to 200,000 VND/day (10 USD).
- Pulling taxi: This was used to be one of the most common transportations in Chau Doc. Not only the locals but also the tourists liked it. Because of the regulations, there is hardly any taxi like this.
- Bus: The vital service for the people here. You can use the bus to travel to the Sam Mountain and back the midtown of Chau Doc.
- Ferries, boats: Because of the special terrains, the boats are the most common transportation in this town. There are also some destinations that you have to visit by boat (Cham village, Bung Binh Thien, fish village…) The April 30 Park (also known as Ba Sa Park) is where the boats are concentrated. You can contact the Chau Doc Tourism Dock at 3 Lê Lợi, Châu Phú B, or call: 0763.550.949
Destinations in Chau Doc:
Chau Doc has many historical and culture destinations. Some are recognized as national landmarks: Tay An Pagoda, The Holy Mother of the Realm Temple, Hang Pagoda, Chau Phuc Temple. Others sightseeing destinations such as Cham village in Chau Giang, Vinh Te Canal, Tao Ngo Garden, Sam Mountain Fortress…
- Tay An Pagoda
Also called the Tay An Pagoda of Sam Mountain or The Old Script of Tay An, the pagoda is located at a junction, close to the Sam Mountain’s foot. The mountain, the top is 284m from the sea level, is in Vinh Te District, 5km from the midtown of Chau Doc. Not only is an important spiritual destination, the pagoda also a beautiful sightseeing location. The pagoda is constructed following the “tam” (three) architecture, based on Hinduism, Muslims and Vietnamese traditional architecture.
- Chau Phu Temple
Located on Tran Hung Dao – Nguyen Van Thoai Street, Phu Chau A District, the temple is where the locals honor Admiral Nguyen Huu Canh, who was many times merited by the Majesty for defending the nation and expanding the territory of Vietnam to the South.
- Floating village
Leaving the Chau Phu Temple, you will have a chance to visit also another famous tourist destination: the floating village—the way of life of the people in the South. In here, three to four boats connect into one house alongside of the riverbed. A family usually has 3-4 boats and a living boat. For a longest time, they make this their common way of life. A life on a boat which is only 4m width, 7-8m length, and most importantly, floating on the waves.
- Thoai Ngoc Hau Temple
The Thoai Ngoc Hau Temple of Vinh Te District is one of many relic sites under Sam Mountain. This temple was built to worship Lord Thoai Ngoc Hau and his two Ladies during the 30s of the 20th Century.
- Holy Mother of the Realm Temple
The Holy Mother of the Realm festival is the most important, and also the oldest spiritual event here in Chau Doc City. The festival attracts more than 2 million people come here every year. Although this is a great place to be, please be aware that you should not buy or ask for “lộc” (or luck) from the people sitting on the sideways. You shouldn’t buy birds to release because these are sponsors by thieves. Keep your paper and money very carefully.
- Sam Mountain
The Mountain is 284m above the sea level, lies in the flat land and the mountain has a road for cars to go all the way to the top. The Sam and other Seven Mountains are wonderful places to sightseeing the South Vietnam border. The pagodas on the mountain are usually about two centuries old and they attract many believers every year. On top of the mountain, there is a fortress built during the French Colonial period.
- Vinh Te Canal
Vinh Te Canal is a famous canla, located in between An Giang and Kien Giang. During the Minh Mang period, the canal was built for five years from 1819-24. The canal connects Chau Doc with the sea water front of Ha Tien with length of 205 miles, or 87km.
- Hang Pagoda
Also known as Phước Điền Tự (Tự means Temple. The Temple of Phuoc Dien), the pagoda is located on the side of Sam Mt., and a wonderful National Heritage. Separated from the Sam Mt. relics, the pagoda is a sanctuary with many majestic buildings which have been here for centuries. The pagoda was built from 1840 to 1845, and thanks to the beauty of nature, the man’s works are even more beautiful.
An Giang also has many other destinations such as Forbidden Mt., Trà Sư Forest…
Eating in Chau Doc
Coming to Chau Doc, you will have a rare chance to experience a wonderful culinary culture which not many other regions can offer.
Chau Doc is famous, first of all, for its long list of sauce, and sometime, the sauce is not just the sauce. There are: fish jam, fish gut sauce, snakehead sauce…
The fish jam (mắm thái) is the most peculiar, but also one of the best. Combining the jam with rice paper, herbs, and rice vermicelli, you can now understand a little bit more about this wonderful land. There are also many other types of “sauce”. The distillated bacon or “sauce” hot pot is powerful enough, literally, to mesmerize any food lover.
Besides from the “sauce”, there are many places in midtown selling fish rice vermicelli. There are many places in Vietnam offer fish rice vermicelli, but the fish rice vermicelli in Chau Doc is the original one. Also from snakehead which is used for the fish rice vermicelli, the locals also use the fish to make the broth for the broth rice vermicelli with rice vermicelli, snakehead marinated with lemongrass and ginger, with herbs and spinach.
The locals also have dried Basa and catfish. They take the guts and make many delicious appetizers.
The night marketplaces in Chau Doc concentrated in Chau Phu A and B districts, along Le Loi St, and there are a lot of foods in these markets. Mostly are bucolic and simple street food, you will be amazed by the food here.
If you want seafood, come to shops located next to the Chay Doc River (near Chau Doc Market).
There are also some Chinese foods in Lâm Hưng Ký, Hồng Phát, Bảy Bồng rice joints or Quãng porridge which are always crowded.
Chau Doc is wonderful place to visit and to relax, where you can enjoy the food and landscapes at the same time.
Shopping in Chau Doc
Coming to Chau Doc, don’t forget to bring back some gifts like fish jam, dried fish, borassus sugar which can be purchased almost any place.
The Chau Doc Central Market is where you can find most of anything.
Gò Market is the electrical market; most are used stuff from Cambodia
Tinh Bien market next to the border, about 20km from the midtown, sells lot things from the other side of the borer.