At Asia Senses Travel we’re adventurers at heart. Our journeys are all about discovering new places and cultures while creating unforgettable memories through physical activity and breathtaking scenery.
Draped along the banks of the Hau Giang River (Bassac River), close to the Cambodian border, bustling town of Chau Doc is 174 miles (280 kilometers) southwest of Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). Chau Doc was given as a present from the Cambodian monarch in return for Vietnamese aid in putting down an insurrection, making it a recent addition to Vietnamese territory. Centuries of trade along the river have created a unique culture, a fusion of Khmer, Chinese, and Vietnamese influences. It is dominated by the towering Sam Mountain, one of few areas of significant topography in the delta.
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Chau Doc may be a little city, but what it lacks in size, it makes up for in colours and is probably the only place where pastel colours are chosen to beautify store fronts.
Vietnam Travel Specialist
Things to See and Do in Chau Doc
Visit Tra Su Bird Sanctuary
This immense 800,000-hectare forest is a surprisingly beautiful and serene spot and home to an astounding number of wading birds. Much of the wetland is off-limits to visitors so that the birds' breeding grounds are not disturbed, but visits include a short speedboat ride and a tranquil 20-minute paddle along narrow channels through the gnarled and green sunken forest. That's worth a visit whether you're an avid bird watcher or just looking for a quiet time in a stunning natural setting. The sanctuary is 25 kilometres Chau Doc town.
A sacred place for Buddhists, Sam Mountain attracts Vietnamese tourists, who flock here in their thousands to worship at its clutch of pagodas and shrines. A strong Chinese influence makes it particularly popular with ethnic Chinese, but Buddhists of all ethnicities visit here. The views from the top in rainy season are particularly spectacular, with lush paddy fields scored by hundreds of waterways, ranging deep into Cambodia, though in the dry season the barren landscape is hazy and less inspiring. There’s a military outpost on the summit, a legacy of the days when the Khmer Rouge made cross-border raids and massacred Vietnamese civilians.
Chau Doc Floating Market
To join the market and see the best it has, you need to get up at the crack of dawn. The action is busiest around 5am to 6am, when locals gather to buy fresh produce wholesale. The Chau Doc floating market is less colourful and much calmer than other floating markets.
Cham community of Phu Hiep and Mubarak Mosque
Visit Phu Hiep, a community of the Cham people of Malay origin who are practicing Muslims then see local Cham Muslim children study the Koran in Arabic script, is on the river bank opposite Chau Doc. Phu Hiep has several mosques including the pretty-pastel “Mubarak” mosque, which was a gift from the Egyptian president.
Best Time to Visit Chau Doc
The best time to visit Chau Doc is during the dry season, a time when tourists will not be disturbed by rainy weather. The wet season is from May until November; the dry season is from December until April.
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Festivals, Events and Seasonal Reasons to Visit
The Festival of Lady Xu which is held from the 23rd to the 27th day of the fourth lunar month at Sam Mountain, some 3 miles (5 kilometers) outside Chau Doc is a lively, joyous occasion that provides travelers a chance to mingle with locals at their happiest and most relaxed. Festivities include various performances, including a number of dances, a procession, as well as a ritual wherein the statue is washed, dressed in new clothes, and the old clothes distributed amongst the crowd for good luck.
Our itineraries will give you suggestions for what is possible when you travel in Chau Doc, and they showcase routes we know work particularly well. Treat them as inspiration, because your trip will be created uniquely by one of our specialists.
RV AmaDara Cruise is the latest addition to the Ama Waterways fleet, and a rather gorgeous affair, with sleek lines and equally sleek, spacious cabins and suites, all with private balconies. From the moment you step on board the boutique cruise, you will be inspired in our signature world of all-inclusive luxury.
Le Cochinchine Cruise is a modern and tastefully designed river barge. Built in traditional style Le Cochinchine Cruise measures around 30 meters long from bow to stern and has two 420 HP engines , one in back up, making Le Cochinchine Cruise a very powerful and safe river vessel.
Mekong Eyes Cruise's boats combine regional boat-building traditions with modern comforts. Both boat types were built and artfully decorated by skilled craftsmen of the Mekong Delta. With our fleet of luxurious river cruisers, Mekong Eyes Explorer, Mekong Eyes Classic, Dragon Eyes I and II and our private boats Gecko Eyes, we offer the perfect holiday vessels to cruise the Mekong in style!
Received its fame by the legendary God King of ancient Cambodia, King Jayavarman VII, this Luxury Mekong Delta Cruise combines French colonial style with an aura of the Far East. Peacefully meandering along the Mekong, you will feel at once completely at home yet exhilarated by your journey along one of Asia’s most scenic rivers.<br>
Newly launched and limited to only sixty guests, the RV Mekong Adventurer Cruise sets the benchmark for luxury adventure cruising on the Mekong Delta River. The Mekong Adventurer is uniquely engineered and built to navigate these waters almost without restriction, taking you further than many comparable ships.
One of the state-of-the art brand new cruisers on the Mekong and operated by a French-Vietnamese joint venture, Mekong Prestige II Cruise is designed with fashionable combination between imposing elegance and regional Khmer accent. The luxury Mekong Delta cruise operates between HCMC and Siem Reap via Cai Be, Chau Doc, Phnom Penh.<br>