Chau Doc is one of the most beautiful places on the Mekong River. As a bustling little city, Chau Doc has a color scheme to match its ambience, with bright pastel hues of green, blue and purple adorning many of the newer shop fronts. Chau Doc is also the largest and closet town to the Vietnamese/Cambodian river border crossing.
One of the highlights of a visit to Chau Doc is a trip on one of the small paddle boats that gather 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. Enjoy this trip at dawn to witness a beautiful sunrise over the great Mekong River.
A second attraction, just outside Chau Doc, is Sam Mountain - more of a hillock in fact -- which offers an excellent view of the surrounding plains. 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.
Sightseeing in Chau Doc
Sam Mountain - The 230m-high mountain with beautiful landscapes and many historic remains. Sam Mountain is the highest mountain in the Mekong Delta and considered the main attraction in Chau Doc. Climbing the peak is, of course, the highlight of a visit to Sam Mountain. Sam Mountain offers a spectacular view over the surrounding. There is a military outpost on the summit, a legacy of the days when the Khmer Rouge utilized this cross-border. The outpost is still functional and the soldiers are quite used to tourists taking photos now; however, you should ask permission and perhaps ply the soldiers with cigarettes before taking photos of them or anything that could be considered militarily sensitive.
Ba Chua Xu Temple - Located at the foot of Sam Mountain – the main attractions in Chau Doc. The temple was established at the beginning of the 19th century in Vinh Te Hamlet, Chau Doc Town. At first the temple was made of bamboo. In 1962, it was roofed with double tiles. Then in 1972, it was rebuilt (except the 10m-long stone wall at the back, which was the old platform of the tower). The monument was completed in 1976. Ba Chua Xu Temple Festival is held on the last day of the 4th lunar month. Thousands of people come to the festival to attend the washing of the statue, to burn joss-sticks, to offer flowers, and to pray to Ba Chua Xu.
Tra Su Cajuput Forest - Located in Van Giao Commune, about 20km from Chau Doc Town and 10km from the Cambodia border. Belonging to the national specialized forest system in the western region of Southern Vietnam, Tra Su is an ideal destination for ecological and scientific research tours in the Mekong Delta, thanks to its wonderful diverse wildlife. Tra Su includes an 845ha special-purpose forest surrounded by a 645ha buffer zone. It is home for many colonies of water birds, bats and various others such as rare and endangered animals and reptile species. The flora is also equally abundant and splendid with over 140 specified floral varieties which represent the second largest number of plant species in the Mekong Delta region, only after the Xeo Quit Cajuput Forest in Dong Thap Province.
The best time to visit Tra Su Forest is at the high water season, from September to November. At this time of the year, the entire forest floats on a vast area, so a motor-boat is the only way to travel around. Indeed, rowing along the green mysterious canals is a particularly good idea, since the tourists are able to stop as they chose to pick wild berries or fruits or go for a bit of fishing in quiet contemplation.
Apart from the significance of preservation and economic value, the area also boasts many unique cultural features as it is the home of the Kh'mer and Kinh people who practice several traditional handicrafts, such as brocade weaving, silk weaving, cooking Thot Not (Borassus flabellifer) sugar, distilling cajuput essential oil, raising bees for honey, etc.
Tuc Dup Hill - At a height of over 300 meters on the 614 meter high Co To Mountain, Tuc Dup Hill in the southern An Giang Province is known as a legendary haven for fairies. The hill is also famous as a military base for Vietnamese soldiers in the war against the US forces. The US forces dropped thousands of tons of bombs on Tuc Dup but failed to destroy the military base there. Afterward, the American forces named it the ‘2 million dollar hill’ because that was the amount worth of bombs in that location. Now in peace time, Tuc Dup Hill and Co To Mountain are home to more than 30 households that grow fruit trees such as mango, jackfruit, pineapple and avocado. They also cultivate aquilegias trees for agar wood. The locals here sell goods to visitors such as footwear, headwear, food, drinks and candles. On the mountain there are natural forests, picturesque views, caverns, pagodas and temples.
Tay An Pagoda- An ancient pagoda in Chau Doc with a mixture of Vietnamese and Asian architectural styles. Lying on one side of Sam Mountain, under the lights looking like a monk dressed in yellow and heading towards the town with quiet and peaceful atmosphere, Tay An pagoda is really a beautiful sight. The pagoda was constructed in 1847 and has been renovated and repaired many times. In 1958, it was thoroughly upgraded to encompass a total area of 1,250 m2 with nearly 200 statues. Pilgrims visiting the Tay An Pagoda to pray and smoke from their incense creates a solemn atmosphere. The main temple has more than 100 statues each representing the power of Buddhism; the most prominent statue is a Buddha sitting on the Lotus Tower. It can be said that the solemnity and holiness of Tay An pagoda has become an invisible power, attracting a great number of monks and pilgrims. But the solemn and ancient style of architecture and peaceful space are what visitors will never forget.
Main street in Chau Doc
Both our Vietnam & Cambodia Adventure and Mekong Discovery to the scenic little town of Chau Doc. Chau Doc is home for many Khmer, Cham and Chinese and is only a few kilometers from the Cambodian border. Chau Doc is located on Bassac River. Since the opening of the borders in 2000 there has been a real boom. Many visitors who travel from Vietnam to Cambodia are passing the nice city. From here there are daily connections to Phnom Penh by speedboat (approx. 5hrs). See more information about Visa when you travel pass this border gate.