Between Phnom Penh and the Vietnamese border the Mekong River splits into two: the Mekong, and the Bassac (Hau) River. It is here in Chau Doc that the Hau River enters Vietnam and begins the final stage of its journey as part of the Mekong Delta system.
From the marshes of Tibet this mass of water has coursed its way through China, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos and Cambodia. The final stage through Vietnam will see it empty into the Gulf of Thailand and the East Sea.
The town itself is situated on the west bank of the Bassac River and its middle and/low mountain location can mean that it is a little cooler than many other areas of Vietnam at certain times of the year.
The local minority groups also add colour and variety to the area. This is most apparent in the traditional fabrics and clothes being worn as well as the local architecture which merges the Chinese, Khmer and Hindu influences that crossed these areas at different times in history.
You don’t have to travel far from Chau Doc to find places of interest whether of an architectural, geographic or historic nature.
River Life (half-day tour)
The Mekong Delta is a land of winding waterways, lush paddy fields and floating markets where life is governed by the ebb and flow of Vietnam’s most iconic river. Embark on a cruising journey along the intimate waterways to visit Chau Doc’s famous floating market, fish farms, peaceful Cham village, fascinating Vinh Te Canal and two famed temples that draw pilgrims from near and far in Nui Sam Mountain. Finish with lunch at the beautiful Nui Sam Lodge, with spectacular panoramic views of the countryside below.
Chau Doc Cycling Experience (half-day tour)
Escape modern life and discover the authentic Mekong Delta at its very best in the lush green paddy fields of Chau Doc. Cycle out along quiet dirt paths, through villages where life has changed little over the decades and past fields being worked by busy farmers and gentle water buffalo.
Vinh Te Canal (half-day tour)
Embark on a cruising journey to a peaceful Cham Village, before traveling along the fascinating Vinh Te Canal to the spiritual Sam Mountain for a visit of two famed temples that draw pilgrims from near and far. Finish with a cocktail at the beautiful Nui Sam Lodge, with spectacular sunset panoramic views of the countryside below.
Monasteries, Mountains and Bird Life (full-day tour)
Close to the Cambodian border, the Chau Doc countryside is a melting pot of many cultures, creeds and religions. Embark on a historic journey to learn fascinating stories of different cultures in the region. Visit a traditional Khmer village and monastery, venture into one of Vietnam’s most iconic war sites - the mountain bastion of Tuc Dup, meet a war veteran to learn about the dark years of the American war.
A trip will not be completed without a visit to the Tra Su Nature Reserve - a sanctuary for over 80 different species of birds. Take a small paddle-powered boat through the waterways before stopping for a riverside picnic. Finish with a climb to a breathtaking vantage point over the mangrove forests below.
Tra Su Nature Reserve (half-day tour)
Visit one of the fascinating sight in the region - Tra Su Sanctuary Forest where you will travel by sampan through endless waterways flanked by mangroves and lush greenery. This eco-reserve spans 850 hectares and is an ecological haven for fauna and flora, with more than 100 species of water birds as well as home to colonies of bats. On the way to the forest you will visit a small ethnic Khmer village, where you will learn about the importance of Buddhism in the community and have the opportunity to speak with monks at the local monastery.
Chau Doc Market Walking Tour (2 hours)
Discover the markets of Chau Doc on this 2-hour walking tour through the town’s winding backstreets. Set off on foot from the hotel, following the course of the river into the heart of town. At the covered market, hear the story of the region’s rich agriculture. Taste some of the local specialties and discover the local favourite - sweet palm nut juice.
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