Chau Doc (Châu Đốc) is a city in the heart of the Mekong Delta, in Vietnam.
Chau Doc is best-known to/from travelers as a border crossing with Cambodia.
Walk: The main downtown area is an easy walk, from the riverside to the market to Chau Doc Square.
A stroll along the riverside will be well worth it. You will bump into many young people eager (but a bit shy) to engage you in conversation. It can be very rewarding after a morning spent haggling in the colourful markets.
- A traditional massage with suction cups is a great way to relax and unwind before returning to HCMC or taking one of the riverboats to Phnom Penh
Sam Mountain (6km from Chau Doc). Bike to Sam Mountain: Rent a bike from your hotel ($1-$2) and ride 6m to the base of Sam Mountain. It's an easy ride over flat paved and gravel road, just watch out for traffic. Walk on food from the base of the mountain, up the stairs to the top. Many viewpoints and cafe's with hammocks along the way to stop for a drink and a rest. Alternatively you can take a moto straight to the top of Sam Mountain, a great place to catch the sunset and see the views of Vietnam and into Cambodia.
Tra Su Bird Sanctuary (about 25km from Chau Doc). As of January 2015 most hotels and travel agents are charging around 34 USD for a two person trip to Tra Su (Includes moto drivers and boat fees). If you speak to any of the moto drivers around the covered market you should be able to hire one for around 150,000 - 200,000 dong per moto and can visit Sam Mountain or the Pagoda on the way back. Some of the drivers speak good English. Hiring a driver on your own will save about $8-$10 for a two person trip (depending on your negotiating skills). 75,000 dong per person for 1:30 hour visit (includes both speed and row boat ride).
A large, sprawling market dominates the centre of town, with a covered section in Bach Dang street. There are many ATM, mainly in center near the pagoda, and on Le Loi / riverside.
- Thanh Tinh, 13 Quang Trung (close to the indoor market). 6AM-9PM. A nice and clean local restaurant that serves vegan food. Friendly and English speaking staff. They can also prepare take-away meals (handy for the journey on the slow boat to Cambodia). Be aware, they charged 95,000 VND for a 'COM PHAN', almost three times expensive than usual price. (March, 2011) 25,000-40,000.
- Bay Bong, 22 Duong Thuong Dang Le (With the indoor market on your right hand side, continue until you can only go left or right. Go right there and you'll eventually see it on your left.), ☎ +84 76 867 271. Good food here with a very long menu. Locals eat here as well. The atmosphere isn't particularly romantic, but still. 25,000-55,000.
- Chau Giang Floating Restaurant, Trần Hưng Đạo street. You can get a cheap drink with a great view of the river at the Chau Giang Floating Restaurant, on the pier at the opposite end to the Victoria Hotel, near the Hang Chau ferry office.
- Hang Chau II Hotel, 10 Nguyen Van Thoai, ☎ +84 76 868891, +84 91 3970831, fax: +84 76 865 140, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Good budget option, within walking distance from the market and the river. It's a bit impersonal, with a lack of decorative touches throughout the building, but it also has a stately 1960's ambiance, and the rooms are big. Parking is available. It's a popular destination for tour groups, so check in early. Rooms with hot water and a/c cost about US$8.
- Thuan Loi Hotel, 18 Tran Hung Dao St.. Has the best location out of the budget hotels, right on the river, but it's also a tour-group stop. Rooms have hot water and a/c.
- Trung Nguyen, 86 Bach Dang. Great staff. Rooms are small but very clean, with hot water, a/c, and television, and cost about $16 (Jan 2015)..
- MOTEL Number 6 Thanh Mai, 6 Phan Van Vang St, ☎ +84 76 3867622. For a budget place, the atomosphere is clean and relaxing. Potetional for bus station pick-up and Mekong slow boat/bus trip to Phnom Penh available for US$10 (as of Dec. 2011) Rooms with hot water and a/c cost about US$9, rooms with hot water and strong fans are only $7.
- Vinh Phuoc Hotel, 12-14 Quang Trung, ☎ +84 76 866242, +84 76 562265, e-mail: email@example.com. A great budget deal, this place is run by an amiable Brit who is an excellent source of local travel information. Free wifi at reception US$ 6-20.
- Victoria Chau Doc Hotel, 32 Le Loi, ☎ +84 76 865010, fax: +84 76 865020. A luxury hotel where you'd least expect to find one, with no amenity left behind. Features 92 rooms, 4 suites, and total incongruity with its surroundings. Transfers to Phnom Penh via private speedboat are available. Rooms from $99-$155, river view suites from $144-$220.
Get a prepaid SIM card from Mobifone (centre, near pagoda) or Vinaphone (Le Loi, riverside): about 65,000 dong and monthly Internet package ~120,000 dong.
Have a problem with your phone, buy a new SIM card or recharge account balance, visit The Anh Mobile Service 31 Le Loi (near Chau Doc Church, church three-way crossroads).
Bus station is near the entrance of city about 4 km from centre and ~15,000 dong moto taxi ride.
- Can Tho is a popular next stop for travelers on a tour of the Mekong Delta.
- Ha Tien 60,000 dong, 3.5 hr, 09:00 departure on the way to Phu Quoc
- Ho Chi Minh City. Phuong Trang bus company (phone +84 76 356 5888) make the connection for 125,000 dong 6 times a day between 08:45 to 00:15.
- Phnom Penh is another popular destination. Many travelers stay for one night in Chau Doc and go the next day to Cambodia. Several boats are available, from slow boats to fast boats. A journey on a slow boat can take up to 10 hr to Phnom Pehn, and the quality of the boats is not always the best (extremely noisy engine, heavy vibration, a lot of sun and no toilet can make a 10 hr trip really long). You can get a visa-on-arrival at the border, it costs US$20 or 400,000 dong (Feb 2010). Most likely, some of the tour operators will tell you, that they have to get the visa for you and that it is now more expensive and other lies (such as the border crossing closes soon and they will get there faster with your passport using a motorbike, etc.) but this is not true and you can ignore them. Try not to take to many dong with you, because the exchange rate you get is not very fair. There is no ATM, so bring enough dollars with you. At the border, there is a small restaurant, but it is comparably expensive. You can get take-away meals and a bottle of water from restaurants in Chau Doc if you plan ahead.