- Location: 250 km north of Ho Chi Minh City (6 hours of bus ride)
Status: the heart of Mekong Delta
Population: around 120,000
Area: 100 square km
Religions: Mahayana Buddhism, Theravada Buddhism, Sunni Islam
Accommodations can be easily found near Sam Mountain, Chau Doc’s major attraction
About 245 kilometers north of Ho Chi Minh City, the town of Chau Doc is situated in the vicinity of An Giang province, in the center of Mekong Delta. Towards travelers, the town is best known as a Vietnam's border crossing with the neighbor country Cambodia. Currently, Chau Doc is trying its best to become a 'festival city', utilizing tourism as a leading economic sector.
Chau Doc’s long history is closely connected with extraordinary stories related to the Sam Mountain Lady (Ba Chua Xu Nui Sam) and remarkable events in guarding the country such as motivating residents to build Vinh Te canal. In addition, Chau Doc is the place where you can go further than usual into the culture of Cham and Khmer people living together in harmony. Mosque serving Cham community can also be found here at Chau Doc.
Coming to Chau Doc around May and June, you stand a chance of taking part in the annual Ba Chua Xu Festival organized at Ba Chua Xu Temple, Sam Mountain. Apparently, joining in festivals is one of the best ways to understand what Vietnam is made of. Also, Sam Mountain is the most renowned tourist attraction of Chau Doc. Therefore, the majority of hotels in the town are located on the road leading to the mountain. On the foot of Sam Mountain, Tay An Pagoda is a harmonious combination among different styles: Indian, Islamic, and Vietnamese.
At Chau Doc in the morning, take your time blending into the flow of locals, haggling in colorful markets with a rich diversity of goods from different origins can be purchased in relatively cheap prices. In the afternoon, a stroll along the Mekong riverside is worth a try.