There is an abundance of beautiful viewpoints and temples here, so hiring a scooter and just exploring for a few days is a great idea.
The town itself was busy with flower markets, street-stalls and fantastic noodle restaurants. From here, we took local boats to visit some of the floating villages. These certainly aren’t set up for tourists in the way that other parts of the Mekong are.
Our group was actually delivering water filtration units to some of these communities as part of a project. Thus, my trip was likely much different to what yours will be as a typical tourist, however, there are tourist offerings of river tours to other areas of the villages, such as the floating fish farms and some market and cafe spaces. Boats with colourful-fruits, flowers and fresh-fish dart towards towns and settlements, and it very much felt the least changed by tourism place I visited in the country.
Continuing on the Mekong Delta
As I mentioned above, the natural route from Chau Doc is to continue onwards towards Ho Chi Minh city. As I was on a guided tour, this was all taken care of for me, but getting buses to the mega-city is easy enough as an independent traveller with the journey taking about 6-7 hours.
We broke up our trip by heading to the more touristed part of the Mekong. Nearby to the city of My Tho, there are plenty of different options to take boat tours, in the traditional boats, to the likes of Turtle Island and traditional market places – sampling local drinks, food, and the coconut candies. It’s all quite colourful and pleasant enough, but it has a much less authentic feeling to Chau Doc and is obviously more geared for tourists. The brownish river waters canopied by overhanging greenery by Cồn Phụng is the postcard typical image of the Mekong Delta, so be sure to have your camera at the ready.
From there, prepare for the peaceful river vibes to leave you as you enter the busy roads and world of Ho Chi Minh City. Enjoy your trip to Chau Doc, and don’t forget to get your visa in advance if travelling from Cambodia to Vietnam, you don’t want to get caught up in a costly and timely situation before reaching the beauty of Chau Doc!
*As always, all information is correct at the time of writing, but double-check before travelling regarding entry points and visas given the current 2020 situation.