A quick stroll around town
Published/Last edited or updated: 8th September, 2018
This short walking tour will take one or two hours at a relaxed pace, and it takes in some of the minor points of interest that make Chau Doc interesting.
Start at the Buddhist temple in the centre of town, flanked by Phan Van Vang to the north and with food stalls to the left and right. In the evening the temple is floodlit making for a good photo opportunity (the surrounding food stalls are also worth returning to once you have worked up an appetite).
From the temple, walk towards the river on Bach Dang Street and after a block you’ll see the imposing facade of Cho Chau Doc. Chau Doc is famous for its fish sauce and be sure to take a look at the piles of fish along the southern flank of the market—the vendors are not shy and are used to being photographed, but as always, please do ask before taking a photo.
From here, duck into the market and slowly meander your way towards the river. The market in total spans three blocks, the main building two, then a secondary building one (which you have to cross the road to reach), finishing out at the wet market by the river. This final section is best in the early morning (so perhaps revisit before getting your boat) when it is just jammed with fresh seafood—very much still alive and kicking. Once you reach the actual river, backtrack to the road and head south.
The market will fade back opening eventually to 30 Thang 4 Park on your left and Nguyen Huu Canh temple on your right. Head into the temple. Built in honour of Nguyen Huu Canh (who is seen as the founder on Ho Chi Minh City) the temple was built in 1926—the wooden pillars holding the roof up apparently came from Laos...some things never change.
Leave the temple and continue southish along the river. You’ll have the post office to your left and opposite on the riverbank is a lazy chair cafe. Plonk yourself down for a coffee (they do have cold beer should that be more to your liking). From here continue south along the riverbank. If you’re nearing sunset there could be aerobics or judo classes going on. The park tapers off and you’ll hit the Victoria Chau Doc Hotel. Depending on the time you could pop in for a sundowner at their bar, but if it is still early afternoon, we’d say push on.
Another couple of hundred metres and you’ll see the ferry terminal on your left. Pay the 1,000 dong fare for a foot passenger and get the ferry across to the Cham Village. Once on the other side, take a right (east) and it is about 700 metres to Jamiul Azhar Mosque. While the mosque and its accompanying cemetery is worth a look, the real attraction are the beautiful wooden houses along the way. If you don’t want to walk this far, turn left instead of right to reach Mubbarak Mosque.
Either way, return for the ferry back, then take a right and just about opposite the Victoria Chau Doc is Mekong Restaurant—try the claypot fish accompanied by some cold drinks and head back to your hotel.
Stuart McDonald co-founded Travelfish.org with Samantha Brown in 2004. He has lived in Thailand, Cambodia and Indonesia, where he worked as an under-paid, under-skilled language teacher, an embassy staffer, a newspaper web-site developer, freelancing and various other stuff. His favourite read is The Art of Travel by Alain de Botton.
These tours are provided by Travelfish partner GetYourGuide.