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.
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
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.), ☎ (076) 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.
- Hang Chau II Hotel, 10 Nguyen Van Thoai, ☎ 76.868891, 91.3970831 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: 76.865.140). 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 $10..
- Vinh Phuoc Hotel, 12-14 Quang Trung, ☎ 866242, 562265 (email@example.com), . A great budget deal, this place is run by an amiable Brit who is an excellent source of local travel information. Free wifi at reception US$ 6-20.
- Victoria Chau Doc Hotel, 32 Le Loi, ☎ 76.865010 (fax: 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-$220.
Get a prepaid sim card from mobifone (center, near pagoda) or vinaphone (Le Loi, riverside): about 65k VND and monthly internet package ~120k VND.
Bus station is near the entrance of city about 4km far from center and ~15,000 Dong moto taxi ride.
- Ha Tien 60,000 Dong, 3h30, 9am departure on the way to Phu Quoc
- Can Tho is a popular next stop for travelers on a tour of the Mekong Delta.
- Phnom Penh is another popular destination. Many travelers stay for one night in Chau Doc and go the next day to Cambodia. Several boats are available, from slow boats to fast boats. A journey on a slow boat can take up to 10h to Phnom Pehn, and the quality of the boats is not always the best (extremely noisy engine, heavy vibrations, a lot of sun and no toilet can make a 10h trip really long). You can get a Visa-on-arrival at the border, it costs 20$ or 400000d (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 dongs 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.