Updated: Aug 13, 2020
Chau Doc is a small border town to access Cambodia where travelers only make a one-night stop. However, in our mind, this small town on the Mekong River deserves a weekend's stop!
Intrigued by the magnificent videos of the Tra Su forest, we wanted to see for ourselves what the Chau Doc region had to offer. We were not disappointed!
After a short 6-hour night on the bus, we finally arrive at our hotel: the Victoria Chau Doc. Sang, the receptionist, and our future tour guide, gives us a tour. Located in the city center, the hotel is an old colonial building along the Mekong River. The interior is refined, quiet, and spacious as are the rooms. Once the visit is over and our luggage dropped off, we enjoy the swimming pool, the terrace, and its superb view of the river. Boats and floating houses blend into the landscape as we drink our coffee. It is a real paradise!
The terrace of the Victoria Chau Doc Hotel
After having enjoyed the swimming pool all morning, we finally decide to discover this beautiful region. On the program: excursion in the rice fields by motorbike, climbing Mount Sam, and visit of the night market.
On our motorbikes we venture into the rice fields which are everywhere. On the left, on the right, we lose our mind because the region is so full of rice fields and irrigation canals. By dint of surveying this immense plain, we get lost and decide to call Sang to our rescue. Armed with his motorbike, Sang takes us back to the city and offers to be our guide for the rest of the day.
He then takes us to the top of Mount Sam. Mount Sam is a hill overtaking the whole Chau Doc region, it is a place of pilgrimage for the Vietnamese. Its ascent is a tough climb, so cafes and hammocks are all along the way. Arrived at the top, we go to Victoria Nui Sam, it is the best point of view to admire the region. The hotel offers an unforgettable view of the whole region: rice fields, the Mekong delta, and the mountainous border of Cambodia... It is breathtaking! It is one of the most beautiful views we have seen in South Vietnam.
The view from Victoria Nui Sam Hotel
After dark, Sang takes us to the night market. He makes us discover the specialties and we taste the durian... The experience was not the most pleasant... Sang takes the opportunity to show us the Ba Chua Xu Nui temple, it is one of the most important monuments of the province for its history, its architecture, and its legends. The place is magnificent. Everything is illuminated, we have the impression to be in a dream.
Illuminated Ba Chua Xu Nui temple
To end this beautiful day and because we are all starving, Sang takes us to eat Chau Doc's beef, one of the best in the country. At mealtime: hotpot, beef skewer with lemongrass, and sautéed noodle. A real delight! Tired, we all go back to the hotel with a full stomach.
The next day, we take advantage of our last day to visit the famous Tra Su forest. While waiting for the taxi to take us there, we enjoy our breakfast: croissants, pain au chocolat, bacon, eggs, toast, and fruits are on the menu. Once we are full, we need a little more than an hour's drive to finally arrive in the forest. It is a bird reserve where the longest bamboo bridge in the world has been built. We were a little disappointed by the place we expected better. The boat tour in the mangroves only lasts a few minutes. Otherwise, the landscape is beautiful, there are beautiful birds and at the very end of the forest, a big tower offers a 360° view of the whole area.
Tra Su forest
It is already time to leave! The taxi is taking us back to the hotel. We say goodbye to Sang and thank him for showing us his beautiful region. We are sad to leave, but happy to have been able to discover one of the most beautiful regions of Vietnam.