Situated on the banks of the Hau Giang river, Chau Doc is one of the most beautiful place of the Mekong Delta. It is known as an incredibly friendly and bustling little city. It consists of modest houses on stilts and a busy shopping centre of lively narrow streets and has a colorful scheme to match its ambience, with bright pastel hues of green, blue and purple adorning many of the newer shopfronts. People coming here will not avoid shocking into technicolour paradise. The town is also a good example of Vietnam’s cultural and religious diversity and offers unforgettable photo opportunities of life in the Mekong Delta.
The site of Chau Đoc was long in history a territory of the Kingdom of Funan. The territory became Vietnam’s about 300 years ago. It became part of Vietnam in the middle of the 18th century as a gift, a reward for helping the Cambodian monarch to put down an insurrection. The town is near the picturesque mount of Sam where the Sam Mountain Lady is worshipped. The Sam Mount Lady Ceremony is held every April of lunar calendar (May) every year.
There’s a large market selling local products and commodities, deep in which the Quan Cong (a Chinese character) Temple is worth visiting, It’s a flamboyant Taoist structure with good murals and effigies dominated by a ruddy-faced Quan Cong. Chau Doc Boat Trip is one of the must-have activities when coming here. A short boat trip across Bassac takes visitors to several floating fish farms and village, and then a Cham community where visitors have chance to walk through the stilt house village to the mosque.
Mountain Sam is a main attraction of Chau Doc. It’s a ‘holy’ mountain, full of caves, shrines and temples. The most significant in religious terms is the Ba Chua Xu, dedicated to the ‘Lady of the Region’ whose festival is held in the spring. It attracts huge numbers of devotees and swarms of vendors hoping to make a killing. Another destination, Tay An Pagoda, an architecture is sometimes as Hindu or Muslim, is a bit fanciful. Farther long, the Cave Pagoda, is for ones who have no interest in Pagoda.
Ba Chuc is situated between Chau Doc and Long Xuyen where there is a temple and ossuary dedicated to over 3,000 Vietnamese that the Khmer Rouge massacred in September 1978. It is very moving and worth visiting.
Mam is one of the most popular dishes in the Mekong delta. But it is in Chau Doc where mam is shown its plenty as an original kind of food. Chau Doc is famous for its variety of fish sauces and mainly "Mam Thai", a kind of anchovy. “Mam thai” rolled in girdle cake comes with herbs and white rice vermicelli. Besides, there are many dishes cooked with fish sauce: pork cooked with fish sauce for a long time, fish sauce hot pot – the speciality of Chau Doc people. Chau Doc mam becomes a special product of An Giang province. By visiting Chau Doc market, a tourist can easily see more than 30 kinds of mam. Some kinds can be instant after adding some raw materials such as shrimp paste, ba khia (small sea crab) mam, “mam tom” (another kind of shrimp paste), “mam tep” (tiny shrimp paste), “mam cong” (fresh water small crab). Some must be processed through many stages such as “mam sat”, “catfish mam”, “mam loc” (blackfish sauce), “mam ca chot”, “mam chuot,” mam ca com” (anchovy).