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Chau Doc is a Vietnamese river city close to the Cambodia border. There are a number of floating houses (the floats are empty metal drums) which provide a convenient way for families to raise fish underneath. What makes Chau Doc interesting is its mix of communities, Khmer, Cham, and Chinese. The Cham are mostly Muslim, and leave in isolated communities across the river, complete with mosques. It's an incredibly friendly and bustling little city.

Chau Doc is a Vietnamese river city close to the Cambodia border. There are a number of floating houses (the floats are empty metal drums) which provide a convenient way for families to raise fish underneath. What makes Chau Doc interesting is its mix of communities, Khmer, Cham, and Chinese. The Cham are mostly Muslim, and leave in isolated communities across the river, complete with mosques. It’s an incredibly friendly and bustling little city.

Chau Doc has a color scheme to match its ambience, with bright pastel hues of green, blue and purple adorning many of the newer shop-fronts. If you’re arriving here from Cambodia, be prepared for the shock of techni-color paradise. Chau Doc locals are known for being very warm and approachable – even the motorbike drivers are friendly. English is spoken in most of the foreigner-targeted guesthouses and hotels, and most restaurants have an English menu. I think it’s a place to stay no more than 2 days (one night): one to have a visit of Chau Doc by boat and another to pass the boarder. To find a boat is very-very easy, just walk in the main street.

For a few dollars an hour they’ll paddle you around the many floating raft houses and fish farms. They’re modified house-boats – a trap-door in the floor provides access to nets under the boat where the fish are grown. A little further takes you to the other bank and a Cham community. Once you’ve tip-toed across the stepping stones to avoid the mud, you walk through the stilt house village to the mosque – doing it at dawn can be very photogenic and rewarding. Chau Doc is the closest large town to the Vietnamese/Cambodian river border crossing with the charm of every border villages. If you’re heading to or from Phnom Penh by boat, you’ll pass through Chau Doc, the trip from around 9.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. is amazing pay attention to choose the right boat otherwise you will arrive to Phnom Penh too late to enjoy the city and get the best place to sleep. The Visa at the borders costs around $20.

written by -a-l-b-e-r-t-o-

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