Chau Doc Floating Village, Fish Farm & Cham Minority Village

Chau Doc in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam is an important border town to Cambodia. A daily speedboat connection on the Mekong to Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia, is a main part infrastructure and conducive to trade. Its diverse population is also typical of the town. Khmer, Khmer-Cambodia, Cham and Vietnamese live harmoniously here and bring different cultural aspects in their daily life. The various religions like Hinduism, Buddhism, cross and crescent also lead a peaceful coexistence here.

By Thomas Vietnam at | Nov 19, 2020 | An Giang Travel Guide

A young fisherman on Bassac river

1. Amazing Drone 4K Video of Chau Doc Floating Village

2. Google Maps & How to Visit Chau Doc Floating Village By Yourself

Located to the west of Chau Doc city center, about 3 kilometers of riverway in the direction of upstream Mekong River in An Phu district, Chau Doc floating village is a freshwater fish farming village formed in the 60s of the last century. Since it is a tourist spot on the river, it is necessary to take a boat. Therefore, if you want to go to Chau Doc floating village, you must go to Chau Doc junction (about 500 meters from Chau Doc Victoria hotel) or Chau Giang wharf located across Chau Doc town to rent a boat. Boat rentals will have different price levels, depending on the visiting spots and the size of your group. Generally, you can be assured that the price is relatively reasonable. Top tip:  Ask the hotel to help you out! If you hire a scooter or bicycle to get around, remember to reach Con Tien bridge which is a fantastic free spot to see the floating village from above.

3. What to Do & See at Chau Doc Floating Village

The simplest and best way to unlock the floating village is by taking a boat and going out to the Bassac river, a tributary of the Mekong River. You may love and smile with many locals who are taking a-rowing-sampan ferry from floating village to riversider market, teenagers and families on their own small long-tail boat for school! What a beautiful and carefree life! You can easily catch many photos of fisherman and river activities when you are cruising and exploring this hidden gem of Chau Doc. You will enter one of the floating houses through a porch. The locals will welcome you with the hospitality. They will open a flap in the ground and throw fish food from the bag standing next to it into the water under the house. Immediately a chaotic hustle and bustle start when the fish jump after the food. All the houses have nets underneath to breed fish, most of it Pangasius and Tilapia. Vietnam exports more than 1,42 million tons in 2018. The largest part is artificially bred here under the houses. It now contributes more to the yield than the naturally captured fish. Top tip: Interact with the locals to understand the process of raising fish in the river, join hands with them to feed the fish!

Floating village seeing from Con Tien bridge
Chau Doc local river life

4. Incredible Tips for Photography and Discovery

We believe that photos can tell more than a thousand words! To have amazing shots, you firstly take an early boat trip, that is the school and market-go time and life time! Absolutely, the fisherman and fishing net and row sampan ferry is much busier in the morning as well. Feeding time for fish is also in the morning. But the afternoon is great for golden hour and Mekong River reflection. Top tip: Better to do so at the dawn, because you will have beautiful powerful Mekong sunrise photos on the way to Chau Doc Floating Market before the floating village.

Chau Doc river life
Chau Doc river life

5. How Many Ways to Visit Cham Minority Village?

You can visit Cham village (Chau Giang and Chau Phong, the two famous Cham Muslim villages) by boat or by car, taking a boat is a priority choice. Just after the floating village, the boatman drives a little further and enters a village of the Cham via an adventurous wooden bridge. Many of the Cham people settled here. Their houses stand on high stilts, where you can see the high-water marks. Today, the Cham are Muslims and mainly earn their living by weaving and textile trade. You can see one of these looms in the very local factory. Top tip: Their products may be meaningful souvenirs for your trip. Don’t forget a visit to their mosques if you have time.

Way to Cham village from the river
Cham minority in Chau Doc

6. Best of Best idea with Chau Doc Floating Market Tour

Depend on how much time you have. If you did not make your trip to Can Tho floating market (Cai Rang one), after arriving from Cambodia, the from Chau Doc to Saigon. If so, Chau Doc floating market should be added to your wishlist. Yes, do all of this in one trip at the dawn! Make sure you get up and depart the boat for the floating market at 5-5:30am, before the sunrise is fine! Top tip: Staying in a walking distance hotel in Chau Doc town, riverside hotels which are so convenient get on and off the boat as well.

Cham people in Chau Doc

7. Chau Doc Floating Restaurant, Riverside Pubs

Chau Doc town is pretty small and about 20 minutes walking to explore the riverside where you may be interested in some floating restaurants from Sunrise, Victoria, Con Tien, Be Noi floating restaurant…Top tip: Take your own insect repellent if you want to have food or drink at the local riverside. We recommend you having food near or in your hotel. Set up the alarm or hotel morning call for your early trip if needed.

A typical floating house in Chau Doc

8. Chau Doc Riverside hotels facing the Floating Village

Yes! There are some good hotels in Chau Doc town and some riverside ones. Top tip: Chau Doc Victoria Riverside colonial style hotel gives a sweet sleep.

Chau Doc riverside park & the basa fish sculpture

9. You will See the Same Floating Village with the Speed Boat uptream to Phnompenh Cambodia

Yes! But the speedboat is a speed viewing tour though. Nothing to compare with the tourist boat and many stops as well! Top tip: Take a window seat or find somewhere at the back for more opening spaces and views (too fast for photos), but it is near the engine noise.

Chau Doc floating fish farm

10. Chau Doc Floating Village and its Challenges Now and Then

Chau Doc floating village was established in the 1960s and where to raise fresh fish. At the beginning, there were a few floating areas for raising fish. From the 1970s until 2005, the number of floating farms had grown more and more increasingly and been the fundamental point in An Giang’s economy. The most remarkable time of the village was from 1990 to 2005; the yield of fish was about 20,000 tons per year by that time. Nevertheless, the climate change, the hydro power plants, the high-tide flooding and water pollution on the Mekong River has badly affected the river life and the raising of fish in the village and the yield has been very unstable. That’s why the village is no longer full of floating farms. Top tip: Visit and find your own reasons to admire the optimistic life and their love for the magic mighty river. 

Cham people in Chau Doc, An Giang
Cham people in Chau Doc, An Giang

11. Pro tips:

Bring your hat, sunglasses, and sunblock.

If you plan to spend dinner in the local zone, bring mosquito repellent cream.

When visiting the Chau Doc floating village and floating market or doing any customized tours, choose reputable providers and boats equipped with lifebuoys and jackets. Safety is a priority!

Chau Doc is magnificent itself, but if you have enough time, don’t forget to put other places onto your bucket lists such as Chau Doc biking tours, rice fields, flooding fields, sugar palm fields, small ethnic groups villages, Xu lady temple, trekking the Sam mountain…

Bring the raincoat if you travel to Chau Doc in the rainy season, as Chau Doc always looks fantastic in the full rain and full sun.

Hopefully, the above tips will help you to come up with a great plan for your adventure in Chau Doc, An Giang province. Have a safe trip!

“Sleep less, travel more, respect more” – Thomas Vietnam and Thank you!!

Tra Su Forest Travel Guide from Can Tho, Chau Doc, Ha Tien

Endowed with not only natural beauty but one of the area’s most peaceful spots which belongs to the national specialized forest system in Southern Vietnam. In the Mekong Delta, it is an ideal destination for ecological and scientific researchers, nature lovers and those who love wild animals thanks to its wonderful diverse wildlife.

By Thomas Vietnam at | Nov 15, 2020 | An Giang Travel Guide

1. Best months to Visit Tra Su Forest

It is a great time between September and November during the annual flood season in the Hau River, a tributary of the Mekong (Cuu Long) River to visit the Tra Su cajuput forest which is 845ha submerged forest. When water covers the whole area of the forest, this gives this destination such unforgettable landscapes.  For other times of the year, especially during the dry season, visitors can only access a few sites of the forest and there are strict rules for fire prevention… Since 1999 the forest has attracted tourists. However, it wasn’t until 2005 tourism activities officially took place. Every year, the forest welcomes thousands of visitors. Top tip:  The first week of November is top-notch.

Tra Su forest during flood season

2. Is Tra Su Forest on the way to Ha Tien, Chau Doc, Combodia?

Tra Su Protected and conserved Melaleuca Forest is located in Van Giao Commune, Tinh Bien District, An Giang Province, about over 20km from Chau Doc Town (around 45’) and 10km from the Cambodia border, 124km from Can Tho City. To get to Tra Su Cajuput Forest, first go to Chau Doc Town and then turn left about 17km to Nha Bang Town in Tinh Bien District. From there it is only 4km to Cam Mountain, which is right next to the Tra Su Cajuput Forest. Top tip: Most tourists stay overnight in Chau Doc for the following morning on a speed boat to upstream to Phnompenh Cambodia, or they can do the Tra Su forest tour from Can Tho in one day.

Enjoy a rowing sampan
Ticket counter and the main entrance

3. Tra Su Travel Blog and Helpful Tips

The best way to experience the key sites of the forest is by using a motor-boat and a sampan (dinghy) as they weave through the forest. It permits a leisurely trip of all the significant sites throughout the ecological forest where have many lotuses, water lilies and water hyacinths…and woo to listen to the magical music as performed by the birds (cormorant, stork, bittern…) of the forest and other jungle insects. Furthermore, passengers also see the stunning duckweed (water lettuce) that blankets the water’s surface which looks like an enormous emerald-green. Sometimes, the rowing sampan pauses the boat and shows tourists some huge honey bee hives that rest on the branch of the tree. After a short walk in the middle of the forest there is a 23m bird-watching tower equipped with a telescope. From the tower, visitors see a vast green spread of cajeput trees, birds perched on trees and Sam mountain as well. Top tip: Make sure you visit the forest at the right time, rowing sampan service and lunch are optional and feel free to unuse. Prepare small changes for the telescope if needed.

November is the best month for Tra Su

4. Hotels in Tra Su Forest

There are some local motels, guest houses in front of the entrance of Tra Su forest. You absolutely enjoy staying with locals, they are so sweet and hospitality, I mean the locals there are still not really about tourism yet! I love visiting the border agricultural market with them, i love the tasty fresh food as well which is from the garden, river and nature and local. Top tip: Not a fancy hotel in Tra Su forest yet. Just local guest houses. Bring your own insect repellent and cash.

Tra Su sampan ride

5. Worth Birdwatching in Tra Su Forest?

Birdwatching or birding in Mekong Delta, Tra Su forest is the most beautiful place for birding in the early morning and afternoon, in the dry and the wet season. Scientists estimate that it is home to over 70 species of birds, including 2 very rare species of Giang sen (Mycteria leucocephala) and the Dieng Dieng (Anhinga Melanogaster) and the most endemic species of any country in southeast Asia. Top tip: Contact for a perfect birdwatching tour.

Rainy season is the time for birding

6. Conquer the Longest Bamboo Bridge in Tra Su Forest

At the beginning of 2020, Tra Su forest officially offers the longest walking bamboo bridge in the forest in Vietnam which is about 45 minutes to an hour of one-way walking in the middle of nature. The bridge and the forest bring a super cool and beautiful experience to any visitors from 2020 with the ticket of VND 200.000pp (Entrance ticket: VND 100.000pp; Boat: VND 50.000pp; Rowing sampan: VND 50.000pp). Top tip: The one-way bridge, no exit. Take a poncho or umbrella in case of rain. The bridge is not for wheelchair or stroller.

7. Tra Su Forest Tour from Can Tho or Chau Doc or Ha Tien

If you have a limited time for Mekong holiday, no time for Chau Doc overnight tour. From Can Tho, you absolutely can take a day-trip-tour to Tra Su forest. Please, aware that the 128km one-way drive may give you a consideration (about 3-3,5 hours). But if you have one full day to do and see in Mekong. Tra Su forest is a worth visiting place. Top tip: Saving time and Chau Doc hotel to do a day-round-trip from Can Tho is a great plan. Contact for more tour details and fantastic activities.

8. Is it safe to visit it during the wet season?

Totally fine! The forest opens all year round! There are even more elements to see during the wet time! As a real traveller, we believe that you will love nature in any time of the year. Top tip: Bring your camera and tele lens for some shots of local life during the flooding season.

Explore deeply the nature

9. The Solo Travel Guide to Tra Su Forest

Visiting Tra Su forest by yourself is very okie. Budget travellers and adventure tourists can reach and visit the forest by motorbike as well. If you can, we do recommend doing so, because Chau Doc motorbike tours or Can Tho motorbike tours are very chill and off the beaten paths and can stop any time you want. You will enjoy much more than others ways so much. Making it in the dry season will help more. If you have no guided tour, you are fine to explore Tra Su forest, get the ticket for entrance and follow the staff’s advice. Sometimes it takes more time to work out how to spend time each spot. We may share your our agenda like (1) buy the ticket at the main station, cross the entrance bridge and keep exploring the walking bamboo bridge, about 45 minutes to an hours, (2) arrive in the middle of the forest, up to the watching tower and take a rest there with panorama mountain and forest views, the local restaurant is next to the observation tower, (3) you may order food or drink there, lunch there, chill, restroom…(4) Experience the rowing sampan which give you a closer feeling of the nature, (5) take the boat trip back to the main station or take bamboo walking bridge again and enjoy more birding. Top tip: Have “english speaking” staff at every spot! Ask and smile and Thank You will help! The wifi and internet in the forest is not stable to use translation apps. Take some water if you want to walk all the time!

Beautiful main station at Tra Su

10. The Cheapest Way to Visit Tra Su Forest from Chau Doc, Can Tho, Ha Tien

From Chau Doc. You can hire a bicycle or motorbike and get to the forest by yourself. With this way, you only pay for the Chau Doc bike rental and gas and forest entrance ticket. Or hire a car and driver to the forest for a half day trip. Or book a guided tour from Chau Doc town.

From Can Tho. You can hire a bicycle or motorbike and get to the forest by yourself. But it is 128km away. It is better to hire a car to visit the forest, this option is much cheaper than the guided tour from Can Tho, because of the long drive and full guided services.

From Ha Tien. If you plan to get to Can Tho from Ha Tien, then Tra Su is a must stop-over for you. Instead of hiring a private transfer, you should combine the Tra Su forest from Ha Tien to Can Tho City or the other way round.

Top tip: You should update and chat with free local advice at to maximize your travel plan cheaper, better and smarter.

Fly a drone in Tra Su forest

11. What to see along the way to Tra Su Forest?

Depending on what means of transportation you have! You book a tour, then follow it. But if you hire your own car, motorbike. You may see something more.

From Can Tho to Tra Su forest, there are so many hidden gems to unlock. Binh Thuy ancient house, Bang Lang stork garden, Long Xuyen floating market, crocodile farm, Chau Doc fish farm, Cham ethnic village, hidden Khmer pagoda, Khmer villages, sugar palm farms and your time!

From Chau Doc to Tra Su forest, you can explore rice fields, dykes, Khmer minority and pagodas, local life, cave pagoda, Xu lady temple…

Top tip: The more you stop the more you love. Make sure you have time as well!

Van Giao traditional brocade weaving village

12. What to Eat, Drink and Shop in Tra Su Forest

You will pass by many sugar-palm farms where the local and Khmer ethnic groups are. You can have a glass of sugar palm and interact with the locals too. The taste of sugar palm is like young and sweetie coconut flesh. On the way to the hidden Khmer pagoda, you will see Van Giao traditional brocade weaving village where you can take time to explore and shop and support the small ethnic. Basa fish, cat fish, Mekong River specialties, rice rats (taste like… rabbit?), snakehead fish, frog, sesbania sesban flower – bong dien dien, water lily, river morning glory…are some “wild” foods you may give a try at the local restaurant in Tra Su forest and nature. Top tip: We love fish and veggie and quite like fried frog legs. There is no power for a fan because of fire prevention rules, so you may find yourself a reason to love the natural winds while eating there.

Local restaurant in the middle of Tra Su forest

13. What Should you Wear to the Tra Su Forest?

As a local expert and traveller. We may repeat your thoughts. Firstly, you should take long pants and use some repellents please, especially on the rainy days. Secondly, hats and shoes are a priority. If you plan to visit any pagoda, please wear some things to cover your knees and shoulders. Top tip: Black color is “yummy” for mosquitos, and warm colors such as red, yellow, and orange may scare the wildlife.

Sam moutain from Tra Su watching tower

14. Responsible Travel and Tour to Tra Su Forest

We are glad to see a lot of you and Vietnamese tourists paying a visit to this forest instead of the theme park or malls. Tra Su forest, itself means a lot for responsible behavior and nature values. As a local expert, we would take a friendly-reminding of you that “leave nothing but footprints, take nothing but pictures, kill nothing but time”. Top tip: One of the first local travel companies in Mekong thinking, acting and running responsible travel is (very exclusive Mekong), feel free to support and book eco, responsible tours with them.

15. Incredible Tips for Photography, Specialists, KOLs, Media and Influencers

To get the best of the best for your unique writing and featuring. We do recommend you to have an expert the one who always gets more ground information and makes sure every single requestments is solved perfectly. Vemekong (very exclusive mekong) team is your priority choice. Email and have a private talk with them to customize your journey smoothly, personal and the most ultimately amazing.

What a great heaven Tra Su forest in Mekong Delta

Pro tips:

Bring your hat, sunglasses, and sunblock.

If you plan to spend a night in local guest houses, bring mosquito repellent cream.

When visiting the Tra Su forest or doing any customized tours, choose reputable providers and boats equipped with lifebuoys and jackets. Safety is a priority!

Tra Su is magnificent itself, but if you have enough time, don’t forget to put other places onto your bucket lists such as rice fields, flooding fields, sugar palm fields, small ethnic groups villages…

Bring the raincoat if you travel to Tra Su in the rainy season, as Tra Su always looks fantastic in the full rain and full sun.

Hopefully, the above tips will help you to come up with a great plan for your adventure in Tra Su, An Giang province. Have a safe trip!

“Sleep less, travel more, respect more” – Thomas Vietnam and Thank you!!

Guide to Cai Rang & Phong Dien Floating Markets

In this article, you can find out insight details about floating markets: How to get, when to go, what to see & eat at the Cai Rang & Phong Dien floating markets in Can Tho. To get the spirit of Can Tho, floating market is a must-see because it shows you what river culture is, how local people can adapt to the geography and how they can maintain this kind of very traditional market until now. It is a process. It is not random.

By Thomas Vietnam at | Updated: Oct 05, 2020 | Can Tho Travel Guide

Enjoy Can Tho sunrise on the way to floating market

Why Floating Market Occurs?

There were no cars, trucks some decades ago, so waterways were the main transfer in southern Vietnam. Because Can Tho is the biggest city there, Cai Rang and Phong Dien floating markets are well known besides many beautiful tropical orchards and traditional villages. Although modern life is invading, the floating market still is the soul of the city with “country side environment”.

Can Tho sampan tour

When to Go?

Cai Rang floating market.

The largest floating marketing in Can Tho, and one of the most popular in the world, the Cai Rang floating market is an exciting, colorful hub of many wholesalers. It is crowded and noisy (with many tourist boats), but still fascinating. The market, about 6 km (3,7 miles) or 30 minutes by boat from Ninh Kieu Wharf, starts trading at around 4 am, in the dark, and is usually finished by 10 am. It really is worth making a super early start to watch dawn break over the market from 5am to 6am.

Cai Rang floating market view from drone

It is a market for agricultural goods, especially fruits. There are a hundred and one kinds of tropical fruit such as mangoes, mangosteens, rambutans, dragon fruits, longans and the like. You will still somehow find strangely comfortable moments while immersing in the rustic lifestyle of the Vietnamese and breathing in the cool breeze of the great river. A drink seller will also approach you via boat. You can enjoy a fresh coconut, Vietnamese coffee and even try local bun rieu – noodle soup…from the floating boats. A bridge nearby offers great views, but nothing compares to exploring the market by boat. However, only Cai Rang floating market is not enough to know well about the floating culture of locals.

Super chill local life and its PR
Phong Dien floating market.

About 20 km (12,4 miles) or two hours by boat from Ninh Kieu Wharf, Phong Dien retail floating market is one of the most lively and colorful markets and, as an added bonus, less popular with tourists who usually visit the Cai Rang floating market that’s closer to Can Tho.

Must see Phong Dien floating market at dawn

This market is an unskippable destination for those who want to find out highlights of Can Tho, it is best viewed well before 8 am – preferably before dawn. There are just about 20 small nice sampans (traditional farmer’s boat used to use in small villages and small canals) boats every day. Phong Dien market possesses an endearing simplicity because it is known for the sale and exchange of local goods with the native only! There are not many local merchants coming to the floating market in rainy or low-tide days.

Drone at Phong Dien floating market

How to Get to Floating Markets?

From Ho Chi Minh City.

Go by yourselves: it is the best way to manage time, save money and challenge yourself. Take a sleeping Futa bus (110,000 VND per person) to go to Can Tho (about 5 hours one way – 3,5 hours on the bus, and the waiting time for departure, reststop, pick up, drop off…). When you arrive at the Can Tho bus station, it is about 15 minutes or 6 km to reach to Ninh Kieu Wharf by taxi (a taxi costs around 80,000 VND. Mai Linh taxi (+842923656565). Khanh Cuong taxi (+842923868686) if you have time! You can wait and then take the free Futa transfer service to Ninh Kieu Wharf and let’s tour! Rent a sampan by yourself (about 250.000vnd [~11$] for 2 or 3 people) or rent a boat (about 660.000vnd [~30$] for 7 people) with roof and life jackets, no tour guide. Other way is to book a package Can Tho Tour From Ho Chi Minh 1 Day (HCM-Can Tho-HCM), pick-up at 04:00 AM at your hotel from Ho Chi Minh city center; 119$ per person).

Can Tho house on stilts
From Can Tho city.

We personally think you will take the Futa bus to Can Tho, then stay overnight at Best Extended Stay Can Tho Hotels, the next early morning tour will be super & wonderful to enjoy the breathtaking views of markets (from 5 am to 9 am because you can observe the daily overcrowded lifestyle of the locals at that time) because you can start the floating market tours with many departures at 4:30 AM, 5:00 AM, 6:00 AM, 7:00 AM from Can Tho city center.

Local river life at the FM

How to Find Your Tour Styles?

How to grab worthy unique tours which make you do not get upset, confusing, wasting travel days to Can Tho and fix your budget as well? We share you 3 common options. The first option is a strong budget. You just need to walk to the Ninh Kieu Wharf  and some freelance locals will catch & show you their boats and the price with a typical non-guided tour, still fun and a bit challenge, make sure you got the life jackets and remember to pay the one you deal with, plenty tourists pay around. The second option is much nicer. As you know, most of Can Tho hotels offer basic package tours with guide and pick-up, drop off from hotel. The price is fair and fixed.

Can Tho small canals after Phong Dien floating market

The last option is the TripAdvisor’s Recommended tours from the newest reviews for sure, as we know, Can Tho River Tour Co.,LTD is a top-notch number one with 99% of excellent of 900 reviews. A well-regarded travel and tour company, set up by a group of passionate Can Tho locals. The company offers more than 16 unique daily tours in and around Can Tho as well as private transfer to surroundings areas and Ho Chi Minh City. Custom tours are also available, by boat, sampan, bike, scooters, van, car. WhatsApp/Hotline/Viber/Wechat +84908169205; (have live-chat-box on website).

Can Tho local life

What to Eat Like Local?

Have breakfast in the floating market with rice noodles soup, pho or rice (about 20.000vnd – 50.000vnd [~1$-2,5$] per one). Enjoy Vietnamese coffee or coconut juice (about 10.000vnd – 25.000vnd [0,5$-1,10$]).

Can Tho floating market just before New Year

What to See Like Local?

Both Cai Rang and Phong Dien floating markets are on Can Tho river, so we call the way to visit them is Can Tho River Tour. It is a special tour which flows on a part of Mekong river. Moreover, there are many amazing things in these markets that make you surprise such as what is the function of the bamboo stick in every boat, why boats have eyes and how local people live in a boat whole day.

Hopefully, the above tips will help you to come up with a great plan for your adventure in Can Tho City. Have a safe trip!

“Sleep less, travel more, respect more” – Thomas Vietnam and Thank you!!

Photo of the day

When people ask me what to see in Mekong today. I tell them view our MekongDelta365.

Gian Gua - Can Tho Giant Ficus Tree
November 25, 2020
Gian Gua - Can Tho Giant Ficus Tree

Let’s google maps “Khu di tich Gian Gua” in Can Tho, a 150 year-old heritage tree of Vietnam. It overwhelms visitors with its large roots and thousands branches and sub-branches intertwining to form an intricate and thick canopy, making it very difficult to identify which is root and which  is  branch. Top tip: Free entrance, hours: Daily. An instagramable place.


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