Chau Doc Temples and Pagodas.

Mekong River Trips and Touring and Sightseeing in Chau Doc, Vietnam.

There are plenty of different boat trips to take whilst staying at Chau Doc - be it organised or just go and barter and do it yourself from the riverbank. We hired a small boat from the promenade and payed USD10 for a three hour meander around the river including visiting a floating market, fish farm, round various floating villages and then along several canals - excellent value.
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Chau Doc viewed from Sam Mountain in Vietnam.

Sam Mountain on the outskirts of Chau Doc in Vietnam.

Sam Mountain is located around 6 kilometres south west of Chau Doc and has been a sacred Vietnamese site for hundreds of years - it  receives a steady flow of visitors especially local Vietnamese people. From the top there are views of Vietnam's extensive paddy fields to the east and of the Cambodian Plains to the west but in truth unless you are very lucky and get a clear day there is very little which is actually visible as it always seems to be misty/hazy. There is meant to be a path up to the top which we never did find and various enquiries with some locals seemed to indicate that the path was no longer useable.
Therefore the only way up is via the fairly long bendy road - which is not really worth the walk as it is mostly tree-lined and there are few views. Perhaps the best option is to hire and go up Sam Mountain on an Xe Om (motorbike) which is around USD6 if starting out from Chau Doc - ensure they realise they will have to wait for you whilst you also look round the temples at the bottom of Sam Mountain.

Tay An Pagoda - near Chau Doc in Vietnam.

At the foot of Sam Mountain in Vinh Te Village is the rather pink looking Tay An Pagoda which was built in 1847 and which is a somewhat "colourful" temple. The front area is packed with vendors and the Pagoda itself is guarded by two elephants - one black and one white - and a shaven headed Quan Am statue keeps an eye on things. Inside the temple there are 100s of Buddha's and other statues and an honoured monk sits at one of the varnished tables. The annexe has a statue of a goddess who has a thousand eyes, hands and heads.
Chau Doc Tay An Pagoda - Vietnam. Tay An Pagoda statues. The very bright Tay An Pagoda near Chau Doc, Vietnam. Tay An Pagoda near Chau Doc in Vietnam.
Tay An Pagoda Buddha. Tay An Pagoda - outskirts of Chau Doc, Vietnam. Tay An Pagoda elephants in Vietnam. Gold Buddhas at Tay An Temple, Chau Doc.

Ba Chua Xu Temple - Chau Doc in Vietnam.

Building at Chua Xu Temple near Chau Doc, Vietnam.Chua Xu Temple at Chau Doc Just along the road is the Ba Chua Xu Temple which was built in 1972 - the temple is in honour of Her Holiness Lady of the Realm and her stone statue sits in state in a marble chamber and is surrounded with many offerings given by local worshippers and pilgrims.
There are a variety of theories about her origin - from her being a feminised version of Shiva to the theory that she originated at the top of Sam Mountain.
The whole area is extremely busy with quite a few tourists around but in particular with local Vietnamese so it's a little hard just to look around without seeming to be in the way.
If you continue on past the road junction and walk for around one kilometre you will see a flight of stone steps on the left heading up into the hillside. These steps take you up to a beautiful temple (we have so far been unable to find out it's name or details on who it honours). The temple is active and occupied with quite a few resident monks but you are made welcome and able to wander around as you wish. The carvings and buildings are excellent (particularly the shapes of the roofs which you can look down on if you climb high enough). There are some beautifully carved lions sat around and also the views out over the countryside from the top of the temple are really good.
Chau Doc unknown temple name - Vietnam. Chau Doc unknown temple pagoda - Vietnam. A small Chau Doc temple Chau Doc temple - name not known
Pictureseque small canal outside of Chau Doc - Vietnam.  Chau Doc stilt houses in the fields. A bus service runs along this route to and from Chau Doc however after we had visited these "unknown name temples" we decided it might be pleasant to walk back to town instead of using transport.
This quite a fair distance back (especially in hot or humid weather) of around 6 kilometres but quite interesting. After a short distance you come out into the Vietnamese countryside - there are paddy fields and stilt houses alongside small canals and it really is quite beautiful for walking.
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