Asian Adventure – Chau Doc
March 19, 2012
By: Fernanda & Patricia
After walking through the border from Cambodia to Vietnam, we arrived at Chau Doc where we stayed for a night before travelling on to Ho Chi Minh City. Chau Doc is situated by the Hau River, which is a branch of Mekong River. It is the world’s twelfth longest and Asia’s seventh longest river. 40 per cent of Chau Doc’s population lives by the river on floating houses. When the rainy season arrives it gets flooded and the houses float with the current. One of the markets we went to on the river had marked every year’s level.
Chau Doc is a village in one of twelve provinces that make up the Mekong Delta, which is also known as the ‘Rice Bowl’ of Vietnam because 80 per cent of the population on the Delta cultivate rice. Another large business in the Mekong Delta is fish farming. After passing through a bustling Vietnamese market, we got on a boat to explore the farms.
The fish farms are set up in cages underneath the floating houses. The fish are fed four or five times a week and they go crazy. They usually stay at the fish farm for about seven months before they are sold. Some are sold nationally and some exported mainly to New Zealand and Australia.
After visiting the fish farms we took motorcycles to Sam Mountain. It is a holy site with terrific views over the rice fields of Vietnam and Cambodia on the horizon. It was foggy and difficult to see far, but the experience was still amazing. At the top of the mountain we lounged on hammocks. We knew it was dangerous travelling on motorcycles up the mountain and we were wary, but it was so much fun and there was no other way up. We can happily report that we are still alive, which was kind of the point of these articles, and it was totally worth it.
After our hammock break, we headed into the town square for some authentic Vietnamese food. Chau Doc is famous for its pepper so we felt right at home. We even made our own version of chiles toreados, roasted jalapeno chiles, with the soy sauce. It was delicious.
Images: author’s own