CHAU DOC - Transport


Chau Doc is a big-time hub for boats to Cambodia, and several boats leave every morning. If you go by slow boat, you’ll take a 90-minute bus ride after you cross the Cambodian border; the fast boat goes all the way to Phnom Penh by boat. Mekong Tours (see Basics) sells tickets for $8/15 for the slow/fast boat. Everyone will promise you quick arrival times in Phnom Penh, but you’re at the mercy of immigration on either side of the border – it can take two hours on occasion. Generally the fast boat takes four hours total.

Victoria hotel (see Sleeping) can arrange a more comfortable private speed boat to Phnom Penh for $70 per person (minimum four people).

It’s sometimes possible to hop on a cargo boat to Ha Tien (about $10), or hire a boat there (about $40) – a 10-hour trip (apparently not that exciting).


The Chau Doc bus station is about a kilometer east of the center. Hourly buses go to Saigon (85,000D; 7hr). Frequent minibuses go to Can Tho (39,000D; 2-1/2hr), including eight daily air-conditioned Mai Linh minibuses (tel 076-565-222). A handful of daily buses – four a day when I was in town – left for Ha Tien ($4; about 3-1/2hr).

Motorbike & Cyclo

You’re going to have lots of persistent offers from motorcycle taxi and cyclo drivers in English, generally for about $2 per hour (a bit high around town).

Cheerful MR DUNG (tel 0919-027-156), a friendly Vietnamese motorcycle-taxi driver, apparently alienates many of the drivers by his ‘honesty.’ He may find you first – calling out ‘do you speak French?’ in English – from his spot next to the Thuan Loi hotel in the day and at the fruit-shake café at Nguyen Van Thoai and Phan Van Vang Sts after dusk. He charges less than most, speaks English and French, and doubles nicely as a pretty good guide. He only accepted my $1 tip if he could buy me a beer.

Your guesthouse or hotel can help rent a motorcycle. It’s about $6 to $8 per day. A bike is $1 or $2.

A motorcycle-taxi ride to Ha Tien, with stops at Tuc Dup hill and Cam Mountain, costs about $8 to $10. Your bum will be very sore when you get to Ha Tien. I might not do it again on the back of a bike.