Tours to the Mekong Delta leave visitors unforgettable experiences. While orchards in islets are where they can get cool breezes and feel pampered, floating villages help them understand more about the local life, the way they raise fish under their floating houses, as well as their culture and identity. Chau Doc Floating Village is supposed to be the best destination to have a full experience. Just take time to know more about it.
Where is Châu Đốc Floating Village?
Located 4km to the west of the heart of Châu Đốc and at the area upstream of the Mekong Delta, the floating village is quite famous among domestic travelers. It’s where freshwater fish are raised under floating houses – a special way to farm fish in the wet area. It’s true to claim that breeding fish under the floating houses brings locals high fish yields every year.
The history of Châu Đốc Floating Village
It’s alleged that Châu Đốc Floating Village was established in the 60s. During that period of time, there were only several small fish farms, and fish were naturally raised and didn’t need feeding; instead, they fed food from nature.
After that, locals realized that the source of income from fish farming was quite high. Therefore, they have expanded their business by opening more fish farms since the 70s, and now Châu Đốc has become one of the important economic centers of An Giang Province. From 1990 to 2005, the number of floating houses increased from 100 to 2,000, and the average annual fish yield was more than 20,000 tons. This period of time was regarded as the heyday of fish farming in Châu Đốc. The majority of production by that time was from basa and shark catfish, and they were exported to North America and West Europe; since then, basa has been selected to become the symbol of Châu Đốc City.
Since 2005, locals have known how to apply modern techniques to fish farming, so they have started raising other fish species, such as marble goby, cyprinid fish, and giant snakehead. In 2010, because of climate change causing droughts and the River Mekong contaminated by pollution, fish farming under floating houses was adversely impacted; the destructive effect afterwards was that plenty of households had bad harvests and even big fish farms went bankrupt. Hence, you will realize that there are not too many floating houses raising fish anymore, representing that the heyday of fish farming in Châu Đốc just belongs to the past.
Having said that, it’s not hard to discover marks of the heyday of fish farming when you are on a trip to explore Châu Đốc. There locals worship Bà Cậu – gods and goddess believed to bring them peace, prosperity, and luck in their life and their fish farming. Techniques remaining for fish farming are introduced to travelers and tourists so that they understand more the wealth of past fish farms.
What to see in Châu Đốc Floating Village?
Upon arrival in Châu Đốc Floating Village, you will be curious as to why people don’t settle down on the ground instead of on the water. In fact, it’s too expensive to own the land or a house in the center of Châu Đốc Town, so people have tended to live in their boats at the pier nearby. Over time, because they have used their boats to make a living, so many services on the water have started appearing, such as gas stations, groceries, repair stores, clothing stores, and markets. Those things make up a floating village you see nowadays.
Fish farming is the main work local households do for a living in Châu Đốc Floating Village. The work is not only something traditional passed through different generations, but also a tourist attraction in any Mekong Delta tour. The local cultural features are boasted of through each of the floating houses and have got the attention of many domestic and international visitors. Stopping over at Châu Đốc Floating Village, you get an opportunity to experience fascinating activities, e.g. feeding fish and seeing them grab food. The local guide definitely tells you the genuine life of people there and how to take care of fish. Also, you can buy a couple of brocaded bags, mini bamboo traps to catch fish as souvenirs from floating shops if you wish.
How to get to Châu Đốc Floating Village?
Floating houses to raise fish are on the River Mekong, so Châu Đốc Floating Village can only be reached by motor boat. First, you need to arrive at the intersection of Châu Đốc (about 500 m from Victoria Hotel) or at the pier of Châu Giang, where you will depart for the village.
The rent for a motor boat varies with the season and also depends on the number of people on the boat. However, the rent is quite reasonable and you don’t need to bargain. A tip for renting is that you should ask the receptionist at your hotel to book you a boat in advance. It’s more convenient and saves time.
Where to stay around Châu Đốc Floating Village?
As said above, you will depart by boat for Châu Đốc Floating Village from the pier in the heart of Châu Đốc. Therefore, you should find accommodations nearby. There is a wide selection of accommodations, ranging from first-class to standard. The following list is what you probably consider:
- Victoria Châu Đốc. Address: Lê Lợi Street, Châu Đốc City, An Giang Province. Price: from VND 2,002,268 /night
- Dong Xanh Hotel. Address: Nguyễn Tri Phương Street, Châu Đốc City, An Giang Province. Price: from VND 349,579 /night
- Victoria Nui Sam Lodge. Address: Vĩnh Đông 1 Street, Châu Đốc City, An Giang Province. Price: from VND 2,949,646 /night
- Hung Cuong Hotel. Address: Đống Đa Street, Châu Đốc City, An Giang Province. Price: from VND 581,907 /night
- Châu Phố Hotel. Address: Trưng Nữ Vương Street, Châu Đốc City, An Giang Province. Price: from VND 997,125 /night
- Hải Châu Hotel. Address: Sương Nguyệt Anh Street, Châu Đốc City, An Giang Province. Price: from VND 440,590 /night
- Song Hào Hotel. Address: Trưng Vương Residential Area, Châu Đốc City, An Giang Province. Price: from VND 150,000 – VND 1,000,000 /night
- Hoàng Đức Hotel. Address: Tân Lộ Kiều Lương Street, Châu Đốc City, An Giang Province. Price: from VND 649,411 /night
- Murray Hostel. Address: Trương Định Street, Châu Đốc City, An Giang Province. Price: from VND 745,769 /night
- Minh Trang Motel. Address: Núi Sam Ward, Châu Đốc City, An Giang Province. Price: from VND 345,000 /night
What to eat around Châu Đốc Floating Village?
Don’t forget to savor attractive special food around Châu Đốc Floating Village while you make a trip there. The special food represents the beauty in cuisine, culture, and lifestyle of locals. In the old days, they knew how to take advantage of exotic ingredients blessed by nature to create culinary traditions as well as culinary delights. It’s highly suggested that you should ramble around Châu Đốc Market to find the best stalls and restaurants serving the special food.
A wide selection of culinary delights to try out for the trip to Châu Đốc Floating Village are fermented fish and sesbania sesban flower hotpot, fermented fish rice noodle soup, fermented fish and fish sauce, sticky rice, sweet neem young leaves salad, palmyra palm cakes, palmyra sweet soup, special food from beef, fried sticky rice, young green rice pies, beef sausages (tung lo mo), beef porridge, burned snakehead, and elaeocarpus hygrophilus fruit.
- An excursion to Châu Đốc Floating Village should be set in a combination of other activities as well as other travel destinations, such as a visit to Champa Villages in Đa Phước, Châu Giang, Châu Phong, An Khánh, and An Bình, and Châu Đốc Market.
- Avoid wearing high heels as you can move a lot during the trip and mainly travel by boat.
- Wear life jackets in case of unlikely events.
- Try to take a comfortable seat on the boat if you have travel sickness.
- Watch out for bridges in Champa Villages. They are wooden bridges.
- The best time to experience a trip to An GIang in general and Châu Đốc Floating Village in particular is the floating season falling between August and November.
Because Châu Đốc, An Giang is near the Vietnam – Cambodia border, distinctive features in the culture of the border will be found there. Getting the most valuable things about that remote land is surely what you expect from the trip. To do that, just do more research on exactly where to experience there, e.g. Châu Đốc Floating Village, attractions and markets, historic places, or anything else. What is mentioned here is a detailed guide to Châu Đốc Floating Village – a famous and must-visit travel destination in Châu Đốc in particular and the Mekong Delta in general. It consists of where the floating village is, what to see there, what to eat around, where to stay around, how to get there. Hope you will have a perfect experience ahead.