Don’t tell everyone, but Chau Doc is one of the finest places in Vietnam. Near the Cambodian border, it’s a riverside market town with a mix of Vietnamese, Khmer and Cham people. The buzz about the town is recognisably Vietnamese, but is tempered by a distinctly Cambodian laidbackness.
You can taste the blend of cultures in the food. The town’s signature dish, bun ca (a fish noodle broth, sold in Saigon as bun ca Chau Doc) is Vietnamese street food with a Cambodian twist. I ate some every day. Cyclos are a common sight and, unlike in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, where they are now mainly the preserve of newly arrived tour groups, in Chau Doc they are commonly used by local people as a way of getting from A to B.
In some places, you have to work quite hard to get people pictures, but not in Chau Doc, where the people are some of the warmest and most hospitable that I’ve come across. I’ll be posting some more pictures soon; this first post concentrates on the people in the market and on the streets.
- Mekong delta portraits (February 2012)
- Mekong delta portraits II (April 2012)
- More from the Mekong (March 2012)