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Phnom Penh To Chau Doc By Boat – Visa, Hotel And Guide


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Teressa Collins



Phnom Penh to Chau Doc by boat is a popular and scenic route that allows travelers to experience the beauty of both Cambodia and Vietnam. This journey takes you along the majestic Mekong River, offering breathtaking views and a unique cultural experience.


Traveling from Phnom Penh, the capital city of Cambodia, to Chau Doc, a charming town located in the An Giang Province of Vietnam, is an adventure that showcases the rich history, diverse landscapes, and vibrant communities of these two countries.


Whether you are a nature enthusiast, history buff, or simply seeking a memorable experience, exploring this route by boat provides an excellent opportunity to immerse yourself in the local culture and witness the daily lives of the people along the Mekong River.


During this journey, you will have the chance to visit ancient temples, interact with friendly locals, and indulge in delicious cuisine. The boat ride itself offers a calming and scenic experience as you pass by lush green forests, floating villages, and stunning riverfront landscapes.


As you make your way from Phnom Penh to Chau Doc, you’ll cross the Cambodia-Vietnam border, so be prepared with the necessary visa and travel documents. In this article, we will explore the visa requirements, hotel accommodations, choosing a guide, boat schedule and pricing, crossing the border, sightseeing in Chau Doc, and return options from Chau Doc to Phnom Penh.


Embark on this incredible journey and get ready to discover the beauty and charm of Phnom Penh and Chau Doc while traversing the picturesque Mekong River.


Visa Requirements

Before embarking on your journey from Phnom Penh to Chau Doc by boat, it is important to ensure that you have the necessary visas and travel documents in place. Here are the visa requirements for both Cambodia and Vietnam:

  1. Cambodia Visa: If you are starting your journey in Phnom Penh and are not a citizen of Cambodia, you will need to obtain a visa. Most nationalities can obtain a visa on arrival at the airports in Cambodia or at land border crossings. However, it is recommended to check the specific visa requirements based on your nationality before your trip. The visa on arrival typically requires a passport-sized photo and a visa fee.
  2. Vietnam Visa: To enter Vietnam, most nationalities must obtain a visa in advance. You can apply for a visa at the Vietnamese embassies or consulates in your home country or in neighboring countries. Alternatively, you can also apply for an e-visa or a visa on arrival. It is essential to check the visa requirements and restrictions based on your nationality well in advance of your trip to ensure a smooth and hassle-free journey.

It is important to note that visa requirements can vary depending on your nationality, so it is crucial to check with the respective embassies or consulates beforehand. Additionally, ensure that your passport is valid for at least six months beyond your intended departure date.


Once you have obtained the necessary visas, make sure to keep your travel documents in a safe place throughout your journey and have them readily available for inspection when crossing borders or checking into your accommodations.


By ensuring that you have the appropriate visas and travel documents, you can enjoy a stress-free journey from Phnom Penh to Chau Doc by boat, exploring the enchanting landscapes and cultures of both countries along the way.


Hotel Accommodations

When traveling from Phnom Penh to Chau Doc by boat, there are several accommodation options available in both cities to suit various budgets and preferences. Here are some recommended hotels in Phnom Penh and Chau Doc:

Phnom Penh:

  • Raffles Hotel Le Royal: This iconic luxury hotel offers elegance and sophistication with its colonial architecture and beautiful gardens. Located in the heart of Phnom Penh, it provides easy access to popular attractions such as the Royal Palace and National Museum.
  • TeaHouse Asian Urban Hotel: Situated in the vibrant Russian Market area, this boutique hotel combines modern comforts with traditional Khmer design. It features stylish rooms, a rooftop pool, and a charming courtyard where guests can relax after a day of exploring.
  • Blue Lime Hotel: This environmentally conscious hotel offers minimalist yet comfortable accommodations. It is known for its tranquil atmosphere and rooftop pool with stunning views of the city.

Chau Doc:

  • Victoria Chau Doc Hotel: Overlooking the Mekong River, this upscale hotel offers spacious and well-appointed rooms. It boasts a stunning rooftop terrace, a pool, and a spa, providing a relaxing retreat after a day of sightseeing.
  • Mekong Riverside Boutique Resort & Spa: Nestled on the banks of the Hau River, this resort offers a peaceful and scenic setting. Its beautifully landscaped gardens, spacious rooms, and spa facilities make it an ideal place to unwind and rejuvenate.
  • Sammy Hotel Chau Doc: Located in the city center, this modern hotel provides comfortable rooms and convenient access to local attractions. Guests can enjoy a rooftop pool, fitness center, and panoramic views of Chau Doc.

It is advisable to book your accommodations in advance to secure your preferred hotel and room type. Consider factors such as location, amenities, and reviews when making your decision. Additionally, check if the hotel offers any facilities or services that align with your travel needs, such as airport transfers or guided tours.


Whether you choose a luxurious hotel or a boutique accommodation, both Phnom Penh and Chau Doc offer a range of options to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable stay during your journey from Phnom Penh to Chau Doc by boat.


Choosing a Guide

Having a knowledgeable and experienced guide can greatly enhance your travel experience from Phnom Penh to Chau Doc by boat. A guide can provide valuable insights, local knowledge, and assistance throughout your journey. Here are some tips to help you choose the right guide:

  1. Research and Recommendations: Before selecting a guide, do thorough research and read reviews from other travelers. Look for guides who have a deep understanding of the region, its history, and cultural significance. Online travel forums and review websites can be excellent resources for finding reliable guides.
  2. Language Skills: Ensure that your guide is fluent in English or your preferred language. Effective communication is essential for a smooth and enjoyable experience.
  3. Local Expertise: An experienced guide who is familiar with the route from Phnom Penh to Chau Doc will be able to offer valuable recommendations for attractions, activities, and dining options. They can also provide insights into local customs and traditions, enriching your understanding of the region.
  4. Customization: Look for guides who are flexible and willing to tailor the itinerary to your interests and preferences. A personalized experience allows you to make the most of your trip and ensures that you visit the places that truly interest you.
  5. Professionalism and Reliability: Choose a guide who is punctual, organized, and responsive to your inquiries. A reliable guide will make your journey stress-free and enjoyable, taking care of all logistics and ensuring a smooth transition between attractions and accommodations.
  6. Cost and Inclusions: Consider your budget when selecting a guide. Compare prices and the services included in the package to ensure you get the best value for your money. Some guides may provide additional services, such as transportation and entrance fees, so clarify what is included in the cost.

It is important to establish open communication with your guide prior to your trip. Discuss your expectations, interests, and any specific requirements you may have. This will help the guide in customizing the itinerary and ensuring a tailored experience that exceeds your expectations.


Remember, a knowledgeable and personable guide can make a significant difference in your travel experience, providing you with unforgettable memories and a deeper understanding of the Phnom Penh to Chau Doc route.


Boat Schedule and Pricing

Traveling from Phnom Penh to Chau Doc by boat offers a unique and picturesque journey along the Mekong River. Here is an overview of the boat schedule and pricing options:


Boat Schedule: There are several boat operators that offer daily services from Phnom Penh to Chau Doc. The boat schedule can vary depending on the season and weather conditions, so it is advisable to check with the operators or travel agencies for the latest information. Generally, boats depart in the morning between 7:30 AM to 8:30 AM and take approximately 5 to 7 hours to reach Chau Doc, including a stop at the border crossing.


Boat Pricing: The cost of the boat journey from Phnom Penh to Chau Doc can vary depending on the operator, the type of boat, and the services included. Generally, the prices range from $20 to $40 per person for a one-way ticket. Some boat operators offer package deals that include additional services such as guided tours, meals, and transportation to/from your hotel. It is advisable to compare prices and services offered by different operators to find the option that best suits your needs and budget.


It is important to note that while the boat journey is a scenic and enjoyable experience, it may not be suitable for travelers who are prone to motion sickness or prefer a faster mode of transportation. If you have any concerns or specific requirements, it is recommended to consult with the boat operators or travel agencies to ensure a comfortable journey.


Additionally, it is advisable to book your boat tickets in advance, especially during peak travel seasons, to secure your preferred departure date and time.


As you embark on your boat journey from Phnom Penh to Chau Doc, sit back, relax, and marvel at the breathtaking views of the Mekong River and the surrounding landscapes. Enjoy the tranquility and immerse yourself in the natural beauty of this picturesque route.


Crossing the Cambodia-Vietnam Border

As you travel from Phnom Penh to Chau Doc by boat, you will need to cross the Cambodia-Vietnam border. Here is an overview of the border crossing process:


Preparation: Before arriving at the border, ensure that you have all the necessary travel documents, including your passport, visas, and any required permits. Make sure that your passport is valid for at least six months beyond your intended departure date. It is advisable to carry extra copies of your passport and visa for easy reference.


Departing Cambodia: When you reach the border, the boat will dock at the Cambodian checkpoint. You will need to disembark and pass through Cambodian immigration. Present your passport, departure card, and any required exit fees or documents. Once your passport has been stamped, proceed to the next step.


Crossing the Border: After departing Cambodia, you will board the boat again and continue to the Vietnamese checkpoint. Upon arrival, you will need to complete the necessary entry forms provided by the boat crew. Proceed to the Vietnamese immigration counter and present your passport, entry forms, and visa (if applicable). The immigration officer will process your entry and stamp your passport. It is important to note that visa-on-arrival procedures may take additional time, so be prepared for potential delays.


Customs and Baggage Inspection: After going through immigration, proceed to the customs area for baggage inspection. In most cases, personal luggage is not extensively checked unless there is suspicion or declaration of restricted or prohibited items. Be honest and comply with any requests or inquiries from the customs officials to ensure a smooth transition.


Finalizing the Border Crossing: Once you have completed the immigration and customs procedures, you can re-board the boat and continue your journey to Chau Doc. Relax and enjoy the rest of the scenic boat ride along the Mekong River, knowing that you have successfully crossed the Cambodia-Vietnam border.


It is important to be aware of any changes in border procedures, visa requirements, or regulations. Stay updated by checking with reliable sources such as official government websites or consulting with travel agencies before your trip.


By being prepared and following the necessary immigration and customs procedures, crossing the Cambodia-Vietnam border can be a straightforward process, allowing you to continue your journey from Phnom Penh to Chau Doc with ease.


Sightseeing in Chau Doc

Chau Doc, located in the An Giang Province of Vietnam, is a charming town that offers a variety of attractions and cultural experiences. Here are some must-visit sights in Chau Doc:

Sam Mountain:

Start your exploration of Chau Doc by visiting Sam Mountain, the highest point in the Mekong Delta region. The mountain is adorned with temples, pagodas, and caves, making it a significant spiritual and cultural site. Climb the stone steps to the top for panoramic views of the surrounding countryside and the neighboring countries of Cambodia and Laos.

Tra Su Cajuput Forest:

A visit to the Tra Su Cajuput Forest is a must for nature lovers. This protected forest is a haven for various species of birds, fish, and reptiles. Explore the forest by boat through the narrow canals flanked by vibrant green cajuput trees. The tranquility and serenity of this natural paradise are sure to leave you in awe.

Chau Doc Floating Market:

Immerse yourself in the vibrant local culture by visiting the Chau Doc Floating Market. Witness the bustling activity as vendors sell fresh produce, seafood, and handmade crafts from their boats. This unique market provides a glimpse into the daily lives of the locals and offers an opportunity to taste delicious Vietnamese street food.

Ba Chua Xu Temple:

Pay a visit to the Ba Chua Xu Temple, a sacred shrine dedicated to the Lady of the Realm. This popular pilgrimage site attracts devotees who come to seek blessings and pray for good fortune. The temple architecture is stunning, and the intricate details showcase the rich cultural heritage of the region.

Cham Village:

Explore the vibrant Cham Village and learn about the Cham ethnic minority group. Experience their unique culture, traditional crafts, and vibrant textiles. Interact with the friendly locals, and perhaps even witness a traditional Cham performance or ceremony.


As you navigate through the sights and sounds of Chau Doc, do not miss the chance to savor the local cuisine, which is renowned for its fresh seafood and unique flavors. Indulge in dishes such as fish hotpot, grilled snakehead fish, and banh xeo (Vietnamese crepes) to tantalize your taste buds.


Chau Doc offers a blend of natural beauty, cultural heritage, and warm hospitality. Explore these captivating attractions, embrace the local traditions, and create unforgettable memories during your visit to this charming town. 

Returning from Chau Doc to Phnom Penh

After exploring the beauty of Chau Doc, it’s time to start your return journey from Chau Doc back to Phnom Penh. Here are your options for traveling from Chau Doc to Phnom Penh:


One of the most popular ways to return from Chau Doc to Phnom Penh is by boat. Several boat operators offer daily services from Chau Doc to Phnom Penh, following the same scenic route along the Mekong River. The boats generally depart in the morning and take around 5 to 7 hours to reach Phnom Penh. Check the boat schedules and book your tickets in advance to secure your preferred departure date and time.


An alternative option is to take a bus from Chau Doc to Phnom Penh. Several bus companies operate on this route, offering comfortable and air-conditioned buses. The journey takes approximately 5 to 6 hours, depending on the traffic and border crossing time. Buses usually depart in the morning or afternoon. It is recommended to book your bus tickets in advance, especially during peak travel seasons.

Taxi or Private Car:

If you prefer a more convenient and private option, you can hire a taxi or arrange for a private car transfer from Chau Doc to Phnom Penh. This option allows for a flexible departure time and personalized service. The journey by road takes around 3 to 4 hours, depending on traffic and border procedures.


When planning your return journey, take into account factors such as your budget, travel preferences, and the amount of time you have available. If you have a tight schedule, consider the faster options like the bus or taxi. If you have more time and want to enjoy the scenic beauty of the Mekong River, the boat option is recommended.


Before departing from Chau Doc, ensure that you have all your travel documents ready, including your passport, visa, and any necessary permits. Also, plan for potential delays at the border crossing, especially during peak travel seasons.


Regardless of the mode of transportation you choose, the journey from Chau Doc to Phnom Penh provides an opportunity to reflect on your memorable experiences, and perhaps even plan your next adventure in these captivating destinations.



The journey from Phnom Penh to Chau Doc by boat offers an unforgettable experience, allowing you to immerse yourself in the natural beauty, rich history, and charming cultures of Cambodia and Vietnam. As you embark on this adventure, make sure to prepare for the visa requirements, book your accommodation, and consider the options for guided tours.


From exploring the majestic Mekong River to crossing the Cambodia-Vietnam border, each step of the journey presents unique opportunities for discovery and exploration. Take the time to visit the iconic sights, such as Sam Mountain, Tra Su Cajuput Forest, and Chau Doc Floating Market. Immerse yourself in the local culture and try the delicious cuisine.


As your journey comes to an end, choose between the convenient boat, bus, or private car options for your return from Chau Doc to Phnom Penh. Each offers its own advantages, so consider your preferences and schedule when making a decision.


Reflect on your adventures and cherish the memories of the scenic boat ride, the crossing of the Cambodia-Vietnam border, and the experiences in Chau Doc. This journey is not just about the destinations, but also about the connections you make with the places and people along the way.


Whether you are a nature lover, history enthusiast, or cultural explorer, the journey from Phnom Penh to Chau Doc by boat provides a truly immersive and enriching experience. Embrace the beauty, diversity, and uniqueness of these two countries and create memories that will last a lifetime.


So, pack your bags, secure your visa, and embark on this unforgettable journey from Phnom Penh to Chau Doc by boat. Allow yourself to be captivated by the allure of the Mekong River and the charm of these remarkable destinations.