Blogs for travellers in Con Dao Island
Blogs for travellers in Con Dao Island
Supported by a fleet of valued high-speed boats, plus a team of well-trained and experienced pilots, Blue Cruiser is pleased to present our transport service for tourism, business trips, and ecologic reconnaissance on the Saigon andMekong watercourses in Vietnam and Cambodia by high-speed boat.
Cruising from Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) to Can Tho, passing small channels to big rivers of Saigon River, Can Giuoc River, Vam Co River, Tien River (the Northern Branch of Mekong River). You can enjoy nice scenery of the riverbanks. On the way, you can stop at Cai Mon, Ben Tre or My Tho, Thai Son Island, Cai Be, An Binh Island, Sa Dec. You can view the typical characteristics of the southern Vietnam tradition with cultural and spiritual activities, listen to traditional music, visit alcohol and candy making shops or go into the center of the island to visit orchards and enjoy fresh tropical fruit, then return to the motorboat on wooden sampan. You can see a forest of coconut trees, visit coconut candy shops and factories processing coconut products such as coconut fiber, coconut active coal, etc.
After visiting the attractive Cai Rang Floating Market, the boat goes upstream on the Hau River (one of the biggest branches of Mekong River) to Chau Doc. On the way, you can visit a floating fish farm and a Cham Village (the Ethnic Minority in Vietnam with a Muslim culture).
Departing daily from Chau Doc, our speedboat takes you on the Hau River to Vinh Xuong border (between Vietnam and Cambodia), continuing on the famous Tone Le Sap River to International Port – Phnom Penh – Cambodia. The trip will take you through the lower sections of Viet Nam Mekong River to the Cambodia Mekong River.
Besides discovering the beautiful landscapes of Mekong River, you can take a one-day tour by speedboat from Saigon visiting the historical Cu Chi Tunnels, Binh Duong, Vung Tau, Can Gio, and Vam Sat nature preserve.
On Board Service included: Hot Tea, Hot Coffee, Cookies, Cold Mineral Water, Small sweet Bananas, Wet towel
Hang Chau Express boat
Price: US$ 30/ticket
Total: US$ 33/ticket
In Chau Doc: 7.30 A.M
In Phnom Penh: 12.00 P.M
Itinerary: 3,5 hours
Time of formalities: 1 hour
From 1 to 3 years old: free
From 4 to 8 years old: ½ ticket
Including: guide, insurance, entry-exit fees at the border, V.A.T
For charter: all kinds of boat: 13 seats, 20 seats, 24 seats, 26 seats.
This is our current inventory of available boats.
All capacities include 30 Kg of luggage per passenger. Seating is shown as Inside + Outside
BC-04 Engine 250 HP x 2 Diesel Volvo
Width 3.0 meters / 9′ 10″
Length 12.8 meters / 41′ 12″
Speed 50 kmph / 31 mph
Capacity 24 passengers + 8
Upstream route from Chau Doc to Phnom Penh: time at 7:00 A.M at hotel in Chau Doc or 7:30 at Con Tien floating restaurant
Downstream route from Phnom Penh to Chau Doc: time at 11:45 A.M at hotel in Phnom Penh or 12:00 at 103, Sisowath, SK Phnom, Kh Daun Penh, Phnom Penh
The boat staff will send local transport to your hotel in central of Chau Doc or Phnom Penh to transfer to the port. The transfers/pick up are INCLUDED in my rate.
In Chau Doc: Con Tien floating restaurant, Tran Hung Dao Street, khom 5, Chau Doc town, An Giang Province, Vietnam
In Phnom Penh: Number 103, Sisowath, SK Phnom, Kh Daun Penh, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Upstream route from Chau Doc to Phnom Penh, the boat will arrive Phnom Penh port at 12:30 P.M
Downstream route from Phnom Penh to Chau Doc, the boat will arrive Chau Doc port at 17:00 P.M
Thoai Ngoc Hau Tomb
Location: At the foot of Sam Mountain, Vinh Te Commune, Chau Doc Town, An Giang Province.
Characteristics: Thoai Ngoc Hau Tomb is a fine piece of art of ancient architecture.
Thoai Ngoc Hau Tomb is located in front of Ba Chua Xu Temple, that is the biggest monument at the foot of Sam Mountain, 5-km southwest of Chau Doc.
Thoai Ngoc Hau (1761-1829), originally named Nguyen Van Thoai, was the first man from this area to exploit the virgin soil, establish living settlements, and dig Vinh Te and Thoai Ha channels. He was buried there along with his two wives and a temple in his honour was built in the 1930s.
Chau Doc Floating Village
Chau Doc’s main attraction is a three-hour boat tour that takes in the floating market, the floating village offshore, a Cham village across the river, and perhaps a peek at the Kinh Vinh Te (the canal that leads south to Ha Tien – not terribly exciting).
The FLOATING MARKET, busiest at 7am, is about 10 minutes downstream from the central market. In the morning, locals in row boats paddle out to stock up for a day at the market. Boats head off to pick up fruit in Sa Dec or Can Tho every few days, but there’s always plenty of business in the early hours.
The ‘FLOATING VILLAGE’ is comprised of aluminum-roof-and-walled homes atop huge, netted ‘fish farms,’ where hundreds and hundreds of ca vo dem fish await canh chua bowls; some get shipped downriver to Can Tho and beyond; note the huge moored wooden boats, which flood their lower decks to keep the fish alive during the trip.
Another popular stop is DA PHUOC, a Cham village across the river on Con Tien island from Chau Doc’s center. Here you’ll see women wearing turbans made of Cham-style fabrics that they weave – during dry season – under their homes that stand on stilts. During the rainy season the water levels are too high. Cham women often put on conical non la hats when they go to Chau Doc market, to ‘blend in’ apparently. The 1992 mosque occasionally hosts wedding parites, as the village has no other building big enough to host the event; note the small cemetery behind the building.
The Lady Temple ( Mieu Ba Chua Xu)
The Lady Temple is an important relic of An Giang Province. There was a legend about this lady and most of Vietnamese people believe that she has a great powerful that lured thousands of people came and prayed every year.
According to a story, around 200 years ago, the Lady ‘s statue was found by local people and was carried down by 9 virgin girls from the top of Sam Mountain to the current place.
There are many legends about the source of that statue but it still in secret.
Tay An Pagoda
Tay An or Nui Sam Pagoda or “Tay An Co Tu” is a located right in the bottom of Sam Mountain, Vinh Te Commune, Chau Doc Strict, An Giang Province, 5km from Chau Doc Town. Its architecture was the combination between India and Muslim and the old Vietnamese Pagoda style. The materials were bricks, tiles, cements…There are many statues of Buddha which were carved very fine that featured for the carving art of Viet Nam in the 19th century.
This pagoda was named on national relics list.
Sam Mountain also called as “ Vinh Te Son” or “ Ngoc Lanh Son” with the height is around 284m above sea level. There was a time, Sam Mountain was covered by the flamboyance flowers in summer time that created a wonderful scene with the red color in all over the Sam Mountain.
From the top of the mountain, people can observe the large area of the border from Chau Doc Town to Tinh Bien, there was a bastion of the Southern Army up there.
Vinh Te Canal
Vinh Te Canal is a famous canal in which is located between An Giang and Kien Giang Province in the Mekong Delta.
In 1816, under Gia Long King Dynasty, the King and his imperial recognized that Ha Tien and Chau Doc would be developed if they were connected. However, this area just was exploited and people were very poor that Gia Long King was delayed this project and started in 1819.
Vinh Te canal was completed in 1824 with 91km long, 25m wide and 3m depth. Around 80,000 persons were working for this project , a big part of them were Khmer people. Many people died because of the diseases, exhaustion and the wild animals.
An Giang is a province in Vietnam that borders Cambodia. It is most popular for being the place where one finds Chau Doc. The city is situated at the intersection of a tributary linking the Bassac and Mekong Rivers. Chau Doc may be a little city, but what it lacks in size it makes up for in colours and is probably the only place where pastel colours are chosen to beautify store fronts.
Chau Doc is close to the river border of Vietnam and Cambodia. Anyone who travels to and from Phnom Penh by boat will pass by the city, and staying overnight is highly recommended. Aside from the colours, visitors will also captivated by the locals; the people in Chau Doc, including the xe dap loi drivers, are nice and friendly. Foreigners need not worry too much about a language barrier—English is spoken in most hotels and guesthouses, while most restaurants have an English-language menu.
Bay Bong restaurant
Bay Bong restaurant doesn’t look like much, but the food is really something. According to Mekong explorer Le Van Sinh, it’s the best in the delta, specializing in hotpots and soups, as well as fresh fish dishes. Try the ca kho to (stewed fish in a clay pot) or canh chua (sweet-and-sour soup).
Address: 22 Ð Thuong Dang Le
Phone: 076 386 7271
Price: mains 60,000-140,000d
Lam Hung Ky restaurant
There’s a strip of Chinese restaurants on Chi Lang, including the busy Lam Hung Ky, complete with the usual strung-up ducks and chickens. It serves good food, despite the menu offering misleadingly unappetizing items like ‘instant boiled assorted meats’.
Address: 71 Ð Chi Lang
Phone: 076 386 6745
Price: mains 50,000-100,000d
Hours: breakfast, lunch & dinner
Thanh Tinh restaurant
Thanh Tinh translates as ‘to calm the body down’ and it will do just that for vegetarians looking for a reliable menu
Address: 13 Ð Quang Trung
Phone: 076 386 5064
Price: mains 30,000-60,000d
Hours: breakfast, lunch & dinner
Truong Van restaurant
Nothing fancy here, just good Vietnamese food at decent prices.
Address: 15 Ð Quang Trung
Phone: 076 386 6567
Price: mains 40,000-80,000d
Hours: breakfast, lunch & dinner
Hong Phat restaurant
Good Chinese and Vietnamese food.
Address: 77 Ð Chi Lang Town Centre
Phone, tel, info: 076 866 950
Hours: breakfast, lunch & dinner
The most sophisticated dining experience in Chau Doc is here at the Victoria Chau Doc Hotel. The menu includes some delightfully presented Vietnamese food, as well as a wonderful selection of international dishes to make the mouth water. Desserts are devilish or there is more simple fare at the Bamboo Bar.
Address: 32 Ð Le Loi
Phone: 076 386 5010
Price: mains US$6-18
Hours: 06:00-11:00 & 18:00-23:00
At night, you can also try a variety of cool dessert soups (che) at Che Stalls on Ð Bach Dang, next to the pagoda.
Address: on Ð Bach Dang, next to the pagoda Town Centre
Sinh To Stalls
If you’d like to sample the best fruit shakes (sinh to) in town, look out for the Sinh To Stalls.
Address: cnr of Ð Phan Van Vang & Ð Nguyen Van Thoai Town Centre
How to get there
The best way is taking overnight train from Hanoi to Sapa then connect with a road trip for 1 hour.
There are many people who try to ask you to buy bus tickets either outside or inside Lao Cai train station, you can accept their invitation, however, you should only paid when the bus really departs.
For a comfortable seat, it should be better to book the shuttle bus, you may not be pushing to seat with 15 people for a mini bus of 16 seater.
Best time to Travel
Sapa is at its green and best time on July, August, September, October and November.
Many people suppose this is rainy time but we believe it is a beautiful time for many regions:
- Rice & corn planation starts in June and finish in October. This is the wonderful period to admire the green nature and some special rite which deprived from rice cultivation.
- The rain often comes in summer but not for long and the view is simple what you expect through the postcards, video and photos
- There are less tourists coming to Sapa this time, more promotion for hotels especially 3*, 4* hotels
From December to April, the weather turns to be pretty cold but no rain. If you wish to enjoy an adventure without being interupted by weather, this is the good choice. The landscapes remains at their magnificience and awesomeness.
This is one of the most sensitive thing while traveling in Sapa. Many local woman especially Black Hmong and Red Dzao tribe will attract you with some short conversations and persuading you to buy something for them. There maybe 1 person of 1 small group will come to you with a nice talk, however, they may ask you to buy at least 1 piece of each person.
Most of travelers come to Sapa will do trekking or some types of outdoors, the tour guide will consume more energy in Sapa than other part of Vietnam. The tip is not compulsory for many company, specially Sapa Travel Expert, however if the tour guide`s performance is perfect, we encourage you to tip with 5usd/ day/ person.
Unique experience in Sapa
Hill tribe markets are one of the most unique experience in Sapa. The highlight of this cultural visit originated from the meeting with local tribes from different areas with different customs.
At Sapa Travel Expert, we are able to offer you visits to market that you may not meet any tourist and being totally off beaten track to enjoy the authenticity.
Off road trekking: for discernning travellers, normal trekking route with numerous of tourists may not be interesting and your experience is so common, we offer you off -road trek that we ensure your experience is different and enjoyable. For such type of tour, we guarantee 100% refund if you do not feel satisfied with the trip.
Orient Express Train
Orient Express Train is wooden carriage, soft sleeper A.C cabin with soft 2 berths VIP, deluxe 2 berths, 4 berths deluxe cabin and two toilet. Each berth is equipped with individual reading lights, baggage storage and spacious trunk for suite case and hand luggage.
A Private Orient Deluxe 2 berths cabin and VIP Orient 2 berths cabin create an intimate space for couples with 2 berths only. These cabins are lovingly designed to for those who desire to have the privacy with remarkable interior decor.
Besides, our “Orient Express Train” staff members are always ready to offer you the best customer care and complementary services
Fanxipan express train
Fanxipan Express Train with air-conditioning wooden 2 berths and 4 berths cabins. Each berth is equipped with reading lights, baggage storage, flower, mineral water and napkin. Each passenger will be service food and drink such as fruit juices, tea and snack.
Fanxipan Express has a mini bar on the corner of each carriage offering Vietnamese and western delights, snack and drinks. If need, please press the ring in the cabin.
Hara express train
The brand new Hara Express Train has just been introduced to operate routing Hanoi – Lao Cai – Hanoi with 4 fully decorated carriages with high standard soft sleepers with air-conditioning wooden cabins with soft 2 berths cabin
Hara Express Train is wooden carriage, soft sleeper A.C cabin with soft 4 berths and two toilet at either ends. Each berth is equipped with individual reading lights, baggage storage and spacious trunk for suite case and hand luggage. The train is provided with also water and cold tower.
King express train
Deluxe Vip King Express carriages can accommodate 26 berths with superior and deluxe cabins, accompanied by the hospitality of King express train staff. The enchanting luxury, the comfort facilities of the wood-paneling cabins will make your stay in these carriages memorable. Passengers are to hold the best opportunity to relax or simply let the beauty gliding over your spacious windows. Luxury, inspiration and refreshment are main character of these carriages. All berths are wooden-paneled, air-conditioned with individual reading lights, baggage storage. Passengers are served with a very tasteful drink in the morning upon the arrival to Lao Cai or Hanoi.
Superior cabins offer a cozy atmosphere with 4 berths in one compartment, relaxing to read or enjoy an intimate conversation.
Deluxe cabins create an intimate space for couples with 2 berths only. These cabins are lovingly designed to for those who desire to have the privacy with remarkable interior decor. They are the epitome of a small observation car.
Victoria express train
Reaching Sapa has never been more appealing: travel in style on board the luxurious Victoria Express Train. The Victoria Express Train features one dining carriage and two sleeping carriages to make your traveling experience a most comfortable one.
The train departs six times a week, linking Hanoi to Lao Cai. The Victoria Express Train is a 10-hour trip from Hanoi to Lao Cai, accommodating 48 passengers with comfortable seating, a dining carriage and two luxurious sleeping carriages.
Each sleeping carriage has 6 superior cabins (4 berths) and 1 deluxe cabin (2 berths), all are air-conditioned, wood paneled, with individual reading lights, baggage storage, toilets and oversized windows.
Watch the beautiful scenery in front of you, from the luxury of your seat, or take a nap in the comfort of our cozy sleeping carriage. If you prefer, you can indulge yourself in our dining carriage, where you can savor the delights of traditional Vietnamese and Western cuisine. Our talented Chef Nguyen Tien Duc will be waiting for you with a selection of the best wines, adding a further exquisite touch to a memorable experience.
The Victoria Express Train is exclusively reserved for Victoria Sapa Resort’s in-house guests only. To make a reservation for the Victoria Express Train, you need to complete a Victoria Express Train reservation form that is part of the Victoria Sapa Resort rooms reservation form.
With its elegant carriages, the Victoria Express Train recalls a more romantic era. Passing through the exotic landscapes of North Vietnam, between the charming cities of Hanoi and Lao Cai (train station at a distance of 34 km (21 miles) from Sapa), it offers every visitor a wonderful traveling experience.
Ratraco train is one of the best trains to Sapa with wooden cabins. With a special design including soft four berths and two toilets at either ends features four soft berths in each cabin with individual reading lights.
The Ratraco train is also designed with baggage store and spacious trunk for suit case and hand luggage. The train provides also water and cold towel.
Tulico express train
Tulico Express deluxe train offers comfortable air-conditioned soft sleepers. This is a good value for money train carriage. It is good and clean cabin, especially the deluxe 2 berth cabin ( for 2 persons only) between Hanoi and Lao Cai. While this is is not a luxurious train it offers good alternative transportation to get to Sapa from Hanoi. It is soft sleeper, A.C and clean 4 berth cabin. The train provides you one bottle of water, small snack and a napkin.
Livitrans express train
Livitrans is a newly built train connecting Hanoi and Sapa. It is considered one of the most luxurious trains in Vietnam with its equipment equivalent to a high-class hotel.
The train is a joint venture between Vietnam National Coal and Mineral Industry Corporation and Vietnam Railway Corporation which officially starts its operation on 1st September 2007.
Livitrans Express Train, which comprises of 9 wooden carriages and one electricity generation compartment, is expected to expand to 15 carriages to be able to accommodate 420 passengers in the near future. The train will feature sleeping carriage with 2 berths, 4 berths and 6 berths, a bar, toilets, LCD television sets on board, etc… of aviation standards. Passengers will be also offered drinks, confectionery and newspapers for free.
With friendly staff and high class services, Livitrans Express Train will surely bring you a memorial trip to Sapa.
Pumpkin Train is not a separate train, it offers soft sleepers, A/C and clean four-berth cabins in 2 carriages which go with local trains between Hanoi and Lao Cai. The cabins are quite nice following the wooden decorated form make it more cozy & clean. Bread & small bottle of water are supplied in every one for free. Pumpkin train is one of the best choices for tourists to Sapa.
In order to meet the needs of clients, the Royal train is also a part of regular train with 2 carriages in SP1 and SP2 between Hanoi and Lao Cai. The Royal Train is attracted by offering soft sleeper carriage, A/C clean four-berth cabins which create cozy comforts for travelers during the trip.
Tsc express train
The TSC Express Train is wooden carriage, soft sleeper AC cabin with soft 4 berths and two toilet at either ends. Each berth is equipped with individual reading lights, baggage storage and spacious trunk for suite case and hand luggage. The train is provided with also water and cold tower.
- From Hanoi Railway Station: at 21:30 and arrive Lao Cai station around 06.00am
- From Lao Cai Railway Station: at 20:20pm, arrive Hanoi station around 05.30am