Destinations

3 best markets to experience Chau Doc culture

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A place where locals and travelers come together around everything from food to souvenirs, markets must be some of the most lively and colorful places to visit in the Mekong Delta. Here are the three best markets in Chau Doc where you can experience Chau Doc culture.

Chau Doc Covered Market

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Chau Doc Market

In the Chau Phu A Ward, An Giang Province lies the simple Chau Doc Covered Market. There are three distinguishing features about Chau Doc Covered Market. Firstly, the 200-year-old market is often known among locals as Fish Sauce Market for a wide range of dried fish and fish sauces produced from different kinds of fresh fish on the Tien and Hau Rivers. However, it actually offers so much more than you can easily get lost for an hour or two.

If you want to get all your local food specialty shopping done in one place, Chau Doc Market is the place. The “Kingdom of Pickled Fish” is full of salted fish, dried fish, traditional cakes, delicious local specialties, such as grilled glutinous rice filled with banana, and characteristic fruits of the Mekong Delta. Such an ideal place to discover Chau Doc cuisine!

Secondly, as the Chau Doc Market is mainly covered: an indoor section and the outside stalls with tarps overhead, it is usually busy from the early morning until afternoon. Thirdly, this busy fresh-food market reflects the primitive simplicity of the daily life of Vietnamese Southerners. Strolling around the zone for salted fish of all kinds with a cold drink of fresh sugar palm juice in hand and immersing in the characteristic smell, you will get a slice of life in the Mekong Delta, filled with a Southern Vietnam ambiance.

Tinh Bien Border Gate Market

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Tinh Bien Market

Curious about the daily life of Vietnamese living near the border gate bounded by Cambodia in the Mekong Delta? You should not miss the large trading center of Tinh Bien, which attracts thousands of traders, shoppers, and visitors on your Chau Doc tour.

The term market is flexible, and in Chau Doc in the Mekong Delta, it applies to vendors selling virtually the same thing from souvenirs to a lot of indigenous specialties of the region all under one roof. These same things sold in one open section of space make life easy for the shoppers, especially foreigners and travelers. Want to try salted fish? Go to the salted fish, where salted freshwater fish is piled into neat mountains. Want fish sauce? Go to the fish sauce stalls, where many kinds of fish sauce are placed on high shelves, with the prices labeled clearly. Want regional culinary highlights? You guessed it, go to the street food stalls.

If you can, take along a Vietnamese speaker. None available? No problem, allow yourself plenty of time. Shop owners are extremely kind, warm, cheerful, and friendly. Don’t be afraid to smell, touch, and ask for tastes. Most will invite you in to try their food and even salted fish. You will find everything from pickled vegetables: lotus roots, pearl onions, garlic, baby eggplant, young bamboo to ready-made clothes, candies, fruits, fermented and dried fish and tasty snacks and meals at the ready. Everything is here making Tinh Bien Border Gate Market a must-stop on any Chau Doc tour.

Chau Doc Floating Market

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Chau Doc floating market

Chau Doc floating market is very similar and similarly priced to the other floating markets in the Mekong Delta, but is much quieter and has a lot fewer foreigners. Make sure you visit this market with plenty of time on your Chau Doc food tour. A few well-spent hours from the crack of dawn to around 5 am to 6 am digging through the many boats fully crammed up various goods and products, especially fruit to get ready for an industry day will surely yield some amazing treasures.

Here you can make your food dreams come true with these vendors serving tasty snacks and meals at the ready, be it a bubbling pot of bún riêu (Vietnamese crab noodle soup) – vermicelli with a flavorsome broth of pork bones, freshwater crab meat bound with egg – in an open-air terrace in the animated atmosphere.

If for you the best part of a Chau Doc tour is just to find a quiet corner away from the foot traffic, get lost in the bustle, simply watch people in their daily life, and take in the cheeky banter between the lovely Vietnamese Southerners, then visiting the local markets is one of the things to do in Chau Doc.

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