Part 4: Tri Ton – Chau Doc (90 km)
For the journey from Tri Ton to Chau Doc you have once again several options. You could just follow the DT948 north passing Nui Cam and maybe stopping at the Rung Tram Tra Su National Park. This would be certainly the fastest route.
But the fastest route would not always be the nicest route. I would suggest a detour and travel along the border to Cambodia, as it is a) a nice journey and b) you can stop at the Ba Chuc Crypt, a memorial for a terrible war crime committed by the Khmer Rouge.
For that journey just follow the DT948 from Tri Ton as it leads to a very interesting stop – Nui Cam. This is a very short section on a road in good condition. Soon you will a some mountains on your left side. GoogleMap might suggest turning left early, but you can follow the DT948 until you see the big entrance to the Cable Car to the top of Nui Cam. Please note you are apparently not allowed to ride your own bike up. So you have the choice of a cable car, getting a motorbike taxi or walk. I preferred the Cable Care. Here are some information about Nui Cam.
After Nui Cam continue to ride along DT948 until you passed a little town. At the end of the town turn left into a smaller (but nicely paved road). This will bring you towards the border area. The scenery along the road is nice, with rice fields on both sides. And hardly any traffic. After a while both scenery and road condition changes. It becomes less a paved road but more a dirt road cutting initially through rice fields before heading to a forest. It really is a lovely side road to follow. Don’t be surprised if you see soldiers marching here – as it is near the border there are several barracks in the area. But besides seeing some smiling or waving soldiers (not the officers though) there is no issue travelling here.
At the end of this road you will arrive at the extension of DT9558 that will lead to the next stop – Ba Chuc. This road is rather nice, with a mix of sights, either rice fields, plantations or villages. When on the road in theory you should turn left at a crossing (which can be easily missed based on own experience). I would actually suggest missing the turn and do a small detour – simply as the stretch of the road is just beautiful. RIce fileds on both sides, mountains in the background. Passing some sections with trees on both sides, small villages. And you might pass one or two Khmer temples. Here you will also find the location that is shown on GoogleMap when searching for “Tri Tôn, An Giang Province“. It is a view towards golden rice field, with a road leading through a Khmer Gate to a temple further down the field. It is just beautiful.
If you have followed that road then just turn left at the end onto DT9558b and it will lead to Ba Chuc. This is a small town near the Cambodian border. This now lively town itself might not be worth any detour – but it has some historical significance. In 1978 the Khmer Rouge crossed the border and then killed over a few days nearly everyone in the village. In the end over 3.000 civilians (including children, women and old people) were killed. It was massacre that led Vietnam to invade Cambodia to free the country from the terror regime of the Khmer Rouge. This again started the Sino-Vietnam War which had some long consequences for all countries involved. So Ba Chuc has a very sad history and for that reason monument of this massacre should be visited. Here are some details of of Ba Chuc Crypt.
From the town follow the DT9558 northbound and it will bring you to QLN1, the road running parallel to the border with Cambodia. The border itself is just a little river, and the road was next to it. It is a pleasant ride with plenty of green on either side. But it is interesting to see both local Vietnamese and Khmer just crossing the river with their little boats without any border control. It is a nice relaxing route, with some typical rural sights like water buffalos on and off the road (yes, if you arrive later afternoon you might experience a traffic congestion caused by a herd of water buffalo.
From here you could follow the QLN1 when it turns away from the river and leads to Chau Doc. But it is worthwhile to stay on the road following the river for a little bit longer. The scenery is still lovely, especially if the sun set starts. The view across Cambodia with the river, trees and rice fields is just beautiful. In this section less and fewer houses are along the road, and instead a bit more construction and therefore dusty. There are some roads leading away from the border, but wait until you reach a nice paved road, following a little canal and rice fields and houses on the other side. No dirt road, just a peaceful and lovely section.
The little roads leads to the main road QL91. Surprisingly the beautiful scenery does not stop here, as the road cut through rice fields. If youa rrive here during sun set it will offer a great view. This is actually a nice final part until you arrive at the outskirt of Chau Doc. Just follow the road until you reach the riverfront. You have reached your destination.
Chau Doc is a larger town, and a rather popular destination for tourists who either want to visit the area or who need a stop when coming from Cambodia. So it is a certainly a good place for a night stopover. Here are some details of Chau Doc