VIETNAM TRAVEL

 

Mekong Delta

My Tho - Around My Tho - Ben tre - Around Ben Tre - Vinh Long - Tra Vinh - Around Tra Vinh - Sa Dec - Cao Lanh - Around Cao Lanh - Can Tho - Soc Trang Around Can Tho - Around Soc Trang - Bac Lieu - Around Bac lieu - Ca Mau - Around Ca Mau - Nam Can - Long Xuyen - Around Long Xuyen - Chau Doc - Around Chau Doc - Ba Chuc - Tuc Dup Hill - Ha Tien - Around Ha Tien
Hon Chong - Rach Gia - Phu Quoc Island

LONG XUYEN

IDD code: ( + 84 ) 76 / pop 240,000
This moderately prosperous town is the capital of An Giang province and does a moderate trade in agriculture, fish processing and cashew nuts. Aside from a few sites, a lively market, and perhaps a short trip along the river, there's little to detain travellers here.
Long Xuyen was once a stronghold of the Hoa Hao sect. Founded in 1939, the sect emphasises simplicity in worship and does not believe in temples or intermediaries between humans and the Supreme Being. Until 1956 the Hoa Hao had an army and constituted a major military force in this region.
The town's other claim to fame is being the birthplace of Vietnam's second president, Ton Duc Thang. There is a museum in town dedicated to Bac Ton (Uncle Ton) as well as a large statue bearing his likeness.
Information
An Giang Tourist ( 17 Ð Nguyen Van Cung; 7-11am & 1-5pm) is beside the Long Xuyen Hotel. The staff can speak some English but aren't terribly helpful. They should be able to put you in touch with a guide to Oc-Eo.
Vietcombank (1Ð Hung Vuong; closed weekends) gives cash advances on credit cards and also exchanges travellers cheques. There's also an Incombank (Tell: 841704; 20-22 Ngo Gia Tu) near the post office. Get online at the internet cafe (81 Nguyen Hue).
Sights
LONG XUYEN CATHOLIC CHURCH
One of the largest churches in the Mekong Delta, Long Xuyen Catholic Church (7.30am - 5.30pm) is an impressive modern structure that boasts a 50m-high bell tower. It was constructed between 1966 and 1973 and can seat 1000 worshippers.
AN GIANG MUSEUM
This sleepy little museum (Bao Tang An Giang; Tell: 841 251; 77 Ð Thoai Ngoc Hau; admission free; 7.30-10.30am Tue, Thu, Sat & Sun, plus 2-4.30pm Sat & Sun) is a proud highlight of An Giang province and features photographs and personal effects of the former president. Ton Duc Thang. There are also some artefacts from the Oc-Eo site near Long Xuyen and displays that de tail the history of this region from the 1930s to the present day.
CHO MOI DISTRICT
Across the river from Long Xuyen, Cho Moi district is known for its rich groves of fruit such as bananas, durians, guava, jackfruit, longans, mangoes, mangosteens and plums.
Cho Moi district can be reached by boat from the ferry terminal at the foot of Ð Nguyen Hue.
LONG XUYEN CROCODILE FARM
For a close-up view of the reptile that once ruled the Mekong, this farm (44/1 A Ð Tran Hung Dao; admission 5000d; 7am-6pm) is home to thousands of crocodiles, ranging in -size from 10cm to 4m. The meat and skin of these animals is largely exported, though some Vietnamese drop-in for fresh or frozen crocodile meat (50,000d to 140,000d per kg). The farm lies 8km south of town on the road to Can Tho.
Sleeping
Thai Binh Hotel II (4 Ð Nguyen Hue A; r 70,000-220,000d; The cheapest rooms are stifling at this older, privately run place, but the air-con quarters are spacious and airy with balconies. Friendly staff are a bonus.
Long Xuyen Hotel (19 Ð Nguyen Van Cung; r 140,000-270,000d; This ageing classic has rooms in fair shape with shared balconies and baths with hot water.
Dong Xuyen Hotel (Đ 9A Luong Van Cu; d 300,000-500,000d, ste 600,000d). Long Xuyen's fanciest digs are located right in the centre of town. Well-appointed rooms (satellite TV, minibar etc) are matched by facilities and services like massage and steam bath. Even the staff sparkle with friend liness and good English skills.
Eating
Besides the hotel restaurants, it's slim pickings for decent eating spots in Long Xuyen.
Hai Thue ( 245/3 Ð Luong Van Cu; mains 15,000d; breakfast, lunch & dinner) A popular choice serving up excellent and cheap Vietnamese food.
Buu loc (246/3 Đ Luong Van Cu; mains 15,000d; breakfast, lunch & dinner) There's no English menu, but this is another top local place for satisfying, inexpensive meals.
Hong Phat (Tell: 842 359; 242/4 Đ Luong Van Cu; mains 15,000-30,000d; breakfast, lunch & dinner) A good, value place for its simple seafood dishes.
There's good coffee and a happening scene at the riverside cafes (coffee 4000d) on Ð Pham Hong Thai.
Getting There & Away

BOAT
To get to the Long Xuyen ferry dock from Đ Pham Hong Thai, you'll need to cross Duy Tan Bridge and turn right. Passenger ferries leave from here to Cho Vam, Dong Tien, Hong Ngu, Kien Luong, Lai Vung, Rach Gia, Sa Dec and Phu Chau (Tan Chau). Boats to Rach Gia (15.000d, nine hours) leave at 6.30am and/or 8am. You can also catch boats from here to Sa Dec (10,000d, four hours) at noon.
From the An Hoa ferry terminal you can also catch boats to Cao Lanh and Sa Dec.
BUS
The buses heading from HCMC to Long Xuyen leave from the Mien Tay bus station; (around 35,000d).
Long Xuyen bus station (Ben Xe Long Xuyen; Tell: 852 125; opposite 96/3B Ð Tran Hung Dao) is at the southern end of town. Buses from Long Xuyen to Ca Mau. Can Tho, Chau Doc, Ha Tien, HCMC and Rach Gia leave from here.
CAR & MOTORBIKE
Long Xuyen is 62km from Can Tho, 126km from My Tho and 189km from HCMC.
Getting Around
The best way to get around Long Xuyen is to take a cyclo, xe dap loi (a two-wheeled wagon pulled by a bicycle) or a xe loi.
Car ferries from Long Xuyen to Cho Moi district (across the river) leave from the ferry terminal near the market every half-hour between 4am and 6.30pm.