Beyond many minor landscape and a happy market, the capital of An Giang province offers little to delay visitors. It’s a relativelyrich place, making its money from agriculture (especially cashew nuts) and fish processing.
Until 1956 the Hoa Hao had an army and situated a major military force at this place. The town’s other claim to fame is being the birthplace of Vietnam’s second president, Ton Duc Thang.
During the 1st to 6th centuries AD, as southern Vietnam and southern Cambodia were under the rule of the Indian-influenced Cambodian kingdom of Funan, Oc-Eo (the scant remains of which lie 37km southwest of Long Xuyen) was a main trading city. Much of what is known about the Funan empire, which reached its height during the 5th century AD, comes from contemporary Chinese sources and the excavations at Oc-Eo and Angkor Borei in neighbouring Cambodia. The excavations have given evidence of contact between Oc-Eo and what is now Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia, along with Persia and the Roman Empire.
An complicated system of canals around Oc-Eo was once used for both irrigation and transportation, prompting Chinese visitors of the time to write about ‘sailing across Funan’ on their way to the Malay Peninsula. Many buildings of Oc-Eo were constructed on piles and pieces of these structures indicate the high degree of refinement achieved by Funanese civilisation. Artefacts found at Oc-Eo are on demonstration at the History Museum and Fine Arts Museum in Ho Chi Minh city, as well as at the History Museum in Hanoi.
Blue Sky Crocodile Land CROCODILE FARM
(Ca Sau Long Xuyen; 076-383 1298; 44/1A Ð Tran Hung Dao; admission 10,000d; 7am-6pm) For a close-up view of the reptile that once ruled the Mekong, go to this farm that’s home to a lot of crocodiles varying in size from 10cm to 4m. The meat and skin of these animals is widely exported, though some Vietnamese drop in to buy fresh or frozen crocodile meat or to eat out at the on-site restaurant. A little shop offers crocodile-skin wallets and bags. The farm lies 8km south of town on the road to Can Tho.
Long Xuyen Catholic Church
(Ð Tran Hung Dao) One of the biggest churches in the Mekong Delta and dominating town, this impressive modern cathedral is topped by a 50m-high bell tower and can seat 1000 worshippers. Built between 1966 and 1973 – you can tell – the interior is spacious and well-ventilated, with a sculptural centrepiece of a giant crucifix resting on a globe supported by two hands.
Cho Moi DISTRICT
Across the river from Long Xuyen, Cho Moi district is well-known for its groves of fruit such as bananas, durians, guava, jackfruit, longans, mangoes, mangosteens and plums. Take a boat from the passenger ferry terminal.
Dong Xuyen Hotel $
(076-394 2260; www.angiangtourimex.com.vn; 9A Ð Luong Van Cu; r 400,000-770,000d, ste 800,000d) The smartestsite in town, Dong Xuyen has pleasurably furnished and well-equipped rooms. Staff are friendly and speak good English.
Long Xuyen Hotel $
(076-384 1927; www.angiangtourimex.com.vn; 19 Ð Nguyen Van Cung; r 300,000-420,000d) An overhaul is badly needed, but prices are not expensive and there’s a good restaurant at this good hotel. Rooms have some charm and include satellite TV, hot water and shared balconies.
Hong Phat VIETNAMESE $
(242/4 Ð Luong Van Cu; mains 30,000-80,000d; 9am-9pm) English food, grilled meats, plenty of seafood, kind and friendly staff and air-con make this a reliable and smart choice.
Hai Thue VIETNAMESE $
( 076-384 5573; 245/3 Ð Luong Van Cu; mains 15,000-40,000d) A good stop for cheap, reliable Vietnamese food.
Getting There & Away
To get to the Long Xuyen ferry dock from Ð Pham Hong Thai, you’ll need to cross Duy Tan Bridge and turn right. Traveller ferries leave from here to Sa Dec and other Delta destinations.
Buses from Hochiminh city to Long Xuyen leave from the Mien Tay bus station (from 85,000d). At the southern end of town, Long Xuyen bus station (Ben Xe Khach Long Xuyen; 076-385 2125; opposite 96/3B Ð Tran Hung Dao) is a roadside terminus about 1.5km down Ð Phan Cu Luong, off Ð Tran Hung Dao. Buses from Long Xuyen to Can Tho (62km), Chau Doc (55km), Ha Tien (130km) and Rach Gia (75km).
Car & Motorcycle
To reach Cao Lanh or Sa Dec you can take the car ferry from An Hoa ferry terminal.