Known in the Mekong Delta as the “father” of the floating hotel concept, travel operator Dang Dung has created a truly unique tourist accommodation for guests wanting to immerse themselves in southern culture.
Though the interior design was not majestic, the floating hotel had a warm and cozy feel
Many years ago, the Mekong Delta province of An Giang was the most famous in the country for its large quantity and diversity of floating fish farms.
The breeding practice caught on and soon a section of the Chau Doc river flowing through An Giang’s Chau Doc Town was dubbed the “Kingdom of fish farms.” Numerous residents bred enormous amounts of catfish in the area on floating wooden rafts.
The fish farms were short-lived, however, and many locals ended up selling their floating wooden rafts at cheap prices.
It was then that Dung saw an opportunity to create something new out of the farms, and wondered if he could rebuild one of them into a floating hotel on the river.
Before building it, Dung first did his homework, surveying the opinions of foreign tourists’ about the idea. He received positive feedback and many said they would be very interested in staying in such a hotel.
|Foreign tourists enjoy going by boat on Mekong river, spending time in the heart of the Mekong Delta while learning about the southern culture.|
With the encouraging responses, Dung set about carrying out his vision.
At first, the entrepreneur met with difficulty in the construction of the lodging, as he could not find an architect with experience in designing such a project. The main challenge was how to keep the small hotel floating at a stable level with varying amounts of guests onboard.
Dung and his workers spent several months constructing the 23-room hotel, among which 15 were fitted with air-conditioners. Though the interior design was not majestic, it had a warm and cozy feel.
After building the hotel, Dung bought another fish farm on which to build a two-storey restaurant that can accommodate 250 guests and serve delicious dishes from the Mekong.
Today, the Delta Floating Hotel and Restaurant accommodates many tourists year-round who say they enjoy spending time in the heart of the Mekong Delta while learning about the southern culture.
The hotel also offers river tours including a Chau Doc-Tinh Bien trip, in which tourists travel by boat while taking in the local scenery before arriving at Tinh Bien Border Gate where they can buy duty-free goods.
Another tour from Chau Doc to Chau Phong takes tourists to watch locals weaving brocade in Cham ethnic minority villages. The trip also includes a tour around the tram forest and Chau Doc villages.