Dien Bien Phu in Vietnam

Dien Bien Phu is the capital of the province of Dien Bien situated in the northwest of Vietnam. The city is located in the basin of Muong Thanh, about 480 km from Hanoi. Its population is about 100 thousand people with the main ethnic groups: Thai, King, Hmong, and Dao... Here is the main information of Dien Bien Phu.

Geography of Dien Bien Phu:

Dien Bien Phu is located in the valley of Muong Thanh belonging to the district of Dien Bien of the province of Lai Chau. This valley is about 23 km long and from 6 to 8 km wide on average with 12 communes which include: Thanh Minh, Điện Biên, Thanh Xương, Thanh An, Noong Hẹt, Sam Mứn, Noong Luống, Thanh Yên, Thanh Chăn, Thanh Hưng, Thanh Luông and Thanh Nưa.

Dien Bien Phu

In 1991, the city was founded having 7 districts: Mường Thanh, Tân Thanh, Thanh Bình, Noong Bua, Him Lam, Nam Thanh, Thanh Trường and 2 communes: Thanh Minh and Tà Lèng. At present, the city of Dien Bien Phu is the capital of the province of Dien Bien.

Summary History of Dien Bien Phu:

Dien Bien Phu is called Muong Thanh in the language of the Thai ethnic group which means "Land of God", in association with the legend of the appearance of this people in Vietnam. It is also the "ancestral land" of Thai ethnic groups in Southeast Asia. The name of Dien Bien Phu was named by King Thieu Tri in 1841 which means: Creation, establishment ... at the border.

Above all, the valley is known by the historic battle in 1954 between Vietnamese troops called Viet Minh commanded by General Vo Nguyen Giap and the French army commanded by General Christian de Castries. The battle of Dien Bien Phu ended the role of the French people in the Indochina peninsula and led to the signing of the agreement to continue dividing Vietnam into two regions: North and South. During this battle, the Vietnamese forces of Viet Minh moved their artillery to the hills around the basin. By mobilizing as much as possible a great strength of its logistics, the Viet Minh has one of the most important victories in the history of the wars in Vietnam. The remains of the military battle were officially added to the list of National Historic Vestiges in 1962. At present, Vo Nguyen Giap Boulevard across the Muong Thanh valley is the largest street in the city of Dien Bien Phu.

Dien Bien Phu

Tourist destinations in Dien Bien Phu:

Dien Bien Phu has become a popular tourist destination for history lovers to explore the ruins of war. In addition, there is also the potential for the immaterial culture of 21 ethnic groups living together; each ethnic group has its own cultural nuances, such as Thai, H'mong, Khmu and Dao. The town has many caves, lakes and mineral water resources that constitute a rich potential of natural tourism such as virgin forests in Muong Nhe, Thom Cave, Tham Pua Cave, hot mineral water of Hua Pe and U Va, Pa Khoang Lake, Pe Luong Lake, Huoi Pha Lake... In general, foreign visitors spend a half day to visit the following main historic attractions in Dien Bien Phu:

Hill A1: The 49m high A1 hill is located in the east of the Muong Thanh valley. During the war, the French army built here the strongest resistance with the solid tunnels ... At the same time, the French army has constantly strengthened the strongest force to defend themselves. Thus, the 174 regiment of the army of Vietnam launched 4 offensive waves but could occupy only half of the hill. Until 6 - 5 – 1954, the army of Vietnam could destroy this tunnel system with 1 ton of explosive powder. It was the fiercest battle in the entire Dien Bien Phu military campaign.

Hill C1: Hill C1 of 50 m high had the role of protecting the center of the valley of Muong Thanh. The French army built here a strong base to prevent the enemy coming from the east and the north. The battle on the C1 hill opened March 31, 1954 was one of the most important in the campaign of Dien Bien Phu.

Dien Bien Phu

Hill D1: During the war, this hill was a defense base in east of the basin. Today, this place was chosen by Vietnamese people for the location of the monument of the victory of Dien Bien Phu.

Hill E1 was one of the five strongest bases which were responsible for preventing attacks of Vietnamese troops from the Northeast. Like hill D1, A1 ... the battle on hill E1 was one of the fiercest during the military campaign of Dien Bien Phu.

Post of the command of the basin of Dien Bien Phu or of General De Castries: It was General de Castries' office and residence when he commanded here the troops of the French army. The post is located in the fields of the Muong Thanh valley and was built in a very solid way with iron arches, wooden planks, sandbags, very dense barbed wire fences... The current size the post is still preserved in an almost untouched way and becomes one of the attractive tourist sites in Dien Bien Phu for the pilgrims of history.

Opposite the command post, there is the ancient Muong Thanh bridge which used by the Vietnamese troop to capture live De Castries and the command post of Charles Piroth who is the Commander of the artillery of the French troops in Dien Bien Phu.

Dien Bien Phu

Museum of the Dien Bien Phu Campaign: This is one of the most interesting sites here. The museum is located in front of the monument for the dead soldiers A1 in the city center of Dien Bien Phu which exposes the weapons, tools of the army of Vietnam and France army during this military campaign...

At present, the museum has two exhibition spaces:

The exterior includes the 112 weapons used during the battle of Dien Bien Phu by the French and the Vietnamese peoples.

Inside: There are over 400 selected documents and objects with four main themes:

- Summary of 8 years of resistance of the army and the people of Vietnam: 1945 - 1954.

- Plan and the action of the French army, the policies of the Vietnamese people between from 1953 to 1954.

- The preparation of the army and the people of Vietnam and the main events during the campaign of Dien Bien Phu.

- Impact of this campaign for Vietnam and international plans and Dien Bien Phu today.

Monument to the dead soldiers A1: The monument is in front of the Dien Bien Phu campaign museum, about 200m. In the monument built in 1958 and renovated in 1994, there are 644 graves of Vietnamese soldiers, of which 640 graves are anonymous. In front of the tombs, there are two large walls on which the name, the first name, the province, the unit ... of these soldiers were engraved in bronze. Every day, especially during public holidays, the monument in Dien Bien Phu is very visited by local tourists.

Dien Bien Phu

Memorial of the French soldiers: The memorial was built on the initiative of French veteran called Rolf Roder, the sergeant, the commander of the commando troop of the squadron 10, battalion 3, regiment 3 of the troop of French legionnaires. The memorial was inaugurated on 7 May 1994 with the financial support of ANAPI (National Association of Ancient Parachutists of Indochina), with a surface area of approximately 1000 m, located about 200 m from General de Castries command post on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the end of Dien Bien Phu.

Citadel of Ban Phu: The citadel was built by General Hoang Cong Chat between 1758 and 1762 to protect the Muong Thanh valley against the invasion of enemies. The 15m high fence wall surrounded by bamboos and moats creates a very majestic setting at about 10km from Dien Bien Phu.

Dien Bien Phu in which moment?

In March, when the spring rains end, the flowers start to praise beauty on the mountains following the roads to go to Dien Bien Phu. At that time, many travelers gather, especially the locals to admire the immaculate beauty of the mountains in the Northwest of Vietnam. In May, June, July and August, it is hot here as in most places in Vietnam. In September, the landscapes are covered by the golden yellow color of the terraced rice fields, seemingly endless valleys. Since November, it is no longer hot. It is the season of flowers like: Sunflower, peach... covering the roads to go to Dien Bien Phu...

Moment to avoid or to choose?

In particular, if you have the opportunity to come to Dien Bien on 7/5, you will have the opportunity to plunge yourself into cultural activities of the Vietnamese people to celebrate the victory. The city becomes especially animated with the activities of commemoration of the end of the military campaign. But there is one problem: It is the shortage of accommodation establishments. You should book the hotel a lot in advance before going to Dien Bien Phu at that time.

How to go to Dien Bien Phu?

Dien Bien Phu lies about 500 km from Hanoi with mountain roads. Since the last years, the quality of the road has improved much, bitumen, tarred ... However, there is the risk of landslides between July and October. There are the following ways to go to Dien Bien Phu:

By air route:

Vietnam Airlines is the only airline company which offers two round trips between Hanoi and Dien Bien Phu. The price of the ticket varies greatly with the trip lasting about 1 hour. You can contact us: info@guideduvietnam.com for more details.

By the road:

You can go to Dien Bien Phu from Giap Bat bus station and My Dinh bus station in Hanoi with daily berth buses in direct. You can go to these bus stations to buy the ticket or contact the bus of Hai Van which is the best known company: Phone: 024 38717171; 0982428868 or click here

You can also go by motorbike following the bus route: It is the road number 6: Hanoi - Hoa Binh - Son La - Pha Din - Tuan Giao - Dien Bien Phu.

But, in our opinion, the best way to go there is to rent the private car to be comfortable. In addition, you can stop everywhere to make beautiful pictures, contact with ethnic groups... In this case, it would be better to follow suggestions of some following itineraries:

Hanoi - Mai Chau: To see Mai Chau, click here

Mai Chau - Son La

Son La – Dien Bien Phu: Visit Dien Bien Phu in the afternoon

Or: Mai Chau - Dien Bien Phu in one day.

Or: Hanoi - Son La

Son La – Dien Bien Phu: Visit Dien Bien Phu in the afternoon

From Dien Bien Phu, you can follow the itinerary:

Dien Bien - Sapa in one day. To see Sapa, click here

Or: Dien Bien - Lai Chau

Lai Chau - Sapa

Or: Lai Chau - Mu Cang Chai. To see Mu Cang Chai, click here...

Accommodation in Dien Bien Phu:

In Dien Bien Phu, there is not much choice as in big cities. Still, you also have the correct hotels if you book them in advance:

. Muong Thanh Hotel: 514 Võ Nguyên Giáp, Him Lam; Phone: 02153810 043; Email: info@dienbienphu.muongthanh.vn

This is the best hotel here with the outdoor pool and many professional spa and massages services. Most tourists choose this hotel when arriving in Dien Bien Phu.

. Hotel Ruby: 43 Phường Mường Thanh; TV: 02153835568; Hotline: 0914068669; Email: rubyhoteldienbien@gmail.com

This hotel has a convenient location, clean rooms and friendly service.

. Hotel A1: 3 Hoang Cong Chất, P Mường Thanh; Telephone: 02153952999 - 3813111; Hotline: 01223348866; Email: a1hoteldb@gmail.com

This 3-star hotel is well located, clean with large rooms…

. Hotel Phuong Nam: 211- Tổ 3, Phường Tân Thanh; Telephone: 02156256256, hotline: 0901455888; Enamel: phuongnamhoteldienbien@gmail.com

This hotel has new rooms, a friendly staff...

You can send us an email to: info@guideduvietnam.com for more free details about the most important historical vestige of the French Indochina War. Alternatively, we wish you a very good trip in Dien Bien Phu!