Dien Bien Phu, Vestige of Indochina War

Holding a star role in Vietnam’s modern history, Dien Bien Phu is a favorite destinations for both Vietnamese and foreigners.

Dien Bien Phu is the capital of Dien Bien province in northwestern Vietnam. The city is located in Muong Thanh valley about 20km long and 6km wide. That is why this city is known as “pool of Dien Bien”. Dien Bien Phu is 474km from Hanoi via highways 279 and 6 or by plane (one hour flight). The visit of Dien Bien Phu is often included as a step in a closed circle of at least five days to the North – West of the country.

Dien Bien Phu is a small plain in the North, which is near the Chinese and Laotian borders. In Vietnamese, Điện means an administration, Biên refers to a border area and Phủ means district, either in Frenchified terms “chief place of prefectural border”. In Tai language, the city is called Muong Tenh, Muong is designating the place, country or city and “Tenh” means the sky. It appears as a large plain covered with rice paddies and fields, with the village itself, and a river (Nam Youn) that crosses the plain. This is the only flat spot for hundreds of kilometers away and includes a former airfield built by the Japanese during World War II.

The provincial climate is tropical from high mountain and divided into two seasons: the rainy and dry seasons. The annual average temperature ranges from 21oC to 23oC.

Dien Bien province is known for the battle of Dien Bien Phu in 1954 between Viet Minh army (led by General Vo Nguyen Giap) and the French troops (the Christian commander of Castries). The victory of the Vietnamese army was important to end the role of the French in Indochina and led to the signing of an agreement which divided Vietnam into two zones: the North and South. This victory is considered as the biggest win of the countries in Southeast Asia against the Western powers.

The sights of Dien Bien Phu include the War Museum, the Command Post of De Castries and the Command Post of General Giap and his advisers. You can also visit the deep tunnels that were used as shelter in case of bombing. The excursion to the Command Post of General Giap is the opportunity to discover the riches of the mountains surrounding Dien Bien Phu: splendid scenery, lakes, waterfalls and very typical villages. The various ethnic minorities that inhabit this region are unquestionably the greatest wealthy.

Dien Bien Phu Museum

Located opposite to the martyz cemetery on Hill A1 downtown, the Museum was built in 1984 to mark the 30th anniversary of the historic victory of Dien Bien Phu. In the end of 2003, the Museum was restored and currently have five exhibition areas with 274 objects and 122 photos on the following themes:

  • Strategic location of Dien Bien Phu
  • Location of the enemy in Dien Bien Phu
  • Preparations and guidelines from the Party for Dien Bien Phu campaign
  • Values of Dien Bien Phu victory
  • Dien Bien Phu today

The Command Post of De Castries:

Located in Muong Thanh, visitors can see the roof of underground workplace. Around the tunnel is a system of defenses consisting of thick barbed iron and four tanks. De Castries tunnel (20m long and 8m wide) is divided into four rooms for work and rest. Today, visitors can see the iron dome and sand bags on the tunnel roof. Before, there was a covered walkway linking the tunnel on Hill A1. It is in this basement that De Castries welcomed several leaders such as French Premier Joseph Laniel, US President Dwight Eisenhower, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and known journalists.

Pa Khoang Lake

It is located in Muong Phang commune, 20km from Dien Bien Phu town. In the region live ethnic Thai and Kho Mu who retain the habits and customs of the Northwestern peoples. The lake has many benefits for tourist activities such as the rich vegetation, the varied topography and climate well suited for relaxation. In the forests around the lake, there are many varieties of orchids. In the lake there are many kinds of fish and phytoplankton (there are about 65 species of phytoplankton and 14 zooplankton species).

Pa Khoang Lake is a natural and majestic beauty hidden in the clouds. In the winter mist, it is a magical landscape with mountains and small houses in the background. In summer, the air is very pleasant with cool winds from the south. All this creates a quiet, romantic and appealing atmosphere.

Share on:

Places of interest

What clients say about us

Discover how our former clients share their REVIEWS and IMPRESSIONS!