Formerly known as Thaeng, Dien Bien Phu is the capital of Dien Bien Province in the northwestern region of Vietnam. Initially, just a small settlement with very less population, it achieved town status in 1992 and became a city only in 2003. It is best known for the historical 'Battle of Dien Bien Phu' during the First Indochina War.
This small town resides in the lap of Muong Thanh valley, bordered by Vietnamese provinces Lai Chau and Son La in east and south, Chinese Pu'er City in the north and Phongsaly in Laos in the west. It is surrounded by thick forests and beautiful hills which fill this simple town with scenic beauty. The valley is heart shaped and shelters a population of Thai, Hmong and Si La groups. Vietnamese ethnic groups which form about one-third of the population live on the plains which essentially form the city. After the fierce battle in 1954, the city has witnessed humongous change, and many civic buildings and promenades have been constructed since then. It also has various ancient monuments and is a historic battlefield site.