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Dien Bien Phu Travel Essentials

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"The Historic Town Where The French Were Defeated"

Dien Bien Phu Tourism

Formerly known as Thaeng, Dien Bien Phu is the capital of Dien Bien Province in the northwestern region of Vietnam. It is among the most historically eminent cities in Vietnam. It is here that the French were finally defeated in the year 1954 by the Viet Minh Communist Revolutionaries.

Initially, just a small settlement with very less population, it achieved town status in 1992 and became a city only in 2003. The quaint town is full of natural beauty as you make your way through dense forests and hills and slopes.

Currently populated by only a handful of locals, it acts as a commercial trade centre of Vietnam. The laidback rhythm of Vietnamese life can still be witnessed here as you see locals mill about their daily chores and businesses in traditional dresses.

This small town resides in the lap of Muong Thanh valley and is 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.  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. The spirit of the city is like a phoenix rising after war and it is slowly but surely catching up to its current status as an economic hub.

Things to do in Dien Bien Phu

1. Muong Thanh Valley

Muong Thanh Valley
Muong Thanh is a heart-shaped valley located in Dien Bien province to the northwest of Vietnam. This gorgeous basin is well-known for its natural beauty as it is surrounded by paddy fields, rivers, an (Read More)d stunning lakes. In fact, Dien Bien Phu is located within this valley. The famous battle of Dien Bien Phu was thus, fought right here.

2. Victory Monument

Victory Monument
Largest monument in Vietnam

3. A1 Hill

A1 Hill
One the most significant sites in Dien Bien Phu, A1 crater was the place where the Viet Minh registered their final victory, bringing to an end the famous Battle of Dien Bien Phu. The Viet Minh fought (Read More) the battle for a whole 39 days and nights and finally reclaimed the hill by blasting it fro underneath.

4. War Cemetry

War Cemetry
Large Military Cemetry for the fighters of Viet Minh

5. French War Memorial

French War Memorial
The French War Memorial in Dien Bien Phu is the only one built to commemorate the loss of French lives in the historic battle of Dien Bien Phu.

6. Dien Bien Phu Museum

Dien Bien Phu Museum
The Dien Bien Phu Museum located in Dien Bien is an attempt to commemorate the historic battle of 1954 fought between the French and the Viet Minh soldiers. The battle translated to victory for the Vi (Read More)et Minh and brought an end to the French occupation of Indochina.

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Battle of Dien Bien Phu

The historic importance of Dien Bien Phu lies in the fact that it was the site of the triumph of the Viet Minh soldiers over the French occupation in the First Indochina War of 1954. The French army heavily underestimated the Viet Minh and wanted to choke the army by cutting off its resources and then finally bring in aerial reinforcements to claim the territory.
The French believed that the Viet Minh had no capability to retaliate air attacks. However, the Viet Minh - under the able leadership of Ho Chi Minh - were able to move quickly through the terrain with heavy anti-air attack artillery and defeated the French in a long battle that lasted 28 Days.

Best Time to Visit Dien Bien Phu

How to Reach Dien Bien Phu

How to Reach Overview

Dien Bien Phu is connected with the rest of Vietnam through air, roadways and even by the river (Nam Ou). However, the best way to reach this town is through bus transport or by air from Hanoi.

How to reach Dien Bien Phu by flight

Vietnam Air Services Company, also known as, Vietnam Airlines is the only service provider that operates flights to Dien Bien Phu from Hanoi. There are daily flights, however, the schedules are subject to change.

How to reach Dien Bien Phu by road

Dien Bien Phu is located approximately 450 away from Hanoi. The QL6 connects the two destinations and passes through rolling hills and quaint town.
Cabs are available from Hanoi and Sapa/Lao Chai. However, the bus is far more preferred and easier way to travel and get to Dien Bien Phu.

How to reach Dien Bien Phu by bus

  • Sleeper Buses are available from Hanoi's My Dinh at 5:30 pm every day. The trip takes 11-12 hours and 350,000 dongs. Buses are also available from Sapa/Lao Cai and Laos. The prices, however, are subject to change.
  • You can also self-book your bus at My Dinh Bus Station in Hanoi Old Quarter if you do not wish to go through a travel agent.

How to reach Dien Bien Phu by waterways

From Muan Khua, a boat ride can be taken to Muang Ngoi, Nong Khiaw and Luang Prabang. Nam Ou river offers some stunning natural scenic beauty along the way.

Local transport in Dien Bien Phu

The town is quite small and you can walk around. Motorbikes are available easily for rides and you would be able to see various service providers ambling around in the streets. Cabs (Van) are also available for long distances.

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Dien Bien Phu Photos

Dien Bien Phu, Vietnam

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FAQs on Dien Bien Phu

What is famous about Dien bien phu?

  • Historic Town
  • Gorgeous Scenery
  • Tribal Living
  • Hospitable Residents
  • Well-Connected to Hanoi

What are the places near Dien bien phu?

The top places near to Dien bien phu are Sapa which is 133 km from Dien bien phu, Hanoi which is located 293 km from Dien bien phu, Halong bay which is located 434 km from Dien bien phu, Hue which is located 728 km from Dien bien phu, Son la which is located 79 km from Dien bien phu

What are the things to do in Dien bien phu?

The top things to do in Dien bien phu are Muong Thanh Valley, Victory Monument, A1 Hill, War Cemetry, French War Memorial, Dien Bien Phu Museum. You can see all the places to visit in Dien bien phu here

What is the best way to reach Dien bien phu?

Dien Bien Phu is connected with the rest of Vietnam through air, roadways and even by the river (Nam Ou). However, the best way to reach this town is through bus transport or by air from Hanoi.

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What is the local food in Dien bien phu?

Vietnamese love noodles! Rice is consumed in Dien Bien Phu in many forms like noodles, pancakes, porridges, etc. Fish sauce, vegetables and herbs form and intrinsic part of the healthy cuisine of Vietnam. Spring Rolls and Bread Rolls are the Vietnamese dishes, famous around the world.

Here is a list of Vietnamese Dishes that you can try!

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What is the best time to visit Dien bien phu?

April to June is the best time to visit Dien Bien Phu as it is spring season. (April to June) Dien Bien Phu is located in Northwestern Vietnam of its location in the North and thus, winters can be freezing and rough. The spring months between April to June and September to November are good to plan your trip here.
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Who should visit Dien bien phu?

  • History Buffs
  • Nature Lovers
  • Slow Travellers

What is not so good about Dien bien phu?

  • Quiet and Laidback Town
  • E-visa does not allow you to cross borders to Laos from this town
  • Language Barrier may be present

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