Dien Bien Phu District – Lai Chau Province
Dien Bien Phu is the capital of Dien Bien District, Lai Chau Province in one of the most remote part of Vietnam. The town is 34km from the Lao Border in the flat, heart -shaped Muong Thanh Valley surrounded by steep and heavily forested hills. It is mostly inhabited by the Thai and H’mong minority people. History is the main attraction here and the scenery is just a sideshow enjoyed during arrival and departure overland.
What to do?
Almost historical sites of this battle lying to the east of Muong Thanh Field have been preserved intact. Following are a list of recommended places to visit in Dien Bien:
Dien Bien Phu Museum: It is an exhibition of documents and objects relating to the 55-day arduous battle of the Vietnamese troops and people, which results in the victory of Dien Bien Phu in the spring of 1954.
The cemeteries in A1 Hill (644 tombs) and Doc Lap Hill (2432 tombs), A1 Hill, where bitter fighting took place.
The Command Bunker of De Castries: lies at the heart of the entrenched camp of Dien Bien Phu in the middle of the Muong Thanh Field.
The old Muong Thanh Bridge Some 35km from the center of Dien Bien City, in Muong Phang Commune lies the Command Post of General Vo Nguyen Giap.
When to go?
All year round, best from September to April of next year
The overland trip to Dien Bien Phu can be more intriguing than the actual battlefield sites for which the town is so famous. Of course, you miss out on this if you fly.