Ha Giang Adventure Tours

Dien Bien Phu

Dien Bien Phu town lies to the west of northern Vietnam, approximately 10 km from the border with Laos. It is located in Muong Thanh valley in a heart shape, 20 km long and 6 km wide valley. The scenery around the town are wonderful, the town is situated on a dry plain. There is also an airport with regular flights to Hanoi and back. Flights operated by Vietnam Airlines 3 times a week.

Dien Bien is a city where, in 1954, fought in the decisive battle of the Indochina War, the communist oriented Vietminh with Ho Chi Minh, againts the French colonial army.

The good place to visit is also Pa Khoang lake and reservation.
Pa Khoang lake and reservation is located about 20 km east of Dien Bien. If you want a break from the war monuments, it is the perfect place for relax. This lake was formerly a creek, but when there were built irrigation systems for rice fields, from the creek became a lake. You can rent a boat and make a cruise on the lake. On that occasion, visit some villages of ethnic residents around the lake.

French troops suffered here a big defeat in the Indochina war in 1954.
Trench warfare lasted 56 days and the city suffered. 8000 French troops was captured by Vietnamese and on both sides were losing around 3 000 dead soldiers. This was a key moment of the cold war, in which the French tried to win the war of their colonies, it was between 1946-1954. Some remnants of the war you can see around the town of Dien Bien.

You can see several historical sites of Indochina war in Dien Bien Phu.
Most famous historical sites are The town museum, Cemetery of Vietminh troops, Hill A1, Bunker of Colonel de Castries. Vietminh defeated the French army and the war in Indochina and colonial rule was ended. It was one of the greatest defeats of the French army. Geneva conference in 1954 divided the Vietnam by the 17th parallel in to the two separate states. The unification of North and South Vietnam occurred in 1976.

Another important historical site is headquarters of general Vo Nguyen Giap in the village of Phang – Muong Phang. This place was the headquarters of Vietnamese troops and general Vo Nguyen Giap, he defeated french troops in 1954 in Dien Bien Phu town.

You can visit Laos – the border crossing at Tay Trung is open for tourists.
A big attraction is the ride a motorcycle around the city of Dien Bien. You can see amazing scenery of rice fields, mountains and hills or visiting the village Noong Chun. In this village you can meet a lot of people of White Thai ethnic minority group. Meet their habits or watch the cultural performances. In this area and also in Dien Bien Phu province live a lot people from the Hmong ethnic minority group.
Ideal climate in the Dien Bien Phu is good for growing a variety of specialties, such Nep Nuong rice. You can try various rice dishes for example well known Xoi Nep Nuong, Com Lam (rice in bamboo) and Banh den.

Weather in Dien Bien Phu:
The best time to visit is between November and April, when the days are dry and warm. But pack warm clothes-nights up in the mountains can be cold. Avoid July and August, the height of the rainy season.

How to get to Dien Bien Phu town:
It is possible to use Vietnam Airlines plane from Hanoi (use a search engine of transportation Baolau). The flight takes 1 hour, price is 30 USD. You can arrive with a local buses from the cities of Lai Chau, Muong Lay, Son La. There is no train connection in Dien Bien province.

Places of interest in Dien Bien Phu:
• Victory museum
• Memorial and cemetary of Vietnamese soldiers
• Hill A1
• Bunker of Colonel de Castries
• Noong Chun village
• Pa Thom cave (near the border with Laos)
• Pa Khoang lake and reserve
• headquarters of general Vo Nguyen Giap in Muong Phang
• riding a motorcycle in the province.

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