Dien Bien Phu Travel And Tourist Guide

Every Vietnamese schoolchild and lots of foreigners know the name of Dien Bien Phu for a very specific reason – it was the scene of the decisive battle with the French in 1954 which ended almost a century of colonial rule. As such, most visitors are history or war buffs. For anyone else, there’s little of interest here.

On May 7, 1954, the battle of Dien Bien Phu ended with one of the most surprising outcomes of any battle of the 20th century – victory for the Viet Minh. The French occupied this remote area near the border with Laos in late 1953 to try to cut off supply routes of the Viet Minh guerrillas in the northern mountains, but General Giap, commander of the People’s Party, who knew the terrain very well, saw an opportunity to trap the French.



Re-live the stages of the decisive battle of Dien Bien Phu at the museum, cemetery and battleground sites with knowledgeable local guides who make this town come alive...more

Hotels & Restaurants

Choose between basic digs near the bus station and fancier places with pool, restaurant and high-end facilities which cater for the international tourist crowds...more


Breeze in on a short flight from Hanoi or take a few days on the overland route to this historic area which is situated very close to China and right on the border with Laos...more

Vietnamese History

Find out more about the actions that shaped this remarkable country with our brief guide to the history of Vietnam which spells out all the key moments surrounding this town...more

Note: To find more the best rate Hotels in Vietnam. We recommend you look online at Agoda.com. They seem to be the most competitively priced of the hotels sites.

Brief Guide to Dien Bien Phu - Birthplace of Independent Vietnam

General Giap stealthily moved thousands of troops and heavy artillery into place surrounding the valley.

The battle itself lasted 57 days, and despite the superiority of French equipment (helicopters and so on), the greater numbers of Vietnamese and sheer determination brought them victory, though at a terrible price, with over 20,000 lives lost.

Needless to say, this is a key pilgrimage site for patriotic Vietnamese, and in recent years Dien Bien Phu has seen great developments. It is now a provincial capital, the nearby border with Laos has opened to everyone, new avenues have been built and daily flights connect the town with Hanoi.

Though some ethnic minority groups, such as Hmong and Si La, live in the area, they are rarely seen in town, and the architecture of the town itself is dire, Soviet-style blocks, so there’s little appeal to the town apart from the museum, cemetery and battleground sites.

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