Dien Bien Phu see and do guide

An independent selection of the best things to see and do in Dien Bien Phu. No paid placements, no advertorial.

Dien Bien Phu
see and do guide

Introduction

| 27 Jan 2012
Last updated 27 Jan 2012

Dien Bien Phu is one of Vietnam's most important battlegrounds. It'also one of its best preserved. Armed with war correspondent Bernard Fall's classic, Hell in a Very Small Place: The Siege at Dien Bien Phu, it's easy to be completely immersed in the 1954 French military disaster that established once and for all the military credentials of Ho Chi Minh's revolutionary forces.

While many of the landmarks of battle are easily identified, good information for travellers is more scarce. Most local tour guides seem to only have a basic grip on the battle as well.

For those with a passing interest in the war history, half a day will suffice for visiting the main sights in and around Dien Bien Phu. It's a small town and the sights are close by one another. If you're interest runs deeper, allow a day or more - but remember to bring your historical resources with you. What's available locally is very limited.

Outside of town, the Viet Minh headquarters from which General Giap commanded his forces is worth visiting even if your historical interest is modest. Set amidst Thai villages in beautiful countryside, you can pass on the history and explore the location if you prefer.
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Dien Bien Phu Museum

The museum dedicated to telling the incredible story of the 1954 battle of Dien Bien Phu is a disappointment. Nonetheless, it's... Read more

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Dien Bien Phu Museum
7 May St, Dien Bien Phu

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General Giap's Headquarters, Dien Bien Phu

17 kilometres east of Dien Bien Phu are the remains of General Giap's Viet Minh headquarters from which led the successful... Read more

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General Giap's Headquarters, Dien Bien Phu
Muong Phang, 17 kms east of DIen Bien Phu town

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Exploring around Dien Bien Phu

The countryside outside of Dien Bien Phu is picturesque and great for exploration by bicycle. Read more

Colonel de Castries' bunker, Dien Bien Phu

Colonel de Castries was the French commander at Dien Bien Phu. His bunker was overrun by Viet Minh forces on 7 May 1954 ending... Read more

Hill A1 - Eliane, Dien Bien Phu

The most important French position in the Dien Bien Phu valley, Hill A1 - known to the French as Eliane was considered... Read more

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Hill A1 - Eliane, Dien Bien Phu
7 May St, Dien Bien Phu

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War Cemetery, Dien Bien Phu

A large military cemetery in the centre of town is the resting place for some of the Viet Minh fighters who lost their lives in... Read more

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War Cemetery, Dien Bien Phu
7 May St, Dien Bien Phu

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