Dien Bien Phu – The History Place – Travel Guides
Dien Bien Phu is a mountainous border province in Northwest Vietnam, about 500 kilometres away from Hanoi; adjacent to Lai Chau in the north and Son La in the east and north-east, bordering Yunnan, China in the northwest and Laos in the west and southwest. Visiting Dien Bien, you will have chance to admire the nature and visit a proudly historical region, featuring years of intense fighting.
From Hanoi to Dien Bien Phu
By sleep bus: From Hanoi, you can take the sleep bus at My Dinh, Giap Bat and Nuoc Ngam bus station. It takes about 12 hours to travel from Hanoi to Dien Bien Phu. The buses constantly depart at 4:30am, 5:15am, 7am, 1pm and 5:30pm.
By plane: You can take flights of Vietnam Airlines, it takes only 1 hour to arrive in Dien Bien. From Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang or Can Tho to Dien Bien, you have to transit in Hanoi. From the airport you can take a taxi to Dien Bien city centre as it is only 4 kilometres. In order to go sightseeing, explore Dien Bien’s cuisine and go shopping in the city, you should rent a motorbike in the hotel.
The best time to Dien Bien Phu
Dien Bien has a tropical monsoon climate of mountainous region, so its weather is quite cool and the average temperature ranges from 21 to 23 degrees Celsius. It often rains heavily in June, July and August. You should avoid travelling to Dien Bien during this time because the road will be quite slippery and the land easily collapses, so it is not suitable for going out or sightseeing. The dry season starts from December to March. However, during this time, the temperature is relatively low at night – sometimes it drops to 12 degrees Celsius.
You can visit Dien Bien on Dien Bien Phu Victory Day (7th May) to participate in cultural activities. In addition, it is recommended to travel to Dien Bien for sightseeing in March (orchid tree flower season), September (harvest season), December (Tree marigold season).
Where to visit in Dien Bien?
The most famous historic relics in the city centre includes the hill A1, C1, C2, D1, Hong Cuc outpost, Doc Lap hill, Muong Thanh airport, de Castries commander’s basement, the martyrs’ cemetery, Dien Bien Phu Victory Monument – consisting of three statues made out of bronze of soldiers with a height of 16.6 metres on the hill D1, Dien Bien Phu Museum – where preserves many historical memorabilia in the battle of Dien Bien Phu, it is located on the hill A1, opposite the martyrs’ cemetery.
In addition, you should take a visit to the Headquarters of Dien Bien Phu Campaign located in the old-growth forest in Muong Phang commune, it is about 25 kilometres from the city. Or you can relax in the U Va and Hua Pe mineral hot spring, which feature poetic natural scenery. If you have more time in Dien Bien, you can visit Pá Khoang lake featuring a rich vegetation, colourful natural scenery and beautiful orchid forests around the lake; or the vast Muong Thanh fields stretching over 20 kilometres in length and 6 kilometres in width, it is dubbed as “the stockpile” filled with rice and corns.
Dien bien Museum
Hotels and local cuisine
Dien Bien also has many hotels such as Him Lam, Cong Doan, Ha Noi – Dien Bien Phu, Asean, Muong Thanh, Nhu Ngoc hotel. And it is recommended to have reservation in advance. Or if you like to stay the homestay, you can stay in the stilt houses of Thai people to experience and learn the local culture.
Most of the hotels in Dien Bien have restaurants or you can go out to enjoy specialties in Salmon restaurant near Dien Bien airport. Dien Bien’s famous delicious dishes include ones made from fish caught in Da river, Nam Rom river such as pa pỉnh tộp (grilled stream fish), pa giảng (dried fish), dishes served with sauce for each season such as bitter or sweet bamboo shoots, choy sum, vegetable fern, grilled food which is specially marinated or boiled dishes, sour soup with typical taste.