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Dien Bien Phu

For history buffs, a trip to Vietnam is simply not complete without a visit to Dien Bien Phu in the northwest region. The site of the Battle of Dien Bien Phu during the first Indochina War, the small town was fortified by the French in 1953 until it was seized by the Viet Minh, leading to the end of the war and French colonization. Today, the town is home to more than 100,000 people, many of Thai derivation. Much of the tourist sites are remnants of fortification or war monuments, though the city is also becoming a hotspot for shopping and eating - as well as catching a bus to neighboring Laos.
For history buffs, a trip to Vietnam is simply not complete without a visit to Dien Bien Phu in the northwest region. The site of the Battle of Dien Bien Phu during the first Indochina War, the small town was fortified by the French in 1953 until it was seized by the Viet Minh, leading to the end of the war and French colonization. Today, the town is home to more than 100,000 people, many of Thai derivation. Much of the tourist sites are remnants of fortification or war monuments, though the city is also becoming a hotspot for shopping and eating - as well as catching a bus to neighboring Laos.

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A1 Hill

Known to the Vietnamese as A1 Hill and to the French as Eliane, this area was once part of the French fortification. Now, it is home to a monument paying tribute to Viet Minh soldiers who died while fighting the French army.

Bunker of Colonel de Castries

This old French battle defence has been recreated as tourists have shown an interest in the area’s history. Explore the bunker and check out some of the discarded tanks around it - remnants of the battle now 60 years ago.

Cemeteries

As a town with a bloody history, cemeteries are one of the main “attractions”, so to speak. On one side of the Ron River is a French cemetery with a monument commemorating the 30th anniversary of the battle; on the other side, the Dien Bien Phu Cemetery for fallen Viet Minh soldiers.

Dien Bien Phu Victory Museum

Visitors can learn more about the history of Dien Bien Phu through five exhibits discussing its location, the strategies of both sides during the war, and the present-day city.

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