Dien Bien Phu is a city in the northwestern region of Vietnam. It is the capital of Dien Bien Province. The city is best known for the events which occurred there during the First Indochina War, the Battle of Dien Bien Phu, during which the region was a breadbasket for the Viet Minh. The city was formerly called Thaeng.
National route 12 connects Dien Bien to Lai Chau. Dien Bien Phu Airport serves the city with air route to Hanoi.
Dien Bien Phu lies in Muong Thanh Valley, a 20-km-long and 6-km-wide basin sometimes described as “heart-shaped.” It is on the western edge of Dien Bien Province, of which it is the capital, and is only a short distance from the border with Laos. Until the creation of the province in 2004, it was part of Lai Chau Province.
The major attraction is the battlefield, its associated museum and relics, and more recently, the largest statue in Vietnam erected to commemorate the 2004 anniversary. It is noticeable that for the adventurous visitor, this is an attractive center for majestic scenery and an access point for encounters with wide variety of ethnic minority groups that have hardly been touched by tourism.