In addition to victoriously historic relics, like other mountainous provinces, Dien Bien offers magnificent natural scenery that should not be ignored.
Overview of Dien Bien
A province locating in the north-western of Vietnam, Dien Bien adjoins Lai Chau Province and Son La Province of Vietnam, Van Nam Province, China, and Phongsali, Laos. The capital of the province is Dien Bien Phu, a city most well-known for its victorious history against French colonists. Dien Bien City is located inside the heart-shaped Muong Thanh Valley, surrounded by thick forests, high mountains, narrow valleys, and numerous springs. The climate of Dien Bien is mountainous tropical in which temperature may fall below 0 Celsius degree in the winter, while the highest temperature fluctuates around 28oC during summer.
Why Dien Bien should be your next destination in Northwestern?
Dien Bien magnificent landscape
As a typical mountainous Northwestern area, Dien Bien is well-known for being a venue of wonderful sceneries.
Pha Din Pass on the route from Hanoi to Dien Bien is promised to impress anyone right at the first sight. The pass is located at the 1000m high from sea level, surrounded by an upright cliff in one side and a deep gulf on the other side, with twists and turns, Pha Din Pass is really a challenge to any driver. However, it is also called “Frontier of Heaven and Earth” because it offers magnificent scenery, passing Pha Din Pass would be an unforgettable memory.
Dien Bien does not lack of natural wonders, among which Pa Thom Cave and Pa Khoang Lake are the two most stunning; each site was named after the commune it is located.
Pa Thom Cave: is a primitive cave which originates from the fascinating formation of stalactites and stalagmites as well as the arrangement of stone. They are all created in amazing shapes, like an elephant’s head or giant snake.
Pa Khoang Lake: offer an extraordinary view, beside the diversity of plants, various topography as well as hundred species of floating plants and animals. Witnessing natural beauty on a boat would provide tourists a unique experience. A mysterious picture covered by mist during spring under warm sunshine and cool wind.
The complex of relics in Dien Bien Phu Battlefield
Dien Bien battlefield: a historical site reflecting the sacrificial of Vietnamese soldiers and nation in an attempt to struggle against French colonists. The fields are in the centre of a valley which is surrounded by mountains and hills in the East, Muong Thanh field in the west, 6km of Nam Ron river flowing through. The most famous sites of Dien Bien battlefield are the 4 hills: A1, C1, C2, D1, entrenched fortifications Hong Cum, Doc Lap hill, Him Lam, Muong Thanh Bridge and Airport, the command post of General De Castries.
Martyrs’ Cemetery on Hill A1: located in Muong Thanh ward. This is the final home of 644 graves, among which 640 are unidentified soldiers. At the front gate two large walls carving by bronze bringing soldiers’ names arranged by provinces.
The Command bunker of General De Castries: Lying in the heart of the entrenched camp of the battlefield, Command bunker of General De Castries is well preserved in its original shape, structure, dimension, and arrangement of the bunker. The command bunker was twenty meters in length and eight meters in width consists of 4 compartments, which served as working offices and residential places. Iron vaults and sandbags are still kept on the top of the bunker.
Muong Thanh Airfield: the field was used to serve as the stronghold and a central airport of the entrenched camp of Dien Bien Phu in the War. In the past, it was called Muong Thanh before being changed into Muong Thanh Airfield. This is one of the airports in the airplane transport system of the Vietnam Civil Aviation. It still serves civilization, tourists traveling to Dien Bien by air will land at this airport.
How to get there
It is not impossible to get to Dien Bien Province by motorbike, tourists are highly recommended to travel by coach or airplane for their safety. Because it is very far from Hanoi and also very tough to go due to its mountainous geographics. For ones who like traveling by coach to enjoy the scenery on the way, they should spend a double amount of money, taking a coach or bus. In case, travelers want to save time, they would arrive at Dien Bien in only 1 hour by Vietnam Airlines airplanes.
What to eat?
Mother Nature gives Dien Bien an ideal climate to produce a variety of specialties. Among which, “Nep Nuong” Rice is the most popular. The crop is raised on rice terraces, the special rice is exclusively available in Dien Bien thanks to unique climate and the logical canal system, which guarantees sufficient water for the fields. “Nep Nuong” then will be used to cook unique dishes like Xoi Nep Nuong, Com Lam or Banh Day. Banh Day, nowhere else can offer such a special type of Banh Day as in Dien Bien can. It’s because Banh Day here is made by special technique of H’mong ethnic minority. The process includeds a complex secret process that only H’mong people know.
In addition to buffalo dried meat, Mong Pe wine and Sau chit wine are tradditional specialties of Dien Bien Province waiting for you to explore.