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Tucked away in the Muong Thanh valley, deep in the highlands of northwest Vietnam, Dien Bien Phu has earned its place in history books as the turning point of colonial rule.

Between 1945 and 1954 northwest Vietnam became the cradle of resistance against French colonialism, and the battle of 1954 marked the end of French involvement in Indochina and heralded the collapse of its North African Empire.

Battle sites

Dien Bien Phu has dedicated itself to the memory of this Vietnamese victory, and it is worth allowing some time to further investigate the town's history. Legend states that the most significant battle sites in the area were nicknamed after the French Colonel's mistresses, and as well as exploring 'Elaine' (known as A1 Hill to the Vietnamese) it is also worth visiting 'Dominique' where a victory monument, now the largest monument in Vietnam, was erected to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the French defeat.

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Map of Dien Bien Phu

Places & hotels on the map