The city of Dien Bien is located in the north-western region of Vietnam. Dien Bien is the capital of the Dien Bien Province. It was once known as Thaeng. Dien Bien has an area of 6.4 thousand-kilometre squared with a population of 73 thousand people. Historically, a very important battle had occurred in the city during the First Indochina War; the Battle of Dien Bien Phu. Today, the city of Dien Bien is still a popular tourist spot for any history or war enthusiasts, with the remnants of war machinery still scattered around and turned into tourist attractions.
This is the airport that serves the Dien Bien city. The Dien Bien Phu Airport is the biggest airport in the Northwest mountain region despite it is hardly being used. Before it was a regional airport, it was an airbase for the French army during the Indochina War from 1945-1954. Dien Bien Phu Airport only serves by one airline, the Vietnam Airlines, and to only one destination, Hanoi. There are two flights per day. The airport is located not far from the Dien Bien city centre, just three kilometres away. It will take about ten minutes worth of driving to reach the city from the airport. Taxis are plenty at the airport and they are reasonably priced.
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Dien Bien is suitable to visit almost all year-round. Generally, the temperature in Dien Bien is cooling, an average of the maximum 25° during the day while the nights are colder. These are the temperature for half of the year starting March until August. The rest of the months are considered as the ‘winter months’ with the average temperature may drop to a single digit. The best months are said to be from April to June, where Dien Bien will be almost a constant, cooling and comfortable weather; not too cold or warm. Crowds may be a little bigger, and some accommodations can be more expensive.
Rains are usually aplenty in July and August. There will be a smaller crowd. Dien Bien is still great to be explored during these months despite the rain. The weather is also a lot cooler. The rest of the year, it is much colder but still comfortable enough to explore the city.
Dien Bien celebrates plenty of festivals. Most of these festivals are some ceremonies, praying to the deities for good crops. These are also celebrated based on their lunar calendar. Ban Flower Festival of the Thai, a festival praying for good crops and happiness, is a major celebration in the Dien Bien.
1. Hill of Eliane – This is the last place of the Battle of Dien Bien Phu. It is one of the must-go places in Dien Bien, especially for the history enthusiast. There are history relics scattered on the hill. These relics are preserved, and some have been restored to recreate some parts of the war between the French and Vietnam armies.
2. Pa Khoang Lake – This is an ecotourism destination. It covers some 2.4 thousand hectares including a forest, farming land and the lake. Pa Khoang Lake has quite some animals and various types of plants including great selections of orchids.
3. Pa Thom Cave – A spectacular cave located in the west of Dien Bien and at the border between Vietnam and Laos. This natural wonder is not only a great tourist or an adventurer spot, but it is also a holy place for the Dien Bien people.