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Điện Biên Phủ, Vietnam

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Điện Biên Phủ is a city in the far northwest of Vietnam, near the border with Laos. The city today has a population of about 100,000 people, and is expected to increase to 150,000 by 2020, as it is one of the rapidly growing cities of Vietnam.

Điện Biên Phủ's claim to fame lies it it being the site of the Battle of Điện Biên Phủ in 1954 between the French and the Viet Minh. This took place after the Second World War, then the French attempted to return to recolonize Vietnam. Having opposed Japanese occupation, the Viet Minh now fought against the returning French, resulting in the First Indochina War, which saw the defeat of the French and the opening of negotiation for the independence of Vietnam.

Today remnants of the war with the French can still be seen. There is a museum here that explains the history of the war. Across from it is the cemetery where fallen Viet Minh fighters were buried. Also at Điện Biên Phủ is the biggest monument in Vietnam. It commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Điện Biên Phủ.

In the next few year, Điện Biên Phủ is expected to undergo further facelift. The construction of the massive Son La Dam has resulted in the relocation of villages of the former Lai Chau Province into the newly created Điện Biên Phủ Province. With the arrival of the dam comes a wave of related constructions, from administrative complex to resettlement housing.

Visiting Điện Biên Phủ

Places of Interest in Điện Biên Phủ

  1. Điện Biên Phủ Martyrs' Cemetery
    Final resting place of Viet Minh heroes.
  2. Điện Biên Phủ Museum
    Museum recounting the Battle of Điện Biên Phủ. It displays weapons, ammunitions, photographs and dioramas of the war.
  3. Hill A1
    Location of the French military complex with its subterranean bunker.
  4. Memorial to the Battle of Điện Biên Phủ
    Largest monument in Vietnam, built in 2004 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the battle.

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