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Dien Bien Travel Guide

About 474km from Hanoi, Dien Bien is the north western province of Vietnam where the "Dien Bien Phu battle" became famous worldwide when The Viet Minh defeaded the colonial French army in 1954. This glorious victory paved the way for other countries to fight for freedom and independence. The northwest of Vietnam is a stunning destination for many Vietnam tour packages and a night stay in Dien Bien is offered by many Vietnam tour operator so that tourists can visit the historical sites and learn about the battle fields, facts of this so-called Indochina war.

This Dien Bien travel guide will give you some useful information:

dien bien travel guide

How to get to Dien Bien

By plane: This is the best option to get to Dien Bien from Hanoi. There is daily flight that takes only an hour. However, the flight can be cancelled or delayed when the weather is bad especially in winter time when it is foggy. 

By road: There are many bus companies offering sleeping buses to Dien Bien but it takes around 12 hours because the road to Dien Bien is small, meandering on the sides of steep mountains. Holiday to Indochina advise tourists to book a northwest loop tour from 4-5 days with stop in Mai Chau valley, Son La, Dien Bien and Sapa before coming back to Hanoi via Lao Cai. An experienced driver and tour guide are needed to show you the hidden beauty of this beautiful part of Vietnam.

From Laos: Tourists go on an Indochina discovery tour from Laos to Vietnam can cross Tay Trang boder gate to Dien Bien. The route is Luang Prabang - Oudomxay - Muong Khua - Tay Trang. There is local bus, but we advise tourists to book a tour package because not many Lao people can speak English and traveling by yourself can be a challenge.

From Sapa: If you have visited Sapa and would like to visit Dien Bien, it is possible to book a tour package in Sapa including a private 4X4 drive and a tour guide to reach Dien Bien in a day via Lai Chau. The northwest loop tour from Sapa can be like this: Hanoi - Sapa - Lai Chau - Dien Bien - Son La - Mai Chau - Hanoi.

Best time to visit Dien Bien

The best time to visit Dien Bien is from September to March when it is dry and cool. During this time, tourists can see valley of rice paddies in Mai Chau, green tea plantation in Moc Chau, beach blossoms and wild flowers are everywhere during your trip.

dien bien phu

Things to do and see in Dien Bien

The war sites: This is the first reason to visit Dien Bien and in a morning, tourists can visit the French Command Bunker - Colonel de Castries, the commander of Dien Bien Phu battle. The next sites will be A1 hill and Vietnam Military History Museum in Dien Bien. If you want to see more, visit D1 hill or drive to visit bunker of Vietnamese general - Vo Nguyen Giap, commander of Viet Minh in Muong Phang.

Ethnic villages: There are 21 different ethnic groups living in Dien Bien like the Tay, Thai, H'mong, Lu who have their own culture and tradition. A visit to Dien Dien can be highlighted with a homestay experience.

Accommodation in Dien Bien:

There are many guesthouses, mini hotels in Dien Bien but for tourists, Muong Thanh hotel is the best hotel in Dien Bien to stay. The hotel is comfortabel with AC, hot shower, nice restaurant to have delicious dinner. For entertainment, massage or karaoke is our suggestion.

Dien Bien travel tips

The trip from Hanoi to Dien Bien by road is beautiful with stunning scenery, but it can be borning with lond drive. So remember to stop for walk to visit some of the ethnic villages on the way.

It is quite disappointed to visit Dien Bien only. A northwest loop tour is highly recommended to see the whole region. Our suggested tour package is:

Day 1: Hanoi - Mai Chau valley - stay at homestay
Day 2: Mai Chau - Moc Chau plateau - Son La - stay at a hotel
Day 3: Son La - Dien Bien - stay at a hotel
Day 4: Visit Dien Bien - drive to Sapa - stay at a hotel
Day 5: Visit Sapa - Stay in Sapa
Day 6: Sapa - Hanoi by road - 6 hours

Should you want to receive a detailed tour itinerary and quote, please feel free to contact us at Our travel experts will plan you a great Vietnam tour package to this beautiful but little visited places of Vietnam.