Blogs from Dien Bien Phu, Dien Bien, Northwest, Vietnam, Asia

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Asia » Vietnam » Northwest » Dien Bien » Dien Bien Phu May 10th 2014

We arrived in Dien Bien Phu after a fairly long day on the bus from Oudomxai in Laos. Awkwardly we were on a sleeper bus for the day, which meant that you could only lie down, no sitting option. You never know what species of bus you're going to get in SE Asia, a fact of life we're trying to embrace! Crossing the border at Tay Trang (most northern crossing into Vietnam from Laos) was a piece of cake. We had heard that people had some difficulties with the next border crossing down, but as we were on the one bus for the whole trip it was very streamlined. On arrival at Dien Bien Phu we were unexpectedly met with what has now become a theme of our trip: public holidays. We were expecting to be ... read more
Feeling hot, confused but happy
Victory monument
Our lobby room

Asia » Vietnam » Northwest » Dien Bien » Dien Bien Phu August 1st 2013

Rain , Rain and Rain! The northwestern Vietnam was recently effected by heavy rain but I can not delay the trip from Hanoi via Dien Bien to Laos. The night bus left My Dinh station - Hanoi while some streets at this area was flooded. There were no much passengers since many locals were afraid of the roads conditions. My but trip went smoothly, delivered me to Dien Phu Town. But it was no bus from this town to Laos today. My destination in Laos is Pakbeng , Oudomxay province, 350km from Dien Bien Town. I took this trip several times and known the road conditions quite well. Many bus companies do not want to serve the passengers due to the bad weather. Luckily I found one pick up truck from Asianventure Tours based in Vietnam ... read more

Asia » Vietnam » Northwest » Dien Bien » Dien Bien Phu June 30th 2012

Stardate: 22062012 Captains log: We arrived in the system of Hanoi today. It is a crowded place, with lots of people on two-wheeled motorised machines, zipping up and down. They seem to live of a soup called 'pho', which consists of a noodle broth with pieces of unidentified meat in it. The centre of the town is a place where species from many systems live together. There are many young men and women with big backpacks walking around. They stay mainly in a few places where they congregate to eat food from their own home, and drink a yellow liquid called beer. The strange thing is that even though they can get much cheaper food and beer only a block a way, they nevertheless decide to eat in the most expensive places in town. My conclusion ... read more
Hanoi
Hanoi
Hanoi

Asia » Vietnam » Northwest » Dien Bien » Dien Bien Phu September 1st 2010

Trip of a life time... Russian Minsk motor bike.. Cruising at... well no idea they have no speedometer but it feels fast going down the hairpin mountain passes... Hanoi to Sapa via Lia Chau Son La Dien Bien Phu Hoa Binh. Take your time... The roads are not great but also still fine.. But you will want to stop for photo after photo after photo.. The will get saddle sore so no need to rush.. Hotels are easy to find in most of the towns you pass.. 15$ average and that was for white-man with-our any local dialect who didn't even try to haggle.. What was great was to see the real vietnam of the north, without tourist without guides or craft shops without postcards.. Well apart from SAPA but by then we were happy for ... read more
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Asia » Vietnam » Northwest » Dien Bien » Dien Bien Phu June 10th 2010

By the time I got a nice break in weather in Sapa, my Vietnam visa was just a day away from expiring. My natural exit point was Dien Bien Phu, a small city that looks like little more than a town in a field ringed by mountains. Historically though, this town was the scene of an event, a battle actually, that perhaps shaped more recent world history in this region than any other. And since you're more or less at my mercy by reading this, I'm going to tell you all about it. The First Indochina War was fought between the French Expeditionary Corps and the Viet Minh in mostly northern Vietnam, but also a little in Laos and Cambodia. Basically, when France tried to re-establish its presence in its colonies which had been overrun by ... read more

Asia » Vietnam » Northwest » Dien Bien » Dien Bien Phu March 11th 2010

So the journey to Laos began with getting to the Hanoi bus station which was 20 minutes outside the city centre. We got there around 11 after our hotel advised that buses left throughout the day until 6pm. Of course this was wrong and we found out instead that the next bus didn't leave until 4:30, so we looked around for some way of spending our time but not money and also changing some dong to dollars in preparation for Laos. The local western union was closed and the only other two buildings in the area were a toyota dealership and a German style restaurant/brewery. So our logic was flawless - german beer comes in steins, which are big and so can be made to last some time. We got a drink each and settled in ... read more
Drowning our sorrows?
Yup more beer
Smoky Hanoi

Asia » Vietnam » Northwest » Dien Bien » Dien Bien Phu June 30th 2009

Điện Biên Phủ is a remote city inside the Mường Thanh valley in the north west of Vietnam, only 36.5km from the Lao border. The ethnic minority people living in this area are the Thai and H'mong. The city is famous for the site of the battle, where the French troops were defeated by Việt Minh (the League for the Independence of Vietnam - Việt Nam độc lập đồng minh hội) forces on 7 May 1954 after a 56-day siege, resulting in the end of the French rule in Vietnam (1858 - 1954) and its colonial control in Indochina. To achieve this victory, the Viet Minh forces, under General Võ Nguyên Giáp, dug trenches and tunnels to reach the French positions without coming under fire. They also carried 105mm artillery pieces and anti-aircraft guns (pháo cao ... read more
Me at the French headquarters
Memoirs of war
At Điện Biên Phủ museum

Asia » Vietnam » Northwest » Dien Bien » Dien Bien Phu January 9th 2009

Viet Nam Lo ginge es in Điện Biên Phủ, die Hauptstadt der Provinz Điện Biên in Nordwest-Vietnam. Sie liegt im 20 km langen und 6 km breiten Mường Thanh-Tal, nur 35 km von der laotischen Grenze entfernt und somit meine erste Stadt die ich im Viet nam besuchte nach meinem Aufenthalt in Laos!. Die Stadt ist jedoch eine der beruehmtessten im Vietnam, wegen seiner Geschichte. Sie hat 25 000 Einwohnern. Die Bevölkerung besteht nur zu etwa einem Drittel aus ethnischen Vietnamesen (Kinh), den Hauptanteil stellen Thai, in geringerem Maße Hmong, Si La und andere. Im französischen Indochinakrieg war der Talkessel vom französischen Expeditionskorps zu einer Festung ausgebaut worden und Ort der französischen Niederlage am 7 Mai 1954 (Schlacht von Điện Biên Phủ). Noch heute erinnert ein großes Mahnmal sowie ein französischer Soldatenfriedhof an die entscheidende... read more

Asia » Vietnam » Northwest » Dien Bien » Dien Bien Phu November 11th 2008

So here we are, Linda dying in bed the last 2 days of flu and I, running errons and foriging for food. This town should not exist. There is sweet nothing here to do but slit your throat, if you can find someone here who speaks english so you can ask for a knife! Our pland was to leave Sapa and come here to sort out our money issue as my card was stollen a few days ago and Lindas card was running dry. The bus to Laos leaves this hell hole on Monday, wednesday, Friday and Sunday. So we left Sapa on Sunday to get the Wednsday bus. While Linda has been in bed sick, I have tried to sort a few things out, for starters, basic survival, food! This is one tough place to ... read more

Asia » Vietnam » Northwest » Dien Bien » Dien Bien Phu November 9th 2008

First I would like to thank sweet baby Jesus, sweet infant Jesus for allowing Linda and I to make it from Sapa to Bien Dien Phu alive! Oh my God what a trip. We left Sapa at 8am for a 7 hour bus ride to Dien Bien Phu. This is one journey I will never ever do again. We booked tickets for a bus, what comes to pick us up? A mini van! This shitmobile was on its last legs. So we throw our bag into the back which the guy had to kick and pull to try open. So on our way we go. Not even 5 min down the road, the boot opens and bags fly out. This was going to be one hell of a ride. Anyway, the driver seemed to be on ... read more
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