Dien Bien Phu Museum, located in the heart of Dien Bien Phu, Vietnam, serves as a poignant repository of historical artifacts and narratives commemorating the pivotal Dien Bien Phu campaign. As a testament to the indomitable spirit and sacrifices made during the campaign, the museum unfolds stories of heroic battles that led to Vietnam’s resounding victory.
1. Location, history, and significance of Dien Bien Phu Museum
On the map of Dien Bien Phu, Dien Bien Phu Museum is situated in Block 1, Muong Thanh Ward, Dien Bien Phu City, along Vo Nguyen Giap Street and facing the A1 National Martyrs Cemetery. Together with notable historical sites like the Shrine of Martyrs on Hill F, Hill A1, General De Castries’ command bunker, and the Victory Monument, it forms part of a cohesive tourist destination in the central area of Dien Bien Phu.
Constructed in 2012, the Victory Museum of Dien Bien Phu holds significance as a focal point in Dien Bien Province. It was inaugurated in 2014 to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the victory at Dien Bien Phu. The museum was envisioned not merely as a cultural edifice but as a modern architectural marvel capable of incorporating cutting-edge museum technology. Moreover, it embodies the essence of the local culture and has a profound connection with the nation’s historical narrative.
2. Opening hours and ticket prices of Dien Bien Phu Museum
Dien Bien Phu Museum welcomes visitors every day of the week.
- In the summer:
- Morning: From 7:00 AM to 11:00 AM
- Afternoon: From 1:30 PM to 6:00 PM
- In the winter:
- Morning: From 7:00 AM to 11:00 AM
- Afternoon: From 1:30 PM to 5:30 PM
For individuals aged 18 and above, the fee is 100,000 VND per person per visit. This is the same for both Vietnamese nationals and foreigners.
If you are a senior or an individual entitled to cultural benefits per the regulations in Article 2 of Decision No. 170/2002/QD-TTg dated August 14, 2003, you are eligible for a 50% discount.
Individuals below 18 years old, veterans, students, and members of the Armed Forces conducting practical field research, and individuals with severe disabilities can enter free of charge.
Note: The information in this article is for reference only. Opening hours and ticket prices may vary at different times. Visitors are advised to contact the venue directly for the latest updates before planning their visit.
3. Unmissable highlights of Dien Bien Phu Victory Museum
3.1. Impressive architecture
The museum’s landscape design features swirling patterns and configurations crafted through grooves, symbolizing encircling elements, and the topography is reminiscent of military fortifications and trench systems. The design incorporates the shape of a camouflage helmet along with the system of concrete grooves and steel reinforcement, symbolizing the defensive attire worn by the soldiers of Dien Bien in the past.
The museum consists of one underground floor and one above-ground floor. The underground floor serves as the reception area for visitors, while the above-ground floor is dedicated to the fixed exhibition space on the historic victory of Dien Bien Phu, a panorama space, and office facilities. The exhibition section is arranged on the above-ground floor of the museum, covering a display area of 1,250 square meters with nearly 1,000 documents, artifacts, images, and maps. It is arranged chronologically, intertwined with the thematic arrangement of artifact collection.
3.2. Massive collection of historical documents and artifacts
Dien Bien Phu Museum’s artifacts are showcased in glass cabinets with red velvet stands and proper lighting. Each is accompanied by a concise caption, providing essential information and emphasizing the display’s significance. Prominent artifacts related to outstanding individuals, like Ma Van Thang’s bicycle and Trinh Dinh Bam’s wheelbarrow, are strategically placed for easy viewing and storytelling.
The museum also has a diverse visual collection, incorporating original and sourced images to offer visitors a comprehensive perspective on the Dien Bien Phu campaign. Moreover, there is a dedicated room that honors soldiers awarded the title “Hero of the People’s Armed Forces.” Indoor displays are also available to showcase artillery types, like the 105mm Artillery and H6 Artillery, that contributed significantly to Dien Bien Phu’s victory.
3.3. Panoramic painting of Dien Bien Phu Campaign
On the above-ground floor, there is a captivating panoramic painting that brings the entire Dien Bien Phu campaign to life.
Stretching across the walls in one continuous mural, the “Dien Bien Phu Battle” is a masterpiece that spans 132 meters in length and over 9 meters in height. It was created by nearly 100 skilled artists over two and a half years.
Visitors can see the various stages of the Dien Bien Phu campaign seamlessly unfold. Specifically, there are four segments:
- The mobilization of the entire nation
- The majestic prelude
- The historical battle
- The Dien Bien victory
Complemented by raised blocks and strategically placed war-related objects, the space is both realistic and dreamlike, leaving a lasting impression on all who pass through.
4. Renowned historical sites located near Dien Bien Phu Museum
4.1. A1 Hill
An important highlight in the historical site complex of Dien Bien Phu is A1 Hill, which played a pivotal strategic role during the Battle of Dien Bien Phu. Back then, the French forces established a solid and fortified position equipped with state-of-the-art weapons here. The battle to advance on A1 Hill was one of the most intense engagements for our forces and people during the Dien Bien Phu Campaign. Today, A1 Hill stands as a significant historical site, offering visitors the opportunity to explore the remnants of this legendary milestone in history.
4.2. De Castries Tunnel
Known as the most solid bunker in Indochina at that time, the Command Bunker of General De Castries in Dien Bien Phu, or the Gono Command Headquarters, was meticulously constructed by the French colonialists. It was located at the center of the Dien Bien Phu stronghold complex. The De Castries Bunker is 20 meters long and 8 meters wide, consisting of four chambers used as both residence and workplace for General De Castries and the soldiers.
Currently, the structure, arrangement, and layout of the bunker are still preserved. Exploring the tunnel provides a firsthand look at the challenges of warfare and the strategic decisions made by military leaders during the historic conflict.
4.3. Monument of Dien Bien Phu Victory
The Victory Monument of Dien Bien Phu is situated on Hill D, which includes D1, D2, and D3 in the heart of Dien Bien Phu City. During the Dien Bien Phu campaign, Hill D was part of a strong defensive line. Today, it is one of the tallest, largest, and heaviest bronze structures in Vietnam, standing 12.6 meters tall on a 3.6-meter-high platform. Inaugurated in early 2004, it commemorates the 50th anniversary of the historic Dien Bien Phu victory.
Dien Bien Phu Museum serves not only as a repository of historical artifacts but as a living testament to the indomitable spirit of the Vietnamese people. The courageous efforts and sacrifices made during the Dien Bien Phu campaign are vividly encapsulated within these walls. As visitors wander through the exhibits and galleries, they are immersed in a profound journey through the pages of history, gaining a deep appreciation for the resilience and determination that paved the way for the nation’s triumph.
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