De Castries Bunker
The underground bunker of French General De Castries is located in the center of Dien Bien Phu fort in Muong Thanh, Dien Bien.
The underground bunker of French General De Castries is located in the center of Dien Bien Phu fort in Muong Thanh, Dien Bien. Although badly damaged in the battle in 1945, but today, the structure and layout of the bunker remains the same. Standing on any high hill in the fortress can be seen this famous bunker that took 55 days and nights for Viet Minh troops to capture.
The tunnel has a length of 20m, a width of 8m, including four rooms for both living and working. Previously, the French used logs and sandbags to build a moat connecting the bunker with the blockhouse on Hill A1. The moat is no longer present, but we can still easily see the steel arches and sandbags on the roof of the bunker.
This is where General De Castries met many influential leaders such as French Prime Minister Joseph Laniel, US President Dwight Eisenhower, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, as well as many famous reporters and journalists. The bunker also witnessed De Castries’ arrest on May 7, 1954.
If you are visiting Dien Bien in general and Dien Bien Phu in particular, seeing the De Castries Vault is a must-do as this humble base is, without a doubt, the symbol of the battle of Dien Bien Phu war. victory of the Viet Minh army and also a symbol of the bravery of the Vietnamese people.
Location: Dien Bien
Best for: Adults, History buffs
Hours: Recommended to visit during the day
Distance to city center: 0.9km (0.6 mi)