A1 Hill

A1 Hill, Dien Bien Phu

Historic Sites • Historic Walking Areas • Battlefields • Monuments & Statues
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4.5
59 reviews
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JSTrip_77
Hanoi, Vietnam1,063 contributions
An Important Location in Modern Vietnamese History
Jul 2020
This was the focal point of the Viet Minh victory over the French in 1954. It's a really well-maintained location with lots of old trenches and bunkers and even some barbed wire (not original, of course). You have to climb to the top of the hill to see an ex-US tank that the US provided to France...France then disassembled the tanks and flew them in and reassembled them. There's also the massive crater the Vietnamese created when they tunneled under the French position and detonated nearly 1000 kg. Continue out the exit and there is a coffee shop where the French Prime Minister enjoyed a coffee.
Written July 18, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

r0landbrunner
Zurich, Switzerland1,647 contributions
wartime memories
Nov 2019
A1 is a memorial place with trenches, bunkers, and a bomb crater. there is also a nice coffee shop down the hill towards Hoang Van Thai.
Written November 26, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Louga925
Tokyo, Japan114 contributions
Good presentation
Aug 2019
This is the best war site in DBP where you can feel the past. If the interpretation were provided in multi-language, it would be much better. BTW, the location indicated in the map is wrong. A1 is located a few hundred meters in south.
Written August 3, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

R M
Savannah, GA286 contributions
Reconstructed Battle Site
Jun 2019 • Solo
Make sure to pay for your entry (though you might could sneak in for free at lunch time)! Very cool reconstruction of the A1 Hill battle site, complete with trenches and bunkers and mannequins inside tunnels. Beautiful views of DBP from the top - poignantly overlooks the cemetery. The "singing stumps" were kinda interesting, and lots of people seemed to be enjoying the site. The giant bomb crater seems overemphasized compared to more recent ones you can see near the DMZ, but somber nonetheless.
Written June 8, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Christina G
Stockholm, Sweden34 contributions
interesting historic site
Apr 2019 • Friends
A must to visit. See the crater from the blown up tunnel that made the french capitulate. If you are not that interested in war history the view is beautiful.
Written June 5, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

HARRY C
7 contributions
How did the Frennch lose?
Jan 2019
The iconic site. A mass of deep trenches, .bunkers and barbed wire protect this key site. Also present are French tanks and artillery vastly superior to the VN weapons so,logically the French could not lose. This logic ignores the determination of the VN fighting for their country's freedom
Written January 16, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

ColonelBangkok
Bangkok, Thailand278 contributions
Good Location to Orient the Battle With
Nov 2018 • Friends
Sitting on a high hill with a commanding view of the town and airfield this is a good place to start a battlefield tour.
Written November 17, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

MickofTourdeTimor
Brisbane, Australia47 contributions
Excellent preservation and restoration of complex bunker system from the siege of Dien Bien Phu
May 2018 • Solo
This is one of the best wartime bunker systems you will visit in the world. One of the most strategic locations in the siege of Dien Bien Phu, but just a small part of the huge infrastructure that the defensive network was. This is a great and must visit site in DBP.
Written June 16, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

EdgardGM
Majorca, Spain617 contributions
War and history
May 2018 • Friends
A place to visit as part of our Indochine war and where and why we loose war too..to understand stupidity of our general in those time ..
Written May 17, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Me_n_my_rucksack
Yorkshire, UK5,909 contributions
The attraction is to stand and take in the lie of the land and experience the site of part of the battle......
Mar 2018 • Couples
If you have read books such as the Last Valley (The best account) Hell in a very small place, or Valley of Death, and want to put flesh on the bones of your knowledge of the battle then it is an absolute must to stand on Hill A1 and survey the scale and layout of not just this hill but the sourrounding features as well.

Known as Elaine 2 to the French the restored / reconstrcued trenches and dugouts allow you to walk the trench lines and get a feel for just how small each fortified French strongpoint or hill was. The final onslaught of 25000 Communist troops against the remaining 3,000 French and Allied Troops (Many colonial, Foreign Legion and Vietnamese themselves) would have raged up and down the slopes of this hill and as such it is a fascinating piece of land to roam around and let ones mind imagine the courage emotion and suffering which once played out here.

Naturally the Vietnamese hae no real motivation to recreate an accurate reconstruction - more to constrct a piece propoganda with some triumphalist memorials and some very faded models of Soldiers in various bunkers (I visited more than 10 years ago and the same "Soldiers" minus pretend radios or riflea are still in position - just ;looking older with more bits missing). There is a French Chaffee tank atop the hill - with an absurd shelter built around it to make getting photos dificult and achieving very little in preservation.

In the small visitors centre near the entrance there is a small model of the hill which is actually quite usefull.

There are some interesting French weaponry - tanks and artillery - behind metal fencing in a compound for a bizzare reason !

So if you have studied the battle standing here soaking up the actual terrain it was fought over is fantastic - but other than preserving the hill and the trench system the "Attraction" relies very much ones prior knowledge to appreciate the Hill and its part in the battle - if you dont know a lot about the battle when you get here you will be little the wiser when you leave.
Written March 27, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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