General Information

Dien Bien province, Northern Vietnam
Capital: Dien Bien Phu
Area: 9,560 km² (3,690 sq mi)
Population: About 500,000
Density: 46/km² (120/sq mi)
Demographics: Vietnamese/Kinh, H’Mong, Dao, Thai
Calling code: 23
Website: dienbien.gov.vn

Dien Bien is a province in northwestern Vietnam. It is bordered by Lai Châu and Son La provinces of Vietnam to the east and south, Pu’er City, Yunnan, China, to the north, and Phongsaly Province in Laos to the west.


Dien Bien province’s name derives from Sino-Vietnamese, meaning “stable frontier”. Dien Bien has various ancient monuments including the caves Tham Khuong, as well as Than Búa in Tuan Giáo.

In the 9th and 10th centuries, the Lu in Muong Thanh people were the most developed in the area and controlled Sìn Ho, Muong Lay, and Tuan Giáo.

In the 11th and 12th centuries, Thai people from Muong Ôm and Muong Ai occupied Muong Lò in Nghia Lo and Muong Thanh in Ðien Biên. They eventually gained control of the whole area between Muong Lò, Muong Lò and Muong Thanh (Ðien Biên).


Dien Bien is a new province which broke from the former Lai Châu province in early 2004, both themselves were once part of the Lan Xang kingdom, then switched ownership to Vietnam during the French Colonial period. It includes all the land to the south of the Ðà River (Black River), and New Lai Châu Province includes all the land to the north of the Ðà River.

Dien Bienis has one city (Dien Bien Phu), one town (Muong Lay – former Lai Châu), and six districts:

– Ðien Biên
– Dien Bien Ðông
– Muong Cha (formerly called Muong Lay)
– Muong Nhé
– Tua Chùa
– Tuan Giáo
The capital of the province, Dien Bien Phu, is a world-famous battlefield.

For more details about other provinces and cities of Vietnam, please follow this link.

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