Of course you already know the outcome of the story… Back at the border in the morning with Mr Linh, our fixer, and we had the bikes
unlocked and through customs in no time at all. After settling our bill, and clutching our Vietnamese driver’s licences, we became some
of the first westerners to ride our foreign motorcycles into Vietnam!
And we did it legally too…. here’s hoping it’s a sign of easier access to this amazing country. We spent the rest of the day around Dien Bien Phu – site of the Vietnamese victory over the French forces in 1954 that set the stage for France’s exit from Indochina and the eventual rise of communist regimes in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.
Relics from the 1954 battles are housed in several museums and recreated fortified sites in the town, including a (presumably) complete US bomber… the picture tells the story.
This time, we’re on the right side of the boomgate
Rice paddies as far as the eye can see…
We paid for it, but all we got is this photo…
I believe this stack represents an American B-26 Invader bomber, one of a squadron covertly provided to assist the French in their
battle against the Viet Minh in 1954.
Hill A1 – French central command right in the centre of Dien Bien Phu township. It has been re-created on it’s original site in
great detail, including the myriad tunnels that riddle the hillside.