Điện Biên Phủ, sometimes called Dienbien Phu, is a city in the northwestern region of Vietnam. It is the capital of Điện Biên Province. The city is best known for the decisive Battle of Điện Biên Phủ, which occurred during the First Indochina War of independence against France. The region was a breadbasket for the Việt Minh. In prior history, the city was formerly called Thaeng.
Điện Biên Phủ lies in Mường Thanh Valley, a 20 km long and 6 km wide basin sometimes described as "heart-shaped." It is on the western edge of Điện Biên Province, of which it is the capital, and is only about 10 kilometres from the border with Laos.
Until the creation of the province in 2004, Điện Biên Phủ was part of Lai Châu Province. The Vietnamese government elevated Điện Biên Phủ to town status in 1992, and to city status in 2003.