Located in Yen Bai city, capital of the northern mountainous province of the same name, 200km of Hanoi, the Au Lau wharf is one of the most famous historical relics associated with the Dien Bien Phu victory as it is a gateway for reinforcement and supplies to the Dien Bien Phu campaign 60 years ago, reported radio The Voice of Vietnam (VOV).

The Au Lau wharf remains busy today. For nearby residents, the sound of boats evokes the glorious years of the anti-French resistance and its pinnacle - the victory of Dien Bien Phu. The image of Vietnamese soldiers, proud and free, shipping out in silence for Dien Bien Phu, remains etched forever in local people’s memories.

Sixty years ago, Au Lau wharf was a pipeline for reinforcement and supplies to the Dien Bien Phu battle. It was bombed for more than 200 days and nights during the campaign. The French army dropped more than 2,700 tonnes of bombs destroying many boats and supplies and killing a number of people. But the bombings failed discourage the boat crews whose indomitable spirit were praised by General Vo Nguyen Giap during his visit to the area.

Pham Trung Ton was one of the ferry drivers in those days. For him, memories of those hard days in Au Lau wharf remain fresh: “At about 4 in the afternoon, both banks of the river were crowded with ferries and boats carrying artillery, weapons, and soldiers. People were very excited. Artillery and heavy weapons were transported by ferry at night. At the time, enemy planes dropped bombs and flares, but the soldiers were very brave”.

Au Lau wharf was the place from which a bicycle transport team from Phu Tho province carried rice to Pha Din Pass. Au Lau wharf was also the place where soldiers of a regiment brought heavy 105-mm artillery for transport to Dien Bien Phu. This was the place where the Ben Tre Brigade covered their stocks before transporting them to the battle. Through this wharf, mountains of weapons, ammunition and motor vehicles passed to the front.

Da ng Ngoc Chi, 87, a former political commissar of Company 395, still remembers clearly the soldiers marching through Au Lau 60 years ago.

“At that time, the only way to the battlefield was to cross the river at Au Lau wharf. The enemy were heavily bombing that area. We were assisted by hundreds of local boats. Within an hour, our regiment crossed the river to advance to the battle field,” he said.

During the Dien Bien Phu campaign, Yen Bai province mobilised more than 31,000 locals to serve the campaign. In the small Au Lau commune, more than 300 people joined the campaign while others went to the river wharf to help move weapons and soldiers to the front.

From April, 1952 to May 7, 1954, when the Dien Bien Phu campaign ended, more than 300,000 tonnes of weapons and food and tens of thousands of soldiers passed safely through Au Lau wharf.

“We mobilised hundreds of boats to assist the transport of weapons, ammunition and soldiers. During the day, we hid the boats, and rowed them when night fell. It was dangerous but we were all determined to do this work,” said 85-year-old Nguye n Thi Phe, a resident in Nguyen Phuc ward, Yen Bai city.

“Everything for the victory" was the motto of everybody who worked at Au Lau wharf.

In 2012 the wharf was designated a national historical relic site. A monument was built to commemorate the glorious past and remind younger generations of the historic significance of the site. Au Lau wharf will always be a symbol of resolute spirit and a source of pride for Vietnamese people.-VNA