Muong Phang commune in Dien Bien district, 480km northwest of Hanoi, was the headquarters of the Command of the Dien Bien Phu campaign 60 years ago, and locals there are proud of their families' contributions to the victory, reports the national Radio Voi of Vietnam.

Muong Phang is 30 km east of Dien Bien city. But getting there takes two hours by car because the road is winding and hilly, although the landscapes are picturesque.

Time passes quickly when the guide begins to tell tourists about the peasant insurrection led by Hoang Cong Chat in the 18th century against the Le and Trinh royal troops. Two centuries later, Muong Phang was the headquarters of the command of the Dien Bien Phu campaign and General Vo Nguyen Giap, the Commander-in-Chief of the campaign.

Located at 1,000 metres above sea level, the headquarters in the jungle still remains intact. For locals, it is a sacred forest they preserve. They call it "the General’s Forest" and nickname General Vo Nguyen Giap the "patriarch" of their village and his shelter "the House of the Patriarch".

Behind the shelter is Pu Ca hill, whose top is the best place to obtain the panorama of Dien Bien city, Muong Thanh valley and former bases of the French army, including Him Lam, Doc Lap, D1, C1, and A1 and the famous Muong Thanh bridge. General Giap and his Chief of Staff Hoang Van Thai lived in a house next to a 320-meter-long tunnel which is hidden inside a hill to avoid enemy shelling.

Relics of the Command of the Dien Bien Phu campaign include watchtower No 1, an information and communications tunnel, a monitoring station, the work place of Giap and Thai, and a room for meetings.

"The revolutionary poet To Huu wrote: "The forest protects soldiers, the forest also encircles the enemy'. The General chose this place where his soldiers were protected by the forest. We admire and are very proud of what our ancestors did. It is incredible that a simple headquarters helped us defeat a powerful army," said Phan Thi Hong Ha, a visitor from Da Nang.

Sixty years have passed but the remnant of the Dien Bien Phu campaign’s headquarters and surrounding landscape have been well preserved by the people of Muong Phang. It is now a tourist mecca and a place for veterans to recall their memories of the battlefield.

Muong Phang people are very proud of having sheltered General Giap in the Dien Bien Phu campaign.

“We love General Giap as our father and even more because he had a great love for all people in Muong Phang. His contribution was so great because he protected and liberated Muong Phang and Dien Bien. Without him, we don’t know how life in Muong Phang and Dien Bien would be now,” said Lo Thi Chung, a local in Muong Phang.

Muong Phang has become the second hometown of the General. For Muong Phang people, the image of legendary general Vo Nguyen Giap, the great hero of the Dien Bien Phu campaign, remains etched forever in their hearts.-VNA