The Hai Phong City has long been North Vietnam's principal port, and its history runs the gamut from major seventeenth-century trading center through bombardment by both the French and the Americans. These days it's a small, orderly city of broad avenues and subtle, cosmopolitan charms, with good hydrofoil and ferry links to Cat Ba Island, Mong Cai and Hong Gai (for Ha Long Bay). The city's crescent-shaped nineteenth-century core lies between the curve of the Tam Bac River and the loop of the train tracks. To the north of the main artery, Dien Bien Phu, you'll find broad avenues and colonial architecture. To the south is the merchants' quarter, these days a dilapidated area of street markets between Trang Trinh Street and the market, Cho Sat; immediately below here is Tam Bac Lake. A ten minute walk eastwards along the south bank will bring you to Me Linh and Den Nghe Temple, noted for its carvings, particularly on the massive stone table in the first courtyard.