On the banks of the Red River Delta, Haiphong is one of Vietnam's three major ports. Contemporary and outward-looking, the city also has a rich past. One stunning example of its old colonial town is the Du Hang pagoda, the gateway to Hanoi, the county's capital and a symbol of its anti-colonial struggle. Ho Chi Minh declared Vietnam's independence here in 1945, where his body rests in the middle of the Ba Dinh square in his mausoleum. A few hundred metres away is the wrought-iron fence that surrounds the Presidential Palace and the delicate One Pillar Pagoda. Further south, kick back in the peace and quiet of the Confucian Temple of Literature.