Nha Trang is a coastal city and capital of Khanh Hoa province, on the South Central Coast of Vietnam.
It is bounded on the North by Ninh Hoà district, on the East by the South China Sea, on the South by Cam Ranh town and on the West by Diên Khánhdistrict. The city has about 300,000 inhabitants, a number which is projected to increase to between 500,000 and 600,000 inhabitants by 2020 according to an estimation of Nha Trang Administrative Board Statistics.
Nha Trang is well known for its pristine beaches and excellent scuba divingand is fast becoming a popular destination for international tourists, attracting large numbers of backpackers as well as more affluent travellers on theSoutheast Asia circuit. It is already very popular with Vietnamese tourists.Nha Trang Bay is widely considered as amongst the world’s most beautiful bays. Tourists are welcome to participate in the Sea Festival, held biennially. Nha Trang was the site of the Miss Universe 2008 Pageant on July 14, 2008 and Miss Earth 2010 held December 4, 2010. Besides, Nha Trang was also approved to host 2016 Asian Beach Games.
Historically, the city was known as Kauthara under the Champa. The city is still home to the famous Po Nagar Tower built by the Champa. Being a coastal city, Nha Trang is a centre for marine science based at the Nha Trang Oceanography Institute. The Hon Mun marine protected area is one of four firstmarine protected areas in the world admitted by the IUCN.
Commercial flights to Nha Trang no longer use the city’s municipal airport, but fly to the larger Cam Ranh International Airport, a former U.S. Air Force Base (built during the Vietnam War) located approximately 35 km south of Nha Trang (see the Transport section below for additional details).
The French-Swiss bacteriologist Alexandre Yersin (who discovered theYersinia pestis bacterium) identified himself with Nha Trang’s life for 50 years (affectionately known as Ông Năm). He established the Indochina Pasteur Institute (now known as the Nha Trang Pasteur Institute) devoted to research on the bubonic plague. Yersin died in Nha Trang on 1 March 1943. A street in the city is named after him, there is a shrine located next to his tomb, and his house has been converted into the Yersin Museum.
Thành phố Nha Trang
Tran Phu Coast in Nha Trang
Location in Vietnam
|Coordinates: 12°15′N 109°11′E|
|Admin. division||Khanh Hoa Province|
|• Land||251 km2 (97 sq mi)|
Geography and climate
Nha Trang city has a metropolitan area of 251 km² and population of about 500,000 (as of 2007). It borders Ninh Hòa town by the north, Cam Ranh city by the south, Diên Khánhtown by the west and the South China Sea to the east. The city is located on the beautiful Nha Trang Bay, which was chosen by Travel and Leisure in two succeeding years as one of 29 most beautiful bays in the world. Nha Trang is surrounded on all three sides by mountains and a large island on the fourth side (in the ocean directly in front of the city’s main area), blocking major storms from potentially damaging the city.
Nha Trang has a tropical savanna climate with a lengthy dry season from January to August and a shorter wet season from September to December, when 1,029 millimetres (41 in) of the city’s total annual rainfall of 1,361 millimetres (54 in) is received from the northeast monsoon. During the wet season extremely heavy rainfall from typhoons is not uncommon, though the city is shielded from the worst winds.
|[hide]Climate data for Nha Trang (1937-1994)|
|Average high °C (°F)||27.8
|Average low °C (°F)||20.6
|Rainfall mm (inches)||45.7
Po Nagar towers at the mouth of Cái River.
From 1653 to the 19th century, Nha Trang was a deserted area rich in wildlife (animals like tigers) and was a part of Hà Bạc, Vĩnh Xương County, Diên Khánh Province. After just two decades in the early 20th century, Nha Trang underwent a rapid change. On 30 August 1924, the Governor-General of French Indochina decreed Nha Trang as a townlet (centre urbain).Nha Trang Townlet was established from the ancient villages of Xương Huân, Phương Câu, Vạn Thạnh, Phương Sài, and Phước Hải.
During French Indochina, Nha Trang was seen as de facto capital of Khanh Hoa Province. The colonial administration offices (like Envoy Office, Commanding Office, Trade Office, Post Office) were situated in Nha Trang. Local royal offices like Province Chief, Provincial Judge, Military Commander are in Dien Khanh city (a walled military city 10 km southwest of Nha Trang).
On 7 May 1937, the Governor-General of French Indochina by another decree upgraded Nha Trang Townlet to town. At this time, Nha Trang Town had five wards based on the ancient villages merged to make the town: Xương Huân, Phương Câu, Vạn Thạnh, Phương Sài, and Phước Hải.
On 27 January 1958, the president of the Republic of Vietnam, Ngô Đình Diệm by Decree 18-BNV abrogated the town status of Nha Trang and divided Nha Trang into two rural communes: Nha Trang Đông (Eastern Nha Trang) and Nha Trang Tây (Western Nha Trang), under the administration of Vĩnh Xương County.
On 22 October 1970, the government of the Republic of Vietnam by Decree 132-SL/NV reestablished Nha Trang Town on the ground of Nha Trang Đông and Nha Trang Tây and other rural communes, namely Vĩnh Hải, Vĩnh Phước, Vĩnh Trường, Vĩnh Nguyên, and villages Phước Hải (Vĩnh Thái Commune), Vĩnh Điềm Hạ (Vĩnh Hiệp Commune), Ngọc Thảo, Ngọc Hội, Lư Cấm Villages (Vĩnh Ngọc Commune) under the administration of Vinh Xuong County, together with islands Hòn Lớn, Hòn Một, Hòn Mun, Hòn Miễu, Hòn Tằm. Nha Trang Town was made the capital of Khanh Hoa Province. The town included two districts. District 1 covered communes Nha Trang Đông, Vĩnh Hải, Vĩnh Phước, and villages Ngọc Thảo, Ngọc Hội and Lư Cấm of Vĩnh Ngọc Commune, Vĩnh Điềm Hạ village of Vĩnh Hiệp Commune. District 2 covered communes Nha Trang Tây, Vĩnh Trường, Vĩnh Nguyên (inclusive of islands of Hòn Tre, Hòn Một, Hòn Mun, Hòn Tằm), Phước Hải village of Vĩnh Thái Commune.
Following that establishment, the government by Decree 357-ĐUHC/NC/NĐ dated 5 June 1971 divided Nha Trang into 11 urban zones, of which, district 1 covered urban zones of Vĩnh Hải, Vĩnh Phước, Ngọc Hiệp, Vạn Thạnh, Duy Tân; district 2 covered urban wards of Vĩnh Nguyên, Vĩnh Trường, Phương Sài, Tân Phước, Tân Lập, Phước Hải. Decree 553-BNV/HCĐP/NV dated 22 August 1972 renamed urban zones into urban wards. Decree 444-BNV/HCĐP/26.X dated 3 September 1974 merged islands of Hòn Một, Hòn Cậu, Hòn Đụn, Hòn Chóp Vung, Hòn Đỏ into Vĩnh Hải ward (district 1) and Hòn Ngọc into Vĩnh Nguyên ward (district 2) of Nha Trang Town.
On 2 April 1975, communist (NLF/PRG/VPA) forces captured the city. On 4 April 1975, Khanh Hoa Military Commission (Ủy ban Quân quản Khánh Hòa) divided Nha Trang into three administrative districts: District 1, District 2 and Vĩnh Xương District.
In September 1975, District 1 and District 2 were merged to become one entity, the town of Nha Trang.
On 30 March 1977, the Council of the Government (now the cabinet) of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam by Decision 391-CP/QĐ upgraded Nha Trang to city status, a county-level city under the administration of Phu Khanh Province (a province created by merger of now Phú Yên Province and Khánh Hòa Province). Seven communes of former Vĩnh Xương County, namely Vĩnh Thái, Vĩnh Ngọc, Vĩnh Hiệp, Vĩnh Lương, Vĩnh Trung, Vĩnh Thạnh, Vĩnh Phương was split from Khánh Xương County to become Nha Trang City territory.
On 27 March 1978, the provincial government by Decision 54-BT founded Phước Đồng Commune under Nha Trang City.
On 1 July 1989, Khanh Hoa was split from Phu Khanh Province to become Khanh Hoa Province as it was before, Nha Trang was made the capital of Khanh Hoa Province.
On 22 April 1999, the prime minister by Decision 106/1999 recognised Nha Trang City the second class municipal city.
On 22 April 2009, the prime minister Nguyễn Tấn Dũng recognised Nha Trang City at the first class municipal city.
Trầm Hương tower (literally: Agarwood), a city’s icon
Nha Trang is subdivided into 27 wards and communes, of which 20 are urban wards, namely: Vĩnh Hải, Vĩnh Phước, Vĩnh Thọ, Xương Huân, Vạn Thắng, Vạn Thạnh, Phương Sài, Phương Sơn, Ngọc Hiệp, Phước Hòa, Phước Tân, Phước Tiến, Phước Hải, Lộc Thọ, Tân Lập, Vĩnh Nguyên, Vĩnh Trường, Phước Long (founded in November 1998), Vĩnh Hòa (founded in April 2002); and 8 suburban communes, namely: Vĩnh Phương, Vĩnh Trung, Vĩnh Thạnh, Vĩnh Thái, Vĩnh Hiệp, Vĩnh Ngọc, Vĩnh Lương and Phước Đồng. Since 1998, due to the high pace of urbanization, many urban planned zones have been built, namely: Hòn Rớ, Bắc Việt, Thánh Gia, Đường Đệ, Nam Hòn Khô…
Origin of the name
According to some researches, the name Nha Trang derives from a false Vietnamese spelling of a geographical name in the Cham language of the site Ya Trang (lit. Reed River), the name of the now Cai River as referred to by the Cham people. From the name of this river, the name was adopted to call what is now Nha Trang, which was officially made Vietnam’s territory in 1653.
As far as the recorded naming of Nha Trang is concerned, in Toàn tập Thiên Nam Tứ Chí Lộ Đồ Thư, a geographical book written by a Vietnamese scholar with the family of Đỗ Bá in the second half of the 18th century, the name Nha Trang Môn (“Nha Trang gate”) was mentioned. In another map dating to the 17th century, known as Giáp Ngọ Niên Bình Nam Đồ by a noble called Đoan Quận công Bùi Thế Đạt, the name Nha Trang Hải môn(Nha Trang Sea Gate) was also cited. In Vietnamese recorded historic bibliographies, these books are perhaps the earliest ones that mentioned this place name.
In a work by Lê Quý Đôn called Phủ biên tạp lục (1776), many Nha Trang-related names were also mentioned, such as đầm Nha Trang, dinh Nha Trang, nguồn Nha Trang, and đèo Nha Trang.
Nha Trang is home to a multidisciplinary university, Nha Trang University (formerly Nha Trang Fishery University); Naval Academy; Air Force Academy; Normal (Teacher’s) College; Kindergarten Teacher’s Training College; and Arts and Tourism College. The city is home to the many high schools. Nha Trang Oceanography Institute, the unique institute of oceanography in Vietnam, Nha Trang Pasteur Institute one of the famous Pasteur Institutes in Vietnam are located in Nha Trang.
A popular fishery boat and a round bamboo coracle in Nha Trang.
When Cam Ranh Bay used to be an important naval base, Nha Trang Airport was the main airport of the city. This airport was used by the United States Air Force and South Vietnam Air Force during the Vietnam War. When part of Cam Ranh Bay was made an economic development zone by the Vietnamese government, Cam Ranh International Airport (also a military airport built by the United States during Vietnam War) was made the new civilian airport of the city. This airport is located by Cam Ranh Bay, 45 km (28 mi) south of the city and is currently (as of 2007) the forth busiest airport in terms of passenger traffic in Vietnam serving more than 683.000 passengers in 2008.
The city is located next to the National Road 1A, the backbone north-south road of the country. The Reunification Railway also crosses the city and stops at Nha Trang Railway Station. The construction work of Van Phong Port, north of the city, a deep-water project capable of handling ships up to 100,000 tonnes, and with a capacity of 100 million tonnes of cargo per annum, is under progress by a consortium of Japanese corporations. The estimated investment capital for this port-city complex project is expected to reach US$15 billion.
Nha Trang’s economy relies largely on tourism. In the suburban areas around the city, the shipbuilding industry has developed and contributed significantly to the city’s economy. Fishery and services are also important to the city. Khanh Hoa Province in general and Nha Trang is particular are among the largest contributors to Vietnam’s annual budget revenues. Lobster farming on the sea is an important industry for the people living in suburb areas of the city. To the south of the city, by Cam Ranh Bay, several industrial parks are under construction and have been partly available for investors. Once the construction of the deep-water port on Van Phong Bay has been completed, this area will become the third important economic zone in the province (besides Nha Trang and Cam Ranh).
Panorama of the southern part of the city.
Vinpearl Cable Car
Vinpearl Resort & Spa
Nha Trang Bay
A buddha statue
Nha Trang is one of the most important tourist hubs of Vietnam, thanks to its beautiful beaches with fine and clean sand and the clear ocean water with mild temperatures all year round. There are several resorts – such as Vinpearl, Diamond Bay and Ana Mandara – and amusement and water parks, both in the city and on islands off the coast. The possibly most beautiful street of Nha Trang is Tran Phu Street along the seaside, sometimes referred to as the Pacific Coast Highway of Vietnam.
Lying off Nha Trang is the Hon Tre Island(Bamboo Island), with a major resort operated by the Vinpearl Group. The Vinpearl Cable Car, agondola lift system, links the mainland to the five-star resort and theme park on Hon Tre Island.
Nha Trang is a stopover for annual yacht races starting in Hong Kong. In recent years, the city has welcomed many five-star sea cruises. In addition to sail boat racing, Nha Trang provides a rich variety of tourist activities for visitors. Island hopping, scuba diving, water sports and other sporting activities can be enjoyed in the city. The Nha Trang Tourist Information Center (a non-governmental organisation), located near theCho Dam Market has been set up to provide information for visitors.
The local cuisine is most famous for fresh seafoods and barbecued pork rolled in rice paper. The area’s Bird’s nest soup is deemed one of the best in Vietnam. Bird’s nests are collected in the wild, on bird farms on the islands off the coast and even in some houses in the inner city. The farmed bird in question belongs to the swiftletgroup, popularly referred to as yến hàng (Aerodramus fuciphagus germani).
Long Son Pagoda is prominent for its statue of Gautama Buddha.
Recreation and nightlife
Scuba diving, kite boarding are available, as are catamaran sailboats. Winds are steady.
Exotica dance club
The nightlife is limited, but near the Biet Thu tourist district, it can go beyond midnight. The nightlife is therefore known as superior to other coastal towns such as Mui Ne, Da Nang andVũng Tàu. It is usually busiest around the Vietnamese New Year period, but can still be worth visiting any time of year, with the possible exception of the rain period (especially November). A lot of tourists are enjoying the Nha Trang River Cai boat ride (locally known asSong Cai, as “song” means “river” in the Vietnamese language).
- Alexandre Yersin Museum
- Boat tour on Cai River, visiting islands off the coast and Ba Ho Waterfall.
- Palace of Emperor Bảo Đại
- Thap Ba Hot Spring (Lady Tower hot spring)
- Nha Phu Lagoon
- Hoa Lan Stream (Orchid Flower tream)
- Monkey Island
- Sạn Beach
- Nha Trang Booze Cruise (All you can Drink Party Boat)
- Hòn Tằm Island (Silkworm island)
- Hòn Mun Island (Ebony island)
- Hòn Con Sẻ Tre Island (Bamboo Sparraw island)
- Hòn Ông Island
- Đảo Yến Island (Swiftlet island)
- Hòn Tre Island (Bamboo island)
- Suối Đổ Stream
- Suối Tiên Stream (Fairy stream)
- Hòn Bà Mountain
- Cai River Minigolf & Restaurant & Marina
- Yangbay Waterfall
- Tháp Bà Pô Nagar Nha Trang (a Champa Tower)
- Chùa Long Sơn (Long Son Pagoda- literral: The Dragon Mountain pagoda or White Buddha Pagoda)
- Nha Trang Oceanography Institute, the largest of its kind in Indochina where thousands of oceanic life samples, exhibits are on display. It is also home to the largest oceanic library in Vietnam.
- Chánh Tọa Church (or Mountain Church)
- Nha Trang Pasteur Institute
- Trí Nguyên Aquarium (an aquarium where hundreds of rare oceanic species are fed)
- Vinpearl Cable Car
Banh Canh Noodle Soup
Two of local culinary specilities which attract people are bánh canh chả cá (bánh canh with fish paddies) and bún cá sứa (rice vermicelli with jelly fish).
Hon Chong rocks
The official venue of Miss Universe 2008 pageant
Nha Trang Bay
Another view at Po Nagar temple
A Durga ornament
Long Son pagoda