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 Hoa district, on the east by the South China Sea, on the south byCam Ranh town and on the west by Diên Khánh District. The city has about 392,000 inhabitants, a number which is projected to increase to between 560,000 by 2015 and 630,000 inhabitants by 2025. An area of 12.87 square kilometres (4.97 sq mi) of the westerncommunes of Diên An and Diên Toàn is planned to be merged into Nha Trang which will make it new area 265.47 square kilometres (102.50 sq mi) based on the approval of the Prime Minister of Vietnam in September 2012.
Nha Trang is well known for its beaches and scuba diving and has developed into a popular destination for international tourists, attracting large numbers of backpackers, as well as more affluent travellers on the Southeast Asia circuit; it is already very popular with Vietnamese tourists, with Nha Trang Bay widely considered as among the world's most beautiful bays.
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 first marine protected areas in the world admitted by the IUCN.
Geography and climate
Nha Trang city has a metropolitan area of 251 km² and population of about 500,000 . It borders Ninh Hòa town by the north, Cam Ranh city by the south, Dien Khanh town by the west and the Biển Đông 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.
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.
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, a gondola 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 the Cho 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.