Nha Trang

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 Khánh district. 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 diving and is fast becoming 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. 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.

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.

The French-Swiss bacteriologist Alexandre Yersin (who discovered the Yersinia 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.

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 Khánh town 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.

Information based on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nha_Trang