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 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 western commnues 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. 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 was held on December 4, 2010. Nha Trang has been approved to host the 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 first marine protected areas in the world admitted by the IUCN.
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