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History of Nha Trang

From 1653 to 19th century, Nha Trang was still a deserted area and was an area rich in wildlife with animals like tigers and monkey wondering freely around. nha trang was a part of Hà Bạc, Vĩnh Xương County, Diên Khánh Province. After just 2 decades in early 20 th century NhaTrang underwent a rapid change.

Nha Trang Geography

Nha Trang Vietnam has a metropolitan area of 251 km² and population of around 500,000 locals and permanent visitors(as of 2009). It borders Ninh Hoa town from the north, Cam Ranh city to the south, Dien Khanh town to its west and the South China Sea along its eastern coast. NhaTrang is located on a beautiful bay surrounded by lush mountains. The Nha Trang Bay, which was chosen by Travel and Leisure magazine in two consecutive years as one of the world top 29 most beautiful bays. Nha Trang is surrounded on three sides by mountains and a large island call Vinpearl on the 4th side that blocks major storms from potentially damaging Khanh Hoa Province.


From 1653 to 19th century, Nha Trang was still a deserted area and was an area rich in wildlife animals like tigers, and was a part of Hà Bạc, Vĩnh Xương County, Diên Khánh Province. After just 2 decades of early 20nd century, Nha Trang underwent a rapid change. On 30 August 1924, the Governor-General of French Indochina (Gouverneur-General de l’Indochine) by a decree, establish Nha Trang as a townlet (centre urbain)[2]. Nha Trang Townlet was established from ancient villages of: Xương Huân, Phương Câu, Vạn Thạnh, Phương Sài, Phước Hải.

During French Indochina, Nha Trang was seen as de facto capital (chief lieu) of Khanh Hoa Province. The colonical administration offices like Envoy Office, Commanding Office, Trade Office, Post Office….were situated in Nha Trang. However, local royal offices like: Province Chief, Provincial Judge, Military Commander…are situated in Dien Khanh city (a walled military city located 10 km south-west of Nha Trang). On 7 May 1937 , the Governor-General of French Indochina by another decree upgraded Nha Trang Townlet to town (French: commune)[3]. At this time, Nha Trang Town had 5 wards: Xương Huân was the fist ward, Phương Câu was the second ward, Vạn Thạnh was the third ward, Phương Sài was the fourth ward, and Phước Hải was the fifth ward.

On January 27, 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 October 22, 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 2 districts: district 1 and district 2. 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 June 5, 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 September 3, 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 April 2, 1975, communist (NLF/PRG/VPA) forces captured the city. On April 4, 1975, Khanh Hoa Military Commission (Ủy ban Quân quản Khánh Hòa) divided Nha Trang into 3 administrative: 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 March 30, 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). 7 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 March 27, 1978, the provincial government by Decision 54-BT founded Phước Đồng Commune under Nha Trang City.

On July 1, 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 recognized Nha Trang City the second class municipal city.

Administrative divisions

Nha Trang is subdivided into 27 wards and communes, of which 19 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. là Lau 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[4]. 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[4]. In Vietnamese recorded historic bibliographies, these books are perhaps the earliest ones that mentioned this place name.

In a work by Le Quy Don 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.

Other History of Nha Trang
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