Khanh Hoa province, South Central Coast
Region: South Central Coast
Capital: Nha Trang
Area: 5,217.6 km² (2,014.5 sq mi)
Population: About 1.2 million
Density: 220/km² (570/sq mi)
Demographics: Vietnamese, Ra Glai, Hoa, Co Ho
Calling code: 58
Khánh Hòa is a province of Vietnam, located in the South Central Coast. It has a population of 1,066,300 and spans an area of 5,197 km². Its capital is Nha Trang. Khanh Hoa province is the site of the last Nguyen Emperor Bao Dai’s summer home, the Pasteur Institute of Nha Trang, the Institute of Oceanography, the Institute of Vaccines and Biological Substances, and the Green Berets’ headquarters during the Vietnam War in the late 1950s and 1960s. Cam Ranh Bay port is on land closest to a deep sea drop in Vietnam – the best site for submarine bases in Vietnam. In addition, there is an ancient Cham temple exists on the north side of Nha Trang.
Geography and climate
Khanh Hoa province has an area of 5,197 km². Its geographical coordinates are 108°40’33″ to 109°27’55″ E and 11°42’50″ to 12°52’15″ N.
Strategic coastal location
The provincial coastline spreads from Đai Lanh Commune to the end of Cam Ranh Bay with a total length of the coastline of 385 km featuring numerous creek mouths, lagoons, river mouths, and hundreds of islands and islets. The province also administers large territorial waters. The Spratly Islands are part of the province’s Truong Sa County. The coastline is indented by several bays, most notably the four bays Vân Phong Bay, Nha Phu Bay, Nha Trang Bay (Cù Huân) and Cam Ranh Bay, of which Cam Ranh Bay with its area of around 200 km², encompassed by a mountain range, is regarded as one of three best natural seaports in the world. Cam Ranh Bay is strategically important and has been used as a naval base by several major powers throughout history.
Hon Doi Cliff (Mui Hòn Đôi) on the Hòn Gom Peninsula, Van Ninh District is the easternmost tip of Vietnam’s mainland.
The province is mostly mountainous. The highest peak is Vong Phu Mountain (2051m) at the border to Dak Lak Province. The only large lowland area is located around Ninh Hoa town in the north of the province. Partly as a result of this, not much land is available for agriculture. 87,100ha or 16.7% of Khanh Hoa’s total area are used for farming, one of the lowest shares in the South Central Coast. Forests cover more than half of the province’s area.
The province enjoys a mild climate with an average annual temperature of 26.7°C. There are two distinct seasons: the rainy season lasts from April to December, with the other months being the dry season, except in Nha Trang where the rainy season lasts for just two months. The average relative humidity is 80.5%. The climate on the summit of Hòn Bà Mountain (located 30 km from Nha Trang) features a climate like that of Đà Lat and Sa Pa.
Khánh Hòa Province has the following districts:
– Nha Trang (largest city and the capital of province)
– Cam Ranh (city)
– Ninh Hòa (town)
– Cam Lâm
– Diên Khánh
– Khánh Son
– Khánh Vinh
– Truong Sa (also known as the Spratly Islands)
– Van Ninh
As of 2007, the province had a population of 1.147 million. In fact, the majority are Kinh (the dominant ethnic group in Vietnam). Minority peoples dwelling in the province are the Ra Glai, the Hoa (Han Chinese), and the Co Ho.
Khanh Hoa had an urban population of 466,500 people or 40.7% of the total in 2007, making it the most urbanized province of the South Central Coast. Average population growth per year between 2000 and 2007 was 1.26%, close to the average of the region. Growth was particularly strong in the cities and towns (2.24%).
The site of what is now Khánh Hòa was within the territory of the Champa Kingdom before it was annexed to Đai Việt’s (Viet Nam’s) territory. In 1653, one of the Nguyen Lords, Nguyen Phúc Tan, sent his troops to occupy Phan Rang. The Champa king Bà Tam surrendered to Nguyen’s troops and ceded an area from the east of the Phan Rang River to Phú Yên to the Nguyen lord. The Nguyen Lord accepted the ceded territory and set up the Thái Khang garrison and divided it into two districts: Thái Khang and Diên Ninh.
In 1832, under the rule of Emperor Minh Mang, this area was renamed Khánh Hòa and was divided into two districts which included four counties: Phu Diên Khánh inclusive of Phuoc Đien and Vinh Xuong county; Phu Ninh Hòa inclusive of Quang Phuoc and Tân Đinh county.
Under French Indochina, the provincial capital was located in Diên Khánh Citadel, but it was relocated in Nha Trang Town in 1945.
During the Vietnam War against communist invaders, Khanh Hoa was a hub of military activity for the Republic of Vietnam Army (ARVN), the Republic of Vietnam Navy, the Republic of Vietnam Air Force, and for the U.S. Pacific Air Forces (USAF), particularly in Cam Ranh Bay and at the Nha Trang Air Base. The II Corp. headquarters was located in Nha Trang and populated by general and field officers, intelligence groups and ARVN liaisons.
After the communists’ victory and the Fall of Saigon on April 30, 1975, the communist regime merged two provinces, Phú Yên and Khánh Hòa, into Phú Khánh Province on 29 October 1975. In 1977, Nha Trang Town was upgraded to city status. In 1982, the National Assembly decided to incorporate the Spratly Islands into Phú Khánh Province. On June 30, 1989, the National Assembly reversed its previous decision and split Phú Khánh Province into two provinces as they were before.
With a GDP per capita of 16.1 million VND (2007), Khanh Hoa province is the second richest province of central Vietnam (after Da Nang). It has a relatively small agricultural sector, but strong industry and services. The province owns beautiful natural landscapes and beaches. In addition, its Cham heritage attracts a large number of tourists. Khanh Hoa province has had a significant trade surplus in recent years, with exports in 2007 of 503.3 million US$ and imports of 222.5 million.
Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing
Given its lack of flat land, Khanh Hoa province has a relatively small agricultural sector. Rice harvests are among the lowest in the South Central Coast with 188,500t in 2007. However, its output of sugar cane (738,200t in 2007, 4.25% of the national figure) and cashew nuts (5238t, 1.74%) are more significant.
Khanh Hoa is one of the few provinces with a higher gross output in fishing than in agriculture. This is mostly due to the large number of aquaculture farms in the province, which make up around two-thirds of the fishing output.
Nha Trang is the South Central Coast’s second largest industrial centre. In reality, the province accounts for more than one fifth of the region’s industrial GDP. Food processing industries are large, especially those processing local fishing products and food for shrimp farms. Other industrial sectors produce beverages, fabric, textiles, paper, and construction materials.
Industrial production is not only in and around Nha Trang. The province also benefited significantly from the investment of the former Russian naval base at Cam Ranh, with around 30 factories. A major new industrial centre is in the north of the province around Van Phong Port (Van Phong Economic Zone).
Khanh Hoa province is located along Vietnam’s main north-south transport corridors. National Road 1A and the North-South Railway run through the province. All Reunification Express trains, as well as some local trains, stop at Nha Trang Railway Station.
As a coastal province featuring several natural deep water bays, Khánh Hòa has the advantage to develop its deep-water seaports. Nha Trang Port (a tourist and cargo port) and Doc Let Port (a shipbuilding and logistics port) are now in use. Van Phong Port, a mega-project in Van Phong Bay by a consortium of Japanese corporations (with Sumitomo as the leading investor) with an investment of about US$15 billion (15*10^9) is in progress. On completion, this deep sea port will be capable of handling ships up to 100,000 tonnes and of 100 million tonnes of loaded/unloaded cargo per annum.
Cam Ranh International Airport is in the south of the province. In fact, it is one of Vietnam’s busiest airports.
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