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port city, southeastern Vietnam. The city lies at the mouth of the Cai River, 256 miles (412 km) northeast of Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon). Its history is known as far back as the 3rd century AD, when, as part of the independent land of Kauthara, a Champa kingdom, it acknowledged the suzerainty of Funan. In 1653 it was incorporated into the territory of the Nguyen lords of southern Vietnam and after 1802 into the kingdom of Vietnam. After 1862 Nha Trang was acquired by the French, who in 1895 established there the Pasteur Institute for research in tropical diseases. In 1912 the Saigon-Hanoi railway reached the town.