Destination Travel Rambles Vietnam ~ A Different Orient

Explore Dalat – The Sweet Crazy House

“Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we…” Trapped in a 7-hour bus journey, the potent combination of impatience and boredom has started to take its effects on me. My sis was unusually patient to my annoying self and I attributed her good mood to the anticipation of the destination that lies ahead.

We were on our way to Dalat.

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(View from within Crazy House taken in May, 2010)

Dalat, Vietnam

Located in the South Central Highlands of Vietnam, Dalat offers a cool retreat for locals and tourists. It is also a common honeymoon destination! Dalat is popular for her (obviously) awesome climate, beautiful scenery, yummy wine and fresh produce etc. but all these were not the factors that compelled me to visit.

The main source of attraction was the Crazy House. I chanced upon it in a travel variety show and after doing my research, I was determined to visit! Also known as Hang Nga Guesthouse, this Crazy House is deemed unconventional for its surreal architecture and the interiors are as intriguing. Come to think of it, the exterior reminded me of the famed Salvador Dalí!

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(Exterior of Crazy House taken in May, 2010)

The Crazy House

Constructed by the Vietnamese female architect,  Đặng Việt Nga, the Crazy House is commonly dubbed as a “Fairy Tale House”. Its overall design resembles a huge tree (kinda reminds me of The Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton!) that includes sculptured design elements in the form of animals, spider webs, caves etc. According to Nga, she drew inspiration from the natural environment around Dalat as well as the works of Catalan architect, Antoni Gaudí!

Working in a male-dominated industry is never easy, yet Nga was able to do so and has gone further by creating  an architecture that gained recognition worldwide. I am deeply respectful of her skills, foresight and determination! 🙂

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(First glimpses within the Crazy House)

A Playground-like Museum

For your information, the Crazy House was initially a personal project (Nga came from a rich family!) but to alleviate this costly project and the increasing financial burdens that comes with it, she started to open the doors to public in 1990. The Crazy House was converted into a guesthouse and attraction spot. To me, this dreamy work of wonder resembles a fun museum, not unlike a playground!

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(Spot the sis! Trampling around the Crazy House in May, 2010)

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(Twist & turns within the Crazy House – One needs to navigate these unusual stairs to get to various parts of the guesthouse.)

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(Handicraft works, mostly by locals, to embellish the interior)

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(View from within Crazy House)

Local Rumour… Haunted?

Although I’ve travelled far to see the Crazy House, it was not my choice of accommodation in Dalat. Initial impressions of the unique building were of awe and bewilderment. I am very happy to visit but I am equally relieved that I did not book a room there! The interiors are abit too surreal and I imagine it to be just a tad scary when night falls! On top of that, there are local rumours that it is haunted! I certainly get some “vibes” in certain rooms but i am no expert on the paranormal subject!

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(Can you spot my sis? There’s a tiny door near her that opens to a small balcony!)

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(Trapped within vines? Within the premises of Crazy House)

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(Basement of Crazy House with some tributes to…)

Verdict: Yay or Nay

Yay! I have fulfilled the purpose of my trip and I am very satisfied with what I found and experienced at the Crazy House. I would not recommend you to stay overnight there (unless you are up to it!) mostly because of its location but it definitely warrants a visit if you happen to be in Dalat! It is usually included in day tours / easy rider package but if you are planning to make a personal pitstop, you can hop on a  Xe Om (motorbike taxi) or walk 15 mins from town (address: 3 Huynh Thuc Khang Street, Dalat).

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(Spiderwebs were part of the features, especially in the exterior)

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(An unconventional garden that’s part of the Crazy House’s compound)

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(Exterior of Crazy House)

For more information, check out the Crazy House: 
Official website
 (in Vietnamese) | Travel reviews

Happy Exploring!

The above information has been complied based on various sources, including my own experience and should only be used as a reference. Check out http://www.dalat-tourist.com/ for more information on Dalat.

From Me to You:
A Simple Reference Guide For Your Travel In Vietnam

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