Hang Nga’s Crazy House Hotel In Dalat Vietnam
Hidden in the sleepy mountain town of Dalat, is possibly one of the strangest hotels in the world and certainly Vietnam’s most interesting piece of architecture. In a city dominated by conventional French colonial villas and modern concrete blocks the Hang Hga Guesthouse is an unexpected architectural delight. The bizarre fairytale tree house, which was nicknamed Crazy House by locals due its unconventional appearance, has become one of Dalat’s most visited sights.
Architecture Of The Crazy House
The communist country of Vietnam is not known for its architectural achievements as for many years individual artistic expression has been viewed with suspicion. Hang Nga’s status as the daughter of the former president of Vietnam, Truong Chinh, has undoubtedly given her license to build a structure unlike any other in the country. She trained as an architect and gained a PhD from the Moscow State University before embarking on the construction on her guesthouse cum art gallery cum museum, which certainly lives up to its billing as the “Crazy House”.
The structure defies any standard architectural logic as Hang Nga aims to surprise at every possible opportunity. A random assortment of rooms and cubbyholes is connected by a network of bridges, ladders and passageways to form a mazelike structure ideal for hide and seek. The organic free form concrete buildings, which are interspersed with a giraffe, spider webs, caged birds and other items of curiosity, come together to form a cluttered fantasy world that is certainly one of a kind.
Staying At The Crazy House (Hang Nga Guesthouse)
In a city that boasts lots of conventional hotels, hostels and guesthouses, including a Sofitel and a Novitel, the Hang Nga Guesthouse is by far and away the most interesting place to stay. The rates range from $20 – 80 and each room is named after the concrete animal, usually complete with glowing red eyes, which is its most prominent feature. Staying in this unique environment, however, does come at a price, as it seems the hotel is primarily a tourist attraction, with the accommodation an afterthought. Tourists arrive early in the morning and the hotel is still in a state of evolution and construction so it is difficult to have a peaceful stay.
Visiting The Crazy House (Hang Nga Guesthouse)
Rather than staying at the Crazy House many tourists choose to visit the museum during the day. Entrance costs less than a dollar and allows you to experience the Crazy House while enjoying the comfort of one of Dalat’s many other accommodation options.
The Crazy House would look out of place in any city in the world, and the fact that it exists in Vietnam makes it all the more surprising. Hang Nga’s guesthouse is undoubtedly inspired by Gaudi and although her building lacks the finesse and intelligence of the Spanish master, her creation is never the less still a special hotel that is unlike any other place you will ever stay.