Postcard from Crazy House

April 26, 2012 in Places,Postcards,Vietnam

There’s weird architecture, and then there’s the Crazy House: a guesthouse that takes fantasy design to a whole new level, located in Dalat, Vietnam. One of the most bizarre buildings in the world, it rivals Gaudi’s modern masterpieces in Barcelona and Salvador Dali’s surrealist paintings in terms of outlandish imagination.

Outdoor staircase and facade on Crazy House in Dalat, Vietnam

Designed by the daughter of the former president who studied in Moscow, the Hang Nga Guesthouse resembles a giant banyan tree with cave-like rooms, spiderweb windows and staircases extending up and over the roof. There are no rectangular or round windows or mattresses: it’s a mess of twists and turns and amorphous shapes.

Simply put: it’s weird. Construction continues–similar to Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia that won’t be finished for hundreds of years–but it doesn’t seem to be getting any prettier. Vietnamese architect Dang Viet Nga was inspired by Gaudi, apparently in construction planning as well as expressionist design.

View of Dalat's house and Central Highlands from Crazy House in Dalat, Vietnam

The views over Dalat are incredible, although the walk up the stairs that twisted over the roof was a bit nerve-wracking. Easily my favorite part of the house (can you tell I wasn’t a huge fan?).

Outdoor staircase on Crazy House in Dalat, Vietnam

Bedroom with custom mattress in Crazy House, Dalat ,Vietnam

Since opening in 1990, it has functioned as a hotel as well as a museum, so yes: you can opt to spend the night in one of those crazy amorphous mattresses.

Lounge room in Crazy House in Dalat, Vietnam

Bold facade in Crazy House in Dalat, Vietnam

Mirrored ceiling in a bedroom in Crazy House in Dalat, Vietnam

Dining room and fireplace in Crazy House in Dalat, Vietnam

It’s definitely worth popping in while you’re in Dalat. Although if you’re planning a motorcycle trip through the Central Highlands, see if it includes a visit to the Crazy House: my first stop on the tour was here, and so the entry was included in my price.

What’s the craziest architecture you’ve seen on your travels? 

  • This looks awesome! I’ll have to visit if I ever make it to Vietnam since I love Gaudi and Dalí – I definitely thought this looked like Gaudí when I saw the photos before reading your text.

  • Haha I love it! We need more craziness in this world. 🙂

  • Clbbberry

    This is the craziest place I’ve been! It was a lot cooler than I expected

  • For a someone who had studied in Moscow, her imagination is well beyond the typical rigid communist-style buildings. Not my favorite building though, but it looks like worth a visit indeed.

  • Wow, I would go just to visit that house alone – it looks fascinating!

  • That looks so cool! I want to visit. 

  • Looks amazing! You’ve really sold me on Vietnam–I can’t wait to go!

  • camorose

    You’d love it then! I’m not a huge Gaudi fan, but this house was just weird enough to be interesting.

  • camorose

    Haha I think this architect had enough creativity and craziness for most of us 🙂

  • camorose

    Haha I think this architect had enough creativity and craziness for most of us 🙂

  • camorose

    It was pretty crazy–worth a look!

  • camorose

    It was pretty crazy–worth a look!

  • camorose

    Yeah, I didn’t really love it, but it was crazy enough to be worth checking out!

  • camorose

    Yeah, I didn’t really love it, but it was crazy enough to be worth checking out!

  • camorose

    It was pretty crazy to check out–something ridiculous around every turn!

  • camorose

    Worth checking out!

  • camorose

    You’ll have an incredible time–probably my favorite place I’ve ever traveled!

  • I LOVE the look of this place. It looks kind of Tim Burton-esque. I’d definitely stay here. 😀

  • camorose

    It’s so weird! Don’t know if I could stay, but definitely had fun checking it out 🙂

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