tp. Đà Lạt, Vietnam

Da Lat Crazy House

A Surreal flight of architectural fancy in Vietnam's Central Highlands 

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This bizarre guesthouse is one of the landmarks of the city of Da Lat, a mountain resort popular with local honeymooners. In the Crazy House, Antoni Gaudi meets Alice in Wonderland in a fantastic folly of twisting, tree-trunk-like concrete and artificial caverns, winding flights of stairs and irregular windows, stalactites and stalagmites, flowering purple vines, and an over-sized sculpture of a giraffe.

The interiors are no less intriguing. In one room, guests are watched over by the glowing red eyes of a kangaroo. Other rooms feature elaborate local tribal decorations, or carved birds looming over beds tucked snugly into cave-like nooks.

The whole complex was a labor of love for avant-garde architect Hang Nga, who lives on site and sometimes chats with guests. She is an interesting person to talk to; besides designing buildings like this and her other Da Lat landmark ("The House of One Thousand Roofs," now demolished), she is daughter of a former Vietnamese vice president.

Sightseers are welcome to tour the building during the day for a small fee or to book a room and stay the night. Bring warm clothes: the Da Lat Crazy House is at a high altitude, and all that concrete gets mighty chilly after sunset.

Know Before You Go

A 10 minute taxi ride from the centre of town

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