Dalat City is a tourism and agricultural city which located 4,900ft (1,500m) above the sea level on the Lang Biang Plateau, southern part of central highlands. One of local attraction in Dalat City is Hang Nga Guest House & Art Gallery or famous among foreign writers as “Crazy House”.
The crazy house is initially a personal project of Ms. Dang Viet Nga, a Vietnamese architect with education in China before pursuing her PhD in Architecture from University of Moscow. Out from a normal architectural line which normally comes with standard architectural plan and blueprint, Ms Nga did her own building painting and with local craftsmen helps her to materialize the structure. As a result, People’s Committee of the city of Dalat had described this building as “expressionist”
The Fairy Tales House
When you step at the gate of this Crazy House, you will be welcomed with a unique greenery areas with uncertain building structure standing right in front of you. It’s some kind of “Alice in the Wonderland” experience since your first step to the house. Some tourist describe that the house is some kind of in “flintstone” movie with tunnel and cave style interior design.
This house is consisted of 10 bedrooms which every room come with different themes such as Tiger, Eagle and Ant. Every theme will portray a unique identity of different nationalities in the world. Example, Tiger is to describe the strength of Chinese, Ant for the hardworking of Vietnamese and Eagle room is for big and strong American. All furniture in every room is handcrafted in order to suit with the room specific theme. Example, if you are choosing to stay in Kangaroo room, one of the outstanding designs is the fire-place which builds in a concrete Kangaroo sculpture with a burner at the stomach part. Other than that, you will observe many other unique stones and concrete decoration such as mushrooms, spider, frogs and insects.
Currently tourists can choose to stay here overnight or just a visit. The entrance ticket is VND 35,000 per entry. If you intend to stay overnight here, you are advisable to make advance reservation before check in. The rental for one night is between VND 290,000 to VND 630,000 for Vietnamese or USD 29 to USD 63 for foreigner.
Controversies & Local Critics
Ms. Nga had faced many difficulties to make her dream house comes true. People’s Committee of the city of Dalat used to reject her project proposal for several times due to the building structure is out from normal architectural guideline. However, she managed to convince with the national government in Hanoi and the project continue with fund from family and friends. Even she used to work with local government and successfully delivered project such as Church at Lien Khuan and Children’s Cultural Palace, there are rumours says that Ms. Nga have some difficulties to get local project and have to work hard to find way to fund the Crazy House renovation and maintenance.
Today, the renovation for behind and upper part of this crazy house had been continued with some places might be a bit dangerous to step in. According to visitors review in tripadvisor.com, many of them describe the house as unique and some others describe it as dangerous for kids especially during raining season.