Dalat Crazy House

Otherwise known as the “Crazy House,” this Gaudi-meets-Sesame Street theme park is one not to miss. It’s a wild mass of wood and wire fashioned into the shape of a giant treehouse and smoothed over in concrete. It sounds simple, but there’s a vision to this chaos; just ask the eccentric owner/proprietor and chief architect, Ms. Dang Viet Nga. Daughter of the aristocracy, Ms. Nga is well-heeled after early schooling in China and has a degree in architecture from university in Moscow.

In Dalat, she has been inspired to undertake this shrine to the curved line, what she calls an essential mingling of nature and people. The locals deem her eccentric for some reason, but she’s just misunderstood; don’t pass up any opportunity to have a chat with the architect herself.

On a visit here, you’ll follow a helpful guide and are sure to have fun clambering around the concrete ladders, tunnels, and hollowed-out nooks, and in the unique “theme” rooms of this huge fantasy tree trunk. It’s an actual guesthouse, too. There’s a small family shrine in a large common area at the back. It all spoke to me about Vietnam’s refreshingly lax zoning laws, but to many it’s an interesting, evolving piece of pop art. This is a fun visit.

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