Room for guests in Hang Nga Crazy House on Huynh Thuc Khang Street.

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Hang Nga Crazy House

Top choice in Dalat

A freewheeling architectural exploration of surrealism, Hang Nga Crazy House is a joyously designed, outrageously artistic private home. Imagine sculptured rooms connected by super-slim bridges rising out of a tangle of concrete greenery, an excess of cascading lava-flow-like shapes, wild colours, spiderweb windows and an almost organic quality to it all, with the swooping handrails resembling jungle vines. Think of Gaudí and Tolkien dropping acid together and designing their own version of Disneyland.

The brainchild of owner Mrs Dang Viet Nga, the Crazy House has been an imaginative work in progress since 1990. Hang Nga, as she’s known locally, has a PhD in architecture from Moscow and has designed a number of other buildings around Dalat. Her father, Truong Chinh, succeeded Ho Chi Minh as Vietnam’s second president from 1981 until his death in 1988, which is perhaps one reason that planning permission doesn't seem to be a problem. There’s a shrine to him in the ground-floor lounge.

A note of caution for those with young kids: the Crazy House's maze of precarious tunnels, high walkways with low guard rails and steep ladders is not at all child-safe.

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