Image by Anders Blomqvist Getty Images
A free-wheeling architectural exploration of surrealism, Hang Nga Crazy House is a joyously designed, outrageously artistic private home. Imagine sculptured rooms connected by superslim bridges rising out of a tangle of greenery, an excess of cascading lava-flow-like shapes, wild colours, spiderweb windows and an almost organic quality to it all, with the swooping hand rails resembling jungle vines. Think of Gaudí and Tolkien dropping acid together.
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.
Hang Nga started the Crazy House project to entice people back to nature and although it’s becoming more outlandish every year, she’s not likely to have any trouble with the authorities. Her father, Truong Chinh, succeeded Ho Chi Minh as Vietnam’s second president from 1981 until his death in 1988. 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 are not at all child-safe.