A Night at the Crazy House in Dalat, Vietnam
If you ever find yourself in Dalat, high up in the mountains in the south of Vietnam, then you should seriously consider spoiling yourself with an overnight stay in the Crazy House.
To be honest, when I first heard about Crazy House, I wasn’t really interested in seeing it. It sounded like a typical tourist attraction, and the kind of place I usually avoid. But I was wrong. I absolutely loved Crazy House, with it’s creative, quirky design, it’s weird gardens, it’s bizarre shapes and colours, it’s precarious walkways over roofs, and it’s genuine individualism.
Đặng Việt Nga, a local vietnamese lady and architect, is the mastermind of Crazy House. She designed and built this house (or rather complex of houses) from scratch, after earlier versions were burnt down. She’s now in her 70’s, but the building is still continuing, and Đặng and her family still live in the central house.
It is the weirdest place I’ve ever seen in my life. It was like a mix between ‘Alice in Wonderland’, ‘Willy Wonka factory’ and ‘Hobbiton’. And actually, if you’re just going to visit to see the house complex, it is really cheap at less than US$2.
But what many don’t realise, is that you can actually stay overnight at the Crazy House in one of a few guest rooms. When I found this out, I checked online to see if I could book, but of course it was booked out months into the future. However, I thought I’d try my luck and just ask at the front desk. Sure enough, there was a couple of rooms available, and at US$55 it was actually quite reasonable. So, I splurged, packed a night bag, and left my dorm bed behind to go and experience one night in the Crazy House.
I was given the Gourd Room, which had a bed with windows to view the night sky, a gourd-shaped fireplace, a bathroom, sitting area, and balcony. It felt kind of like a hobbit house from Lord of the Rings. I felt like a total kid.
The biggest benefit of staying the night was the free access to roam the Crazy House after the gates close and the tour groups are gone. I made the most of this and climbed and explored until the sun had set over Dalat.
I then rose early to watch sunrise over Dalat from the roof of one of the houses. And while I was in a splurging mood, I treated myself to a delicious noodle breakfast at the restaurant across the road.
Crazy House is one of the most unusual places I’ve visited on my travels. I highly recommend a visit if you are ever in Vietnam. For more info about Crazy House, or to book at stay, go to: http://www.crazyhouse.vn