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A Living, Breathing Howl’s Moving Castle, The Crazy House in Đà Lạt, Vietnam

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From its outward appearance, you likely wouldn’t give this peculiar building on a nondescript road in Đà Lạt, Vietnam a second glance. Okay, maybe a third glance since its odd facade, sticks out like a sore thumb against the city’s majority French colonial-influenced villas, catches your eyes.

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This is one of the most controversial structures of #Dalat and listed multiple times as one of the most bizarre hotels to stay in the world. Born to the imagination of a Vietnamese born, foreign trained, female architect, the #hangngaguesthouse withstood multiple threats of demolition and continues to expand today! Love it or hate it, all can agree that #thecrazyhouse is definitely crazy. I loved it. • • #honeymoon #vietnam #ig_vietnam #igvietnam #visitvietnam #wanderlust #mytinyatlas #travelogue #travelgram #traveldiary #nowhereeverywhere #cntraveler #tlpicks #canon7d #mycanonstory #canon_photos #natgeotravel #wonderful_places #besthoneymoonplaces #lonelyplanetvietnam #cpcollectives @visitvietnam @besthoneymoonplaces @discovervietnam @vietnam.destinations @vietnam.love

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Welcome to Hằng Nga Guesthouse, AKA the Crazy House — a wacky and zany monstrosity of a home which was seemingly built by combining a multitude of eccentric design elements you wouldn’t find in typical Vietnamese architecture.

Think spiral staircases, sculptural bedrooms, undulating surfaces, swathes of psychedelic colours, narrow bridges, and hidden nooks and crannies and you’ll have a pretty clear picture in mind.

Upon further exploration of its winding mazes and oddities, the one-of-a-kind guesthouse does evoke feelings of whimsy and adventure just like being in a fantasy film. Speaking of which, it does resemble one of Miyazaki-san’s masterpieces, Howl’s Moving Castle. But while there’s no real connection between the film’s titular castle and this real-life guesthouse, it’s easy to see the parallels.

At a glance, the materials are familiar — steel, cement, wood, rebar, and paint — but the application and construction is a form of creative expression in itself. In fact, that’s exactly the point, according to the artist behind the avant-garde guesthouse, Đặng Việt Nga.

The Making Of Howl’s Moving Castle In Real Life 

Starting off as a personal pet project by Nga, the Crazy House opened its doors to the public way back in 1990. But before all that, allow us to give some insight into the artistic genius of Crazy House’s matriarch architect.

As the daughter of a ranking communist leader, Trường Chinh, Nga began her architectural career in Russia, which led her to Hà Nội and finally to Đà Lạt. It was here that she fell in love with the lush landscape and the cooler climate of the region. And years later, she and her then 8-year-old son made the fateful move to the city.

After working on dull and rigid state-owned developments for some time in Đà Lạt, Nga felt compelled to unleash the full extent of her imagination. As a result, she drew up plans for Crazy House in February 1990 — opting to create a series of paintings to communicate her fantastical vision instead of using traditional blueprints. She then worked with non-professional local craftsmen to transform her paintings into reality.

Less than a year later, the guesthouse was finally open for business.

Crazy Architecture Behind The Hằng Nga Guesthouse

From an architectural perspective, the Crazy House does not have a singular style of design. Though the house has drawn comparisons to works of Salvador Dali and Walt Disney. And Nga herself has claimed that she was inspired by Gaudí, as well as the natural environment surrounding Đà Lạt.

That being said, the guesthouse’s design is often likened to expressionist architecture. And aside from basic structural principles (to make sure it’s safe and stable), the house is as fluid and non-linear as you could possibly imagine.

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Dalat Crazy House

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There are very few right angles within the guesthouse. Instead, a complex structure of organic forms designed to echo natural elements can be found throughout the property. Some of these elements include mushrooms, shells, caves, and spiderwebs. Also, stone decorations littered throughout the guesthouse depict animals like bears and giraffes.

Additionally, stairways and halls inside the buildings are also designed to resemble tunnels and caves — lending credence to its nature-inspired theme.

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Crazy House – действующий отель в центре Далата. Построен в 1990 году и продолжает строится до сих пор, обрастая новыми, не менее сумасшедшими корпусами. Стоимость входного билета 50 тыс. донгов на человека. Туристов очень много, так как этот отель включён во все туристические программы. Лучше приходить пораньше. Так как Crazy House всего в 100 метрах от нашего отеля, он стал первым пунктом в нашем маршруте по Далату. Гуляя по этому отелю, невольно задумываешься об архитекторе…наверняка там в голове происходит что-то нереальное 🤪. Кстати, при желании можно даже остановиться на ночь в этом отеле. Стоимость одной ночи с завтраком на двоих взрослых в среднем от 3000 до 5000 деревянных. Честно, я не рискнула ночевать там, учитывая поток туристов. #своимходом#отпуск#2019#приключениянасждут😎#вьетнам#далат

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Outside, the building’s exterior resembles a five-storey tall banyan tree with uneven-shaped window openings and branch-like appendages ostensibly growing along its walls. All in all, giving off a most fairytale-like appeal most would be ecstatic to add to their IG feeds.

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SO MUCH CRAZY…

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But that’s not all there is to the Crazy House. The guesthouse has ten uniquely-themed guestrooms. Each of these rooms has its own unique theme and accompanying nationalistic symbolism. For instance, the tiger room represents the strength of the Chinese, whereas the eagle room is associated with America’s size and power. And finally, the ant room is representative of the Vietnamese’s hardworking nature.

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В гостевом доме Ханг Нга, он же Crazy House, может остаться любой желающий, но не каждый может дотянуть до утра. По ночам в номерах и коридорах включают разные звуки, например насекомых, ветра, странных завываний и мелодии, которые пугают постояльцев. Отличный способ пощекотать себе нервишки! Ночь в номере стоит дорого, но туристы испытывают себя очень часто. Так же остаются молодожены. Отель входит в топ 10 самых странных отелей мира. #вьетнам #муине #муйне #море #океан #небо #путешествие #отдых #туризм #sea #ocean #trip #tourizm #sky #beach #пляж #Vietnam #muine #восточноеморе #южнокитайскоеморе #crazyhouse

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Hằng Nga Guesthouse @ The Crazy House
Address:
03 Đường Huỳnh Thúc Kháng St, Phường 4, Thành phố Đà Lạt, 
Lâm Đồng 670000, Vietnam

Interested in upping your Instagram game with a stay at the Crazy House in Đà Lạt? Visit Changihotels.com to book a room today! But if staying the night is not on the itinerary, visitors may also tour the Đà Lạt attraction for a fee.

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