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Hang Nga Guesthouse & Art Gallery, Da Lat, Vietnam

The locals call this building Crazy House, but the official name of this extraordinary piece of urban architecture is Hang Nga Guesthouse and Gallery. The architecture is so unconventional, that people also refer to it as "Tree House" or "Spider Web Chalet". If there are any written or unwritten building rules, then they have been all broken when the architect Dang Viet Nga designed it. She is the daughter of the ex-president of Vietnam. She was born in Hanoi and has lived in Moscow for 14 years, where she received her master's and PhD in architecture. Hang Nga Guesthouse and Gallery is located on a Huynh Thuc Khang street in Da Lat, the capital of Lam Dong Province in Vietnam. It looks like a fairy tale castle; it has enormous "animals" like a giraffe and a spider that you can enjoy your time having tea inside of. In fact, this building was constructed of conventional building materials but it creates an illusion that everything was made of wood. Inside the Crazy House, visitors can follow guides up ladders, into nooks and crannies and through tunnels of that labyrinth. Once you have made your way up the winding stairs, you can pass through themed rooms, such as the Tiger Room, Giraffe Room, Ant Room, etc. Hang Nga Guesthouse is a fusion of architecture found in Disneyland Castles and Antoni Gaudi's architecture. Here the nature and the architecture are recombined creating a fairy tale masterpiece of architecture. It's difficult to imagine anybody having rest in this horror Crazy place so it's rather a landmark than a hotel. The National Committee of Da Lat does not always appreciate such creative projects. Original architectural masterpiece of Da Lat "The House with 100 roofs" has been destroyed as "fire-hazardous", because the National Committee considered it to be "anti-socialist". However, there is little chance that the Hang Nga will have any trouble with the authorities because of her social arrangement.

By Lilit Khalatyan,