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Sunday, June 17, 2012

Crazy Homes in Dalat

Need a respite from the heat? Head to the hills of Dalat. At an altitude of 1500m, the climate is misty and cool instead of hot and humid. In fact, our 2 days there were filled with cold downpours. We traded our shorts and tank tops for sweaters, rain jackets and sneakers! This also limited our sights to indoor ones, visiting Dalat's two most memorable "homes". 

Hang Nga Guesthouse aka The Crazy House 

This Gaudi inspired hotel also serves as one of Dalat's most popular tourist attractions. The Moscow-trained architect, Dang Hang Nga, designed and constructed this enormous, tree-like structure with animal themed rooms, spider web windows, giant mushrooms, stairways that resemble tunnels and caves and one part of the building oozing into another. It's one giant playground for adults and kids alike. 

Spend the night in the tiger room or maybe the industrious ant? 

Bao Dai's Summer Palace 

Continue up the road from the Crazy House and you'll find this decked-out deco palace. Built in the 30's by the last emperor of the Nguyen dynasty, this summer retreat has most of the original furniture and decor still intact. There's even a room off the dining area where you can dress up like a Vietnamese princess or prince. You can take a guess who was thrilled to do that!

We also splurged on dinner in the name of Father's Day at Le Rabelais at the Dalat Palace Hotel. Alex fortunately continued her princess manners at our fanciest dinner thus far on this trip.

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