If you land in Noi Bai International Airport and planning to get a taxi, ask them to make a detour to this place. It's only 15 minutes away and will save you a lot of money later. Or better yet, go on your way back to the airport if you have time. Otherwise, it'll cost about $40 for a return-trip from the city centre.
... Having spent $40 for my return trip (an hour each away), plus $5 entry - it was worth it. The minute I stepped into this place, I stopped grouching about the money (and feeling ripped off). This place is really something special, and the photographs don't quite do it justice. Everything here was built and placed mindfully in a very detailed manner - you'll find that even every single pot plant has its own story. It's indeed a labour of love, for such a huge compound - this was a grand effort. There's everything for everyone, and it's almost like a maze walking around i.e. you'll stumble on a secret staircase leading you to wherever it is you'll end up (in my case, the temple balcony overlooking the forest). There are plenty more of such delightful discoveries.
Try to take your time to explore, have a sit and bask it all in. It's really quiet and there weren't that many people - probably about 4 other visitors. The owner acquired quite an impressive claypot collection - and he seems to deeply understand the value of it all, and why.
I'm not posting any pictures, because this place needs to be experienced first-hand. If sightseeing, temples, architecture, history/culture & Vietnamese-vibe is your thing - there's no reason why you should give this a miss. The taxi driver who took me there (who's never been and we got lost for 15 mins) even gave me a thumbs up at the end cause he enjoyed it a lot. Which goes to show how this place is still relatively unknown even to locals. The artist however, is very famous. (Note: taxi drivers get in for free).
Don't spend that $40 at the Old Quarter market or on any silly trinkets/souvenirs - spend it here if you want a piece of Vietnam that you'll truly remember.
p/s: If your taxi driver gets lost and you have a smartphone, Google Maps (the app) will get you there. Otherwise, call them and ask the receptionist to give directions to the taxi driver.
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