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Directions: Head west on any of the major roads until you end up on the highway heading to the airport. It will be on the west side of the road between Hoang Quoc Viet and Ciputra.Phone: 0437551617
“I went on the trip to Soc Son last weekend and was very impressed by all the team at Bloom. I've been living in Hanoi for 4 years and working in tourism and very few tours really give you meaningful interactions with local people. For one of the first times, I didn't feel like another 'sheep' on ...”
It took 1 and a half hours to get to the check out when I visited. The review could end here - I don't think anything else needs to be said to justify the 1 star rating. But I am a long-winded chap, so what the heck. I got in a queue at 5.45, and exited at 7.10. Madness. The queue wasn't even *that* long when we joined it - perhaps there were 7 or 8 carts in front of us. Other registers were similarly long and slow. I don't know if Metro checkout workers are force-fed sedatives - like fois gras ducks are force-fed corn - before they come into work, but the whole process of having your goods priced and handing over your dough was painfully sluggish. Any benefits of shopping here (prices on some items aren't bad, good meat and seafood selection with a fair amount of difficult-to-source stuff) were completely overshadowed by the unacceptably long wait at the checkout. I doubt I'll be back.
Yeah, i'm kind of amazed there's only one review of this place.
This place is like the anti-Big C. It's more akin to a Sam's club or Costco in the states, what with the membership requirements and the larger sized packages.
First off, getting in is no problem. just show 'em your passport and you get a day pass. There doesn't seem to be a limit to how many times you can re-visit the place, but you'll have to show your passport each time.
Once in, it's a surprisingly calm shopping experience, completely unlike Big C. The housewares and electronics section are suprisingly thorough and well stocked and orderly, unlike any other supermarket i've visited such as citymart, fivimart, etc.
The alcohol selection was also pretty decent, with reasonable prices on beer. Wine selection wasn't the greatest, but i can forgive that.
The food section was pretty good. one of the tougher things is that much of the food is in larger packages. want one can of tuna? no dice. have three instead.
The meat selection was pretty surprising, ranging from whole chickens to whole pigs to real smoked bacon to chorizo and pepperoni.
produce was also mostly good looking, with a wider variety than you'd see at the normal markets (celery!).
Big C may have a slight leg up on selection and ease of transport (if you're on a motorbike), but Metro's lack of pickpockets, shadiness and general insanity is more than enough to make it our go-to place for weekly grocery runs.
Went there today and thought I should post a review as there are some things to be aware of for those of us who are new to Metro.
1) Despite having a big sign saying that they offer free delivery, this is only relevant for certain things in the store. My normal groceries and household stuff were not deemed to fall in this category. Apparently they can deliver, but you'll have to pay for it.
2) Related to home delivery, you will need to pack everything in boxes yourself for home delivery. This is unlike Big C, Ocean Mart and HiWay where they pack and deliver for free (within x kms... can't remember how many).
3) As mentioned by other reviewers, you either bring your own bags, buy theirs, or pack your stuff in boxes.
4) The boxes have all been flattened and kept in a cage. You need to dig through this bounty to find something which is not so damaged and not so flimsy, and then go to the tape dispenser which is located outside the security zone. The cutter in the tape dispenser does not work, so be prepared to use your teeth.
I cannot understand the logic of this system. You have to leave your paid shopping unattended while you dig for boxes, go past the security guard (the usual chappie who stands there with a stamp for your receipt) and get the tape - sorry to labour the point, but you need to cut it with your teeth - return to your unattended shopping after making up your boxes, and then packing it all up.
I made the mistake of buying glass containers for my cookies today, and the cashier (who obviously got out from the wrong side of bed) grumpily stomped off to get some miserly pieces of paper for me to wrap my containers and then pointed in the direction of the boxes and shouted 'cartoon, cartoon'.
In other words, be prepared for a great shopping experience .....
Firstly, I am really surprised Metro has not been entered before now. I am sure many NHers have a wide variety of experiences here, ranging from absurd and impossible all the way to acceptable and useful. So, this is my experience at Metro Thang Long so far:
People often say, on ANH threads, that Metro on a weekend is not that dissimilar to Big C on a weekend. However, that has not been my experience. I have ventured to Metro on Saturday afternoons and have actually found it to be a pretty good experience overall. Whilst there are hoards of motorbikes parked outside, the sheer size and scale of the place seems to enable many people to move around quite freely. Note - I have NOT been at a crushingly crowded time so have not experienced that side of Metro.
One of the frustrating things about so many supermarkets in Hanoi is that when walking through them, there are more aisles where nothing is remotely interesting to purchase, than those where I want something. Metro is a refreshing change in that respect. So, I thought breaking down the place into subsections might be useful for those who have yet to take the plunge and get out there:
Homewares/Appliances etc: large part of the store, not very organised as items appear randomly scattered across many places which can make it difficult to find things. Most things appear well priced and , when you can find what you are looking for, a good range is in evidence meaning you can spend a lot or a little depending what your preference is.
Drinks: massive range of soft drinks, juices, beers etc. Imported beers include Carlsberg, Heineken, loads of local beers.
General groceries: again massive range in most areas. Most are multi-packed (this is warehouse shopping after all) so you get more than one. But a lot of day-to-day items also come in single packs. Not a lot of bread/toast spreads available. There are numerous tasting stations where people are offering samples of different products. We recently tried some delicious American chocolate biscuits and bought them!
Wine/Spirits: large wine selection but few recognised labels (for me). Countries include Australia, South Africa, Chile, France, USA etc. Other alcohol is divided into general cognac section and a separare liquer/spirits section where you cannot take a trolley in.
Bread: very good range of bread. If you time it right you can be there when they bring our fresh baguettes from the ovens - absolutely delicious! Whilst there were a few people trying to get them (bags of two) it was pretty orderly and someone even made sure we got some and did not miss out.
Meat: separate meat cool room has a range of beef, pork, chicken etc. portion sizes are not as big as I was expecting, based on other comments I have seen. Well priced and good quality.
Frozens: massive range of frozens, everything you can imagine! Including turkey, for those needing a festive bird this week!
Fish: a "fish market" is there with a wide range of fish, crustaceans and shellfish. All looked really good and fresh.
Fruit and veges: big range and looks very fresh. We have bought a fair bit of this and it has all been lovely. You need to get items weighed and barcoded before you head to checkout.
Dairy: big selection of everything you could ask for here. No complaints at all.
Checkout went very smoothly. Do watch your Dong notes - people in front of us had some large denomination notes rejected so be careful. They do not yet allow payment by Visa or Mastercard (it is Cash & Carry!) but we understand this may be coming soon. Unless you are driving a car, you need to purchase (or bring your own) re-usable bags to pack your shopping in. There are small and really large (eg: fit a small child in!) options. The large ones actually work well despite looking cumbersome.
Expect shopping to take time, this place is very very big. But we did not find crushing crowds or rude people. Some aisles are quite narrow and you have to be patient, but that is all. I would say we will shop here once a month or so to do a big shop for longer lasting items mainly. You need a card to get in. These can be obtained at the door by showing your passport (limited times I gather) or you can get one through your employer or you can, as we do, borrow from friends.
I would anticipate that closer to Tet, Metro will be absolute bedlam so probably best to avoid it then.
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