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76 Yen Phu, Tây Hồ, Hanoi
“A restaurant with a strange name in a strange place. "Tivoli Cafe" and yet there is no Italian food. Coffee, I guess? And the Hanoi Club is just odd. Is it a hotel? A country club? Social club? And yet, the food here is actually good and cheap. Seen a foreign chef milling about. Looke...”
One of the most interesting markets in Hanoi, Chợ Trời - Flea Market or Peace Market, as some call it, is a throbbing hive of activity and warren of shops. In this area you'll find, pumps, flour mills, electronics, hardware, heavy duty tools, and pneumatic equipment, hifi equipment, fishing supplies, gun stocks, electronic games, dvd's cd's, as well as various odds and ends, ad inf.
It's worth spending an afternoon here, just to fossik. It is by no means a tourist must see, but for those who are living and working here, sometimes this place is the only place for sourcing those hard to get, damn I wish I could find it, little bits and pieces that make 'living' in someone else's house more entertaining.
I have bought from this market, a flour mill with steel grinding plates for 1M dong - current rate is now around 1.5M dong due to inflation. The mill works well, was easy to assemble, and was of sufficient quality that NI recommended it to a mate, who also bought one. I'll certainly be going back some time in the future to buy another one, but with stone grinding plates instead. The prices on such items seem to be pretty much standardized, regardless of the vendors I've asked so I don't feel as if I'd been ripped off. Given what I use it for, I consider it to be excellent value for money.
I love this market, and love spending a bit of time wandering around it just for fun, to look and see who's gat what, where and for how much. Be aware, that it is dirty, gritty, grimy, and there is certainly the chance of being either ripped off, sold a pup, or perhaps caught up in the odd occasional police raids aimed at curbing, the 'black market' side of this market space.
All in all well worth a visit.
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