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Asia » India » Tamil Nadu » Chennai September 11th 2018

We had a 14.00 flight to Chennai from Jaipur international so our morning consisted of packing and then getting ourselves on the plane (packing is not my favourite activity, and flying definitely isn’t Meg’s.) It was only a short flight (2 hours) and by 17.00 we were set up in our room at Zostel Chennai. Zostel is a chain of hostels (or so Meg tells me I do little to no research on this thing.) We had to go bare foot indoors but had a proper shower, so swings and roundabouts. We ventured to the beach just as the sun had gone down and found that the beach is elevated which prevents any tides from creeping up. Local food stalls are set up along the beach which to begin with we thought was amazing, until we ... read more

Asia » India » Tamil Nadu » Chennai January 10th 2018

Our entry into India couldn’t have been easier, as a pleasant gentleman checked our visa’s, immigration forms and took pictures and finger prints we had our passports stamped, signed and we were free to enter India for the first time. Woolly says – The same gentlemen didn’t quite know what to do about taking paw prints, he scratched his head and then having smiled at me for a few minutes, he patted me on the head and wished me a happy stay. I trotted off to exchange some money for our next lot of currency while the women waited at the baggage claim area for the backpacks to circle towards them. Twenty minutes from landing and I stepped out onto Indian soil for the first time, sadly for us it was wet Indian soil as rain ... read more
The Bay of Bengal
Museum at Fort St George
Cannon at the fort

Asia » India » Tamil Nadu » Chennai October 6th 2017

On previous visits to India, the beauty of the palaces, magnificence of the surroundings and grandeur of the monuments never failed to leave me breathless, but all this resided in the northern region – now I’m ready to explore peaceful and serene locations in the southern climes. Care to come along? Let’s do this! I begin my latest adventure with two long days of traveling across the globe on four flight legs on three continents before touching down in my Indian port of entry, Mumbai. Here I have a 3-hour layover in the middle of the night, which is barely enough time to get the immigration and visa procedures completed and still make my connection on to Chennai, the gateway to South India. I’m making time to explore Chennai (formerly Madras), this massive conglomerate of urban ... read more
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Asia » India » Tamil Nadu » Chennai September 23rd 2017

Day 4: Thursday 22 September in Chennai After a late breakfast (although I chose not to have breakfast except for a banana that Tom brough back for me – I can’t take all this constant eating!!!), we were met by a Webjet rep who was taking us to The Iris hotel where we were staying for the next 3 nights (3 1/2 stars rather than 5 star). We went for a walk in our new area. While Tom had a haircut (for $1.60 lol) I went for a ½ km walk and came across very depressing slums. Make-shift housing, no running water (trucks were bringing water in) and numerous beggers. Very sad. And yet, ½ km the other way theere was magnificent buildings and wealth. India is a contry of contrasts. After an hour’s walk, we ... read more
Mamallapuram one of Shore Temples south of Chennai (4)
Mamallapuram - Tom had a Kingfiher beer at silk factory
Kanchipuram - Golden City of a Thousand Temples - 7-8th Century (1)

Asia » India » Tamil Nadu » Chennai September 20th 2017

Day 1: Chennai from Colombo, Sri Lanka Monday to Thursday 18 -21 September 2017 We were saying goodbye to Sri Lanka and our new friends, Sue & Dave from Oakey, to start our next adventure around southern India. We arrived in the Chennai International Airport after 1 ¼ hour flight with Sri Lankan Airlines. It was around 3.30pm on Monday. As we had changed a couple of options on our travels, we were not met at the airport. As soon as we arrived at the exit, we were pounced on by taxi and tuk tuk drivers who were not keen to leave us alone. We knew we were back in India. Sri Lankans are not so pushy lol! The temperature was 35 degrees with tropical humidity. We organised a pre-paid taxi so that we were not ... read more
Chennai school children (1)
The Vault Stockexchange bar in Chennai
Chennai

Asia » India » Tamil Nadu » Chennai April 15th 2017

I hadn't expected to be in need of 'meals on wheels' for quite a few decades to come but it seems I'm going to have the experience much sooner than expected on board the train from Mysore to Chennai in southern India. As we settle into our seats in a wonderfully cool air-conditioned carriage we are brought the first of many snacks, drinks and meals by railway staff decked out in 'Meals on Wheels' logoed uniforms. All included in the price of the tickets we are brought chai, bottles of chilled water, soup, full airline style packaged meals and even ice-cream that are brought to us every hour or so. It's all very impressive, delivered without a fuss, piping hot and very tasty. The trains might not be quite up to the standards of ours in ... read more
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Asia » India » Tamil Nadu » Chennai January 31st 2017

I've always found that I've preferred the old colonial names for most Indian cities. Bombay. Bangalore. Pondicherry. Mysore. The same goes with Chennai's old moniker of Madras. Although there are many who probably don't think the same, the old names evoke a certain romance, of how exciting it must've been in colonial times to have gone to places so exotic; the beautiful architecture and the cute traditions left behind by the British Empire. This is of course from a Westerner's perspective and of course there was the oppression of the local people that was carried out by the British and the associated arrogance and racism that went along with it. But growing up in a Western country, you're not really taught about those things. Which I guess is a longwinded explanat... read more
George Town
Marina Beach
San Thome Cathedral

Asia » India » Tamil Nadu » Chennai December 14th 2016

Our hotel in Chennai had Buffet breakfast included in our room rate so we sampled the main breakfast options. Masala Dosa, Idli with Sambar and Vada's. Add a little of what is termed chutney and it wasn't too bad. A quick look outside the hotel and a chat to the front office guys convinced us we needed to get out of Chennai. Limited power, no Internet, no banks open and credit cards not being processed due to connection problems. We organised some rupees through the Hotel and a taxi to our originally planned destination, Mahabalipuram. We couldn't make any booking so headed south heading for the Hotel we had cancelled while in Singapore. We planned to stop at a couple of Art Cooperatives but only found one open. Both were tricky to find because the signs ... read more
Outside the Beverly 2
Large trees down
Random Street photo from Taxi window

Asia » India » Tamil Nadu » Chennai December 13th 2016

Our 'relief' flight as it was described by Singapore Air departed earlier than our scheduled one the day before. This meant arriving in Chennai at a reasonable time about 7.00pm rather than the original 10 pm. After arrival there was a long wait for immigration but finally got through. Our pre-arranged Visas helped. Those folks picking up e-Visas applied for online had to join a queue to pick them up before immigration. Finally in India after 27 years but Shelley and I didn't have a chance to celebrate, there were a whole series of logistics that needed dealt with. We were confronting a city that had been hit by a Typhoon, a country that had turned its cash situation upside down and we hadn't had a reply back from the Hotel we had booked. There were ... read more

Asia » India » Tamil Nadu » Chennai November 24th 2016

We were thinking as India is world famous for cricket (even though Hockey is actually the National Game Fact!) I would check out any potential matches on our route and there looks like a chance we can get to the Fifth Test in Chennai according to this schedule http://www.cricbuzz.com/cricket-series/2489/england-tour-of-india-2016-17/matches I had a quick check on a booking site and tickets range from $10 for VIP seating area to $60 for a Corporate Box. That's a day out definitely on our list. Looking forward to a day out with Samosa's and a bucket of Kingfishers :-)... read more




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