Everything you should know
I really enjoyed walking the evening markets in Parry's. Tell your driver to stop you opposite the Central Bus Station.
Here you'll find almost every ware you could possible imagine, it will be a culture shock to see how these people live and sell their produce.
You'll walk through intoxicating strectches of alleyways filled with flowers, stacked pyramids of juicy local fruit, glittering gemstones and polished gold, freshly cooked local food, streets filled with aluminium pots of all shapes and sizes, fluttering silk sarees at unimaginably cheap prices..etc
Always,always, keep your money close to your body, and bargain!
Don't be afraid of the stares, or shouts, or beggars, once you get over it, you ll start to really experience the place.Dont give the beggars money, I bought them food, for which they are appreciative.Try and spread your purchases, they are all so poor, it doesnt seem fair to buy from only one family.. How everything is so cheap
KL to Madrsas Cennai
Having done this a fair bit of times, there are many possibilities depending upon the budget. my preferred way is to take Malaysian Airlines. But cheaper is Air India Express (horrible service, inedible food), slightly more acceptable is Tiger Airways from Singapore..there is Jet airways which usually has the highest price. occasionally you can get a good deal from KL to Madras via TG SQ but you will have to look around for it. Best value for the price certainly is Malaysian Airlines
Getting to know your auto man
One day we found ourselves goofing around on elliot's beach, later, bored, we caught an auto to our favourite (probably the only) mexican restaurant in Madras.
Along the way our auto driver started chatting, he would take us to a boutique he pushed, no! we protested. just a quick stop to look at the wares at another store, he said.
Pretty soon I understood, the auto drivers get paid, a few rupees, or free gasoline, if they bring customers to certain shops.
So we did, it went in, pretended to look around,(though we did see beautiful things that exceeded our price range) then left after the driver got his cut. A few stores, and a unique way of viewing madras, thats what we got. Oh yeah and a free half and hour auto ride back to our hotel.
St Mary's Church
It is said that this church is the oldest surviving British church in India. Building started in 1678 and services in 1680. The spire was completed in 1710. The church is still in use, and there was a service held while I visited the church.
Madras (Chennai) Intro
"About The City"
Madras (or Chennai as it is now known) lies in Southeast India and is the capital of the state of Tamil Nadu (Literally means the land/country of the Tamil people). The Bay of Bengal on the east provides some spectacular sunrises for the nature-loving visitor. The city is about 170 square kilometers in size and pretty much lies at or just above sea level. There are two rivers ý the Cooum (pronounced Coo-Um) and the Adayar (also spelt Adyar). The Buckingham canal is the third significant water body in the city.
The weather is hot and humid for the most part. May is considered the hottest period of the year with the temperatures touching 44 degrees Celcius on occasion. The coolest part of the year is usually December thru January with an average high of about 23 degrees Celcius. Most days the sea breeze cools the city from mid to late afternoon onwards. Lots of high SPF is recommended or your skin will resemble a cooked lobster !!!
If you decide to go between October and December expect to experience an occasional tropical storm or cyclone with torrential rain that leaves ankle to knee-deep waters in parts of the city.
Chennai (Airport Code MAA) is one of the four major metropolitan cities of India with a metro area population exceeding 10 million. The city is spread out and has not succumbed to the skyscraper culture in spite of an incredible economic growth spurt in the past decade. You can reach Chennai by air using almost any major international airline. Several have direct non-stop flights from major cities around the world. Some airlines fly into New Delhi or Mumbai (formerly Bombay). If you fly into Delhi or Mumbai, you can get to Chennai by air, rail or road. The rail and road networks are quite extensive and reach deep into the countryýs heart.
The people of Chennai are warm, friendly, good-natured and helpful for the most part and if you speak slow and clear English, almost everyone will understand you. Understanding locally spoken English will take a little getting used to since it is a slightly localized version spoken with a local accent and slang.