Hyderabad to Chennai, India
Day 176: Country #20
I woke up super early to wait for the airport bus around the A.C Guards bus stop. As I waited, some tuktuk came up and said I was at the wrong location. I was extremely skeptical, but as there were no other people waiting for the bus, I agreed… and totally got ripped off (not really, but calculating the cost per distance, it was expensive) because he drove me only a short distance down the road where a gentlemen confirmed the pickup location.
The cheaper flight which I chose allowed me to fly over Bangalore (Bengaluru) en route to Chennai. I had hopped to see a little of the city from above, but the airport was located too far from the city center. After a short hostage situation, we reached Chennai.
Chennai’s airport felt even further away from the city than Bangalore’s from its city. Luckily, there’s a train that takes you into the city for 5 rupees, which is incredibly cheaper than the metro and bus options. You just need to cross the street and walk a few minutes to Tirisulam station, then you can hop on the incredibly packed train with everyone else.
I was so hot, but managed to lug my bag to the hotel where I cooled off a little bit, but immediately set out to explore the nearby area.
On my way to the Egmore National Museum, I passed by a really fancy white structure and a lot of government buildings. The museum was also quite large but some exhibits were closed. I was surprised to see a Chinese tour group and even more surprised to hear their Indian guide speaking in Chinese.
I also passed by Alsa Mall and the Central Bank of India buildings before heading back toward Egmore station to catch another local train further east.
I got off around Chennai Beach station, but there was actually no beach there. So, I walked south to Chennai park. Along the way, I found a travel agency, but I didn’t like their city tour packages.
Finally, I reached the fort as it started getting dark, which made the path a bit intimidating, but there were still people around so I followed them. Inside were mainly government facilities, which included a cafeteria where I was able to get some really good dosas.
Then I headed further south through Fort Park until I reached Victory War Memorial which featured a colorful fountain display with clock tower and Indian flag.
With no buses in sight, I walked all the way back to Central Station. In trying to take the shortest path possible, I found myself walking through a vibrant neighborhood on a small strip called “The Island.” I got an intimate look at night life in this neighborhood and even found an interesting combination Christian and Hindu shrine.
It’s worthwhile to find a domestic travel agency in each city. Even if they don’t offer any good options, you will still get a sense for what is important to the local people instead of what travel magazines and online sources might recommend to regular luxury travelers.