Our final stop in Southern India was a sad one for me, mainly because I wasn’t charmed by Chennai, and also because it was the only place I got sick in all of India … on this trip at least.

We were flying out of Chennai, and decided to spend a couple days in this city to say farewell to India.

We stayed at what I am convinced is the best place to stay in Chennai… at least on a backpacker budget.  City Home Hotel was about a 10-15 minute walk down a busy street from Central Station (the main train station).  The staff were pleasant, the rooms were clean, our room had hot water, AC, a TV with decent English movie channels, and we were close to a number of restaurants.

City Home Hotel

City Home Hotel

I don’t think I can actually suggest restaurants in Chennai, because I spent a lot of time in my hotel room with a very iffy stomach.  I do admit though, that the only time I got sick in India was actually my fault, because I decided to experiment with a new type of food, and ate Pav Bhaji.  While the delicious oily buns with curry satisfied my tastebuds, I later found out that Pav Bhaji is often made with water, which of course would make me sick.  Silly me.

foodCollageThe only thing that could get me out of the hotel room, was a good ol’ American movie, and some good ol’ American food.  Gah, I am such a bad tourist!  We ended up eating some McDonald’s, and watched Liam Neeson’s Taken 3 for dirt cheap in Skywalk Mall.  We used to pay about $18 for a movie when we would go out in Tokyo, so this was a steal at 120 rupees per person in a really nice theater!

Costs for Day 132:
Sri Ananda Bhavan 2 veg thali and water 185
Freshly and hot iced Eskimo and iced cappuccino 160
Bug repellant 80
Bus from Mamallapurim to Chennai 80
Train from Chennai train station to Central Station 10
City Home Hotel 1767
Bananas 20
Handmade chips 25
Hotel shiva sagar pav bhaji, aloo palak, nan, water 320

Total cost for Day 132: 2647 rupees / 2 = $20.40 per person

Costs for Day 133:
City Home Hotel 1767
Tuktuk to Skywalk Mall 110
Taken 3 tix 240
McDonalds 400
Tuktuk 120
Bananas 40
Beer 260
Water 30
Popcorn and Coke 220
Veg noodles and crisps 60

Total cost for Day 133: 3247 rupees / 2 = $24.52 per person

Costs for Day 134:
City Home Hotel 1767
Water 27
Train 5
Tuktuk 60
Lunch of sambar rice 80
Dinner aloo gobi, naan, water, rice 126

Total cost for Day 134: 2058 rupees / 2 = $15.87 per person

What I learned: Not everyone gets Delhi Belly or the Rajasthani Runs.  With the exception of the pav baji, we had a glorious time eating our way around South India!

trainCollageActual dates of travel: Jan. 13 – 15, 2015