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Chennai as a Tourist Destination

Chennai, previously known as Madras, is the capital of the Southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is the fourth largest city of India and also the 34th largest metropolitan city in the world. It has been enticing people from all over the world with its alluring beauty and rich culture.

Chennai is also home to a number of magnificent beacheswhich are nothing less than paradise. The Marina beach in Chennai is the second longest beach in the world.

Here are some of the reasons that make Chennai a great travel option.

  • Chennai is a shopper’s hub. One can purchase exquisite silk saris, traditional gold and silver jewelry in Chennai. For the connoisseurs of art, numerous art festivals are also held in Chennai.
  • Right from the glory of old historical monuments to the vibrant world of the best of the shopping malls, world class hotels, clubs and a vivacious nightlife, Chennai is an epitome of the “east meets west”.
  • The traditional and religious festivals are celebrated with a lot of fervor and camaraderie.
  • A medical trip to Chennai gives one the opportunity to enjoy and experience the beauty of the sunny beaches of Covelong and the temples at Tirupati.
  • With its mouthwatering cuisine, the bustle in the earthy bazaars, and intricate temples, Chennai can be an entirely novel experience.

 

Medical Tourism in Chennai

Chennai is one of the sought-after tourism destinations of India. Its professional experts, sophisticated technology, and medicare services have enabled it to become a feasible option for medical tourism.

  • Thecost of treatmentsin India is very affordable as compared towhat they cost in the developed countries of the world. While some may argue against travelling to Chennai as one will have to spend on air tickets, they will be surprised to know that even after considering the air fare and cost of hostel-stay, they will still be spending a fraction of what the procedure costsin their home countries.
  • The NHS hospitals in the UK are known for keeping their patients in the wait for months before they can get their hip replacement or for that matter, undergo any procedure. In India the waiting time is almost NIL.
  • India especially Chennai is home to yoga, ayurvedic massages, and treatments along with reiki, therapeutic massages, and art of living.Therefore, it is the best place for a holistic treatment which encompasses psychological well-being along with physical well-being.
  • The medical care in Indian hospitals can compete with international standards. The medical equipment used in these hospitals is at par with the medical equipment used anywhere in the world.
  • Most of the hospitals are either already accredited by Joint Commission International (JCI) or are in the process of being accredited. They are visited extensively for treatments like weight loss surgery, gynecological and dental treatments, cosmetic surgery and many more.

Hospitals under Network in Chennai

One of the hospitals under our network in Chennai is has been bestowed with the honour of “Centre of Excellence” by the Government of India. This JCI accredited hospital was also the first in India to get ISO 9002 and 14001 certifications.A number of luminaries in the world of medicine are associated with it. This hospital has more than sixty departments. Doctors in this hospital have reached a newlevel in the areas of cardiac angioplasty, organ transplants, Birmingham hip resurfacing procedures, and many more.

Another hospital under our network in Chennai is a part of the second largest hospital chain in India. This JCI accredited hospital is affiliated with the Partners HealthCare System Inc., USA and has earned numerous awards and distinctions. This hospital also boasts of the largest cardiac program in the world! This hospital provides healthcare in the fields of cardiology, neurology, dentistry, psychiatry, diabetology, oncology, cosmetic surgery, and many more.

A dental clinic under our network in Chennai is one of the largest dental centres in India. For people looking to enhance the aesthetic appeal of their face and teeth, this clinic provides basic and advanced dental treatments. This state-of-the-art clinic has internationally trained consultants who provide E-dental consultation. For minimizing the discomfort of their patients, specialists make use of sedation dentistry. This clinic is a great option for those looking for quality implants, dentures, braces, and dental restorations.

Language

Official Language: Tamil

Second language: English

English as a Language:English is widely spoken in Chennai (a breather for English-speaking people skeptical about facing a language barrier in India). Moreover, every doctor in India is fluent in English,since it is also the medium of teaching across medical schools in India. Unlike other cities in India, Hindi is not widely understood in Chennai. In fact, people might not be at ease while conversing in Hindi.

In Chennai, other South Indian languages such asTelugu, Malayalam and Kannada are also widely understood.

Language Tips

Hello – Vanakkam

I – Naan

Thanks –Nanri

Yes –Amaam

No – Illai

Us – Engalai

Price – Vilaiyerram

Distance – Mandalam

Help – Udhavi

Name –Peyar

Like – Virumba

Bad –Ketta

How much distance to go? – Evalavuthoorampoakanum

Climateof Chennai

Summer Season (March-May): Chennai has a tropical climate and the temperature in summer crosses the 40o C mark.The average temperature is 37o C in summer.

Monsoon Season (June-September): This region receives an annual rainfall of 1300 mm.

Winter Season (November-February):It doesn’t get cold in winters in Chennai. The average temperature is 24o C in winter. This is perhaps the best time to travel to Chennai.

Clothing

Travel with your summer clothing in case you are visiting Chennai. The climate in Chennai is cool and pleasant during winters and quite hot during summers.

Currency Exchange

Rupee is the currency of India and is available in the denominations of 1000, 500, 100, 50, 20, 10, 5, and 1 rupee notes. Coins of 10, 5, 2, and 1 rupee are also available.

Transferring Money While in Chennai

The best way to transfer money while you are traveling in Chennai is by opening a Quick Remit account with SBI or HDFC Bank. This account can be connected to your bank in USA. This will facilitate you to transfer money within these banks through Internet. It might take 3-4 days for the money to transfer.

The charges for the service would be around $2 and the information about your bank in your home country would be required.

One can also withdraw money with the help of Western Union Money Transfer.Under this, one needs to make someone back home transfer the money in his or her name. A transaction code is provided which needs to be presented while withdrawing money along with an identification proof.

Thomas Cook: +91-44-2440-5333 and +91-44-2827-4941/5052, charges commission

State Bank of India:+91-44-2825-7404, +91-44-2522-5658 and +91-44-2821-1664, does not charge any commission

Tips for currency exchange:

  • Always exchange money from authorized and renowned dealerssuch asThomas cook and American Express outlets.
  • Ensure taking a receipt for any transaction involving currency exchange. It helps in ascertaining the initiation of your funds.
  • Ensure that the receipts mention the amount of currency exchanged and the rate of exchange.
  • Banks are the best place to exchange currency as fake notes of higher denominations are in circulation in India.
  • It is advisable to ignore a stranger who promises exchanging your currency at a better rate than banks.
  • Use a secure computer to do net banking.
  • Private dealers will offer a better rate of exchange for your currency and even provide you with a receipt for the same. But, in case you have any money left when you have to return, in order to get it reconverted to US$, you will have to visit the same dealer for it.
  • $1 USD usually ranges between 43-48 INR (Indian National Rupees). The exchange rate is subject to change.

In Chennai, most hotels and all the airports provide money exchange services. Money can also be drawn against your Visa, Amex, or MasterCard at the following places:

  • State Bank of India (Haddows Road, Thousand Lights)
  • American Express Bank ( Mount Road, Anna Salai)
  • Barclays Bank (Triplicane and Regus Citi Center, RadhakrishnanSalai))
  • Thomas Cook (Departure Terminal, Anna International Airport and Spurtank Road, Chetpet)
  • ABN Amro Bank (Haddows Road)
  • Citibank (Clubhouse Road, Thousand Lights)
  • Deutsche Bank (Kothari Building, M.G. Road)
  • HongKong& Shanghai Bank ( Radha Krishnan Salai, Durgapuram, Royapettah)
  • Bank of America (Mount Road)
  • Standard Chartered Bank (Grinlays Gardens, Haddows Road)

There are 4 ATMs (HDFC, Vijaya Bank, State Bank of India and ING Vysya) located at the Chennai Domestic Airport which is interconnected with the international Airport.

ATMs

For ATM transactions in Chennai and other cities in India, all ATM card issuers charge a foreign ATM transaction fee of 1 to 3 % (except HSBC’s World Premier MC).

In case of Bank of America, no transaction fee is charged in case you use their Global ATM Alliance partners like Barclays, BNP Paribas, Deutche Bank, China Construction Bank, BNP Paribas, Santander Serfin, Scotiabank, and Westpac.

An ATM of ICICI Bank is located at the arrival section of the Airport (Visa and MasterCard).

Credit Cards

International credit cards are accepted at major hotels, shops, restaurants, and clubs in Chennai. You are likely to be charged a transaction fee on international credit card purchases.

Traveler’s Checks

Traveler’s checks are widely accepted in India. Many banks and currency exchange dealers offer a small premium for traveler’s cheques as compared to cash.

Visa Requirements

There is no provision of visa-on-arrival in India. Issuance of visa for India can be a long process. Intended patients are recommended to plan their visits at least 6 to 8 weeks in advance.

In order to give medical tourism in India a boost, the government of India has started issuing special medical visa for visitors coming for medical treatments. A medical visa although recommended for a major medical treatment, usually takes longer.

Visa requirements vary for each country. Once you decide India as your medical tourism destination, please feel free to contact us for guidance.

Internet Access

Internet Cafes are easily available across Chennai which are well connected with a broadband connection. The prices are pocket friendly and can be as cheap as INR 10-15 for an hour. Every major hotel and hospital in Chennai has internet access.

However, the internet speed in India is generally not as much as in US and Canada.

In some cases, there is an extra charge for internet access at the hotels.

Calls/ Communication

The international access code for India is 0091. Area Code of Chennai is 044

In case you are dialling a landline number in Chennai, you need to dial:

Country Exit Code+91+City Area Code+Number

Many US cell phones do not work in India. Therefore, it is advisable to get in touch with your cell phone network provider to inquire about the call rates and coverage in India.It is a good option to take a GSM phone along with you and buy a new SIM card for a new pre-paid phone number. National and International calls in India are very cheap but ensure gathering the information about the various types of calling cards of your service provider.

Calling cards are available at the Chennai International Airport.

For purchasing a local number in Chennai, you would need:

  • A copy of valid visa.
  • A copy of valid passport.
  • Address of place of stay (hotel).

The hospitals can also arrange a SIM card for you for a local number in IndiaSTDs (Subscriber Trunk Dialing) are a more common feature in India than public telephones. They can be easily found in every neighborhood inChennai.