Olacab or other cab apps in India

#16 Apr 21st, 2017, 07:27
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#16
Update: we're travelling soon and will arrive Chennai International airport at 02:40 am on Monday.

We can't change rupees in UK, I have 300 rupees left from the previous trip, but I know I can't use them now LOL... As those notes are expired..

My question is : Is exchange bureau at Chennai International airport opened at 02:40 am on Monday morning?? We need rupees for prepaid - taxi, so if the exchange bureau isn't open at early hours in the morning, then we have to ask our hotel to arrange pickup. (I ask the hotel already, our hotel is in Royapettah, the quote is rs.1200.....I was told that they will hire the cab through the travel agency)
#17 Apr 21st, 2017, 07:36
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#17
I am certain there will be ATMs available at the airport.
#18 Apr 21st, 2017, 07:49
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#18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mimimiha View Post We can't change rupees in UK, I have 300 rupees left from the previous trip, but I know I can't use them now LOL... As those notes are expired..
You can use these 300 Rupees. They have not expired.

Exchange counter is open 24 hours.

1200 rps is a lot for a local transfer.

Pre-paid taxi will be cheaper.
#19 Apr 21st, 2017, 07:50
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#19
X-posted with above

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mimimiha View Post Update: we're travelling soon and will arrive Chennai International airport at 02:40 am on Monday.

We can't change rupees in UK, I have 300 rupees left from the previous trip, but I know I can't use them now LOL... As those notes are expired..

My question is : Is exchange bureau at Chennai International airport opened at 02:40 am on Monday morning?? We need rupees for prepaid - taxi, so if the exchange bureau isn't open at early hours in the morning, then we have to ask our hotel to arrange pickup. (I ask the hotel already, our hotel is in Royapettah, the quote is rs.1200.....I was told that they will hire the cab through the travel agency)
Of course there will be functioning ATMs at the airport. The hullabaloo has died down. The Bureau de Change will most likely also be open, but only change what is necessary, as they will charge a premium because they are at the airport.

The quoted Rs.1200 cab-fare is equivalent to 15.00, so it is your call. You probably spend more on a round of drinks at your local. Don't be pound-wise and penny-foolish. They discontinued the old Rs.500 and Rs.1000 denomination notes ultimately last December, except for exceptions.

Your precious Rs.300 (equivalent to 3.60) is still current and legal tender. You could use it towards a cup of coffee in Covent Garden Costa or a cab ride in Chennai. Your call.

Happy journey with Irish passport and Brit passport.
#20 Apr 21st, 2017, 08:18
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#20
Thanks everyone

VishVa you got good memory LOL...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ViShVa View Post X-posted with above



Of course there will be functioning ATMs at the airport. The hullabaloo has died down. The Bureau de Change will most likely also be open, but only change what is necessary, as they will charge a premium because they are at the airport.

The quoted Rs.1200 cab-fare is equivalent to 15.00, so it is your call. You probably spend more on a round of drinks at your local. Don't be pound-wise and penny-foolish. They discontinued the old Rs.500 and Rs.1000 denomination notes ultimately last December, except for exceptions.

Your precious Rs.300 (equivalent to 3.60) is still current and legal tender. You could use it towards a cup of coffee in Covent Garden Costa or a cab ride in Chennai. Your call.

Happy journey with Irish passport and Brit passport.
#21 Apr 21st, 2017, 18:55
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#21
Quote:
Is exchange bureau at Chennai International airport opened at 02:40 am on Monday morning?? We need rupees for prepaid - taxi, so if the exchange bureau isn't open at early hours in the morning...
Not so much early hours of the morning, as a very busy time of day at the airport!

Only 500 and 1000 notes got demonitized: bring your 300. But I doubt that it will get you to Royapettah in a pre-paid-booth cab (Uber, maybe). You might need 700-1,000. I doubt if your hotel is charging much over the odds (the expensive hotels do that) so the pre-booking could be good peace of mind.

In advance: Welcome to Chennai! The weather is warming up nicely for you. Expect a blast of hot moist air as you leave the airport!
~
Squawking.
.
#22 Apr 22nd, 2017, 00:49
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#22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick-H View Post Not so much early hours of the morning, as a very busy time of day at the airport!

Only 500 and 1000 notes got demonitized: bring your 300. But I doubt that it will get you to Royapettah in a pre-paid-booth cab (Uber, maybe). You might need 700-1,000. I doubt if your hotel is charging much over the odds (the expensive hotels do that) so the pre-booking could be good peace of mind.

In advance: Welcome to Chennai! The weather is warming up nicely for you. Expect a blast of hot moist air as you leave the airport!
Oh my god, I just found an old 500 note!!! I guess I should frame it now, haha.
Our hotel is just a quest house, but the rating is very high in TripAdvisor and they aren't cheap for Indian standard. The owner told me that he outsource the transfer job to a travel agency, anyway this isn't our first time in India... LOL....I have rejected him nicely

One more question, does pre-paid taxi booth accept credit card???

Thanks very much about the warning of weather, I was brought up in Taiwan (not many people know this country LOL), the summer is around 37C to 38C, and every household is using air conditioner, which evacuates warm air.

I'm worried about my hubby more, haha. Anyway, there is a shopping mall near our guest house, we've decided to go sight seeing very early in the morning, and go shopping, cinema in the afternoon, go out again the evening.

There are couple restaurants on my mind: Barbecue nation (my hubby can't live without meat, but I warmed him already as I read online that, many places in Tamil Nadu only serve vegetarian food), Cream Centre (I saw the photo of sizzling paneer and my mouth can't stop watering, while in UK, whenever I ordered paneer in the Indian restaurants, I normally got melted English cheese on top of the chicken or vegetable ), Chamiers Cafe??? Any other recommendations?

Is St. George's fort (George Town) worth visiting? Is it highly recommended by lonely planet but the photos don't look too appealing..
#23 Apr 22nd, 2017, 01:28
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#23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mimimiha View Post Oh my god, I just found an old 500 note!!! I guess I should frame it now, haha.
Frame it. Don't even bother to bring it!
Quote:
Our hotel is just a quest house, but the rating is very high in TripAdvisor and they aren't cheap for Indian standard.
Do post a review. Is it that posh place? Hannu Reddy something? Looks tempting.

Believe it or not, although I only live 10km away, I have stayed in a guest house there for ten days during December Music Season! So that I can get an early start at social schmoozing in the Music Academy Canteen . Only Ram Guest House for me, though; quite plain and simple. Lloyds Guest House is better furnished.
Quote:
The owner told me that he outsource the transfer job to a travel agency, anyway this isn't our first time in India... LOL....I have rejected him nicely
That's ok, actually. Whilst some places might have their own car and driver, others would just book it for you.
Quote:
One more question, does pre-paid taxi booth accept credit card???
Goodness, I don't actually know! I have always left with enough in my pocket to get home on!

As of July '15, there are three booths, Government, Fasttrack, and something-Express. I think we covered this recently. Maybe on this thread. You have left it a bit late, but you could email them. Or even phone. I suspect that, after the De-mon drama last year, they will. But I do not know.
Quote:
Thanks very much about the warning of weather, I was brought up in Taiwan (not many people know this country LOL), the summer is around 37C to 38C, and every household is using air conditioner, which evacuates warm air.
Was it humid there? You'll be right at home
Quote:
I'm worried about my hubby more, haha.
Oh yes, I remember that conversation now.
Quote:
Anyway, there is a shopping mall near our guest house, we've decided to go sight seeing very early in the morning, and go shopping, cinema in the afternoon, go out again the evening.
Express Avenue. I doubt that the shops will hold your attention for long, but the air-conditioning might.
Quote:
There are couple restaurants on my mind: Barbecue nation (my hubby can't live without meat,
Went years ago; don't know how it is now. There was certainly plenty to eat.
Quote:
but I warmed him already as I read online that, many places in Tamil Nadu only serve vegetarian food)
Clear delineation between veg and non-veg places. Hope he's up for trying both!
Quote:
Cream Centre
We had an IM meet there once. Wasn't that impressed. I think maybe I was expecting cream!
Quote:
(I saw the photo of sizzling paneer and my mouth can't stop watering, while in UK, whenever I ordered paneer in the Indian restaurants, I normally got melted English cheese on top of the chicken or vegetable ),
You should certainly get real paneer with no problem. My favourite Panneer Butter Masala? New Woodlands Hotel. With the mushroom fried rice.
Quote:
Chamiers Cafe???
Haven't been there since 2005-ish. I seem to remember: quite nice with a very decent shop. My wife is a natural at user-testing trip hazards. They paid her expenses and fixed the step with a non-trip slope In fact they were very sympathetic and decent about it.

Quote:
Is St. George's fort (George Town) worth visiting? Is it highly recommended by lonely planet but the photos don't look too appealing..
I would say... no. Not unless you are interested in the history of Madras as the HQ of British colnialism. You can be amazed by the absurdly-thick woollen uniforms of the British soldiers. Went there on my first-ever trip here: haven't bothered to go back. Government Museum, Egmore is probably a better deal, but I've only been there once too.

How long are you in the city for? We could have a meetup. I don't think we've had a meetup other than locals for ages!

Meetup Thread.
#24 Apr 22nd, 2017, 01:28
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#24
Pre 9/11 pre paid booth did not accept credit card. After 9/11 I am not sure.
#25 Apr 22nd, 2017, 03:07
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#25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick-H View Post Frame it. Don't even bother to bring it!
Do post a review. Is it that posh place? Hannu Reddy something? Looks tempting.
I will PM you about the place, as I'm not sure if the owner is reading this thread, I booked it from booking.com, I think I still got another 24 hours for free cancellation, hahaha, if it is no good.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick-H View Post Believe it or not, although I only live 10km away, I have stayed in a guest house there for ten days during December Music Season! So that I can get an early start at social schmoozing in the Music Academy Canteen . Only Ram Guest House for me, though; quite plain and simple. Lloyds Guest House is better furnished.That's ok, actually. Whilst some places might have their own car and driver, others would just book it for you. Goodness, I don't actually know! I have always left with enough in my pocket to get home on!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick-H View Post Was it humid there? You'll be right at home
Yes it is extremely humid in Taiwan, and I'm from the capital where every household uses air conditioner and evacuates warm air all the time. After living in cold UK for more than 12 years, I realized that I actually coped with the heat better than before, as we don't normally have air conditioner here, we don't really use heating a lot as utility bill is extremely expensive here. I guess my body just learns to adjust temperature better

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick-H View Post Oh yes, I remember that conversation now.Express Avenue. I doubt that the shops will hold your attention for long, but the air-conditioning might.
I know they have Fabindia, one of my favorite Indian brand, hahaha.. I also know that, there is a luxurious cinema where everything is 3D, within Express Avenue, good for the afternoon, if it is too much heat for the Irish man who was brought up in London LOL~~~~
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick-H View Post Went years ago; don't know how it is now. There was certainly plenty to eat.Clear delineation between veg and non-veg places. Hope he's up for trying both!We had an IM meet there once. Wasn't that impressed. I think maybe I was expecting cream! You should certainly get real paneer with no problem. My favourite Panneer Butter Masala? New Woodlands Hotel. With the mushroom fried rice. Haven't been there since 2005-ish. I seem to remember: quite nice with a very decent shop. My wife is a natural at user-testing trip hazards. They paid her expenses and fixed the step with a non-trip slope In fact they were very sympathetic and decent about it.
Thanks for the tips. I'm not a vegetarian, I'm not very keen on meat but we will go to Barbecue nation, LOL! I absolutely adore South Indian food : Dosa, Idilly, Idiappam, Uttapam, Vada, Apam......Last time in India, while we were in Karnataka and Kerala, we normally had 2 dinners, we go to restaurant that serves meat first, for my hubby, then vegetarian one for dosa, idilly....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick-H View Post I would say... no. Not unless you are interested in the history of Madras as the HQ of British colnialism. You can be amazed by the absurdly-thick woollen uniforms of the British soldiers. Went there on my first-ever trip here: haven't bothered to go back. Government Museum, Egmore is probably a better deal, but I've only been there once too.
Thanks for advice, Government Museum sounds more appealing to me. How about Madras High Court and Madras University? Are they near Marina beach?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick-H View Post How long are you in the city for? We could have a meetup. I don't think we've had a meetup other than locals for ages!
We will be in Chennai for 3 days, I was going to suggest to meet up but I wasn't quite sure whether I should mention, as you know what English are like, normally you meet up with them 5 or 6 times, then they started to have a bit chat with you, and you need to meet them 10 to 15 times or more, for a cuppa ....haha

It will be cool to meet up, I will let you know my travel itinerary. We should have plenty of time as I don't really want to go St.George's fort now. But we will have a day trip to Mahaballapuram by bus (599 or 568?), and return to Chennai in the evening. Was considering TTDC day trip but the price seems to go up massively and they don't have trip during our stay. How many hours do you recommend to stay in Mahaballapuram???

Still let me ask my hubby first, he moved to London when he was 8 so personality wise,he is very English, so it's better that I ask him in advance but it shouldn't be a problem. LOL

BTW, do you have any information regarding cooking lessons and Bharatanatyam dance performance? Or Bharatanatyam lesson for dummies?? LOL

Meetup Thread.[/QUOTE]
#26 Apr 22nd, 2017, 03:09
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#26
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Originally Posted by aarosh View Post Pre 9/11 pre paid booth did not accept credit card. After 9/11 I am not sure.
Ok thanks! if the exchange bureau is opened, and they don't accept credit card, we just find a place to sit down and wait for the bureau to open ...LOL
#27 Apr 22nd, 2017, 04:23
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#27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mimimiha View Post I will PM you about the place, as I'm not sure if the owner is reading this thread, I booked it from booking.com, I think I still got another 24 hours for free cancellation, hahaha, if it is no good.
Got it. Looks more homely. Great if they feed you too

I know the district: my wife used to go to an acupuncturist there!

Quote:
Yes it is extremely humid in Taiwan, and I'm from the capital where every household uses air conditioner and evacuates warm air all the time. After living in cold UK for more than 12 years, I realized that I actually coped with the heat better than before, as we don't normally have air conditioner here, we don't really use heating a lot as utility bill is extremely expensive here. I guess my body just learns to adjust temperature better
Should remind you of home then!

Quote:
I know they have Fabindia, one of my favorite Indian brand, hahaha..
Right. Suppliers of Kurtas by Appointment to Nick-H

I don't know how big their Express Avenueshop is: they have a big shop in Besant Nagar
Quote:
we normally had 2 dinners, we go to restaurant that serves meat first, for my hubby, then vegetarian one for dosa, idilly....


Quote:
Thanks for advice, Government Museum sounds more appealing to me. How about Madras High Court and Madras University? Are they near Marina beach?
High Court... not sure there is much to see there. I do not know if people can just wander in and out. Nearby to a whole maze of shopping streets, segregated into different trades. Quite an experience. Hmmm... I suppose it is also a recipe for dehydration at this time of year! It is generally known as "Parry's," and people here pronounce that "Paris!"

Quote:
We will be in Chennai for 3 days, I was going to suggest to meet up but I wasn't quite sure whether I should mention, as you know what English are like, normally you meet up with them 5 or 6 times, then they started to have a bit chat with you, and you need to meet them 10 to 15 times or more, for a cuppa ....haha It will be cool to meet up, I will let you know my travel itinerary. We should have plenty of time as I don't really want to go St.George's fort now.
OK. Good! Gets me out of the house
Quote:
But we will have a day trip to Mahaballapuram by bus (599 or 568?), and return to Chennai in the evening. Was considering TTDC day trip but the price seems to go up massively and they don't have trip during our stay. How many hours do you recommend to stay in Mahaballapuram???
Difficult question. You could see the major sights in half a day, or you could relax there for a week!

On the way: Dakshinachitra: a museum of traditional houses! I was taking some friends to Mahabs, one day, and we didn;t get any further than Dakshinachitra!

Quote:
Still let me ask my hubby first, he moved to London when he was 8 so personality wise,he is very English, so it's better that I ask him in advance but it shouldn't be a problem. LOL
I'm an ex-Londoner (and, although it may not show online, actually quite shy!) so I canprobably remember how to sit at the same table with you without any mutual acknowledgement of existence! Like everyone in London does on the tube. The only people who are better at this is the Japanese.
Quote:
BTW, do you have any information regarding cooking lessons and Bharatanatyam dance performance? Or Bharatanatyam lesson for dummies?? LOL
Cooking... no, sorry. Maybe your house owners would let you in the kitchen? If there is something specific, and my wife knows how, I could ask her to show you.
Bharatnatyam... Many years ago, I realised that I wasn't watching the dancers: I was watching the musicians. I've been a carnatic music person ever since, and can probably take you to a concert or two. Equally, I'll show you where to look in the newspaper for each days announcements (The Hindu, Usually p.4)
Lessons... for dummies or otherwise. Well, I'm a music person, and I'm on "Hi Nick" terms with a few musicians, but dancers, not so much I'm afraid.
#28 Apr 22nd, 2017, 04:27
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#28
Nick knows the best places to go shopping for Bharatnatyam costume jewellery, though. He even gets a guided tour of the goldsmith's personal sanctum sanctorum!
#29 Apr 22nd, 2017, 04:39
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#29
Ha Ha... the day I met ViShVa

That was fun!
#30 Apr 22nd, 2017, 05:49
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#30
Quote:
He even gets a guided tour of the goldsmith's personal sanctum sanctorum!
Dang, they never let me get close to the expensive stuff.


Quote:
Our hotel is just a quest house, but the rating is very high in TripAdvisor
Wonder if there is a different price if you if you book through an Indian agency? I did this and although I didn't get breakfast it was half the price. Besides I can always make a meal of snacks and Limcas..

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