2 Weeks in India | 24 Hours in Chennai & Video Diary

We landed past 1AM in Chennai but luckily, it was pretty easy to grab an Uber from the airport. After the chaos of the plane ride, we were happy to be back with our feet on firm ground. One of the main differences we noticed right away was the language. In the south, and specifically in this region of India, most people speak Tamil. So, we were no longer greeted with "Namaste," and it was now, "Vanakkam."
It was a relatively easy ride and once we got to the hotel, we all promptly passed out.

The Leela Palace was super luxe and lovely. Unlike the ITC Rajputana, the lobby and rooms matched in aesthetic. The rooms were incredibly luxe and I wish I'd had an opportunity to use the tub.
For breakfast, we went to Lloyd's because it had nice reviews and to be honest, it was one of the only places I had pinned on my map and none of us were ambitious enough to do any more research.
But it all worked out because it was a great place. D got her usual cappuccino whilst I got my usual masala chai. I also kind of wanted a darjeeling so J got it so I could have a taste. The darjeeling was really subtle but strong at the same time with just a hint of sweetness. It was sublime.
As one cannot survive on tea alone, we also got some food. I went for the Turkish eggs. If you've never had Turkish eggs, you have to try them. It's just poached eggs served in a bed of warm, garlicky yogurt with spices and it is divine. I am planning on doing a recipe post on these eventually.
And because I'm me and I'm extra as fuck, I decided we all needed to get some ice cream immediately after breakfast. After all, we were in a beach town; isn't that perfectly appropriate?
I went for a creme brulee cone, which was sugary sweet and vanillary and divine. J went for the Hail Mary sundae, which looked incredibly decadent. And D went for a chocolate dipped cone with the chocolate cake raspberry ice cream. We were all v. pleased with ourselves.
After ice cream, we went to the only site I'd pinned: this notorious temple which is one of the main things that shows up when you google 'Chennai.' Unfortunately, it was closed, but we still got to admire the towering rooftop covered in figurines and idols.
We also saw loads of cathedrals in Chennai. I think the Tamil Nadu region is where there is a higher representation of religions other than Hinduism.
I wanted to go and look at the Bay of Bengal so we walked from the temple out towards the water. Unfortunately, they do not take advantage of the beach here. The waterfront was littered with garbage and the waterfront properties were mostly slums and shanty towns, which I found rather interesting considering anything waterfront in the States is considered prime.
Since it was so unbearably hot and there really wasn't much to explore in town (that we knew of at least), we decided to go back to our hotel and take advantage of the pool. After all, we'd all packed swimsuits and hadn't taken advantage of one pool yet.
The pool area at the Leela is gorgeous. It's picturesque and luxe and wonderful.
As we settled in, the staff brought us cold waters, which was a lovely touch. The towels on the sun loungers were pillowy soft and the water in the pool was the perfect temperature. It was warm enough to be comfortable but cool enough to comfort us against the heat of the sun.
When we went back to our room to clean up, we were greeted by a plate of cookies. Since we'd all fallen asleep at the pool and missed lunch hour, we were feeling pretty peckish so we went downstairs in search of snacks.
We ended up getting an order of calamari, at D's request, and a plate of fries at mine.
Crunching on fried food was totally satisfying.
That snack wasn't enough to completely sate our hunger so we grabbed an Uber into town again to dine at Thaligai.
We ordered three kinds of dosas, the ghee roast, the masala dosa, and the podi dosa. Each dosa was basically like a giant, crispy, chewy crepe with a slightly different flavor. The ghee roast was nice and greasy with loads of butter, the diamond masala dosa was sprinkled with vibrant spices, and the podi dosa had a slightly nutty flavor. We also tried to order a bunch of other stuff at the beginning but our waiter knew we wouldn't be able to finish it and so he didn't put in the order. (Based on the prices of the dishes, we had kind of assumed everything would be tiny, like tapas.)
I also got a panakam to try, which was a gingery lemonade. It was quite nice.
Since our waiter had denied us our snacks, he told us to just try some idly and for dessert he brought us kheer. The idly was only okay. I liked the sambar but the idly themselves were kind of soggy.
The kheer was okay but I prefer to eat kheer with gulab jamun since there isn't much pizazz to it.
Our total bill for all this food came out to ₹588, which is basically $9. Seriously, how?!
After dinner, we headed back to the hotel to get some rest before our flight out the next morning.
Here's my video diary: