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A few loose days in South India - suggestions?

A few loose days in South India - suggestions?

Old Aug 17th, 2009, 12:34 PM
  #21  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,590
We just stayed at the Esthell hotel in the Basant Nagar area. Very reasonable, helpful staff and nice location. I didn't choose this place, but was quite happy once there.
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Old Oct 21st, 2009, 03:16 AM
  #22  
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 146
Just following-up now that we've returned from our trip.
We stayed in the Lemon Tree in Chennai and enjoyed it very much. The only issue was that it wasn't located near many restaurants, etc. We were too tired at night to take a taxi anywhere, so we just ate at the hotel. It was pretty tasty though.
Somehow I was unsuccessful in communicating our desire to see the sights in Bangalore before heading to Mysore and we were almost out of town before I realized that it wasn't happening. However, our driver took us to the summer palace and sights closer to Mysore (Sringalaputmylam or something?) and we enjoyed that.
One thing we hadn't really anticipated was just how much time we would be spending every day in a car/plane or something. Although the distances we traveled didn't seem very far, wethe traffic and road conditions conspired to make for some very long days.
One thing to be cautious of in Mysore was the autorickshaws. When we were walking along the street, they would pull up alongside us and say, "The palace is closed until 1 pm today. I will take you sightseeing until then and bring you back." With the first one, I just said, "We'll see." and kept walking. By the time the 5th one had told me this with various times that the palace was supposedly reopening, I decided the whole thing was just a scam. Of course, the palace was open at the normal time.
We enjoyed the trip to the Kabini Lake very much, staying at Kabini River Lodge. We only stayed one night, but found it very efficient. However, we didn't plan to stay in Ooty, but rather just take the train down the mountain that same day. This all seemed very do-able, but when we went to the travel agency, we found that the normal road (3 hours) to Ooty was impassable and that we would have to take an alternate route (5 hours). So, we had to depart from Kabini earlier than we had anticipated. However, the guides were very accommodating and we had a really nice boat trip that morning to spot birds and other wildlife rather than the more time-consuming game drive.
When we arrived at Ooty train station, we were approached by an older gentleman who said, "Madam, the train is cancelled today." Figuring this was a variation on the palace scam in Mysore, I said, "We'll see." Of course, this time the train WAS cancelled! Luckily, we caught our driver and he took us on to Metapuliyam (sp?) at the bottom of the hill where we met our driver for the next leg. From there, we went on to a resort near Pollachi, so this made for an extremely long day in the car (10 hours)!
So, thanks, everyone for the tips and assistance. We really enjoyed India!
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