Wondering where to go? A quiet, quaint place or a high-energy haunt? Laila and gang recommend the following places to hang out in Chennai.
Spencer Plaza Looking for retail therapy or just want to sit and hang out with your gang? Or both? Look no further and head straight to Spencer Plaza, a landmark shopping mall in the heart of Chennai. The 7-storey building houses a variety of shops spread over 3 floors in 3 phases and office spaces that occupy the top floors. Here you can shop for almost everything, from branded clothes, designer watches, books and DVDs, to toys, leather goods, jewellery, domestic appliances, handicrafts and much more. You can also treat yourself to a wide variety of food at the various food courts and smaller restaurants that serve snacks like corn, chats, cookies, pizzas, baked items, etc.
Chennai Snake Park The Snake Park is a key attraction to those visiting Chennai. With its exotic collection of lizards, crocodiles and turtles, it captures the attention of young and old alike. The park breeds more than 30 species of Indian snakes. There is also a park for kids. A well-maintained space with generous enclosures, the park offers rides and fun activities for children. It also has a quaint zoo with select animals and birds.
Marina Beach Yes, this one's been an all-time favourite for many generations! If you want to go out but not to a usual cafe or restaurant, then this is where you should head to. One of the world's longest beaches, you can go here to just 'people-watch' and bide time. Of course, if you want to beat the crowd, go early in the morning. The fresh air and the sound of the sea will have a soothing effect like no other. Go alone or go with friends and talk, play and snack on some peanuts, roasted corn, or chaat. You'll wish the day would never end.
For a pumped up, high voltage evening, Platinum is the place to be. Chennai’s erstwhile Hell Freezes Over has reincarnated as a trendy pub, giving you the perfect getaway if you're looking to let your hair down and sip on your choice of poison. Adopting an experimental pub-club concept, Platinum opens at 7 pm to pull the crowds in early. The DJ starts spinning the turntables by 8 pm and plays hip hop, retro and RnB, and also takes requests. Platinum also has a lot of exciting offers for customers. On Wednesdays, women get free entry and a complimentary drink, and on Thursdays, you get a free drink with every drink you buy.
Arignar Anna Zoological Park (Vandalur Zoo) So, you have a whole day to kill and don't know what to do? Go to Arignar Anna Zoological Park, popularly known as Vandalur Zoo, one of the world's largest zoos. Not too far from the city, Vandalur Zoo is one of the most contemporary zoos, housing more than 170 species of animals. Take the elephant safari or go to the lion safari park and the deer safari park in the zoo to see the animals in their natural habitat. You could also take a walk through the aviary that houses about 13 species of birds, including the kingfisher, rose-ringed parakeet and the myna. Need another reason to go there?
VGP Universal Kingdom Want a fun-filled day of activity and adventure with family or friends? VGP Amusement Park park has some exciting rides for children like the super trooper, giant wheel, aero-ship, jumping frog, dragons belly and more. The park has rides for the youngsters as well, like go-karting, water chute, euro-bungee and other family attractions like the roller coaster, orbiter, balloon racer and more. The aquarium and Jurassic Park are a must-see. VGP has a beautifully landscaped terrain with lavish gardens, paved walkways, food courts and sparkling fountains and water cascades.
Pondy Bazaar Pondy Bazaar is your destination if shopping without splurging is your motto of the day. This seemingly endless road is lined with both makeshift and regular shops where you can find the most unusual things at bargain prices. Of course, you have to be ready to haggle and bargain, but at the end of the day, a look at all that you've purchased will leave you satisfied.