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Airlines -- Phone numbers you may need are: Jet Airways (tel. 3987-2222, or airport 2256-1818); Spice Jet (tel. 1800-180-3333 or 098-7180-3333); Kingfisher (tel. 1800-233-1131 or 1800-1800-101).

Ambulance -- For an ambulance, dial tel. 102. Or dial Apollo Hospital (tel. 1066 or 2829-3333). Apollo Hospital's location on Anna Salai may be the most convenient.

American Express -- The American Express office is at 501 Spencer Plaza, Anna Salai; open Monday to Friday 9:30am to 6:30pm; Saturday 9:30am to 2:30pm.

Area Code -- The area code for Chennai is 044. For directory inquiries dial 197; time in English 174; change of telephone number in English 1952; 24-hour information service 4444-4444.

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ATMs -- There are numerous ATMs around the city; ask your hotel concierge or driver about a machine near you.

Banks & Currency Exchange -- There are a large number of foreign exchange dealers; again ask your hotel concierge, host, or driver. Note that most are closed on Sundays.

Bookstores -- Higginbothams (116 Anna Salai; tel. 044/2256-0586; daily 9am-7:30pm) has a great selection of books as well as Indian music. Landmark (3 Nungambakkam High Rd./M.G. Rd.; tel. 044/2827-9637 or 044/2823-7438; daily 9am-9pm) is said to be Chennai's largest and most popular bookstore; it also has a selection of music, stationery, and other items, but the loud popular music piped through the speakers can be unnerving.

Car Rentals -- Avis is at 1/24 GST Rd. (tel. 044/2234-4747).

Drugstore -- Located on the second floor of Spencer Plaza (769 Anna Salai) is Health & Glow (tel. 044/5205-6013; Mon-Sat 9am-8pm, Sun 11am-7pm). Alternatively see under hospital below.

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Embassies & Consulates -- U.K.: 20 Anderson Rd.; tel. 044/5219-2151; Monday to Friday 8:30am to 4pm. U.S.: 220 Anna Salai; tel. 044/2811-2000; Monday to Friday 8:15am to 5pm. New Zealand: "Maithri," 132 Cathedral Rd.; tel. 044/2811-2473; Monday to Friday 8am to 12:30pm, Saturday 8 to 11:45am.

Emergencies -- Police tel. 100. Fire tel. 101.

Hospital -- Internationally acclaimed Apollo Hospital (21 Greams Lane, off Greams Rd.; tel. 044/2829-3333 or -0200) offers the city's top medical services; it also has a good round-the-clock pharmacy.

Internet -- As is the case in other cities, your most reliable bet is to find a Sify iway (when in Mylapore, head for the outlet on 59 Dr. Radhakrishnan Rd.; there's also one at 22 College Rd., Nungambakkam) or Reliance Web World (outlets in RAPuram, Anna Salai, Alwarpet, and Nungambakkam).

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Police -- For emergencies, dial tel. 100. For traffic police, dial tel. 103.

Post Office -- Ask your concierge, host, or receptionist to post small cards and letters (around Rs 15 per stamp). For larger items, use the General Post Office on Rajaji Salai, George Town, or the Head Post Office on Anna Salai. Better still, call Fedex (125 Peters Rd., Royapettah) at tel. 044/2835-0449.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.