Airlines -- For the Kingfisher city office, call tel. 0484/235-1144; for their airport counter, call tel. 0484/261-0055. For Jet Airways, call tel. 0484/235-8879 (airport tel. 0484/261-0037); Spicejet (tel. 0484/261-1750); Indian/Air India (tel. 0484/261-0040; domestic tel. 0484/261-0041; international tel. 0484/261-0011); Paramount (tel. 0484/261-0404); Emirates (tel. 0484/261-1195); Qatar (tel. 0484/261-1304); Etihad (tel. 0484/261-1770).

Ambulance -- Dial tel. 102.

Area Code -- The area code for Kochi is tel. 0484.

ATMs -- Kochi has hundreds of ATMs; ask your driver or host for the nearest.

Banks -- There are more than 50 banks in Kochi. Hours are Monday to Friday 10am to 3pm (some 9am-1pm); Saturday 10am to 1pm (some 12:30pm). Some have evening counters and a few open Sunday.

Bookstores -- Both branches of Idiom Books are wonderful for a wide variety of books on India, its culture, and its literature. In Fort Kochi, the store is at the corner of Bastion and Quirose streets (tel. 0484/221-7075; Mon-Sat 9am-9pm, Sun 10am-6pm). In Mattancherry, it's opposite the Boat Jetty on Jew Street (tel. 0484/222-5604).

Car Hires & Taxis -- On average, you can expect to pay Rs 150 per hour or Rs 8 per kilometer for a taxi. The Government of India Tourist Office (near Taj Malabar Hotel, Willingdon Island; tel. 0484/266-8352; Mon-Fri 9am-5:30pm, Sat 9am-1pm) has a fleet of Ambassadors. Also try Sita World Travel (Tharakan Bldg., M.G. Rd., Ernakulam; tel. 0484/237-4122).

Currency Exchange -- You can exchange currency and traveler's checks at any of the many banks in Kochi, like Canara Bank in Fort Kochi (Kunnumpuram Junction, Amaravathy Rd.; tel. 0484/221-5467; Mon-Fri 10am-2pm and 2:30-3:30pm, Sat 10am-noon) or Standard Chartered (M.G. Rd., Ernakulam; tel. 0484/235-9462; Mon-Fri 9:30am-4:30pm, Sat till 1pm). Thomas Cook is also on M.G. Rd. (tel. 0484/236-9729; Mon-Sat 9:30am-6pm) and has a branch at the airport (tel. 0484/261-0052 or -0032). Note that credit cards outside of big hotels are not the norm (and some of these accept only MasterCard and Visa), so always carry some cash.

Drugstores -- Medilab (Doraiswamy Iyer Rd., Ernakulam; tel. 0484/236-8963) is open around the clock, as is Ernakulam Medical Centre on the NH Bypass (tel. 0484/280-7101).

Emergencies -- For police emergencies, dial tel. 100; to report a crime, call tel. 1090. For fires and other emergencies, including medical services, call tel. 101.

Hospitals -- There are more than 500 hospitals and clinics in Kochi, some specializing in particular ailments, and a number of them highly respected. If you have a medical emergency, your hotel should be able to organize the best medical match; alternatively, call Medical Trust Hospital (tel. 0484/235-8001) or General Hospital (tel. 0484/236-1251).

Internet Access -- Just about all the hotels offer some kind of internet access. Fort Kochi also has plenty of Internet "cafes" (back rooms behind shops). These generally charge more than any of the options in Ernakulam. Call'n'Fax/Shop'n'Save (Princess St.; tel. 0484/221-5438; Mon-Sat 8am-10pm, Sun 9am-10pm) charges Rs 40 per hour.

Post Office -- Use the General Post Office in Mattancherry (tel. 0484/236-0668) or the Kochi Head Post Office in Fort Kochi (behind St. Francis Church).

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.