Ever since I was young, I’ve loved the beach. Ironic, considering I was born and raised in Colorado. I think it was because the beach was this mystical place I could only enjoy on vacation that I loved it so much. That, and the fact the I really didn’t like the snow.
I have had the privilege of visiting many beaches in my lifetime and hope to visit many more in the future.
Growing up, I visited South India at least once a year. My family is from Chennai and I still have many family members in the city. One thing that I always looked forward to was visiting the beach in Chennai – Marina Beach. After about 10 years, I had the opportunity to visit Chennai this past month.
Located on the Southeastern coast of India, Marina Beach is the largest urban beach in India and one of the largest in the world. This means that most of the beach was artificially made. You walk almost a mile from the parking strip to the water. Over the last few years, the beach has been cleaned up some, but you still see sprinkling of trash as you move towards the water. At the water, it is clean and refreshing.
Pro tip: Try to go towards the evening, when the weather has cooled down. Just be aware that this is when it most crowded.
India (especially in the Southern part of the country) is incredibly conservative, so I would not recommend pulling out a bikini. You can wear a long skirt and enjoy dipping your feet into the water. If you are really interested in taking a swim, you may have to just wear your clothes into the water. Also remember that you are only allowed to swim a few feet from the shore, there are police on horseback that are monitoring the beach at all times.
Pro tip: Do not go directly to the “Marina” part of the beach; this is where most people go and it is the most crowded. If you head south just a few feet, there are less crowds and it is the same beach.
Just a friendly plug to not litter when you are on the beach. Do your part to keep the beach clean (even if it seems like others are not). Also, I would steer clear of the food carts and other food that you may find on the beach. Unless you have several days to recuperate from any GI upset, I would stick to food you know is safe to eat. (see my food safety guide [coming soon]).
Until next time,