My goal is to make this thread a very rich resource when it comes to touring Kerala in the best possible way. I have listed round 10 tips that we have gained over the years of experience and this should help any prospective traveller who wants to visit Kerala , especially if you are touring for the first time. If you have also visited Kerala and there are some tips you want to add please feel free to add.
1.Please don't organise the houseboat trip on the first day of your arrival unless you are reaching before 10 AM.
The houseboat trip starts at 12 Noon and the boats anchor at 5:30 PM which means that you have very less time for cruising in the backwaters.If you want to enjoy this houseboat cruise to the maximum, it is better to arrive by 12 Noon in Alleppey or Kumarakom . If you are coming by 2 PM and is opting for a houseboat cruise on the same day by the time you reach the boarding point, the cruise will be over and it will be a rather forgettable experience instead of the unforgettable lifelong memory that you would have craved for.
2. Kochi is a beautiful city and has a rich cultural heritage, but you will enjoy the sightseeing only if you take and evening flight.
A mix of old colonial houses built by the Portuguese, Dutch and British in these colonial periods line the streets of Fort Kochi which tells us that history is a mute witness that testifies with time and there are added attractions like St Francis Church was built in 1503 by the Portuguese, Santa Cruz Basilica, also built by the Portuguese in the 1500, pre-colonial Chinese fishing nets on the waterfront and so on. If you want to enjoy all these just make a slight adjustment to your itinerary and take an evening flight. One day after checkout from houseboat is good enough to cover most of these attractions. Plan it well to enjoy the same.
3. Reserve two nights for Munnar to enjoy the green tea gardens. One day for hurry burry sightseeing in Munnar will only give you a forgettable experience
Munnar is around 140 kilometers from Kochi and the road to Munnar from Kochi or Coimbatore has windy hills and hairpin curves with a vomitting sensation . What about starting early in a day, reaching Munnar by noon and hurrying back by the evening, You may not enjoy it , right?. That is why you should reserve at least 2 nights in Munnar. Going to Munnar itself will take 1 day as there are some nice waterfalls to take a break in between kochi and munnar as well. Do your sightseeing on next day so that it is an enjoyable experience overall.Rsereve 2 days/ 2 nights minimum for Munnar.
4. Don't reach the Kochi airport after 4 PM and then proceed to Munnar.
This is another common mistake, If you have reserved for 2 nights in Munnar but you are reaching a flight that reaches Kochi airport after 4 PM and then proceeding to Munnar. If you do this you will miss taking a break at all those nice waterfalls that I mentioned in the above post . So arrive at least by 2 PM and proceed to Munnar
5. You arrive by an international flight at midnight and then proceed to Fort Kochi.
Please understand that Kochi is at least 40 Kms away from the airport and after arriving at an international flight in Kochi airport no point in proceeding to Fort Kochi. Stay at one of the airport hotels and save on your time and take some well needed rest. Proceed to Fort Kochi on the next day.
6.Your last day is in Kovalam and you plan to return from Kochi for the return flight.
No point in driving all the way back to Kochi after sightseeing in Kovalam the previous night. Instead of that plan for a return flight from Trivandrum and save on the time and enjoy some sightseeing in Trivandrum including palaces and one of the richest temples in India
7.Do not forget to put off your shoes before entering into a temple.
Temple/ Church is a holi place. Please respect the same and do not forget to put off your shoes before entering any holi place like a temple or church. Please respect to the culture and heritage of the land.Whatever season you choose to visit it's wise to bring appropriate clothing, bearing in mind that skimpy outfits not only risk over-exposure to the harmful effects of the sun but also risk offending locals who are devoutly religious and observe strict codes of moral conduct.
8.It's a good idea to learn a few Malayalam words to secure better understanding.
You will smile when you say these Malayalam words below, but people who listen to you will also smile and it is a nice feeling overall if you give it a try :)
Namasthe / Namaskaaram
How are you?
9. Dont pack too much of Kerala in two few days.
An all-in-one trip doesn’t afford any true exposure to what Kerala has to offer . You need to enjoy each experience in Kerala - be it houseboats, elephant rides, colonial homestays in fort kochi, the kathakali show and so many other things. Take a break from life in Kerala and enjoy each of these instead of spending your time inside the cab.
10. Take the complimentary pickup/ drop if you are staying near an airport hotel.
Most of the hotels and especially hotels near airport will offer a complimentary pickup and drop. Save some money and time by opting for these, however do ensure that you book rooms in advance and you tell them about your flight plans as well.
Hope this Helps.
Enjoy your stay in Kerala :) and do let us know if this was helpful.
Iris Holidays TeamEdited: 02 February 2012, 16:54