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Asia » India » Kerala » Kochi March 10th 2021

The thought of backwater cruise, wildlife at national parks and carpet like tea plantation lured me to visit Kerala. Back in March 2018, I, my sister Nyta and my friend Kiko left Jakarta with Malaysian Airlines, transiting in Kuala Lumpur and arrived in the evening. Our driver, Jotish picked us up and took us to Cochin Marriott. On the first day of our visit, we had a city tour, visiting Fort Kochi, famous for its spice trading in the 16th century. We could see the legacy of the spice routes from the historical Portuguese architect design buildings, the names of the street and Chinese Fishing Nets along the coast. Kochi is rich in history as merchants began trading spices, primarily cardamom and black pepper, with European, Middle Easterners and Chinese since 1500. Its history was quite ... read more
St Francis Church
Sight at Old Town
Jew Town

Asia » India » Kerala » Trivandrum May 28th 2020

The legendary sage Vilvamangalathu Swamiyar was a great devotee of Vishnu. After several years of meditation, Lord Vishnu appeared in front of him as a small boy. The sage loved the child immensely and requested him to stay with him in the hermitage forever. The child agreed but mentioned that if the hermit failed to treat him with respect, the child would vanish. One day, when the sage was in deep meditation, the child by mistake tainted the idol which was kept for puja. The sage was enraged and punished the child. But since his condition was broken, the child vanished telling the hermit that if he wanted to see him again, he had to search for him in Ananthankaadu. The sage then started moving in the direction the child vanished, fasted and searched for days ... read more
padmanabhaswamy1

Asia » India » Kerala March 21st 2020

Kerela Wow, what a shock! It’s as if we’ve been put in a time machine and fast forwarded about 60years. Apart from the heat that greeted us at 10pm. our taxi driver was the only one waiting for passengers! The drive to Fort Kochi was on good roads, hardly any tooting, passed numerous large car showrooms, plenty of neon lights, not a single cow and from what we could see in the dark, no obvious piles of rubbish. Usually Fort Kochi is a very popular tourist visit, however all the attractions have been closed due to the Corona virus. There are a few White people around, very few! Consequently plenty of tuk tuk drivers trying to get a job. One guy we were talking to, asked if we could do him a favour, he didn’t want ... read more
Lorry
Lighthouse Alleppy
Balcony view

Asia » India » Kerala January 18th 2020

It's Saturday afternoon and cold here in Cyprus. Gas and electric heaters on. Looking forward to our Wednesday flight Larnaca-Bahrain-Cochin. This entry is just to test the 'trip/blog' outcome in preparation for some real information.... read more

Asia » India » Kerala » Kochi January 16th 2020

Thursday 16 Jan 2020 Preparing for our trip - 6 days countdown - should we start packing? So tempting to get those backpacks out.... read more

Asia » India » Kerala January 12th 2020

A bit delayed but here's a short video of our trip through Kerala and Goa in India, May 2019. Places visited include Fort Kochi, Munnar, Alleppey, Varkala, Wayanad, Kannur and Palolem. Some highlights include a kathakali performance and watching a theyyamat a local temple. ... read more

Asia » India » Kerala October 27th 2019

Think end of January - cold icy winds drifting over the banks of snow, frozen noses and reddened cheeks from walking, driving on icy roads. Had enough? Sorry, I figure this time of year is a good time to wander off to somewhere warmer - now think southern India. Close to the equator with steamy hot days and indigo dark skies at night. Yep, I'm going to India again but to the southern end this time. After just returning from Spain, I figured it was a good time to start packing my suitcase for India. I know what I used and what I really didn’t need from the Spain trip and so it’s the best time to organize my travel paraphernalia. As well, I was putting my summer things away for the season, many of which ... read more

Asia » India » Kerala » Periyar National Park October 9th 2019

The goal was to experience the Kerala Thekkady area, including the Periyar National Park and Wildlife Preserve, in a budget friendly and authentic way. So when Sumod, a man I met on the streets of Kumily suggested this “option,” I thought, “that sounds fun.” But I had little idea what to expect. That’s okay, because that’s what I like about travel. Not knowing what to expect. It’s the best way because then anything can happen! And everything always works out, somehow. Sumod met me on the darkened street at 5:00 AM outside my homestay. We walked to the bus station, where our daily 5:15 AM bus was predictably late. This Kerala government bus makes a daily run to a faraway village, traveling through a portion of the Periyar National Park. We sped off into the dark ... read more
Strangler fig
The first of five buses I rode
houses in the hills

Asia » India » Kerala » Thekkady October 2nd 2019

First there was the matter of negotiating the price of the Jeep tour. Actually I hadn’t intended on doing the “jungle tour” with any of the jeep drivers hawking their offerings to visitors in the Thekkady area. But the two guys across the street waved a brochure at me and I checked it out. In broken English they offered the full or the half day tour, and showed photos of animals such as elephants and the wildly colored Malabar squirrel that tourists could see on the tour. I declined the full day, noting its 188 km length which was far too much bouncing in a jeep for me. But I did express interest in the half day and started walking away thinking about when I could do it. “Okay, last price 1800 rupees,” he called after ... read more
Snacks at the Viewpoint
A “Wild” Water Buffalo Seen on our Jungle Safari
Ruins

Asia » India » Kerala May 29th 2019

It may be a self-proclaimed title to lure in the tourists, but I think it's deserved. We had flown into the Indian state of Kerala, otherwise known as 'God's Own Country'. The literal meaning of the word Kerala is ‘The Land of Coconut Trees’ - which is pretty much spot on. Arriving late at night into Kochi airport, we decided to kip at a local hotel before getting the bus into the old colonial town of Fort Kochi the next morning. The first things we discovered were that: a) it was beyond hot (we had come in the hottest and most humid month of May, just before the monsoon hit); b) good accommodation was not expensive at all; and c) public transport was, from our point of view, so inexpensive it was almost free. Great for ... read more
Old gateways in Fort Kochi
Our cooking tutor, Maria
Kathakali




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