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How To Spend 5 Days In Kerala, India

How to Spend 5 Days in Kerala, India

I recently left the busy and chaotic streets of Kathmandu for Kerala, India for a quick five day vacation. Kerala is a state on the Malabar coastal in the southwest of the sub-continent. Having spent the last year and a half living in Kathmandu, I was half-expecting Kerala to be a reflection of Nepal’s disorderly pace, but was in for a pleasant surprise. The pace in Kerala is slow and leisurely, with an emphasis on the beaches and backwaters -the ideal location for a quick break.

Here’s how to spend five days in Kerala.

"Chinese fishing nets dot the shores of Fort Cochin"

Chinese fishing nets dot the shores of Fort Cochin

"Old man tending fishing nets"

Old man tending fishing nets

"Kieh's boyfriend helping the fishermen"

Kieh’s boyfriend helping the fishermen

"Locals dipping their toes in the surf"

Locals on Alappuzha Beach

"Alappuzha Beach - locals and tourists gather on the beach at sunset for camel rides"

Alappuzha Beach – locals and tourists gather on the beach at sunset for camel rides

Kerala has a lively and extensive history. Western traders have been visiting its shores since 166 BC.  There are strong Syrian Jewish, Christian, and Muslim influences visible both in every day practice of small minority groups and in the art and architecture.

"Trinity Apartments at Malabar House Boutique Hotel in Fort Cochin"

Trinity Apartments at Malabar House Boutique Hotel in Fort Cochin. Thoughtfully decorated with Indian art and sculpture, this trio of apartments is on a quiet street across from the parade ground at one end of the town. The initials VOC seen above the gate date back to 1740 and represent the Dutch East Indies Company who had their offices on the premises for 150 years.

"Local soccer players take to the pitch at the Parade Ground in Fort Cochin"

Local soccer players take to the pitch at the Parade Ground in Fort Cochin

"A trio of local kids"

A trio of local kids

"Malayalam is the official language of Kerala, though many Keralites speak English and Hindi, India’s official language"

Malayalam is the official language of Kerala, though many Keralites speak English and Hindi, India’s official language

Fort Cochin for R&R

We spent 3 of our 5 days in the small fishing town of Fort Cochin, where Portuguese, Dutch, and British colonial styles dominate and days are filled with seafood and relaxing seaside. The other two nights were spent gazing at the Arabian Sea from Alappuzha Beach and cruising through the languid Kerala backwaters.

"Kerala's famous backwater houseboats"

Kerala’s famous backwater houseboats. We spent 18 hours relaxing on a private overnight boatcruise, weaving in and out of Keralan farmlands and towns

"Colourful life continues as we cruise past"

Colourful life continues as we cruise past

"Ducks abound on the backwaters"

Ducks abound on the backwaters

"Watching the world go by from our chaise lounges"

Watching the world go by from our chaise lounges

"The view from the houseboat"

The view from the houseboat

Vicky Flip Flop suggests another 52 of the coolest things to do in Kerala – so you’ll be spoiled for choice if you travel here.

Is a trip to Kerala on your wish list?

This is a guest post written by my daughter’s good friend Kieh Christopherson. She is originally from North Vancouver but is presently living in Nepal.

Leigh McAdam is a Calgary based writer, author, photographer and social media enthusiast with over 57,000 followers. Her blog: HikeBikeTravel is frequently cited as one of the top travel and outdoor adventure blogs in Canada.

Author of Discover Canada: 100 Inspiring Outdoor Adventures
Co-author of 125 Nature Hot Spots in Alberta

This Post Has 14 Comments
  1. A fascinating part of India, these pictures bring back many great memories of my two trips there.Thanks for sharing them.

  2. Kerala is one of our favourite parts of the world, especially the sleepy backwaters. It’s so much more relaxed than elsewhere in India. We always recommend that newbies to India start there.

  3. Good advice Erin. I understand India incites great love for the colours,the sights and the people but life as a traveler sounds like it would be a challenge. Starting somewhere easy would set the right tone for a trip. I hadn’t realized that you & Simon had been to India – where haven’t you been now??

  4. Kerala… Sounds like magic to me from all I’ve head of it, and it’s been on my list for a long time. I’ve certainly enjoyed this post, so thanks!

  5. Kerala most certainly runs at a much slower pace than the rest of India. Erin, you’re right, I definitely think it’s a great place to start or to go to when the sights, sounds and smells of India become overwhelming.

  6. Kerala most certainly runs at a much slower pace than the rest of India. Erin, you’re right, I definitely think it’s a great place to start or to go to when the sights, sounds and smells of India become overwhelming.
    Personally, I love to read contemporary and historical fiction and non-fiction to put new places into context. While I was in Kerala I came across Shashi Tharoor’s ‘Bookless in Baghdad’. The theme of Indian literature runs through this thoughtful collection of essays but its much more than a series of book reviews. Tharoor, a writer, politician and former Under-Secretary in the UN, offers a colorful glance of india’s position in the world with a particular interest in his home state of Kerala. A great book to help wrap your mind around India. Especially as you’ll have a lot of time to read and contemplate the world from the comforts of your backwater houseboat!

  7. Great post! I’ve yet to visit anywhere in the southern region of India and Kerala is one of the places I’m most itching to explore.

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