Alleppey is becoming increasingly popular with tourists, and a lot of them are writing about their experiences and sharing photos of their trips. There are some great stories being told about the area by people from very different backgrounds, nationality, and traveling style.
However, all of them have one thing in common – They love Alleppey.
Being no Superman, I asked my team to help me find the best stories. And a couple of dozen Man Hours later, this is our final list.
For those tourists who are wondering if a houseboat trip in Alleppey is for them, this is a great article. It conveys a true sense of just how fantastic traveling in this way is.
Swati & Sam really capture the beauty of the waterways of Kerala and share some great ways to get the most out of a trip to the area. Their photos of the delicious food are enough to make anyone’s mouth water.
They tell us about how the crew of the boat they were traveling shared their knowledge of local fishing practices and the intricacies of paddy field farming while gliding along across Vembanad Lake.
This beautiful body is the longest in India. It is known for being the location of the famous Nehru Trophy Boat Race which features the areas huge snake boats.
Having enjoyed the experience, they have written extensively about their trip, and share plenty of extremely useful tips. As an example, they advise any traveler who has special dietary needs to say so at the time of booking. Doing this is essential to give the chef enough time to make the necessary adjustments to their menu. They also explain why it is wise to book early, especially if you are planning your trip between October and April.
Alleppey is known, worldwide, for its beauty, which is why so many photographers chose to travel to the area. As you will see from the spectacular photos featured in Tanaya´s article, she is a stupendous photographer.
Her pictures capture the serenity of the lake and waterways perfectly. You can see why Alleppey is known as the “Venice of East.” It is very aptly named.
It is a good idea to take a good camera with you. If your Smartphone has one that takes high-resolution photos that may be the best option. It is a good idea to go to YouTube and watch some photography tutorials. That way you will be able to make the most of every photo opportunity.
Tanaya shares several in her post. For example, photographing the birds and wildlife, you can see from the houseboat or when you visit the surrounding villages. There are also some wonderful beaches to enjoy, as well as a few lighthouses. If you are lucky enough to be in the area when the famous boat race takes place, you can get some fantastic shots of that event too. Even if you are not there when the race is taking place, you will still be able to enjoy seeing the beautiful snake boats being put through their paces.
When members of our team have traveled to the area, they have particularly enjoyed passing the time bird watching. If you enjoy this pastime too, we suggest that you pack a set of binoculars and maybe familiarize yourself with the birds you may see during your trip. That way, you will be able to recognize them, take photos and record those birds you saw.
Sudha´s enthusiasm for the backwaters of Kerala is obvious from the start of her great travel article. She has been all over, but it is clear that Alleppey has a special place in her heart, as it does in ours.
The crew spoilt her on the Houseboat. Like most people, she enjoyed having a chef cook exclusively for her. On her trip, she was the only guest, so she was really pampered.
Her boat was an old one that had been sensitively restored using all of the traditional materials and methods. No nails were used in its construction.
Like most tourists, Sudha used the opportunity to really relax and catch up on his sleep. The rest of the time she spent relaxing and enjoying being surrounded by pristine, unspoiled nature. In fact, he enjoyed the sunset so much that he got up early to enjoy the sunrise. We also like to see the sunrise when we travel the Kerala backwaters on a houseboat.
If you are in any doubt about how un-spoilt the area is, take a look at the stunning aerial photograph of the area that Sudha has included in this article. It makes it clear just how tranquil and beautiful the backwaters are.
If you are wondering why the houseboats of Alleppey are built the way they are, wonder no more. Nastja reveals all in her great post about traveling on the area`s waterways. She explains how the boats were first used to transport the rice that has been grown in the paddy fields that you pass so close to on your cruise.
In time, the road network took over, and the Kettuvallom owners found it hard to compete. As a result, keeping one in good condition was becoming increasingly difficult. Fortunately, a potential income stream came along in the form of tourism. You can learn more about how that happened and how these fantastic boats evolved into the little pockets of luxury they are today. Nastja´s post is worth a read. When we read it we learned a lot about the houseboats and the area, so are sure most of our readers will too.
You will love the photos Nastja has included in her article. She appears to have snapped virtually everything onboard. As a result, you get a really good feel for what visitors can expect when they book themselves a relaxing cruise on one of these beautiful houseboats.
This is a really interesting article about traveling through Alleppey’s backwaters. We particularly liked it because the writer of this article was not your typical tourist. You see Sampath is a Cochin-it, which effectively means he is a local. He was born, raised and lives just an hour’s drive away from Alleppey.
Often, as travelers, we are so keen to experience something new. As a result, we tend to overlook what our local area has to offer and forget to take the time to experience the beautiful and interesting sights that are on our doorstep. As you will see when you read Sampath´s post, he thoroughly enjoyed traveling close to where he lives. He saw a different side of the beautiful landscape.
As you will see, Sampath and his family had a fantastic time. The boat trip they took did not include an overnight stay. Nonetheless, they still had enough time to appreciate the beauty of the area, in a way they had not done, before.
It is clear that there was a very talented photographer amongst Sampath´s family party. There is some really stunning landscape photography included in the article. We especially like the shots of the day boats.
We have never felt bored while enjoying a boat trip on the backwaters of Alleppey, quite the opposite, in fact. Like most people, we never cease to be fascinated by the ever-changing scenes of life that unfold in front of us as we float past.
If you are in any doubt that you will enjoy a houseboat trip from Alleppey, we highly recommend that you read Abhishek’s article. In it, he shares ten great pastimes and experiences that you can enjoy while gliding along on these tranquil waters. Once you have read it, you will soon realize that the last thing you or your children are going to be is bored.
Interestingly, unlike most travelers, Abhishek and his partner opted to travel on one of the smaller boats. It had only two bedrooms and, in the end, the second bedroom remained empty. As a result, they had the entire boat to themselves.
If you like the sound of this, you can go ahead and book the entire boat. More and more people are opting for this approach. Or, you could try traveling off-season. At that time of the year, the 2nd bedroom on the smaller boats is more likely to be empty. Of course, you cannot guarantee this will happen, but there is a better chance that will be the case in the offseason. During the high season, most of the boats will be fully booked. Therefore, it is wise to book early to avoid disappointment.
Sandeepa and Chetan´s article is a beautiful one. When we read their article, it was near as if we were back there enjoying the stunning sights and incredible ambiance of this unique part of the world. They really know how to paint a picture using only words. However, they do not leave everything to the imagination. This long article is peppered with well taken and exciting photos.
It is especially nice to see pictures of ordinary life scattered through the article. Sandeepa and Chetan seem to travel mostly so they can learn as much as possible about the people and their customs, in the places that they visit. This is part of the reason we find their writing so engaging. If you would like to gain an insight into the way the residents of the Kerela backwaters live, this article is defiantly the place to start. They paint a picture of what life is like for ordinary people who live in the area.
If you are planning to take a houseboat tour or, better still, stay on one reading their article will give you some ideas of what to look out for. They also explain more about other activities you could take part in, which is handy for when you get off at the other end. The chances are you will not want to leave this beautiful area of Kerela, so it is always nice to have an excuse to stay for longer.
Ankur and Soma are a couple of tourists who, sadly, did not have enough time spare to actually spend the night on one of Alleppey’s beautiful houseboats. Instead, they took a morning trip from Thiruvananthapuram, which left at 6.30am.
For this trip, they traveled on a Shikara. These boats are much smaller than most of the houseboats and are used locally as a form of a bus. When we have visited the area, we have taken several trips on these unique buses. They are a really good way to get to see more of the backwaters and meet some of the residents.
Shikaras have a roof but they are open all the way along the side, which means that you still get a great view of everything. Although, you are sitting quite low in the water, so the view is not as panoramic as the one you can get traveling on a houseboat, especially the two-story ones. However, traveling on one is still something that is well worth doing.
The nice thing about these boats is that you do not have to spend the trip perched on a hard wooden bench, as you would expect. Instead, you get to sit on thick luxurious cushions. Most of them also recline, so you can get really comfortable.
Most Shikara drivers are very friendly and, understandably, knowledgeable about their route. They are normally more than happy to share what they know with their passengers. Ankur and Soma´s driver certainly was, so they effectively got a free guided tour of the area. This has also been our experience when taking this type of boat trip. Their driver was happy to take “Titanic pose” photos of all the passengers who asked him to, which made it easy to capture the moment.
There is a lot more information in Ankur and Soma´s article, which is why we decided to share it with you. We are sure you will enjoy it when you read it for yourself.
Jessie´s website tagline is “taking you beyond the guidebook” and we can vouch for the fact that she does exactly that. Her post about house boating through Kerala, give you a great insight into what you can expect when you book a stay on one.
The boat she traveled on was made of steel and bamboo and was at the top-end when it came to luxury. Her photos certainly reflect this. They have a real five-star hotel feel about them. The accommodation certainly looked luxurious, but without the cold, edgy look that you sometimes get in modern high-end hotel rooms. All areas of the boat were comfortable, simply finished and pristine.
Jessie was obviously fascinated by the scenes of ordinary life she passed. She was particularly enthralled by the fishermen. They both fish for and sell their catch, going door to door, on a bike, to deliver fresh fish to the residents of the area. She also enjoyed the hustle and bustle of the floating supermarkets and gas suppliers.
Like most experienced travelers, Jessie took photos of most things. She is clearly an accomplished photographer. We particularly enjoyed her shot of a cormorant diving for food. Speaking of food, she took photos of that too. The chef on the houseboat came up with some stunning, and from the sounds of things, really tasty dishes. You are sure to enjoy reading about these and Jessie takes the time to share with you information about the local cuisine and how certain dishes are made.
She also went kayaking on the backwaters. Something not a lot of travelers take the time to do. Which is a shame as you will see when you read Jessie´s article it was a very enjoyable and interesting experience. Hopefully, she will inspire you to stay in the area, for a while, after your houseboat cruise has finished, so you that can enjoy these beautiful backwaters for longer.
Dev is someone who enjoys getting off the beaten track. He has a curious mind and an eye for detail. For a few years, Dev worked in the UK, as a documentary writer. As a result, knows how to capture what he sees and share it with his readers in an engaging way that makes you almost feel like you are there with him.
Instead of getting on a boat full of tourists, he traveled in the early afternoon on a local boat bus. This gave him the chance to experience the beauty of the backwaters. At the same time, he got to chat with the locals who were on the bus with him and get their take on the area. On the bus, he met a young lad who offered to take him on a canoe tour around his home, an offer that Dev gladly took up.
As you will see he enjoyed seeing the area from a different perspective. When you travel in a canoe you are much lower. As a result, your viewpoint is different. You see get to see life alongside the river in a sharper, more focused, way because your eye is not drawn away into the distance by vistas of palm and mango trees. Plus, of course, you are moving at a slower pace. This means that you have the time to take in the details of the scene. When we stay in the area we also try to experience the backwaters in as many ways as possible. Doing so helps to make each trip unique and lets us see the life of the waterways in all its glory.
Over the years, Nandita and Raga have traveled or stayed on several houseboats, so they had a fair idea of what to expect. At least they thought they did. In reality, the experience was far more impressive than they could have ever imagined, as they said in their informative post it was ´top class´.
In this very informative article, they take you through the entire trip from beginning to end. It includes details or the start and finish time and gives you a good idea when each activity takes place. Reading it is a really good way to work out what to expect from a houseboat tour of the backwaters of Alleppey.
They started their first day by wandering along the pristine beach searching for breakfast. This adventurous couple darted from one restaurant to another to find what they wanted and enjoyed a groaning plate of beautiful food.
The boat they traveled on had a top deck which gave them stunning views of the beautiful scenery they glided through. Both of them especially enjoyed seeing the sunrise and the sight of the fish vendors selling their wares to the houseboats as they drifted back to Alleppey. They also got a great shot of a local boat racing team practicing for the famous Nehru Trophy Boat Race. There is always plenty to see on the waterways of Alleppey, but if you want to see the race you will need to book well in advance. We can tell you from experience that it gets very busy at that time of the year.
The nice thing about Alleppey is that you can explore the waterways in a variety of ways. There really is something to suit everyone’s tastes. If luxury is what chills you out, booking yourself onto a high-end Kettuvallam is the answer for you. You will be well and truly pampered and get to travel in the lap of understated luxury.
Every year, that is exactly what thousands of visitors do. Sadly, we have noticed that they tend to leave straight after their houseboat cruise under the impression that they have “done” the waterways of Alleppey. Nothing could be further from the truth. You can spend time enjoying the beach, go fishing, kayaking or be taken along the smaller waterways in a canoe.
You could even do what Hayley did, which was to get on the Alleppey to Kollam ferry. At certain times of the year, it gets pretty crowded, so Hayley warns you that you may need to book in advance and arrive early. It is also important to check that it is actually running when you are due to visit the area. When the waterways swell with the monsoon rain the ferry does not run, but most tourists stay away too at that time of the year. Therefore, it is highly likely to be due to run, when you are there.
The ferry takes 8 hours to travel between Alleppey and Kollam. Around about halfway, you stop to enjoy a hot lunch in a restaurant. You only travel at a maximum of 15kph so there is time to take in everything that you pass. There is plenty to see, especially if you like wildlife.
As the title of the article indicates, Alex and Sebastiaan took plenty of photos when they visited the backwaters of Alappuzha (Alleppey). They found ways to get the type of shots you rarely see from tourists or travelers. Our favorite is a shot taken through an open window. The window frame seems to narrow your field of vision and draws the eye to the far distance in a way most other photographs of a similar scene would not.
The other interesting thing about Alex and Sebastiaan is that they are traveling on quite a tight budget. They used the local ferry system to get around. From Alleppey, you can get to a lot of places using the transport that the locals use. Ferries run from Alleppey to Krishnapuram, Nedumudy, and Kottayam virtually all day. The ride to Nedumudy is the one that they seemed to like best. It is also the shortest journey, so should fit in well with most tourist´s itineraries.
You will be pleased to hear that the ferry stops at any jetty. All you need to do is to wave it down. This makes it possible to get off if something catches your eye. However, if you do plan to do this, remember to check the timetable before you disembark. That way, you will not end up having to wait longer than you expected for the next ferry. Be particularly careful to check the time of the last ferry, so you do not become stranded.
For someone like Victoria who says she likes to disconnect from daily life and connect as much as she can to the new place, she is in, a houseboat stay is perfect. You can see from her article, that she was delighted with the experience. She found that she was very much able to immerse herself in the local culture.
The way she describes some of the sights of people going about their daily life is very engaging. Women doing laundry, men building boats and kids swimming are all everyday sights for the people who live here. They do not take any notice, but the tourists who visit the area really enjoy seeing this way of life. It is so unlike the way they live.
Most of all visitors to the backwaters of Alleppey enjoy the tranquility of the place. Sure there are lots of people around, but no noisy cars, or home appliances. Plus, you can go for long stretches only seeing the occasional boat.
There is a harmony between people and nature that you rarely see nowadays. It is certainly something that Victoria picked up on and found enthralling. Here, nature dominates, not man. The trees are huge and the waterways are wide and the local residents just slot their homes in between them. They do not want a huge garden, so are more than happy to leave the trees standing right next to their homes.
Even the boats are still made and maintained in an eco-friendly way. For Victoria the experience was wonderful, at times she said she felt she was in a fairytale. It is a feeling a lot of people experience, us included, when taking a boathouse trip on these beautiful backwaters.
This was a guest post by Gayathri Chnadrasekhar on Preethika and Narayanan’s blog.
The backwaters of Alleppey first caught Gayathri´s eye when she watched Malayalam and Tamil movies like Autograph, as a child. She, like millions of others, was captivated by the stunning and haunting scenery of the area that was featured in these movies. Yet, until recently she had not found the time to visit.
When she finally did, she chose to arrive at the start of the monsoon season. A surprising decision, but as you will see if you read her post she is not the type of person to be held back.
She likes to do things differently, so decided to try a homestay instead of staying in a regular guest house. After taking a look around, she found Kurialacherry House and chose it, in part, because it offered infant friendly accommodation.
This beautiful property can only be reached by boat, which made getting to it feel very much like an adventure. The moment she saw the place, Gayathri was smitten. She was given one of the cottage rooms. It had been built in the Keralan way, so had some unique features. A great example of this was the semi-sheltered bathroom with its open to the sky shower room.
As well as a high standard of accommodation, this small resort style property offers lovely home cooked meals. They also offer a range of activities to help you to while away the time. Gayathri´s post reminded us of the importance of getting off the beaten track when you visit the area.
Rachel clearly has a love affair with Indian food. In fact, she started her story by warning her readers that she may be a teensy bit biased. She said she thought that ´India may have the best food in the world´. So, it comes as no surprise to learn that Rachel´s stay in India includes a plan to learn how to cook this beautiful food. Oh, and she planned to rope her other half in as well, but as you will see when you read her article he was actually a very willing participant.
When they arrived in Alleppey they expected to come across the odd flyer advertising cooking classes, like they did in Goa. They were pretty surprised to find none whatsoever. So, they went online, like we all do these days. Again, they found nothing suitable. They were stuck, so they went all old-fashioned and asked their guest house owner if he knew anyone. He didn´t, however, he was not prepared to leave it at that. He tapped into his network and came up trumps, arranging a class with a local guesthouse owner.
Their teacher´s approach was very laid back. She gave them the menu from the guesthouse and let them choose what they wanted to learn to cook. Both Rachel and her partner had a great time. They came away with several new recipes and cooking techniques to try out, in the future. If you want to find out what they actually cooked just click through and read the article. Needless to say, it was a delicious mixture of beautiful dishes made using mostly local ingredients.
Rachel´s article has really inspired us. We will certainly do something similar next time we travel somewhere new. Cooking is a great way to meet someone who lives in the area. You get to spend time getting to know them as well as how to cook the local cuisine.
Backpacking is a very popular way to travel, especially in countries like India. It is really nice to see an in-depth article about backpacking in Kerala, written by a guy who actually travels in this way.
In his article, Jithin takes you through an extensive itinerary that will let you see all that Kerala has to offer, even if you are on a tight budget. He suggests which areas to visit and what order to do it in, as well as sharing advice about what you should see while you are there. It is great to see Alleppey on the list. Sadly, an awful lot of backpackers fail to visit because they perceive it as being an expensive place. It is very popular with tourists, but there is still plenty of affordable accommodation available in the area. Jithin suggests several options. He also explains the various ways to get out on the water and experience the stunning backwaters.
If you want to experience the best food that the area has to offer, try one of the restaurants that Jithin mentions in his article. For those who like hot and spicy food, he recommends the local toddy shops.
Hopefully, you have found the above roundup interesting and inspiring. As you can see, Alleppey really is a fantastic part of the world. It has something to offer every type of visitor. We love it and are pretty sure that all of our readers will too. Share your own Alappuzha experience in the comments below!
People might think of us as professionals but we consider ourselves as travel freaks as much as these Travel bloggers listed below. We don’t get to travel as much as these guys, but we do follow a lot of travel blogs closely to seek inspiration for our next trip. The whole team at Asian tours and Holidays sent me their favorite articles from the previous and then I chose the twenty most interesting and inspiring ones.
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