My first night in Kovalam, I was ready for a cold beer, but on walking past the restaurants, I hadn't spotted anyone with a glass of beer/lager.
Everyone seemed to be supping tea!
Eventually, I gave up, and walked into a restaurant, reckoning I would be drinking a fruit drink.
The waiter whispered "Gin & Tonic?" I asked if he had beer, he said yes. This was shortly presented to me in a teapot with a mug!!
The laws on selling alcohol in Kovalam (and Kerala) can be a bit confusing. Officially it's not to be consumed in public places, or non designated places, such as bars.
Dry days can be enforced too, according to festivals etc.
In other restaurants I was served Kingfisher beer with the bottle wrapped in newspaper, sometimes placed under my table.
Cocktails were often listed with non alcoholic ingredients, but the waiter checked which spirit you wanted adding!
If the police were patrolling, the waiters could get a bit jumpy!
A few hotels serve alcohol.
There is a government liquor store at Kovalam junction, just hire a tuk tuk.
Probably a good idea to stock up with your fave spirits etc at Bahrain etc. duty free or bring from home!
Pastries and more!
Popular restaurant, probably best to book.
Open all day, The smell of cinnamon and baking greets you!
Good for breakfast/elevenses/lunch or evening meal.
Coffee and pastries (good selection)
Up a couple of flights of steps, so not good for those with walking/breathing problems. 3 of us ate here, our last meal of our holiday. We all enjoyed our starters, main course and dessert..oh and a few cocktails!
I had a chicken and ginger dish, generous portion! Ice cream for afters, can't remember which starter I had :-(
Ayu (life) Veda (knowledge). The Science of Life! Ayurveda has been practised in India for centuries, and is considered to be a rich complex body of knowledge in which disease can be understood, diagnosed and treated.
Although becoming increasingly popular in Western countries, Ayurveda was forced to "go underground" during British Colonisation, with it's education and practice being banned! Nowadays, this practice has regained its importance as a preventative and treatment model.
To gain true benefit, a course of prescribed treatments would be recommended, with care taken to chose a suitably qualified practitioner.
However, as a 'one off' relaxing experience, and the chance to try something different, I 'd recommend it!
There are many establishments to chose from in Kovalam.
I went to the Hotel Neptune. There is a "menu" of treatments I chose a rejuevenation massage (oil massage) which lasted about an hour , followed by Dhara, (about 45 mins) Herb infused oil is trickled onto your forehead from an overhead pot, in a gentle rhythm.
Both treatments were extremally relaxing. Though it took me quite a while to shampoo the oil out of my hair, and the massage probably had the bonus of exfoliating my skin, as even though I'd showered carefully, there were still some grains of sand stuck to my skin!
Care must also be taken in the sun afterwards, as you fry with the oil thats left on your body...I was only in the sun for about 5 mins, and I burnt.
Would try these treatments again, and some others.
Kovalam - the ultimate in relaxation
Kovalam consists of three successive small crescent beaches; the southern most known as Lighthouse Beach, is where most of the visitors spend their time. The beach is bordered with low cost lodging houses, and restaurants which offer adequate facilities, at affordable tariffs - ideal for a long stay providing you dont mind crowds. or the commercialism of hundreds of small shops along the beach trying to sell you absolutly everything under the sun.
The middle beach, overlooked from a rocky headland by the five star Ashok Radisson resort, functions each morning as a base for local fishers.
North of Ashok, is the third beach which is very little affected by the changing times. It is dotted with a few rudimentary wooden fishing vessels After spending 60 hours on Indian railways, travelling down the West Coast, our stop at Trivandrum and our stay at Kovalam were probably the highlights of our trip in India The best time to visit the area for some very pleasent weather is between late November and the end of March
"Lighthouse Beach Kovalam"
Southernmost beach with far more people and low cost accomodation than the two bays north of here
"Railway to Southern India"
After spending 60 hours on Indian railways, travelling down the West Coast, our stop at Trivandrum and our stay at Kovalam were probably the highlights of our trip in India