I traveled by bus from Trivandrum to Alleppey during October 2008. For as little as Rs300 you can travel with an AC bus, which is very comfortable. The trip took about 3 and a half hours.
It is best to book a day or two in advance. I initially wanted to travel by train, but all the trains were fully booked more than 2 days ahead.
I booked through SRM/Yahtra/Golden in Trivandrum.
There are 5 daily public ferries that go to Kottayam between 7.30am and 5.30pm. The one I took was at around 10.30am but check the times where you're staying. The ferry trip takes around 2.5hrs and costs just Rs10 so it's an absolute bargain as it's a cheaper alternative than the Backwaters Tour.
The day after I took the tourist ferry from Kollam to Alleppey, i took a public ferry from Alleppey to Kottayam. It's a different experience. The boat gets incredibly packed.
It's fun to see how the locals travel over here though. It's like a bus on the water.
There is daily backwater cruises to Alappuzha from Kollam (Quilon), Changanassery, Kottyam, Kochi, Kumarakom and Chengannur. The cruise thorugh backwaters with secnic beauty on the either side by boat s really and unforgettable experience.
Nearest Airport is at Kochi and connected by daily flights to all imoportant cities.
Rail - Alappuzha is connected by rail with state captial and other parts of the state.
Road - National Highway No.47 (NH47) is passing through this city and easily accessible from all parts of of the country.
There are hordes of houseboats to choose from for a ride into the backwaters. Ranging from 500 to 4000, for the luxurious ones with complete 5 star facilities. Make sure you negotiate well. Offseason, ur chanes of gettin a good deal are more.
This parking lot serves as a starting point for all the houseboats near the allepy towncenter.
most of the small habitats are connected by waterways .The Government boats are the ones which people rely on.Nowadays there are buses connecting majority of the islands .