From Alleppey, or Alappuzha as it's now called, you can go on organised trips, rent houseboats or hop on the regular boats going upriver to various destinations, depending on your travel plans. Houseboats can be rented from 12 hrs to weeks (they come with boatman/pilot and cook), or there are day tours, but if you are just passing through you...more
Of course this depends on you, but if you wish to meet locals and to travel like a local don't hesitate to take a public boat. They go everywhere and are frequent. I arrived in Kottayam by train, and from there I took public boat to Alappuzha. I was informed this is the most popular route for backwaters and, in fact, I was not disappointed. The...more
I had seen these Chinese fishing nets in Kochi and thought they were only to be found there, so it was a big surprise to see them along the river in the Backwaters. We went past a whole load of them, in a line either side of us, as we passed by some kind of power station (great place to put one, by the way!) and then there were more as we neared...more
I did my Backwaters Tour from Alappuzha (Alleppey) to Kollam and it was a fabulous day out. We left Alappuzha at about 10am and made our way south past lush vegetation of coconut trees and palm trees and people crossing the river on small ferries and coracles. Daily life all revolves around water as there's so much of it so you get to see people...more
Vembanad Lake is located about 1km east of the town and is where the annual Nehru Trophy Boat Race takes place. Every year during the second Saturday of August, thousands of people throng to this place to witness the breathtaking boat race. The lake is India's longest at 96km and one of the largest at 1512 sq km and is surrounded by coconut and...more
I suppose this is actually a food tip!I had the most wonderful freshly made parathas at a food stall/restaurant in Alleppey.From early morning fresh parathas are made here. You can actually watch as yours are being prepared.The name of the place was not clear to me, but there are big signs : Hotel Restaurant. You will find this place on the left of...more
I stayed in this resort for 1 day and a night. Apart from that I have been to this hotel 5 times....more
I was not very impressed with my stay at this hotel. The initial impressions are very good - a very...more
Hi, I had gone to this resort for my honeymoon this Jan and is an absolute treat for nature lovers....more
Normally you have all meals included in the boat house, but if you want to give yourself "a luxury," the captain takes you to a "fish shop " or a fisherman with a rowing boat approaches offering prawns, tiger prawns,"fresh" fish (not familiar for us) , but you choose what you like and in the evening the cook prepares it for you Normalmente tienes...more
With an overnight stay on the houseboat and a customised kitchen, had all the 3 meals of the day on the boat, didnt venture out in any of the restro's in town, and with a chef on call 24/7, I jus had exactly what I wanted. Pearl spot fish much recommended, deep fried and just a single central bone or the spine. There is a technique the way you can...more
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...more
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.more
When we were navigating through the channels we were struck by the number of churches in the banksWe could not verify this, but before we went a friend told us that Kerala was an state Communist and CatholicCuando íbamos navegando por los canales por los canales nos llamaba la atención la cantidad de iglesias que hay en la orillas No pudimos...more
The house boats usually stop at around five in the afternoon, but the sunset is around six, so that if you do nothing you can lose the best light for photos and visit the canalNegotiate with the captain to get for you a small rowing boat that allows you to take advantage of this time sailing and visiting the small canals where you may see beautiful...more
491 Reviews and Opinions
Houseboat Tours are the popular thing in Alleppey, and they are very popular. However there are significant drawbacks which you might want to consider.
1) Houseboats are BIG - which means that they can only travel on the larger rivers and canals. This means that there are regular routes that are being done to death, and the local are not particularly excited about seeing yet another houseboat. It also means that you will miss out on the smaller and more intimate backwater areas which are still full of charm. Because of their size, you sit high up and are quite removed from everyone else, which can detract from the general experience.
2) Houseboats can be NOISY. They all have outboard motors and often generators. Some are quieter than others, but the noisy ones are not peaceful.
3) Houseboats are DAMAGING THE ENVIRONMENT. All the waste and garbage goes over the side and into the local water. This has become a big problem around Alleppey, and the local people are getting sick, and the waterways are getting littered with floating rubbish.
4) Houseboat meals can make you ILL. We met two separate couples who had become very ill after eating meals on the houseboats. The problem is likely to be caused by the cooking utensils being washed in the river / lake water which has become polluted.
Unique Suggestions: Make sure you get a Quiet One.
Do all you can to make sure the cooking and utensils do not have any contact with the local waterways.
Get the staff to use a bin and not the waterways.
PLEASE ALSO CONSIDER THE ALTERNATIVE SMALL "COUNTRY BOAT" TOURS INSTEAD.
Fun Alternatives: OK so there's 4 good reasons to for not going on a houseboat. The alternative which we did - AND LOVED - is to stay at a nice waterside resort (try the wonderful Palm Grove which has 4 ecofriedly huts and great cooking), and to take a variety of shorter trips in canoes (called country boats). These can go everywhere, put you on the same level as everyone else, and are silent and peaceful. They are also much cheaper.
Please think about this as they are a great alternative which should give you a much better experience. There is a hard sell going on for the houseboats, but if you ask around you will also be able to find someone who can get you some country boat tours. Two hours is a good time, and if you do it for sunrise or sunset you will have an experience you will never forget.
Luggage and bags:
Since it is mostly warm round the year, keep the least clothing possible.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Shorts and T and lotsa big caps like the one im wearing. The sun keeps beating down on you all the time. Take along sandals to remove easily whenever ur on the beach!!!
Kottayam is located about 30km (18 miles) east of Alappuzha (Alleppey), across Vembanad Lake, which is part of the Backwaters - a labyrinth of interconnected canals, rivers and lakes. I came here for a day trip on a public ferry from Alleppey in order to visit a couple of nice 16th century Syrian Orthodox churches, one which features some beautiful...more
Try cooking some local stuff. While on our mad shopping spree in Alleppy, we were invited to the kitchen of the bakery to see for ourselves the miracle called banana chips!!Fish being the local delicacy in Aleppy, banana chips and home-made chocs is something you will find all over Keralamore
Indira Gandhi Boat Race is a grand fest on the rolling backwaters of Kochi. Conducted in the last week of December, it is a fitting finale to the Tourism Fair, which attracts travellers from all parts of the globe. Champakulum Lake- Champakulum Moolam Boat race. It is one of the oldest and most popular snake boat race in Kerala. It is held in June...more
Hire a boat and take a leisurely ride in the backwaters. Until we reached the backwaters, we never knew what the term backwaters meantt!!! What a delightful surprise, we took this boat for about 4 hrs and had a thorouhly enjoyable and informative ride, and finally came to know what backwaters meant!!!
Equipment: Cameras, Caps, and the least clothing possible.