Busses in Cochin
Another way to travel through India is by bus. Even though the busses are very old they appear to be more or less reliable. Some astonishing enough do not have windows - maybe a good thing - so they are airconditioned :-)) Prices are relativley cheap, and one should ask the locals before boarding what the fare would be, else one will pay a lot more!
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I was bought up in Kochi and after 20 years I again got the opportunity to live in this place for 3 months. Auto Rickshaws are the backbone of the transportation network. They are available in plenty but it is important to keep in mind that in the night the service is poor. These autos normally run by the meter, but you would still find a lot of them refusing to do do. It is better to negotiate and bargain before getting starting the travel so as to avoid haggling at the end of the ride, where you will be left with no option but to pay. Most of the drivers are friendly and love chatting and many of them can manage to speak hindi or english apart from the local language malayalam. They can be a good guide to the city and provide you with a lot of information.
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This might be the best airline I've ever flown and its a discount airline. I was met at the curb by someone who helped me with my luggage and walked me all the way to the gate (which is great because Indian airports can be a bit confusing). They had more leg room than most flights, gave me a pack of goodies, and offer a meal and video for a one hour flight--unlike U.S. airlines which might not give you that on a cross country flight. I flew another discount airliner, Air Deccan, and it was what you expect of a discount airline--crowded, unorganized, and no frills (you could buy a bad sandwich and chips). And they're quite a bit cheaper than Jet.
Kingfisher flys in and out of Kochi and I honestly don't know why anyone would fly any other airline.
- Budget Travel
The ferries between Ernakulam, Fort Kochi and Willingdon island are frequent and very cheap, and altogether ta better way to travel between these locations than a bus, taxi or auto-rickshaw (it's 14 km between Ernakulam and Fort Kochi).
However, if you're taking the ferry to Willingdon island after dark, arrange to be picked up there. The dock is near the industrial/ port area and quite deserted after sunset. I arrived to discover - to my astonishment - that there were no auto-rickshaws, no buses, and even no people around - highly unusual in India. It was a very long walk to the hotel where my friends were staying, through streets deserted but for the huge trucks driving around in the fog. Not my favourite moment in India!
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Train, road or plane
Air : International Air Port is at Nedumbassery, near Aluva, about 22 kms away from Ernakulam, Kochi.
Rail : The nearest station is at Ernakulam about 10km from Mattancheri. Kochi has 3 stations, Ernakulam Junction, Ernakulam Town and Cochin Harbour Terminus. Trains from the Northern cities/Southern parts of India stop at Ernakulam Junction. Ernakulam Junction, D.H. Rd, Ernakulam South, Phone: 131; Ernakulam Town, Near North Bridge Phone: 2390920.
Road : KSRTC Central Bus station is near the Ernakulam Junction railway station. It runs Express and Fast services from Ernakulam to other major cities within Kerala and into the neighbouring states. Reciprocal services from other States are also available. Enquiry phone : 2352033, 2372033. There are plenty of private buses available for travel from Ernakulam to other cities. They operate from High Court Junction, Railway Station and Kaloor Junction.
There are frequent bus and boat services to Mattancherry from Ernakulam town. Mattancherryis about 10km from Ernakulam. The boats start from Main Boat Jetty near Subash Park at Ernakulam.
Transport in Cochin
As everywhere in India also in Cochin you will find plenty of Taxis and Tuck-Tucks available for hire. Make sure you negotiate your rate first and pay only once you have arrived at your destination. This mode of transport is generally inexpensive and on my two visits in Cochin did not find any problems. The drivers are very friendly and polite and will make sure that you see exactly what you would like to explore. However they seem to receive a bonus when they drop you off at some tourist trap shop. I always answered my drivers no tourist crap – he looked at me – understood and moved on.
The Bus Stand at Fort Cochin
During the day there seems to be an awful lot of buses at the Bus Stand. On a rainy evening decided to take the bus to Ernakulam, longer than the ferry but protected against the elements. Buses also go south and to the junction from where you can catch buses up and down the coast of Kerala
Ferry to Fort Cochin
From the modern part you can take a ferry to Fort Cochin (the old), because the bay is too wide and it would take you too much to go by bus. There are frequent boats, which take about 20 minutes to cross.
Flights to Kochi
Air India offers almost daily flights from Mumbai (Bombay) to Cochin. Check their web page on the link below to see the up to date schedule.
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Ferries plying the waters of Cochin
Ferries run by the government go on regular intervals to Fort Cochin from Ernakulam Jetty. there are also regulara servces to
vypeen island and other towns on the back waters
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