KSRTC Bus is the life line of kerala, there is no better way to travel when you are in kerala than by the KSRTC. The buses come in all forms, Luxury Volvo to the local buses which stops every where. KSRTC is costlier mode of transport compared to the railways, but then the reach is not comparable. The buses are comfortable during the non-office hours and clea
Kerala has three airports connecting the state to various international and domestic destinations. These airports also connects kerala to some of the international destinations (Mainly Middle East). The airports are located at Kozhikode (Calicut), Trivandrum and Cochin (Nedumaserry Airport). There are also flights connecting these airports. Most of the domestic carriers have their services to these locations and some International carriers like Emirates, Air India, Gulf Air and Qatar Airways also operate from these airports.
There are a lot of tourist who miss trains beause of the lack of proper enquiry of night trains.
Most of them get confused of the 'Day' of travel especially of the midnight journey starting.
Eg:- 00:15 hrs IST on 21st day ( or any day) - lot of people come to the railway staion on 21st night instead of 20th night. So there are people who miss the trains as they come the next day.
This happens in the night travel usually. so take care of this
I'd booked my flight as part of a package, through Manos Holidays.
Boarding the plane at Gatwick, I was shocked to realise that this was a single aisle plane. The seats didn't give too much leg room either (and I'm only a shorty!).
In flight entertainment was a bit lacking too, the films were ok, but the music channels were very repetative.
I've since learned that these are common complaints with this flight!
I was very glad to get out at Bahrain to stretch my legs. (Theres a break of 45 - 60 mins).
A chance to browse and shop in the Duty Free.
My first sighting of Kerala , as we descended over the coast and green carpet of coconut trees, soon made me forget my discomfort!
It took us the better part of a day to get from Cochin to Alleppey to Chennamkari Village, the base for our Kerala Backwaters homestay. But, the lengthy journey was a chance to watch the landscape change and grow more and more idyllic.
Travel was on a combination of private taxi-boats, local doubledeckers and eventually canoe.
Almost all roads within Kerala are a nightmare to drive on.Even national highways within the state are very dangerous , mostly two-lane and without dividers.The density of traffic on the roads is the highest in the country.Except for a stretch of about 80 KM near Cochin the road conditions are absolutely pathetic.Night driving is the only way to beat traffic.At daytime the entire state is one gigantic parking lot ! You can expect to drive at an average speed of only about 40 KM per hour during daytime !I pity all those guys driving their BMW's , Audi's and the like !
- Fast and Cheap way to access most of districts in Keralam is Train.
- Day express, or night trains are available
- Travel in AC Chair car or AC Sleeper car needs booking
- Better to Reserve Earlier
- First class and Second Class reservations are also availble.
- General Compartments may be crowdy, so try to avoid travel in General compartments. Instead Try AC or First or Second Class Reservation travel
- Taxi / Autorikshas are availble
- Pay by meter if you travel in autorikshaw or taxi cab. But by the Government rule, during the travel between 10 PM and 6AM, you have to pay certain amount extra from the metered amount. It may be half times or one and half times of the meter.
- Try Autorikshas for smaller distance only
- Use Cars for longer distance
You can rent a Kettuvallam (house boat) for a day or two around Kochi or Allapuzha, or rent it for several days, even use it as transportation to a destination in the backwaters. Have in mind you usually have to pay for the boat returning, even if you are not.
Agree on price, duration, and destination before you go.
We rented a small Kettuvallam with captain, mechanic and chef from Allapuzha to Kollam. We turned out to arrive at an other city some hours north of Kollam (Karunagappally?) But it was a beautiful journey in the Backwaters. I really recommend to take a houseboute instead of a "bus-boat"/public boat at least in parts of the backwaters. Public boat absolutely also has its charm, but it's another experience.
This destroyed ferry is really scary, is so old, and obviously, they fill it with millions of people, cars, trucks, motorcycles and animals.
Probably I took on of the last trips of that old ferry, but if you go there, do it, is nice !!
BACKWATERS TOURS (Allepey-Kollam)
If you wanna explore these water channels around the coast between Cochin and Kollam, there are basically 2 cheap ways:
The cheapest is to take local ferries from Allepey to Kottayam. Cheap, colourful and noisy. 25 Rs.
The most used is to take a tourist ferry Allepey-Kollam at 10:30 (250 Rs). Boats leave from the channel just in front of the bus station of Allepey. You can do it the other way too.
aROUND COCHIN ITS GOOD TO HIRE A CAR TO DO THE SIGHT SEEING AS ITS HUMID YOU CAN GET AC CARS OR BUSES,HOWEVER TO TRAVEL TO OTHER PLACES LIKE ALLEPPY WHICH IS AN HOUUR AND HALF YOU CAN TAKR BUSED WE TRAVELLED TO PERIYAR SANCTUARY IN A LOCAL BUS WHICH WE TOOK FROM KOTTAYAM , TILL KUMLI .WE TRAVELLED BACK TO KOTTAYAM BY LOCAL BUS AND TOOK TRAIN TO vARKALA WHICH IS AROUND 3 HOUES BY TRAIN.fRM VARKALA WE HIRED TAXI TO TRIVANDRUN FROM WHERE WE TOOK OUR RETURN FLIGHT.
It's easy and cheap to get around town in Kerala. Auto rickshaws are everywhere. Always wise to negotiate and agree the price before setting off but have to say that I found the drivers here to be the fairest and least aggressive I've ever come across.
Travelling by bus in Kerala was a great experience. The bus stations are user friendly..there's always someone to offer help and point you in the right direction. Buses are extremely cheap. The 3 hour journey from Sulthan Bathery to Calicut was the most scary... wow.. how did he miss all those other vehicles (and animals!) the overtaking has to be seen to be believed. And I especially enjoyed the scenic journey Pollachi - Parambikulam .. I laughed and bounced around every bend ... and trust me, there are many.
We didnt want to just stay in and around Lighthouse Beach in Kovalam, as fantastic as it was, we wanted to see something else, so we called in to a local travel agent agent on the beach front, and he got us both tickets on the Rajdhani Express to Goa.
Sure, it would have been cheaper to have contacted the train station ourselves and booked it, but you try it and see how you get on. It was a nightmare, so the travel agent was best for us, and besides, it wasnt that much more, and the agent picked us up at the hotel and took us to the station on time too.
15 hours on a train, and we shared a cabin with another couple, whom I didnt speak to the whole time. The reason was, that instead of sitting next to each other, they had both sat opposite each other on the bench seats, right next to the window, and were both reading books, and not even enjoying the view, which we couldnt see because they had hogged the window. You meet some real tossers on your travels dont you sometimes.
While sat across from my wife, I could watch cockroaches coming our from behind her seat, and crawling all over the place. She couldnt see them, and I wasnt about to tell her either. As we would have no doubt been off that train in a flash :)
The plus side with regard to the couple hogging the view, was that they had also hogged the sleeping benches we were sat on. So that left my wife and I to sleep on the bunks above, without the roaches :) You see, Karma.
The food tasted great on the train, but I must admit to ending up with the squits for the first and last time in India.
The toilet was a hole in the floor and you were not allowed to use the toilet at stop, for obvious reasons. Although, at speed it must have made a real mess on the tracks, and to the locals living along the tracks.
Although the couple sharing the cabin were not nice, they suffered our silence and the roaches, and we had a laugh and a great train trip, and the trip back we got a window :)
Kumarakom North Post, Kumarakom, Kerala, 686 566, India
Good for: Business
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