Trip advices for 2 weeks in Kerala?

Old Mar 21st, 2010, 03:23 AM
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Trip advices for 2 weeks in Kerala?


We are 5 person going to visit Kerala (4 adult and one 9 years old girl). We haven´t yet decided exact travelling time but I think it would most propably at the end of January 2011. We will take a flight to Mumbai and from there to Kerala for 13-14 days. I think there are many option where to go and what to do but 3 things we would certainly like to do: visit Munnar, take a house boat for 1-3 nights and have a at least couple of days on coast (maybe rent a beach house for 3 nights or something like that). It would be also nice to try professional ayurveda treatment once or twice in some place.

One option is to take a flight to Trivandrum. From there to Kovalam and from there we could rent a beach house for 3 nights. After that to Varkala and stay there one night. Then rent a houseboat (1-3 nights) and after that travel to Kochi or Periyar. If we would go Periya maybe we would stay there 1-2 night and after that continue to Munnar for 4 nights. And after Munnar we could travel to Kochi for couple of days and take from there flight to Mumbai. Does this plan look sensible (we want to see and enjoy many things but because we have children travelling with us we want make things too hurried and stresfull)? Would it be better to take a house boat and after that go to Kochi and from there to Munnar and back to Kochi (and skip Periya)?

Second option is following. Take a flight to northern Kerala (maybe to Calicut) and I noticed that there would be nice beach houses for rent in Kannur. But I don´t know if its sensible to travel from Calicut and from there to Kannur and after that travel back towards Kochi? Maybe not. With this plan we could take a houseboat cruise backwaters of Valiyaparamba. After that continue to Kochi and then to Munnar and back to Kochi ( and maybe skip Periya).

Or can you recommend us better route: we are very happy to read every kind of suggestions and hints! And I would be also grateful if somebody could also give some information about following things:

- When I was planning our route I thought we would take a taxi from place to place. I read that taxi costs are not so expensive even when you are travelling long distances. BUT then I understood that we (5 person) can´t take a "normal" taxi. Is it easy to get a minibus or something like that from different places and do we have to pay a lot more? I think this question is essential when planning our journey!

- Then about houseboat cruise: which routes to you think are the best (maybe narrow canals instead of wide lake or something)? And which boat renters you could recommend to do this boat cruise (we would like to take something little bit luxurious).

This is our first journey to India and Kerala - so everything is new to us...Hope you could help and I´m eagerly waiting for your thoughts about our plans!
SnowRose is offline  
Old Mar 21st, 2010, 01:20 PM
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I'm sorry I can't help you, as I've never been to these areas of India. I will say that there are lots of drivers that have minivans that will seat five of you. In my experience, the difference in cost is not much.

I am curious though. How did you decide upon such unusual destinations for your first trip to India?
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Old Mar 21st, 2010, 05:41 PM
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i have been there in jan,but i dont have my on trip report but here is one trip report this can halp you thanks
DelhiBelly is offline  
Old Apr 1st, 2010, 11:59 PM
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"I am curious though. How did you decide upon such unusual destinations for your first trip to India?"

If I try to first explain why India. We would like to find something which is completely different we have here. What we are looking for is completely different and diverse culture, people and of course climate. Nature is always big part of our holiday: we like to go trekking etc. And not to forget indian food which is our favourite .

And why Kerala. Somehow I think that it would be a good first step to India. Its maybe safer than some other part of India and it has all those things I mentioned above... at least I hope so. Maybe after Kerala it would be time to find some other parts of India who knows...

Thank you very much DelhiBelly for that trip report, I will check it!
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Old Apr 2nd, 2010, 02:06 AM
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Heya snow: Kerala is as good a place as any to start. It's easy. I wouldn't exactly call these destinations 'unusual', tho. Kazillions of people do exactly this kinda holiday in Kerala - the place is an industry, entirely geared to toirists - so I don't think the OP will have any trouble at all organising stuff.

Your proposed trip looks fine. Have a look here.

this'll give you prices for transport. You don't have to use them, there are many more, but you can see prices, including for a mini-van - which IS what you'll need. Remember, you have to fit the family AND the luggage in the car. A mini-van is a good 'home' capsule, too, should there be any family implosions. Check out their packages.

You may find these sites useful:

The houseboat cruise will be pricy, whatever end of the market you go. You can either grab one when you're there or pre-book. If you tell us the kinda money you want to spend it's easier to make suggestions.

Given as its your first trip to India WITH kids, I'd have the whole trip booked from top to bottom. The part to look hard at is Mumbai. Make sure you can glide in to India easily, 'cos the first few days are the strangest. [AND the most exciting}

All that means is: have a transfer booked from airport to hotel, pre-booked accomodation and tours and flight out. Well, you're gonna do that anyway - so you're set. Hotels, flights, cars are all easily booked. Remember that things operate on a very short timeframe in India - you're talking Jan 2011, so don't stress right now. You're highly unlikely to have booked-out problems, really - if you're locked in on certain dates and HAVE to stay at a certain place, then book.

The idea of renting a house isn't practical. Rent a hotel or villa with support services - food, phones, yadda yadda. Don't worry, there are zillions. I've been researching this area lately. Right now my attention is on my new and fabulous website but if you want what I got I'll add it later.

Basically I was looking to start at the bottom and work my way up to Kochin, minus the mountains. 3 days boat up to Alleppey - but I must say that most people report that one night is quite enough. Up to you and the nine year old, I think.
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Old Apr 2nd, 2010, 02:29 PM
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Kerala is GREAT first place for India!! Very wise choice. You dont get nearly as much hassling by touts, beggars, etc, or that omnipresent sense of extremem poverty which is reality, but can "get" to you. Many people who know the entire country say Kerala is their favorite State in India.
Three days on the boat is too much, according to everything I've heard or read. One night =22 hours on the boat=should be enough.You should also do the "country" boats,whcih are much narrower, and can go in the little, narrow, village-side canals so you cna get out and walk around.
For 14 day trip, you might consider a trip up to the hills (Coonoor, Ooty) North of Coimbatore (at the NE Kerala border) slightly outside Kerala. For the 9 yr old, There's a big "raging Waters" type water park near there at Mettupalyam. I strongly recommend a trip on the little train that runs from Mettupalaym to Ooty and points in between. it is a scenic journey and the adults as well as child will love it!
What is your budget for hotels or homestays? Please note that the prices vary greatly, and the homestays arent necessarily inexpensive! As an example, one place we stayed for three nights, loving every blissful, relaxing minute, was Philip Kutty's farm.The setting is wonderful, cottages are gorgeous, The hostesses are amazing, and you get four daily absolutely delicious meals/teas included in the price.
Do not go later than the end of January, due to weather. We were there in December and the weather was beautiful everywhere.
IF i were going with a group of 5, Id use an Indian tour Planner to help. They can set up , according to your budget and ideas, a van, hotels, train, etc etc etc, and it will probably cost less 9at least wtih the TA i use) than planning it all yourselves.
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Old Apr 2nd, 2010, 03:06 PM
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I loved Kerala - great choice. I did two nights on a houseboat, and it was fine during the day, but I missed AC at night. If you have AC I'd definitely go for two nights, I'm not usually a boat person, but I liked floating along watching what was going on on shore (and on the water) - I was a bit tired at the time though! For my TR see - last post.

I'm just reading a book: "Savoring the Spice Coast of India" that says that the food and culture in north Kerala is different to the south - I'll be adding that for my next visit.
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Old Apr 4th, 2010, 11:32 AM
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When I asked about the reason for the op's choices, I really did think they were unusual for a first timer. I thought she was going to say a friend did this trip or I read a book such as Chasing the Monsoon!

My daughter loved Kerela, and our next trip will likely include this area.
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