India is that kind of country where it is hard to find some peace and quiet. With a population of 1.3 billion people, India is kind of a subcontinent on its own. However, serenity can be found, and sometimes in the most unexpected places. One of my favorite places so lush, so serene, must be Kerala’s Backwaters. The Kerala Backwaters are unique to the state, and are spread all the way from the North to the South in the form of lakes, rivers and handmade canals. The best way to explore them would (obviously) be by boat!
Alappuzha, also known as Alleppey, must be the most convenient location to start exploring the backwaters. While it is also the option to go from Kochi, you will have to travel for more than an hour by bus before actually being able to explore the backwaters. And when situated in Alleppey, you are right in the centre of the backwater tours. The easiest way to explore the backwaters is through a tour via your hostel or guesthouse. Tours often include: ferry to starting place, a small breakfast before starting a vegetarian lunch/dinner once done and, of course, the boat tour itself. The tour will take you over big lakes and small rivers past houses and cafes. You will see people doing their daily washing in the river, boats filled with produce as a form of transportation, and you might even be able to go for a refreshing dive into the water. Check out the photos of my day on Kerala’s Backwaters!
What to Bring
Since you’ll spent most of the day on the water, not shopping I would strongly advice you to bring the following items:
- Sunscreen – it is easy to burn when you are on the water.
- Water – Kerala is hothothot, you’ll sweat, even in the shadow so be sure to bring enough water.
- Bikini/swimming shorts – Should you think about taking a dive in the water make sure to bring your bikini or swimming shorts.
- Snacks – while you will be supplied with some small snacks and food, be sure to bring some extra so you won’t go hungry.
- Camera – The backwaters are beautiful and the risk of your boat tipping over is small (as long as you listen to your guide) so be sure to bring that camera to document your day.
- Some small money – even though your tour is pre-booked, bring some small money to tip your guide at the end of the day. I mean he did spend his whole day peddling you and your friends around lakes and rivers .
Practical Information about Kerala’s Backwaters
I booked my tour through my hostel (Artpackers.life), which I would highly recommend. Artpackers.life is an amazing hostel, the pictures don’t do it any justice. Rooms are spacious, staff is amazingly friendly and a delicious free breakfast is included. Make sure to book a room with AC in the summer months, the heat in Kerala is exhausting, you sure want a break from sweating during your sleep. The tour started at 8am and lasted till 4pm, where we were served a small late lunch before taking the ferry back to Alappuzha. However, if you are not fan of a dorm room or a hostel there are plenty of other hotels in Kerala to stay in!