Posts tagged "Alleppey"

Alleppey Beyond its Houseboats

Canoe Ride

Alleppey is a city known for its houseboats, its backwaters, and its rustic feeling. But it has a lot more to offer, the canoe rides, the best-in-class museum experiences, the luxurious hotel resorts, the culture, the lagoons, the greenery, the lakes and canals that are parallel to the Arabian sea. Although Alleppey was not on the list initially but when we were leaving Alleppey, there was a feeling of fulfillment. So here’s a story of an unplanned trip turning into a beautiful memory of two backpackers!

19.01. 2023

After coming down from Kolukkumalai, we collected our luggage and started our journey toward the second leg of the trip- ALLEPPEY. Alleppey is 193 km (5 hours 30 minutes) from Suryanelli, Munnar and Kochi comes in between the route. Though Kochi was never in the plan but it was coming in between the route and we thought of having lunch there. Kochi came 1 hour before Alleppey. We reached there at around 4 pm and searched for a cafe at Fort Kochi lane. Cafe Kashi came off as the most artistic and beautiful cafe and we went there for lunch. In Kochi, the Biennale art festival 2023 was going on at that time and Kashi Art Cafe showcases art galleries during the Biennale festival. After this, we also went to the location where the Biennale festival was going on but couldn’t find the exact location and as it was already late in the evening we thought of quickly having a look at the very famous Kochi Fishing Nets.


We started from Kochi at around 6.30 pm and reached AllepPey by 7.30. Very Important to mention here that the weather changed 360 degrees for us. In the morning all we wanted was to immerse our heads inside the shawls and jackets and in the evening, it was steaming hot in Kochi and Alleppey. 

The plan to go to Alleppey was impromptu and so we decided to book an Airbnb on the go while we were traveling to Alleppey. We did not think much at that time and booked a very basic stay near Alleppey beach. It was very basic but truly worth the price as the owner was a very sweet person living downstairs and he managed the Airbnb property very systematically. He suggested us a cafe nearby to have dinner because it was late by then.


The next day was not planned very perfectly but this is what is the true fun of a road trip. Your plan changes very frequently. We were not having a proper plan and we searched for places to visit in Alleppey and Kottayam topped the list. We went downstairs and the Airbnb owner asked us about our plan for the day. He told us that there is not much to do in Kottayam instead we should go to Kumarkom. And guess what he was right! Still, we went to Kottayam because we had plenty of time and we thought we should go there without thinking much. Kottayam is famous for its geographical location where paddy farming is done 2-4 feet below sea level. Other than this there was nothing much to see in Kottayam. As soon as we realized it we came back to Kumarakom which has very famous and India’s biggest lake, Vembanad lake. Yes! It’s the same lake where the snake boat race happens in August.

Vembanad lake

We decided not to struggle much and went to a lake-side property chain of Zuri. Have had coffee over there and went to the lake view side of the hotel from where Vembanad lake was visible. The lake looked so beautiful from this property. It’s a widespread lake just like a sea without waves. The cottages present in the hotel property are lake view and it is just the place for anybody who is planning to come to Alleppey for a luxurious trip. We sat near the lake for about an hour and spotted beautiful houseboats passing in front of us. After this, we had lunch in the restaurant and then went to the Artefacts shop present on the property. There were some amazing souvenirs, kathakali paintings and other stuff present for sale at the shop but were quite expensive. All in all, Zuri was a luxurious experience on a hard-core backpacking trip.

Next, we went to an Art Museum in Kumarakom. The Art Museum had a ticket of ₹ 80 per person. The first floor had an antique collection of wall clocks, spoons, serving spoons, paan daan, and many other things which reminded me of my grandmother who had many of those things kept preserved with her. The ground floor of the museum was a souvenir shop. Ishan liked a boat over there, a big boat but in my opinion, it did not look like a boat and more like a Nike logo. Where I was liking all the small miniature boats, Ishan was liking big boats. We came to the conclusion of not buying anything in a hurry.

Next, we went to the Coir museum where everything is made up of coir and the technique of peeling, breaking, making ropes of it, putting it in a machine, and making beautiful showcase items out of it is explained. There is also one shop in the museum where one can buy all such coir-made items.

After this, we went to Marari beach which was said to be the only beautiful beach in Alleppey. Watching the sunset was a daily routine for us by then and it continued that day as well. After watching the sunset we went to the Airbnb, took some rest, and decided to go to have dinner at the same cafe nearby that the Airbnb owner had suggested. After dinner, the plan was to go to Ishan’s friend’s home who lives in Alleppey but I slept before even thinking of going there. Yes, it was a hectic and tiring day because of the harsh sun.


This day, we went Canoeing. Canoe is basically a narrow boat that can be moved through the water by using a small piece of wood. There were options for a boat tour through shikara boat, houseboat, and canoe boat in Alleppey. The reason why we chose the canoe was, it was way too cheaper than the other options, and secondly, canoe tours are famous for village tour reason being canoe is a small boat that can go to narrow streams of backwaters where shikara and other boats can’t go. We wanted to see the village life of people living beside the shores of the backwaters which is why we chose the canoe ride. It cost us around ₹1000 per person including breakfast and lunch in a village home. The price also included a ferry ride from Alleppey city to the village from where the Canoe starts. 

We started from our homestay at around 8 in the morning and reached the pier from where we had to catch the ferry. The ferry tour was of 45 minutes. Ferry is a common source of transport in Alleppey. It is mainly used by people who go to villages nearby for farming. On our way to the village, we saw beautiful houseboats. We thought of coming back to Alleppey sometime with a budget for a luxurious trip.

We reached the village at 9.30, there our tour guide took us to a tiny cute village home and the people living there served us breakfast. We had a couple of foreigners as co-travelers with us that day for a canoe ride. All of us had an amazing breakfast and started the journey.

As soon as we sat down in the canoe, Ishan slept and the reason behind this was the canoe was moving very slowly and the wind was also blowing very slowly which put my husband to sleep. I was so curious all the time that I did not left a chance to capture a single moment of the village life and of the people living there. One thing to note here is in Kerala, all the houses, in villages as well are made up of concrete cement, and well-painted. No house is left unconstructed or is not painted. This shows the prosperity of the state even in the villages. We were in a boat and both sides were surrounded by village houses. There was parked a boat in front of each and every house there. It looked like a car parked in front of houses in urban areas. The canoe passed through very narrow streams of water and it was incredible to see all that village life while sitting inside the boat. 

After half an hour our boat got stuck in between common water hyacinth plants growing in the backwater area of the village. Our boat captain tried to move the boat with the help of a rope for a very long time but gave up after he got to know that the water species are spread 4 km ahead. It was no sense to go ahead and hence we came backward. 

He took us to another direction of the village where we saw ducks swimming inside the water, people playing in the water, women washing clothes near the water, and many such beautiful rustic views. The boat tour got over at 2 pm. It lasted for 4 hours which was quite sufficient time to feel the village life. We came back to the tiny home where we had our breakfast, had lunch over there, and waited for our ferry to come and take us to the city. The ferry came at 3.30 pm and we reached home in 1 hour.

Evening time we kept relaxed and planned to go to Taj Hotel & Resort- Kumarakom for dinner which was an hour’s drive from Alleppey. Here’s a tip for backpackers, if you want to travel cheap but need a touch of luxury in your trip you can plan date nights to such resorts and have a coffee or lunch, or dinner date over there. If you order one vegetable and chapati you would not be charged more than ₹1500 for two people and this way you can take a feel of the beautiful resorts at such touristic locations.

Taj Kumarakom was beautiful. When we reached there, a beautiful lady was performing Mohiniattam, the folk dance of Kerala. She was totally a vision. We ordered our very favorite palak paneer and chapati at the dining restaurant for dinner. After dinner, we took a property tour, the Vembanad lake was not visible at night. After a while, as we were tired we went back home and slept.

The next morning was the checkout day from Alleppey. We packed our bags again and got ourselves moving again toward the mountains. In between, Ishan wanted to meet his classmate from college living in Alleppey. We went to his home and honestly, we were craving home-cooked food (especially dosa and idli) by then. Don’t know if Artificial Intelligence works in the human case also but he already asked his mom and wife to prepare breakfast for us and trust me the breakfast was so delicious. The way they served us and treated us was so welcoming. I really enjoyed visiting them. After chit-chatting with them for an hour we started for our next destination-Vagamon.