Traveling to Kerala to discover the backwaters was a travel destination I had been told is off-the-beaten track – I had to go to see it. Read here about the self- organisation, which was easier and much cheaper…
DIY: organising a boat tour in the Backwaters of Kerala
It was two Scottish guys and me. I had just met them the night before in the Funky Art Beach House Hostel. We got up early at Allepey Beach and walked towards the Alleppey city center. We randomly followed the canal to look for a boat and it didn’t take long until someone started talking to us about renting one – awesome. After looking at the boat and some hard negotiating with the local, we rented a boat for 1,100 Rupees (ca. 16 USD) for a time frame of 5 hours. As I had found out the night before, the people in our hostel paid 900 Rupees (ca. 13 USD) / person for a paddling boat and we got a boat with 2 beds and motor engine for way less.
Visiting different hotspots in Alleppey
The local didn’t speak much English and, of course, we didn’t speak much Hindi – nothing actually – but I shared with him that we were looking to see some local hotspots in the area. So we went around the backwaters and the sailor actually took us wherever we wanted to go which was pretty awesome. Sometimes we ended up in random places, where we connected as much as possible with the locals (e.g. fisherman) sometimes we just stopped here and there: what a nice feeling of freedom – loved it. At some place we stopped to have a chai tea, where we saw this amazing snow-white eagle and discovered some rice fields.
The journey continued and we relaxed and enjoyed the quiet peaceful environment in the nature of the Kerala backwaters – what a nice feeling.
Later, we stopped another time to buy some coconut liquor, which tasted pretty nice for only 150 Rupees (ca. 2 USD) for 1 liter – can’t complain. I took over the wheel sailing along the canal in Allepey for a while, which I really enjoyed – why not get the full experience.
At the end of our journey, the local showed us some really amazing resorts (Lake Palace Resort) right next to the backwaters, where you can stay for around 3,000 Rupees (ca. 45 USD) / night.
After the trip: beach, sunset and dinner
Late in the afternoon, after we got back to the hostel, we went straight to the beach just across the road. We jumped into the waves and played with a Frisbee, while enjoying a beautiful sunset later.
For dinner, the hostel owner, Sagar’s mum, was cooking fish and we all enjoyed some delicious food on the roof together. After dinner, it got already dark and at night, some people and I decided to go to a shop along the beach to get ice cream. This was just because I saw some locals playing football, so I went there and asked if they would mind me playing. Of course, they let me join and it was incredible to connect with them so easily and play football on the Alleppey Beach – making new friends.
During the walk along the beach on the way back to the hostel, we were stopped by some locals who asked if we could help them push the boat into the ocean to go fishing over the night – done, of course helped the locals to connect ! These people really appreciated it and the next morning when I went to watch the sunrise, the fishermen from the night before were back and I honestly saw the most amazing sunrise.
Where to stay in Kerala ?
I TRAVEL FOREVER’s VIEW & RECOMMENDATION
It was a really nice trip and good fun with Thomas and Rory from Scotland. We had some good conversations and shared quality travel experiences. The backwaters in Allepey in Kerala are a must-do when in India because they are a really beautiful experience that gives you another view of how the culture in the south of India differs from the northern part.