I am very pleased to say that in 3 weeks time I will be traveling to the south Indian city of Kochi for my old friend Harish's wedding. My homie Nora and I will be there for about a week, so in addition to all the wedding festivities, we'll have a chance to see as much of the state of Kerala as possible.
It's strange for me to acknowledge that this will be the first time I'm traveling to India. After many classes on Indian history and politics in college, loads of desi friends, endless Bollywood movies and a long-held love of Indian Booker Prize-winning novels, I feel as if I've been there a hundred times. But then, when my passport arrived in the mail last week with a big new Indian visa, it finally became real. Thus commenced the research for our adventure.
What I have learned so far is that the star of Kerala tourism is the kettuvallam, or houseboats, that cruise in the backwaters of the state. They're traditional style boats made with ropes that have been updated with modern hotel amenities. I've found loads of these online at places like Kerala Houseboats but these photos came from this picassa page and unfortunately I can't find any further details on the exact boat. I'm hoping that many of them look like this one.
Do you have any suggestions for hotels or adventures in Kerala?