The backwaters of Kerala are not exactly news, neither are they off the beaten track, in fact they could well be the most expensive activity of your entire stay. For us they were the joint most expensive activity along with eating in the famous restaurant, Indigo, in Mumbai and flying between Varanasi and Delhi to avoid another long train journey.
But was it worth it?
Bear this in mind: India, while being wonderful can be very challenging at times. The backwaters of Kerala on a houseboat are likely to be one of the more peaceful things you do in your life.
Yes it’s worth it!
What happens is that you choose a boat, either at one of the docking areas like Alleppey, or in a travel agency somewhere else in India. Or, if you have unlimited money and more limited patience, on the internet.There are literally hundreds of boats to choose from, just make sure you choose the right one.
This is not what they should look like.
What you get for your money, usually between 80 and 120 British pounds, is a really cool boat with an open lounge, viewing deck and a private bedroom, most of a days touring the backwaters, and a captain and a cook. They make you food, source you alcohol and show you around the waters.
The backwaters themselves are really cool, a network of bridges and ferries keep the locals connected to the schools and shops of the area from their incredibly quaint little houses by the waterfronts. Having traveled around India quite a lot this was one of the areas I would have found it easier to live, this would do me just fine.
When we docked for the night we were lucky enough to be able to watch a massive electrical storm over the treetops opposite, pretty impressive, be aware if you don’t like bats they do tend to fly into the boat every few minutes, they were pretty big buggers too.
Away from the backwaters too its good to know you are not far from on-land life and if you need police aid or STD enquiries all can be had in nearby Alleppey.
Longing back to Kerala.