For anyone heading to the Kerala backwaters, an experience on the houseboats in Kerala is a must, for you have not really experienced the backwaters if you have not done this. The life that goes by with squealing school children on water taxis, duck farmers herding their birds, toddy shops and busy fisherman – you will the life on backwaters of Kerala is a colorful experience.
The houseboat experience can be done at Alleypey or Kumarakom in Kerala. There are quite a few Kerala tour packages that offer a trip across these two destinations. For a more rustic experience, would recommend Alleypey, while Kumarakom is quite well-developed and gives a more touristy experience.
But most of us will be faced with this dilemma of – stay or a day trip?
Most houseboat operators offer both. Here are some travel tips that you should keep in mind for the houseboats.
Travel Tips for Houseboats in Kerala
- The houseboats operate on the backwaters only between 9 am to 5 pm.
- Post 6 pm, all of them dock at their pre-designated spots and stay there till the next morning 9am.
- Some houseboats are well equipped with a TV and DVD sets but do note, that the regular channels will not be available and unless you are carrying your own set of CDs, you are left at the mercy of what is available with the houseboat.
- Food on the houseboat – both dinner and breakfast is what the houseboat will offer you. You will not have a choice around considering you will be docked at points, that may not even have a grocery outlet.
- If you are a non-vegetarian – do not miss their local Karimeen (local fish) preparation. Most houseboats offer the same for lunch/ dinner.
- Keep a mosquito repellent handy in the evening
If you are in a group, we suggest you go for this experience of overnight as it can turn out to be good fun when you have company.Or if you are a honeymoon couple, it would not be such a bad option either!
Here is one experience that my blogger friends Vyjay and Sandy had in Kochi, another place to try out houseboats.
Suggested Tour Operators for Houseboats in Kerala :
(based on various traveler feedback)