According to me, the best way to enjoy Kerala is by staying for a few days in a houseboat. Kerala backwaters are famous for the lush greenery surrounding it, fresh landscape and the serene environment.
Types of houseboat
There are numerous types of houseboats in Kerala:
- A traditional houseboat (kettuvallam) is the one that is made with bamboo interior and thatched roof. You cannot find a lot of amenities inside the boat. There would be a suite bedroom, a small crew to cook food, a small set of furniture near the deck for you to enjoy the backwaters while enjoying meals or tea. It would have two decks and the upper deck is basically for entertainment.
- A backwater houseboat cruise is a high class cruise styled houseboat. You can find all kinds of luxury elements in this boat. It would be stylish and modern. Usually, houseboat cruise are taken by a bunch of people together unlike the traditional houseboat that accommodates only one family. You can find cruise boats with many decks.
- Basic houseboat is almost similar to the traditional houseboat but, the meals would be delivered to the boat from the shore at various points. You would just have a bed and little furniture inside the boat.
Where to start?
Usually people start their houseboat vacation from Cochin. There are plenty of options in Cochin and pre-booking is easier there. But, honeymooners usually opt for lonely and serene places like Alappuzha, Kollam and others.
Water Taxi vs. Houseboat
Water taxi is a ferry that leaves from one town to another. It is a very common mode of transportation in Kerala. You ought to take a ride in the water taxi. But, houseboat is a totally different experience to enjoy.
Top Things to Enjoy in a Houseboat Vacation
- You can anchor the houseboat wherever you want unless you are in a cruise with other strangers. You ought to anchor the boat in a serene place and enjoy a cup of tea as the fog fills the place.
- After evening, the backwaters will have an envelope of fog. Take a blanket, go to the deck and enjoy a warm romantic evening of natural beauty with your special one.
- You can find different types of cuisines in a houseboat. But, try out the traditional Kerala dishes. You can find fresh fish dishes here.
- Houseboat fishing is an important activity for every age group. You might or might not get lucky, but the experience is wonderful. Not all houseboats would have fishing facilities.
- Ask for candle light dinner in your houseboat in you are in a romantic vacation.
- Canoeing from houseboat is a popular adventure activity that tourists usually prefer.
Remember to choose authentic tour operators for booking your houseboat. Only a reliable tour operator would be able to provide you a high quality and friendly houseboat experience. All you need is a day or two in a houseboat on the Kerala backwaters for a lifetime experience. After all, it is the Venice of the East. Take the 4 days Kerala Backwater tour and enjoy the delightful houseboat experience in Kerala.