Backwaters of India. I only got to see the northern part this time around, pretty much only Munnar & Alleppey.
This is the famous tea estate of Kerala. The road to this relatively small town from Kochi is beautiful. I was relieved to finally be in a winding road, not a bumpy one, with so many trees and greenery all around. The air is just so fresh and you can finally have a deep breath.
Munnar is beautiful. The colors of the tea plantations are absolutely gorgeous and there are plenty of them around. I definitely suggest you take a morning hike through one. But do your research. There are a lot of options and each hotel/airbnb will try to book you with theirs. I’d say you can easily spend a few days in Munnar.
There’s Eravikulam National Park. It’s a nice quick hike on a fairly steep hill. It will take you a few minutes to get to the starting point of the hike as you gotta take a bus and there will be a queue for both the ticket and the ride. But it’s not bad. It’s just a nice scenery and some wild goats which you’re not supposed to touch, but everybody does. Please don’t!
One morning we took a safari ride to go checkout some of the touristy spots of the town. We were a bit skeptical at first, because it was a $40 activity and you never know with things like that in India. As it wasn’t really a safari ride through the jungles or anything, it was just sight seeing. BUT it was totally worth it. So cool. Make sure you book the very early morning one which starts at like 5am. Because you wanna see that sunrise and sights are much more intriguing in early morning. Yea it’s a bit rough getting up at 4:30am when you’re on vacation, but this is totally worth it.
It’s definitely worth the time to go checkout the Kathakali & Kalari show at the Thirumeny Cultural Center. It was a nice performance of both theatre and martial arts. It seems like a genuine place of artists and they do a great job with the performances. I’d highly recommend it.
Other than that, mmmm… I’d say stay away from the Tea Museum. Even though Munnar is a highly known Tea Estate, don’t expect much for the tea. All of the plantations have been bought by one company and the quality of the tea is actually not good. Yea, I know it’s surprising. Also, we were told by one person that there’s this tea plantation on top of a high hill near the area, which is supposed to be the highest tea plantation in all Kerala, but we didn’t have time to go find it. Maybe you can do some search and check it out. It’s supposed to be the best.
Well… I wish I could tell you much about Alleppey. But long story short, because of unfortunate circumstances, I didn’t get to do much in Alleppey. No backwater boating for me. I can tell you though that if you’re planning on finding a very good affordable accommodation, go to the Zostel there. It’s by the beach and you have quick access to a nice restaurant with good food, drinks and vibe.
Oh also, don’t get the Ayuvertic massage. It’s more like a torture… 😂