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Kerala Travel Guide Book

Travel guide is our new series of ‘What to Expect’ when you’re visiting India. It will give you a Heads Up on what to do to ensure your trip is hassle free! The list will also help you make the most of your time here.

Read on the find out ‘What To Know’ before visiting the God’s Own Country- Kerala. Today in this blog we will let you know about Kerala Travel Guide.

#1. Houseboat Tips

Kerala is known for its luxurious houseboats and no trip to Kerala is complete without spending sometime on a houseboat. Alleppey is known for its houseboats. A houseboat is boat that has been designed or modified to be used primarily as a home. Some houseboats are not motorized, because they are usually moored, kept stationary at a fixed point and often tethered to land to provide utilities. However, the commercial and high end houseboats are perfectly capable of operation under their own power.

Heads Up! Since houseboats are usually around backwaters, there are high chances of insects and mosquitoes invading your houseboat. Make sure you carry provisions to keep yourself away from them and to avoid any illnesses while on the trip!

Also, if you are travelling with children, keep an eye on them on all times while around the front and rear of the boats.

#2. Clothing and footwear

Kerala Travel Guide

This point may seem simple and obvious but it needs to be reiterated on as the clothing culture in Kerala is way different from that compared to, say, Mumbai or Delhi. In Kerala, dress modestly. You may be tempted to wear short clothes to avoid the heat but we would recommend in case of hot climate try on a dhoti! Avoid wearing light colours as they could get dirty with the slush around. Also, ladies, avoid long flowy dresses that would make it hard to walk in.

Heads Up! If you happen to go to the hill stations nearby make sure you are protected from the leeches! Wear covered and comfortable footwear that will allow you to walk for longer. Also read up on what to do if you get bitten by a leech (just in case!)

#3. The Food

The Food

In India, Malayali cuisine a class apart. The Malayalis have very distinguished dishes comprising of Idiyappam with Curry, Puttu and Kadala Curry,  Ela Sadya, Nadan Kozhi Varuthathu (Spicy Chicken Fry) and Kerala Style Prawn Curry. Yes, these dishes’ names seem foreign to us too, but we can vouch for them being supremely delicious and totally desi!

Heads Up! Indians in general use many spices in their dishes so some dishes could be too spicy to handle. At restaurants, make sure you request your chef to make it medium spicy or if you’re up to the challenge of spicy Indian food- we recommend keeping bread or plain rice nearby to soothe your palate post your meal!

#4. Safety

While this one may again seem a bit obvious, it is not safe to travel alone at night in Kerala. Try booking a cab on a recognized app to guarantee your safety during your journeys.  During your first few hours in the city try figuring out the common ways of travelling and be alert when on the road, at all times!

Heads Up! Try having a map of the place either physically or electronically, and track your movement. You could even give the details of the cab and cab drivers to someone you trust and have them track your movement as well.

Also Read: Top #7 Things To See In Chennai

#5. The Language

In states like Mumbai or Delhi, you are sure to find people who converse in English or at least make the effort to communicate in a language you understand. However, in Kerala- it may be a bit difficult as the localites will prefer to communicate only in Malayalam. This may make your communications difficult. We recommend showing signs or pictures to communicate what you want.

Heads Up! While most people would recommend learning a few words of Malayalam to get your way through, some Malayali’s are very particular about their language and don’t like it being spoken with different accents. So thread wisely. Our advice: You can never be sure as to when and who may take offense, so you can only take it with a pinch of salt and move on!

#6. Greetings

Kathakali- the famous dance in Kerela, the dancer doing “Namaste”

In Kerala, people like to be greeted be it whatever time of the day. Most of them are very courteous and will always expect and behave in a way that is polite, especially while meeting someone for the first time.

Heads Up! They do not appreciate any physical contact- that means, no handshakes or hugs. This is particularly true for when you are meeting someone of the opposite gender. Any physical contact while meeting for the first time is generally interpreted in the wrong way, so we suggest avoiding it entirely. Instead, a cheerful Namaste would do!

#7. General State Of Being

Something that may seem very normal and routine to you could possibly be highly offensive to a Malayali or inside a Malayali’s household. Thus – here’s a list of things to be cautious about

General State Of Being
  • DON’T eat food with a spoon and fork; DO try to use your hands as this is what is accepted by most households
  • DON’Twear shoes inside the house; DO take them off outside, even if no one tells you to do so.
  • DON’T give or take anything with your left hand, as it is considered disrespectful; DO use your right hand instead. (Even if you’re a leftie!)

#8. The Water

The Water

Saving the most important point for the last- the water! The water situation in Kerala is risky, not in terms of collection but hygiene. You will find water everywhere but you can never be sure of where it has come from. At your accommodation too, you cannot take the risk of drinking unfiltered water straight from the tap.

Heads Up! Carry your own bottled water wherever at home. If you cannot find bottled water in case of emergencies, try to boil the water before drinking. You don’t to fall sick on your trip! Even at high end restaurants, ask for bottled water just to be safe!

So looks like you have almost everything covered about the travelling guide of Kerla! Remember these little notes on What To Know while visiting Kerala and you will be just fine. There will always be some unexpected occurrences on your trip, embrace them too- everything becomes a memory in the end!

Hope the Kerela travel guide was helpful and would prepare you for the trip better. Read more Travel guides about other places in India on Yeh Hai India .

Written by Suzanne Dsouza

Suzanne is a Market Research Analyst for Qualitative Consumer Insights at Nielsen India. She holds a Masters degree in Psychology from Christ University, Bangalore.Hear it from her-
"Being brought in up in 3 metropolitan cities of India and having traveled to many states in India, I love covering travel related topics - places I've been to and places I wish to visit. My education in psychology makes me an empathetic yet mature individual;and while working in an MNC can sometimes take a toll on me- writing helps me find the balance and peace of mind I need.
Apart from work I enjoy spending time around my furry friends, cleaning, baking, learning new dance forms and horse riding"

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