South Kerala Tour First Impressions – Trip Planning


Just back after spending a week in South Kerala – Trivandrum, Kollam, and a bit of Cochin. Here are the South Kerala tour first impressions for you to consider.

Typical Kerala landscape of Coconut tree-lined backwaters - South Kerala Tour First Impressions
Typical Kerala landscape of Coconut tree-lined backwaters

South Kerala Tour First Impressions

  • Kerala is a Jal-Pradhan or water-dominant region. You can never be too far from a water body. This is the same water that brings tourists from all over the state. I do not know if they have yet created a deity to worship the same.
  • Waterways are marked like highways on the map and used for transportation. There are ferries running between cities – though they take much longer than road travel. But they are still being used by the local people to travel. During the day waterways belong to the tourism and transportation industry. And at night to fishermen.
  • Rail and road networks are excellent. You can reach most areas through public transport if you want.
  • Always carry an umbrella with you in Kerala – you would need it for either sun or rain. My most imposing visual of Trivandrum remains a street full of primarily black umbrellas in the pouring rain.
  • Always carry a white lungi with you if you want to visit the temples of the state – if you are a woman not in Sari. For men, you must remove your shirt – have a bare upper body and wear the same Lungi. This can be annoying but you really do not have a choice if you want to see those magnificent temples that are much better preserved than elsewhere.

More observations

  • Autos in Kerala are better than the rest of the country, they charge reasonably. And do not try to fleece you just because you are a visitor. Since they quote reasonably, you waste no time and energy in negotiations.
  • The sheer amount of dark wood in old structures here makes you think about the amount of wood they would have had. And the sheer longevity of the wood – some of them have been standing strong for many centuries. However, I found the dark interiors a bit depressing.
  • Black or the darkest shades of blue and green are the favorite color of women. All around on the roads, I could see women either in their traditional white Saris with a small golden or colored border or they were in black – as if other colors were not on the horizon.
  • Kerala Railway stations still have old wooden Higgin Bothams bookshops, that if I am not wrong are extinct elsewhere – at least in their wooden avatar.


  • Appam & Stew which is sold all around India as a Kerala dish is hard to find in general eateries. They all have it on their menu but most would not serve it. I could get it only on the last day and that too on request.
  • Water is always served hot here which I found strange given that it is such a hot and humid place. In some places, it was pink colored and I can only guess that it comes from Kokam-like fruit.
  • Finally, I think God has a certain shade of green reserved for Kerala – you see it only here.

Will write about the destinations and experiences of our South Kerala tour first impressions soon enough.

Recommend you to read the following travel blog on places to visit in Kerala.

Padmanabhapuram Palace, Fort & Town

Padmanabhaswamy Temple, Thiruvananthapuram

Ponmudi Hills – Southern end of Western Ghats

Top Kanyakumari Tourist Places for You to Visit

Rendezvous with Kathakali


  1. Thank you for the heads up! My first impression of Kerala was it’s beauty. The backwaters are definitely hard to miss and a sigh to see. I recommend taking a day to explore them. I decided to go with Antony’s Backwater Tours. The day started with a beautiful kayak tour guided by our captain, Anil. The tour lasted about 2 hours and slowly explored the amazing backwaters of Alleppey, Kerala. Green plush vegetation, gorgeous water lillies, friendly faces waving and smiling along the way. if this isn’t paradise, then I don’t know what is. After the kayak tour concluded, we arrived at the Ecoboat. This isn’t just any regular Ecoboat. The boat is positioned perfectly along the canal with a dynamic view of the village and in alignment with the sunrise and sunset. The boat is made of bamboo ceilings, wooden floors and wooden furniture. It’s truly 100% Eco-friendly. The decor is detailed and calming. The boat also has a rooftop perfect to catch the sunset and gaze at the stars upon nightfall.

    As if the Ecoboat wasn’t enough, Antony also arranges a personal chef to provide delicious breakfast, lunch and dinner – Indian style. This is a great option especially if you’re on a limited schedule in Kerala.

  2. Kerala is famous especially for its ecotourism initiatives and beautiful backwaters. The backwaters in Kerala are a chain of brackish lagoons and lakes lying parallel to the Arabian Sea coast (known as the Malabar Coast).
    The speciality of karela also increases because of the coconut tree, This is a water dominant region.

  3. Explore Thiruvilamala, A hilly Village surrounded by Lush Green forests, Ancient temples, caves, and Rivers.
    Stay at the 70-year old ancestral home.

  4. Kerala aka God’s Own Country is a visual treat for all travel lovers out there!
    Especially when it comes to Alleppey, Varkala beach, Munnar, Wayanad, one will definitely fall in love with Kerala. Let me pin this article so that we can share it with our audience as well. Good Work!


  5. Nice Post. Very detailed still interesting to read. You did not explain much about backwater. You should do a lil bit about it. Only, that’s my suggestion. Beyond that everything is absolutely right.


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