The Amazing Kerala Backwaters
Trip Start Mar 14, 2004
290Trip End Ongoing
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The only difference today from centuries ago is that in the late 1980s, some clever bastard decided to convert a traditional rice barge called a kettuvallam into a houseboat. Once the locals realized they could charge a premium to wealthy foreign and Indian tourists alike for a live-aboard excursion through the backwaters, the floating cottage industry was born along with a new career path for thousands
You will notice I don't have a single photo from inside a houseboat. That's because I was never on one. The prudent traveler can see everything the tourist sees from a houseboat simply by taking the public ferry from village to village, just as the locals and school kids get around. The only downside I could find with choosing this experience was the lack of servants offering lobster and chilled white wine.
Arriving in the village of Kollam, I was determined to stay and relax for a few days. Except I found one MAJOR problem. Hindu priests were celebrating a holiday by reading out of a holy book and broadcasting it over loudspeakers for the whole village to listen to.... for a week or something! To keep their voices strong and fresh, they rotated a new priest in every thirty minutes. Thanks! After a few hours, I decided this was a psychological torture and I had to get the hell out of here. I'm taking the train to Varkala Beach!