Kerala is undoubtedly an ideal place for a holiday with your family. The natural beauty, the pleasant climate and the various places of interest will make for a wonderful stay of yours. Knowing a few tips on the things you may or may not do in Kerala can help you a lot while you are here.
Things to remember
Kerala has a tropical climate and so is warm throughout the year with the exception of the monsoons. Wear light cottons during your visit to Kerala. Since there are several beaches and lakes here, you might as well come all prepared with your swimming gear. Do not forget to bring your sunglasses, hats, umbrellas and sunscreen lotion.
Plan your trip well in advance. Make your bookings in time and choose a hotel that suits you as well as your budget. As soon as you arrive here, your needs will be taken care of by the hotel you are staying in. Home stays are a good option if you want to experience the traditional Kerala lifestyle. Ask the hotel staff for information about the places you wish to see. Ask for a guide who can show you around.
You can hire a taxi and be chauffeured around or you can even use public transportation. However, choose public transportation only if you know the place or have a person who can guide you. Most of the places of interest in Kerala do not have expensive entry fees and you won’t have to stand in long queues to get them. The weather is mostly humid, hence it is advisable to have plenty of water with you.
Largely a consumer state, Kerala has a number of shops selling textiles, gold ornaments and other handicrafts. The mall culture is becoming popular in cities like Cochin, Trivandrum and Thrissur. Traditional Kerala settu mundu and kasavu sarees can be bought at Kasavukada, a brand name in Kerala Sarees. Handicrafts such as mirrors, wooden boats, Chinese fishing net models, elephants made out of wood etc are souvenirs you might want to take back. Khataisons and Surabhi on MG Road, Cochin are outlets that sell such handicrafts. Unlike rest of India, there is very little scope for bargaining. Almost all the shops have fixed prices.
The cuisine of Kerala has varieties of vegetarian and non-vegetarian delights. The seafood specialities are something you cannot afford to miss. The naadan sadya (traditional feast), an all-vegetarian meal, served on plantain leaves is a favourite among both vegetarians and non-vegetarians. The food is generally spicy but if you are not fond of spices you can try out the various appams (a fluffy pancake made out of fermented rice flour) which go well with vegetable and meat stews that are low on spices.