• Asia and Pacific,  India,  Kerala

    Warm Hospitality

    I had the pleasure of being hosted to a 12 day trip to Kerala, courtesy of gracious Kerala Tourism Development Corporation office and Silk Air. SilkAir operates three times weekly flights from Thiruvananthapuram to Singapore and a daily service from Kochi to Singapore. I stayed in the following hotels : Bolgatty Palace in Kochi, Brunton Boatyard Hotel, Marari Beach Resort, Kadavu Resort and Ayurveda Centre and the Tea County Hotel. All the sprawling properties had a combination of modern and traditional architecture. The hospitality warm and I truly enjoyed the essence of traditional lifestyle thanks to all the sponsors.

  • Asia and Pacific,  India,  Kerala

    Rest and Relax at Marari Beach Resort

    We headed for Mararikulam from Munnar. Mararikulam is an active fishing village. The Marari Resort is within almost 36 acres of land separated from the Arabian Sea by swaying palm trees. We walked through winding paths, passed a nice lotus pond and fruit trees and lo behold I saw palm thatched villas with concrete walls. I was awestricken by the Kerala styled open-air courtyard concept modern bathroom complete with two little banana trees growing there! There is a total of 62 villas all built in harmony with nature in the style of local fishermen’s hut. The Marari Resort owners follow the philosophy of using local products to the maximum and…

  • Asia and Pacific,  India,  Kerala

    Memorable People

    The people of Kerala are very down to earth, simple and many still traditional. The natives of Kerala are called “Keralites” and they speak Malayalam. I noticed that they are very religious and have not forgotten their traditional culture or ancient rituals. Education is very important for them and the state of India had 100% literacy at one point of time! Most people could speak English. One interesting fact – almost all Malayalee men had a moustache or a nice beard. About 60% of the population of Kerala are Hindus and the balance are equals of Christians and Muslims.

  • Asia and Pacific,  India,  Kerala

    Water, Air and Earth elements at Munnar

    Munnar, both in Malayalam (language of Kerala) and Tamil (language of Tamil Nadu), means three rivers, as it is the merging place of three mountain streams – Madurapuzha, Nallathanni and Kundale. I was well prepared for the 4-5 hours drive uphill. I always liked hill resorts especially the breathtaking foggy hill views you get as you go up the winding narrow roads. The Deepa World Spice and Ayurveda Plantation is a spice garden was established 37 years ago and it offers Ayurveda treatments. Anyone can walk into this plantation of medicinal plants and can request for a guided tour. This tour of the spice garden opened my eyes and brain…

  • Asia and Pacific,  India,  Kerala

    Look and See

    Explore Kerala by foot. See exotic spice plantations, hills with colonial bungalows, waterfalls, protected forests and animals. Walk through the numerous streets and watch people working hard at the mills, farms, workshops and homes. Maybe even see elephants and cows at work. Kerala is all about the outdoors. Either you take long leisurely walks or short breaks, don’t forget to stop at a tea shop and enjoy a cup of hot chai!

  • Asia and Pacific,  India,  Kerala

    Chinese Fishing Nets

    The Chinese fishing nets also known as “Cheenavala” in Malayalam language has been introduced to Cochin by Chinese Explorer Zheng He. Zheng He is from the court of Kublai Khan. Therefore the Chinese fishing nets were established in Cochin (Kochi) fron 1350 AND 1450 AD. The most popular icon of Fort Kochi is the row of Chinese fishing nets along the stretch of coast. Manoj said that traders from China introduced this type of fishing method. This seems to be the only place outside of China that still uses the Chinese fishing nets. Many fishermen are still earning their livelihood using this method. At a distance, the nets looked like…

  • Asia and Pacific,  India,  Kerala

    To Market to Market, to Buy a…………

    The bustling market places in all parts of Kerala are magical even when I was lethargic after walking in the oppressive sun for hours!! It was noisy with the sounds of vehicles honking at full volume, people bargaining and even the squawking of the chickens in the coop. You can buy anything from shoes to food to feed for the cattle. There were even vendors providing services example a knife sharpener, a blacksmith, tailors and cobblers. I have a feeling I can buy anything I want from this market except for branded goods maybe………..or maybe not.