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Kerala Backwaters KB

Visiting: India
Tour Duration 9 Days
 
Reviews for Kerala Backwaters 4.5 out of 5 based on 21 ratings.

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Tour notes

Each departure date has it's own dedicated tour note, detailing all you need to know about that tour. Whether you've already booked, or weighing up your options, please choose carefully the relevant itinerary for you.

We have the following different versions of the Kerala Backwaters tour available at present.

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5 Julie Holloway (Explore Staff), 19/03/15

Please Review Your Overall Experience And What Your Highlights Were

Cruising the tropical backwaters on the houseboat was my highlight, just watching the gentle pace of life go by amidst the most beautiful scenery. The crew laid on fantastic food, including afternoon tea! I will never forget the colours - the brightly painted houses, the beautiful saris, and everywhere is so green. We had a lot of fun at the homestay, Shayla dressed us in her saris, and Nina sang to us. I have never been to India before, but now I really want to explore it further, I loved it!

 

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4 Anthony Ford, 11/03/15

Please Review Your Overall Experience And What Your Highlights Were

This is a great tour. Kerala is packed full of colour and life without the extremes of some parts of northern India. Not so much about great historical sites Kerala is more about beautiful country side, happy people and great food. This is India so a relaxed attitude to accommodation standards is appropriate. However the accommodation in the Coir Village, backwaters houseboat and hotels in Kochin, Thekaddy and Munnar were well located and comfortable. Highlights: Almost to many to name - Backwaters and Houseboat, Periyar National Park, Coir Village, Kochin, fabulous local food and no tummy upsets!

 

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4 Lisa, 01/03/15

Please Review Your Overall Experience And What Your Highlights Were

This was my first time with Explore, I went on a land only basis so I could have a few days before and afterwards to relax on a beach. The itinery was at a reasonable pace allowing us to enjoy each part and the group were all really friendly. The highlight for me was the day and night on the backwaters, beautiful scenery, calm and tranquil with daily life on the water ways unfolding before our eyes. We were divided into four small groups and had wonderful food prepared for us on each boat. Munnar tea plantations was also a highlight, it was simply stunning! The beautiful green of the tea plants as far as the eye could see with the mountain back drop made for a wonderful sight. I took many photos that day. We were lucky enough to see elephants, bison, deer and monkeys at the National park as well as many birds, it was a lovely early morning walk followed by breakfast.

 

 

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Our Response

Thank you for your feedback.  We were sorry you were disappointed with the homestay experience.  Our local staff select homes where at least one member of the family speaks English, as a priority: but perhaps the enthusiasm of the family for hosting strangers in their home should be the main criterion.  It’s always possible to communicate non-verbally with a bit of goodwill and inventiveness!  We have asked our local agent to contact all the homes we use to ensure that the families still want our customers to stay there.

Thank you for your feedback.  We were sorry you were disappointed with the homestay experience.  Our local staff select homes where at least one member of the family speaks English, as a priority: but perhaps the enthusiasm of the family for hosting strangers in their home should be the main criterion.  It’s always possible to communicate non-verbally with a bit of goodwill and inventiveness!  We have asked our local agent to contact all the homes we use to ensure that the families still want our customers to stay there.

 
4.5 Jonathan Dobres, 12/01/15

What was the highlight or most memorable moment of your tour?

Good start as there were no hick ups with administration/flight arrangements, met at airport in in India and driven to hotel in early hours as planned - which was a relief and a good start to the holiday. The Tour guide was highly professional and dealt with all background admin/tips and minor issues seamlessly. He was also a very interesting character with huge background knowledge. Highlights for me were probably Kerela backwater boat journey looking at diverse facinating riverside activity and also the trip to the southern most tip of India (optional) which only 3 people went on...because of small numbers it ended up being a trip by taxi in early hours. I was surprised to find that the southern tip of the sub continent in Tamil Nadu was actually a major pilgrimage place for Tamil people and we were surrounded by countless thousands of happy Tamils in holiday mood -a hugely uplifting experience. Also on way back the guide/taxi driver suggested we visit a Hindu temple. A major religious festival was taking place and the temple turned out to be a vast granite edifice totally surpassing my expectations...we were surrounded by happy Hindus taking part in their festival ..a huge cart was being constructed with religious artefacts on top which was apparently to be pulled round the temple site by thousands of believers? Best of all though was that myself and my two fellow travellers were shown round the heart of this temple by a young priest... we appeared to be the only Europeans in the temple and our priestly guide gave heartfelt and detailed explanations of this spiritual place including demonstrating granite columns which could make musical notes! Too many other incredible things to describe here...had a wonderful time.

Mind blowing and exceeded my expectations

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4.5 John, 01/12/14

What was the highlight or most memorable moment of your tour?

Watching up to 50 fishermen hauling in their nets for their morning catch on Kovalam beach. They fish as a cooperative. Eating fresh fish that evening in one of the many of the fish restaurants with views of the sea. The fresh fish all over Kerala was excellent.

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4.5 Natasha Eagling, 26/11/14

What was the highlight or most memorable moment of your tour?

My three top highlights were the elephants in Thekkady, the backwaters (incl. the boat race we saw!) and meeting the lovely, friendly locals. A busy but relaxing holiday, with lovely food and an amazing time.

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4 Peter Duerden, 09/09/14

What was the highlight or most memorable moment of your tour?

The Impromptu home vist at Coir Village resort. Staying with Simi and Matthew at the homestay was lovely and we all enjoyed the cookery lesson in Thekkady.

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Our Response

Thank you for your feedback.  We were sorry the Hawaii Beach hotel wasn’t in the condition it should have been.  It’s a typical Explore hotel, and we’ve used it for several years – but we are aware there were issues with its cleanliness on a couple of departures in 2014.  Our Indian agent has addressed this, and we understand all was well on the remaining departures.  Of course if there should be any further issues, we’ll review our use of this hotel.

 
5 Kathleen Quinlivan, 04/03/14

What was the highlight or most memorable moment of your tour?

There were so many highlights on this tour, however the beauty of the Tea Plantation was a joy and I should have loved to spend longer in that area. The visit with Sally and Joseph at Mancombu Village was a night I shall never forget. They were so welcoming and friendly and willing to talk about their way of life. The food Sally prepared was excellent.

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5 , 18/02/14

Name

Marylou Evans

Tour Name

Kerala backwaters

Tour Code

KB

What Was The Highlight Or Most Memorable Moment Of Your Tour

So many highlights but for me, meeting Meena and Indira, the elephants, was a dream come true. We washed Meena and showered with her and then Indira took us for a ride. such beautiful animals. I felt very humbled by the experience

Tour Leader Name

Rejanish

How Was Your Explore Tour Leader

Rejanish was the best of the best. He was aware from the very first day of individual needs. He managed to fit in extras when they were requested and he was full of knowledge of all the places we visited. Rejanish was fun, confident and made our whole Indian experience very special.

What Tips Would You Give To Someone Else Booking This Tour

Don't take too many clothes, you can get them laundered and you can buy clothes so cheaply or have them made in a day. Take hand gel and loo roll and sandals are great as they are easy to take on and off. Go wit an open mind and just enjoy!

Do You Have Anything Else To Add

It was the perfect way to see many parts of southern India on a budget. Take part in all the activities so you experience everything, try eating out in the local cafes and try the street food, it's amazing. We have fallen in love with india and its people and can't wait to go back

 
5 Jenny Brown, 22/03/13

What was the highlight or most memorable moment of your tour?

Excellent trip as filled out on your form before leaving Kerala.

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5 Peggy, 07/03/13

What was the highlight or most memorable moment of your tour?

Backwaters boat tour, Homestay, Periyar, Joining Festival

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4 Drusilla Isabel Nicholson, 17/01/13

What was the highlight or most memorable moment of your tour?

"Unscheduled - attending a big wedding (the groom was a friend of the tour leader) and New Year's Eve at the YMCA

Scheduled - the houseboats on the waterways"

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3 Janet Dunn, 17/01/13

What was the highlight or most memorable moment of your tour?

Cooking class in Kovalam

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Our Response

Depending on the time when a customer books, flight availability can change. It is of course always possible to book any of our holidays on a Land Only basis, however many of our customers prefer to be ATOL protected.  

 
4 Peter Fellowes, 26/11/12

What was the highlight or most memorable moment of your tour?

The energy of the country and the lovely countryside. The backwaters were lovely and peaceful.

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5 Steve, 23/08/12

What was the highlight or most memorable moment of your tour?

Watching sun set over Kochi and chinese fishing nets as we sat on sea front veranda eating our lobster , which probably only came to £5 each with wine.

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5 Steve, 23/08/12

What was the highlight or most memorable moment of your tour?

Watching sun set over Kochi and chinese fishing nets as we sat on sea front veranda eating our lobster , which probably only came to £5 each with wine.

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5 Daphne Major, 17/07/12

What was the highlight or most memorable moment of your tour?

We loved the time spent on the backwaters, just gliding through the emerald green waterways, with glimpses of timeless village life - women washing clothes, children swimming and men shepherding ducks across the water or collecting sand from the depths. Everyone smiled and waved as we went by. We were impressed by the facilities on the boat - we even had our own en suite! We also enjoyed the homestay on the backwaters - the family were very welcoming - the two grown-up children spoke excellent English and taught us to play a typical Indian board game - we lost, of course! The house was on the edge of a rice field, with goats and chickens running around the garden. It was a real village atmosphere.

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0 Naomi, 11/01/12
I loved every day of this holiday. Kerala is a hidden jewel I had not even heard of a year before our trip. Of all the highlights, my favourite things were the three days relaxing on the backwaters (it was like being in paradise) and trying the local food (which was so full of flavour and not nearly as spicy as I was expecting - probably dampened down for westerners!). Our tour guide and driver really added to the experience and were both fun and knowledgable.
 
0 Roy Brown, 11/02/11
Highlights - Kerala Backwaters on the boat. Tea plantations. Unexpected. - We had a very long flight home via The Maldives. We had to stay on the plane for an hour on The Maldives runway. Throughout the booking procedure I was never informed that we would be stopping at The Maldives. All my Explore paperwork made no mention of this. So it felt like Explore had been rather underhand in this matter. (KB - 11th January 2011)
 
0 John Sturley, 31/12/10
Highlights were the houseboat, homestay and cooking demonstration/meal at the tour leader's family home. (KB- 30th November 2010)
 
0 Sarah Campbell, 22/09/10
Waking up to the sounds of the Arabian Sea outside the hotel was a good start, relaxing on the boat whilst sailing through the backwaters was making it heavenly. Fantastic time playing with the kids at the home stay then checking you had no leeches in your socks at Periyar- this tour was so chilled and fun, it was the perfect unwinding holiday. If you fancy trying some toddy, learning to make a curry and maybe even trying your hand at Chinese net fishing in Fort Kochi this is a fantastic trip. They call Kerala God's Own Country - it certainly is! (KB- 1st December 2008)
 
 
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