Alappuzha (formerly called as Alleppey) is widely know as the “Venice of the East” due to the large network of inland canals. These canals form one of the key lifelines for the locals and also provide a perfect setting for tourism. The best way to explore these canals are by staying in a houseboat – which is a very unique experience in itself.
Kumarakom and Alappuzha are located on the east and the south banks of the Vembanad Lake. The backwaters of Alappuzha have been major tourist attraction in Kerala for sometime now, but Kumarakom is also fast becoming a sought after destination to explore the backwaters. Both these places provide a wide range of houseboats that you can stay. Choosing between Kumarakom and Alappuzha is best left to your choice – if you want to explore the beaches and visit few monuments in the city, stay at Alappuzha and if you want to a quiet, relaxed vacation close to nature, stay at Kumarakom.
We looked online to book a houseboat during our visit to Kumarakom. The first thing that struck us was, the sheer amount of information that was available. There were so many sites offering help and assistance to book the houseboats that we were lost amongst the sea of information :). After lot of deliberation, we decided to reach out to the resort (Kumarakom Lake Resort) where we had booked our stay to check if they had any recommendations.
To our surprise, they came back mentioning that they have their own houseboats and we did not think twice and went ahead and booked our stay in the houseboat for a day. Even though the prices quoted were a bit high (similar houseboats were available at a cheaper rate in Alappuzha), we did not want to take any chance. We were a single couple and it was our first experience in a houseboat and some bad reviews on few sites swayed our decision.
Houseboat Tariff: Alappuzha has loads of options and thus there is some scope to negotiate the prices. In Kumarakom, you will not find that many options and the rates are thus fixed.
After staying 3 days in the resort, (Read my blog about our stay in the resort) we moved to the houseboat on the 4th day for our day long sojourn in a houseboat. We were very excited this was the first time we were going to stay in a houseboat. A picture is worth thousand words – so I am going to share our experience as a slideshow below 🙂
Note: You have the option to dock by a village overnight and return to the resort in the morning. Our captain recommended that it is a very unique experience to spend a night under the clear skies in one of the villages. Unfortunately, we had to early morning departure to Kovalam the next day and thus had to head back to the resort overnight
The houseboat took us through the backwaters of Kumarakom & Alleppey and took us into an entirely new world. We were taken aback by the serenity and tranquillity that this place had to offer and words alone cannot describe it – One has to experience it !
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