Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A Sweet Retreat in Kerala's Backwaters

Hey, all. Here's another guest post. This time from my BFF, B. You might remember that I mentioned her wedding late last year. She and her new husband went to India on their honeymoon in January. They found a relaxing retreat in southern India's Kerala.

When my husband and I chose to spend two-weeks in India for our honeymoon, friends and family thought we were crazy. Didn’t we want to go somewhere purely relaxing where we could lie on a beach and people could bring us beer and fruity drinks with little paper umbrellas? Our response was instant and unwavering - we were beyond excited to have an opportunity to spend 2 weeks experiencing through such a beautiful and unique country.

We found both excitement and relaxation in Kerala. We spent five days in Kerala, a region of India at the southern-most tip of the country. To say that it was one of the most beautiful and exhilarating places that I have ever visited does not begin to do it justice. We spent our first two and a half days at the Kumarakom Resort, a sprawling tropical resort nested deep in the Keralan backwaters. We arrived from the airport and were greeted in their open-air “lobby” with cool face towels and fresh coconuts. In contrast to how tight and packed everything had been in Delhi - or even how packed everything is in our home in New York City, our resort had no walls (except for the guest rooms). Everything from the restaurants to the spa was open, and I had the feeling of being on a remote island that had only recently been discovered.

I had been excited to try South Indian food, as I was much more familiar with the Moghul-influenced food of the north. The food was incredible! The most common foods/ flavors involved coconut, banana, and rice (three of my favorite things!) and everything was very light compared to northern food. Our breakfast buffet included both South Indian specialties such Uttapam (rice pancakes), idlis (steamed rice cakes) with a curry or coconut chutney, and Sambhar (a spicy vegetable stew), as well as traditional western dishes like pancakes. Afternoon tea, which they served everyday on the shores of the canals, consisted of chai, fresh coconuts, and various treats such as fried bananas.

We spent our final two and a half days in Kerala on a houseboat. I hadn’t known what to expect when I signed us up for a houseboat tour. I had seen pictures online of the various boats, and brief descriptions of the tours, but nothing had prepared me for how amazing the experience actually was.

We were on a houseboat with two hotel-room-sized bedrooms, two full bathrooms, a kitchen, a dining room, and an open-air deck. For two days we relaxed on the boat, meandering through miles of backwater canals and watching a whole new world float by. The best way to describe what we saw is with pictures:


Maya said...

What a great post! My family is from Kerala originally, so it's close to my heart. It's one of the most beautiful places in the world, for sure.

BigAppleNosh said...

How cool! My brother-in-law's family is from Kerala; I hope to visit someday.

Diana said...

What an experience. I dont think anything in life could compare to a honeymoon like this one. Sometimes its better to share an experience like this one than just lying on the beach together. Great photos.


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