Kerala Backwaters – Don’t Miss the Kayak Tour!

Posted By Jeremy in Asia | 5 comments

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Kayaking on the backwaters of KeralaWhen exploring the backwaters of Kerala, India, renting a house boat is often the preferred activity.  These large floating boats can include every amenity you’d expect from home, and unfortunately come with the price tag to match.

We knew going into our backwater tour of Alleppey that the house boats would be far outside our budget.  Instead, we looked towards the more intimate tours on smaller boats that get into the narrow channels these floating houses could never dream of reaching.

Our mode of transportation for this journey? Kayaks. 

Armed with our paddles and a trusty guide, we began to explore the backwaters to see what life is truly like in this part of the world in a way not many visitors get to experience.The following photo essay is put together in similar theme to our “Views from My Tuk Tuk” entry from Angkor Wat, Cambodia.  In keeping with this theme, all photos featured in this photo essay were taken directly from the kayak.

Kayaking on the backwaters of Kerala
The hardest part off the day is getting used to operating a two person kayak.
Kayaking on the backwaters of Kerala
We obviously took too many photos when we should have been paddling.
Kayaking on the backwaters of Kerala
So we gave up and switched so Angie could paddle in the back and I could do half paddling, half photo taking.
Kayaking on the backwaters of Kerala
The narrow channels of the backwaters are too small for the house boats, and are lined with small homes of the locals.
Kayaking on the backwaters of Kerala
Kayakers are a bit of an oddity in the backwaters, so many locals came out to say hello and wave as we paddled by.
Kayaking on the backwaters of Kerala
Naturally, tourism and fishing are too of the biggest income sources in the region, and massive rice fields can be seen on either side of these narrow water channels which are harvested by the community.
Kayaking on the backwaters of Kerala
One of the best parts about kayaking on the backwaters in these small channels is the bird watching.  As you can paddle through undisturbed waters, the birds are not scared away by constant noise of motors and people.
Kayaking on the backwaters of Kerala
Overall, it is an incredibly relaxing and beautiful way to experience the famous backwaters of Kerala!

Exploring the backwaters in Alleppey is a must-do activity for all visitors to Kerala.   As the channels get smaller and smaller as you get away from the main rivers, the big houseboats become unable to get into them.  For those who restrict their experience only to these giant boats, you’ll be missing out on seeing what the region is truly all about.

To get that, you have to go smaller, and a kayak is the perfect way to enjoy it all.

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We selected the photos in this post purposefully to avoid over sharing some of the beautiful scenery we saw on our trip.  To get it all yourself, this is one place you need to make plans to visit real soon!

Looking for more places to explore in Southern India?Why not check out the places to visit in Munnar (such as the world’s highest organic tea plantation) or the many India beaches that are worth your time.


Jeremy founded Living the Dream in 2008 to chronicle his long-term trip around Asia. Since then he has been on two long-term trips, visited 68 countries, and is just getting started. He is now on a Lifestyle Design quest to build businesses to pursue a life of travel.

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  1. Well Mr Escape Hunter..If you are afraid. Dont come to Kerala. Did we ask you to visit Kerala ? No right.. Come if you like to see the places & we cant tell the mosquitoes to quit coz you are coming.

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    • Telling people not to go to Kerala? How “kind”.
      Terrible hospitality.
      Let’s not go to Kerala…

      Post a Reply
  2. What comes to my mind when seeing those photos: feet uncovered for mosquitoes to bite on! And I bet there are a lot of contagious diseases out there in Kerala!

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  3. That looks fantastic! Next time I make it to India, this is definitely on my to do list.

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