"Kovalam..A New Year , A New Country." Top 5 Page for this destination Kovalam by suvanki

Kovalam Travel Guide: 153 reviews and 335 photos

Arrival December 28th 2003

I had 3 days to get to know Kovalam before setting off on a 5 day tour of Kerala. (please visit my Kerala, Periyar, Munnar and Cochin pages to read about this tour)

My 1st visit to India, Kerala had been at the top of my list of "Must See "places for many years, and finally I was here!..I felt I knew Kovalam fairly well, having devoured guide books, newspaper and magazine articles over the years. I'd even researched Kovalam for an assignment, when undergoing a holiday rep course..and at my interview for a certain holiday company, When asked to speak for 2 mins on a favourite destination(unprepared) I gushed forth about this resort..I got the job!

So it was quite interesting to recognise the sights, hotels,and restaurants that I "knew"

Kovalam was a bigger resort than I'd imagined, the junction being further away than I'd expected. The restaurants were more developed than I'd imagined too.

I soon settled into the resort, though found the vendors a bit persistant....think the pale white skin was a big giveaway..New Arrival!!......

Having been warned about being stared at on the beach etc, I was a bit hesitant , but book and Walkman in hand I braved Hawa Beach...Apart from a few venders, who weren't too persistant, a group of students,who asked me to fill in a questionaire about my impressions of Kovalam, and a few locals stopping to say hello I wasn't too hassled.

As I was about to leave the beach, I was given a flyer for a Kathakali performance that night. I was due to see a performance as part of my tour, but this was something that I really wanted to see..so that was my evening sorted!

The next day I joined a trip to Trivandrum (organised through Manos, for convenience...didn't have the time, or energy to search out cheaper options) just 5 in the group, so quite comfortable, and we got to see quite a bit, some things that I wouldn't have known about if I'd done the trip independently. The guide was also very knowledgeable.

Up early next day to join the Spice Route tour.....collected by the guide,we walked to meet the bus that was parked some distance away, this gave me the chance to see an area away from the beach, which was quite interesting, we even passed a wedding party on the way.

Return to Kovalam January 4th 2004

After a thoroughly enjoyable trip to Periyar, Munnar and Cochin, I returned to Kovalam for some rest and more sightseeing. 6 days to experience more of Kerala.

I soon settled back to beach life, taking it easy for the first 2 days. meeting up with friends that I'd made on the trip, just relaxing by their hotel pool, exploring the pathways away from the beach, dropping into the restaurants for a snack or cooling drink.

Nightime was spent in the restaurants, enjoying a spicy meal of chicken or fish, my favourite being anything with Tiger Prawns!! They were HUGE!! and delicious.

A couple of evenings I visited a bar and restaurant where there was live music playing.....Don't think I'll ever forget a local group that was playing rock and blues music, these were men of mature years, who were really enjoying playing and dancing..the highlight for me being a tamborine solo during "Smoke on the water"!!!! Don't think Deep Purple envisaged that version!!

The main attraction of Kerala that inspired me to visit this part of India was The Backwaters.... although I'd glimpsed views of these on my travels, I wanted to experience a boat journey along these waterways.

Manos had a trip which included time spent with elephants, then an afternoon on the Backwaters.

The morning was spent with elephants (see my Must Do attractions tip) Then after lunch, we boarded a punted boat......this was its maiden voyage...we sat on chairs under a canopy which protected us from the sun, but enabled vision all around. Slowly we were punted off for a voyage of stunning beauty. Surrounded by coconut groves, we drifted along. Sea eagles, herons, kingfishers and other birds I didn't recognise flew overhead, a school of flying fish appeared at the side of the boat.

Local children waved to us, or shyly stared. Mothers bathed their children and even their cattle in the water! Fishermen, patiently waited for their bite.

After drifting along for maybe a couple of hours (I completely lost track of time), we returned to the minibus and headed for Varkala Beach, where we spent just under an hour.

Time to walk down the steep cliff path, have a swim in the warm blue sea, then treck back up the cliff. I was amused to see a tree decorated with cotton wool and christmas decorations at the top of the climb.( I had forgotten that it was just after the festivities)... how different the weather to back home!

Last few days of my holiday

Another trip to the Backwaters was booked independently, this time I was going on a sunset cruise.

A small group of us waited by the riverbank, as various family members carried dining chairs onto the dug out punt, before we could board!


Slowly we set off along the Backwaters, gliding past small shacks, with the smell of fires, and cooking food, again all aspects of life taking part in or alongside the river. We pulled into the bankside to visit a Temple elephant, then reboarded our vessel to travel through narrow streams off the main river. Ducking to avoid the dense overhead vegetation, we could hear music playing- we were approaching the Temple.
To be continued....

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:A Good Base Plenty to see and do!
  • Cons:Some might consider it too commercialised
  • In a nutshell:Half way to Paradise!
  • Last visit to Kovalam: Jan 2004
  • Intro Updated Nov 18, 2007
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Reviews (26)

Comments (20)

  • marvelous_girl's Profile Photo
    Feb 5, 2011 at 11:45 AM

    Kthakali is my favourite type of dance.u have duilt a lovely page about Kovalam.i wish to watch it live some day.

  • kat-m's Profile Photo
    Jul 14, 2010 at 10:04 AM

    just started to read your kerala pages, going next january so expect a few visits from me.

  • Mar 20, 2009 at 5:20 AM

    Well the paste that was applied to your forehead must be sandal wood paste. It is believed to have medicinal properties and gives an instant cooling effect. And 'protecting hindus from tourists' well thats absolutely wrong info.

  • mikkie50's Profile Photo
    Nov 5, 2008 at 1:40 PM

    ha ha ha had to laugh at this post re the fruit seller mikkie:-))

  • scottishvisitor's Profile Photo
    Oct 30, 2008 at 2:28 PM

    I so enjoyed my virtural tour here = but you would never get me on an elephant :) even if it did feel like a leather couch I would still fall off!!

  • ELJHEM's Profile Photo
    Apr 18, 2008 at 9:59 AM

    The Rock Cafe is a great place to sit and watch.

  • Mar 5, 2008 at 9:13 AM

    this was really interesting, I felt as if I had been there personally. gained a lot of insight, thanks

  • GenuinelyCurious's Profile Photo
    Oct 19, 2007 at 12:52 PM

    Some really unique and interesting shots of the lighthouse beach. Especially like the traditional fishing boat surrounded by tourists.

  • kenHuocj's Profile Photo
    May 8, 2007 at 11:12 AM

    lots of useful tips, thanks for insights ;-)))

  • Jan 21, 2006 at 8:57 AM

    Babu is the least pushy because he makes enough money and doesnt want to sell for a low price when he knows he can get more from a lesser knowing tourist! He didnt like me,lol, i refused to pay what he was asking...

suvanki

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