Am I nuts to plan a Kerala Trip in July during Monsoons?

#1 Apr 6th, 2011, 20:13
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#1
We will be visiting friends and family in India this July, I know the timing is bad but kids can only travel during summer vacation. I am probably nuts to plan a trip to Kerala during July Monsoons but thanks to threads on IndiaMike, I saw way too many people claiming that Kerala is most beautiful during rainy season and is worth a visit as long as beaches are avoided. Please do let me know if this is a crazy idea as I will be travelling with little ones.

I can also use some help with Itinerary, here is what my 6 day plan looks like:

Day 1 (Kochi) - arrive at Kochi airport from Mumbai, stay at some homestay in Fort Kochi and do 2 hours evening cruise
Day 2 (Munnar) - do a quick morning tour of Kodanad elephant camp, and then drive to Munnar via the athirapally waterfalls
Day 3 (Munnar)- Visit Eravikulam National Park and tea estates and optionally the Mattupetti Dam in Munnar
Day 4 (Kumarkom)- Drive to Kumarkom in morning and check in at Vivanta Taj at Kumarkom, rent a houseboat for 3-4 hours on backwaters and then spend night at hotel
Day 5 (Kochi) - Get some ayurveda massage (Shirodhara) at some spa around Kumarkom and then drive back to Kochi to spend night back at a home stay
Day 6 - See Chinese Fishing nets in morning and then off to airport for flight back to Mumbai

Does the above plan seem doable or needs major changes? Is Taj at Kumarkom worth the price or is it better to stick with homestay in Kerala? Any good places for Shirodhara around Kumarkom? Should we stay in Allepy vs Kumarkom for backwaters? With kids, I would prefer not to spend a night in houseboat during Monsoons, any suggestions on what is the best thing to do for day cruise in backwaters?

And many thanks to everyone on IndiaMike forums as all the members have provided tons of useful info for planning.
#2 Apr 6th, 2011, 20:34
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#2

Thumbs up

Last 2008 I've been 15-20 days in Kerala during monsoon from Paravur in south Kerala to Bekal in north Kerala. The time was great with some rains mostly by night. Probably my best stay in Kerala. The stronger rains came at Mangalore airport waiting my flight to Mumbai.

Jorge
#3 Apr 6th, 2011, 20:36
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#3
2nd day: Is n't it too much travel with kids. Visiting Eravikulam in July may not be a good idea. There, you should expect rain at all times. It can be dull.

Coconut Lagoon, kumarakom offer good price at this time. And houseboat cruise is better around Alleppey. Kumarakom lake in rain - not a good idea.
#4 Apr 6th, 2011, 21:14
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#4

Sujith, thanks for the input.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sujith_kochi View Post 2nd day: Is n't it too much travel with kids. Visiting Eravikulam in July may not be a good idea. There, you should expect rain at all times. It can be dull.

Coconut Lagoon, kumarakom offer good price at this time. And houseboat cruise is better around Alleppey. Kumarakom lake in rain - not a good idea.
We were thinking of renting a car with driver from Kochi to Munnar, I think drive to Kodanad is only about 1.5 hours and then another 1 hour from Kodanad to athirapally falls and then about 3 hours from athirapally to Munnar. So if we leave at 7 am and spend couple of hours each at Kodanad and falls then we should still be at Munnar by 5 pm. Of course, it is a plan and we will skip the athirapally falls if delayed due to say rain

I will look at hotels in Allepy, was thinking Taj will be a good place for kids if rains too much to try a houseboat. The reviews for Coconut Lagoon, kumarakom were mixed on Trip Advisor. The 1000/2000off deal on Travelocity will help reduce the Taj rate.
#5 Apr 7th, 2011, 00:06
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#5
In Alleppey you can stay beside the lake in very good places like the one I stayed last time:

website: http://www.geocities.com/palmyresorts

Here you have a couple of reports about the site:

by Nick-H on Jul 12, 2010. Rating:
Again in the first week of July, two years since our previous trip, we spent another week here. Last time we a week of sunshine; this time we had a lot of rain. It was still good. Despite the weather, there were a number of other guests this time, and despite us not being the only ones, we still had lots of personally attention ... read more
A nice, clean budget place to stay
by NowInBangalore on Oct 13, 2008. Rating:
On recommendation from IM, we stayed here in early October. This
Quiet and nice place to stay in Allepey
by Jorge Reverter on Jul 24, 2008. Rating:
I was also at a cottage at Palmy Resort last week. The resort is worth the price you pay, they arrange ayurveda massages in a place next to the resort and obviously boats for you.I can recommend to stay there even if it isn't in front of the Punnamada Lake. ... read more
A relaxing base, close to nature
by Nick-H on Jul 23, 2008. Rating:
Although bordering on wetlands connected to the lake, Palmy is not actually on the Lake. In fact it is just behind Keralayam Hotel. Although they have independent cottages, they bill themsleves as a Homestay, not a hotel. Do not expect Hotel facilities; this is a home-cooking establishment. They have a dining room in their ... read more

Don't be affraid about the rains. If it rains during the day just change the program.

Jorge
#6 Apr 7th, 2011, 19:37
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#6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jorge Reverter View Post In Alleppey you can stay beside the lake in very good places like the one I stayed last time:

website: http://www.geocities.com/palmyresorts

Jorge
Jorge, thanks for the suggestion, I will look for info on Palmy Resorts, the geocities link does not open though.

I am still divided on Allepy vs Kumarkom too
#7 Apr 7th, 2011, 19:59
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#7

Question Itinerary tips for Monsoon

I have read people suggesting to stay away from cities during rains so should I avoid spending any time at Kochi?

Any tips from the experienced travelers on Itinerary considering that it's Monsoon:

Kodanad elephant camp (do elephants come out if it rains?)
Athirapally Waterfalls (will the roads be alright?)
Eravikulam National Park and Munnar Tea estates (leeches?)
Kumarkom vs Allepy for backwaters (lake vs canals)

I am avoiding Wayanad/thekkedy as it can be hard to see wild life during rains plus mosquitoes and leeches will sure be in extra supply in the forests. true?
#8 Apr 7th, 2011, 20:08
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#8
As mentioned by Jorge re Palmy at Alleppey, I have been to Kerala in July two or three times. However, our trips have not much been travelling trips, but more settling down and relaxing in a place that I like trips. Travel should be fine, though, but you might need some flexibility to reschedule in case of really bad weather.
Quote:
Originally Posted by sujith_kochi View Post Coconut Lagoon, kumarakom offer good price at this time. And houseboat cruise is better around Alleppey. Kumarakom lake in rain - not a good idea.
How "good" I wonder? I used to stay here when I had a UK job/salary, but, even then it was expensive. Quite fell in love with the place (and one or two of the staff ) but wasn't expecting to ever be able to afford it again.
#9 Apr 7th, 2011, 20:42
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#9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick-H View Post How "good" I wonder? I used to stay here when I had a UK job/salary, but, even then it was expensive. Quite fell in love with the place (and one or two of the staff ) but wasn't expecting to ever be able to afford it again.
Coconut Lagoon at Kumarakom is as pricey as Taj Vivanta, both are comparable 4-star hotels and will cost about INR5000 a night even during off season. Does anyone know if these two hotels have any houseboats available for a day cruise around Kumarkom/Allepy canals and lake?

Has anyone tried the houseboats from Coconut Creek Farm homestay, any suggestions on houseboat day cruise at Kumarkom or Allepy?
#10 Apr 7th, 2011, 21:01
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#10
Quote:
Originally Posted by sujith_kochi View Post Kumarakom lake in rain - not a good idea.
Sujith, how is a lake in rain worse than canals in the rain?

Has anyone used Tharavadu House Boats for a day cruise in Kumarkom?
#11 Apr 15th, 2011, 21:02
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#11
During rains, the backwaters around Kumarakom wouod be rough and windy. You could easily get wet in the living room of the boat. And little bit unsafe as well.

It would be different in canals around Alleppey.
#12 Apr 15th, 2011, 21:17
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#12
Quote:
Originally Posted by sujith_kochi View Post During rains, the backwaters around Kumarakom wouod be rough and windy. You could easily get wet in the living room of the boat. And little bit unsafe as well.

It would be different in canals around Alleppey.
Thanks for the tip, Sujith. Then Allepy makes more sense, do you have any suggestions for hotel that can also arrange a day cruise?

Lemon Tree Vembanad Lake Resort looks nice but pricey, there are also good reviews of Ashtamudi Homestay.
#13 Apr 15th, 2011, 22:12
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#13
The 4-5 star hotels just take a houseboat and increase the price another 30-40 %. There are dozens of houseboats waiting for you...
and in my opinion is worth to take a couple of times a normal boat (rowing boat) to move around 3-4 hours and probably you'll get a better backwater's experience.

If interested have a look at some of my pictures taken in Alleppey:
http://jreverter.smugmug.com/Other/India-2008-Alleppey/

You can also get a different experience of the backwaters a Munrothurutu:
http://jreverter.smugmug.com/Other/I...-Munrothurutu/


Jorge

All the pictures of this galleries have been taken during monsoon time: second half of July. So, don't be too much worried. The glass can be half empty or almost full.
#14 Apr 17th, 2011, 11:54
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#14
Below is a quote from a IM member who was recently in Allepey.

"The Malayamum [sp ] Resort was incredible...absolute perfect position. Thomas and Jose ensured that i got the best room [thanks Vandy ]which is the new upstairs one with commanding views over the water and jungle. They organised a small boat for 4 hours at 300R as well as the next day a Houseboat for a paltry 4500R.."

The small boat he refers to is called a Country Boat, highly reccomended and pretty cheap for a wonderfull experience on the smaller backwater canals.

Here are a few pics of the 2 new upstairs rooms at Malayalam Homestay resort which is on the waters edge in front of Palmy Resort and next door to Keralayeem.

Sitting on the upstairs verandah watching the world go by with a cup of chai/coffee/kingfisher beer or maybe a gin & tonic whether it be Monsson time or not I don't think would really matter. I would also envisage the room rate would be a reduced rate during Monsoon period,June/July/August, so called OFF Season.
@ Jorge, had a peek at your Allepey pics, very nice mate.

vandy
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#15 Apr 17th, 2011, 12:00
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#15
You are absolutely not nuts to plan your visit to Kerala in monsoon. Monsoon rejuvenates the vegetation and believe me they are more vibrant and mesmerizing, enticing in monsoon then in any other season!
Trust me!

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