Kerala’s port city of Kochi is a big tourist draw, with its complex history reflected in both the culture and architecture. From Chinese fishing nets, ancient mosques and spice markets, to the remains of the British Raj, Dutch palaces and Portuguese houses. Explorers were brought here by the spice trade and created the cultural melting pot that is Kochi today.
Most people stay in the Fort Cochin area (although there is no longer fort) which seems to be the most touristy part. We did get a kind of ‘Best Exotic Marigold Hotel on Tour’ vibe – lots of elderly westerners wandering around in sensible sandals and floppy sun hats – but it was quite an interesting place to explore.
Chinese Fishing Nets
On the shore are the famous Chinese fishing nets, which now seem to just be a big tourist attraction due to the lack of fish and more modern fishing methods. You can go down and have a go at operating the nets – you’ll be asked for a tip of course!
Other parts to explore
We stayed about a ten minute auto rickshaw ride from Fort Cochin in the area Chullickal. We actually found it a much more interesting place to walk around and see people going about their daily lives.
Other attractions in the area are the Mattancherry Palace, also known as the Dutch Palace and the Pardesi Synagogue in ‘Jew town’ – another atmospheric place to wander around.
One of the best places to eat is a restaurant called Dal Roti. If you’re craving some North Indian food, they do excellent giant kati rolls with a choice of fillings, it was some of the tastiest food we had on the whole trip.
Have you been to Kochi? What are your thoughts and recommendations?