How do you sum up an amazing 3 weeks full of adventures from morning to night into just one post? You simply can’t, but I’ll do my best at picking my top 21 favorite moments and things I did in Kerala!
During my trip to Kerala, one of the first things I got to do was visit a rescued elephant park! This was such a surreal moment, watching elephants basically free in the jungles. We got there early enough to watch them being bathed and I actually got into the water and helped clean the elephants with a piece of coconut! AMAZING! (Watch my elephant experience on YouTube: Washing Elephants In Kerala, India!)
2. The Food
Completely obsessed with the food in India! Most of the time, I had no idea what the heck I was even eating! But whatever it was, it was amazing! I’ve been a vegetarian for 21 years and I absolutely LOVE spicy food, so everything I ate was incredible and delicious. Most Indian’s are vegetarians and eat little to no meat, so I was in food heaven!
For yearsss, I have been waiting for the moment to FINALLY wear my very own sari and feel like an Indian princess! This dream came true, when the amazing Raviz Resort in Kollam, surprised us on arrival and told us they have arranged saris for all of us to wear in our welcoming Bollywood style dinner, which was AMAZING!!! I later got to relive the moment where we once again got another pair of sari towards the end of our trip for a formal ‘sadya’ meal that is served on a banana leaf. I also bought myself 2 other beautiful blue and aqua saris, which I can’t wait to wear!
4. Sleeping On A Houseboat In The Backwaters
This was by far, the BEST thing I did in Kerala and probably one of the best moments of my life. (Check out: Sleeping On Houseboats In The Backwaters Of Kerala, India)
5. Getting A Henna Tattoo In India
This has always been a bucket list item for me and I ended up getting both sides of my hands done and both my feet! I always loved henna tattoos and get them randomly done in Venice Beach in Los Angeles. But there is definitely something special about getting it done in India by great artist, who can create a master piece in a few short minutes.
6. The Monkeys
OH MY GOSH! There is nothing more adorable than seeing monkeys walking around in the jungles of Kerala! My favorite was watching the mothers carrying around their babies. I probably saw over 100 monkeys in just a few days. In fact, one of the hotels I was staying at in Wayanad, Vythiri Resort, had them everywhere! They would randomly appear everywhere I went, even playing on the roof of my Villa at the Vythiri Resort. They literally lit up my day every second I saw them!
7. The Locals
The locals of Kerala, India were just INCREDIBLE! I have been all over the world and have never met such kind and welcoming people. Each individual so special, kind and caring. Many of which, do speak English, to my surprise. Everyone wanted to get to know us better, take photos with us and make sure we were having the time of our lives, which we were. To be honest, the people of Kerala, are a big reason I fell in love with the country.
8. The Amazing Greeting At Each Hotel
Every single hotel we checked into had something special for us waiting at our arrival. Some welcomed us with beautiful necklaces and exotic welcome drinks, others welcomed us with live traditional music and some even with Elephants (Greenwoods Resort)! But always giving us a ‘Bindi’ (mark on the forehead) which I loved each and every time! This isn’t your traditional way of being welcomed to a regular hotel but without a doubt, the BEST way of arriving at a hotel. I’m really gonna miss this very much the next time I just check into a hotel. Kerala definitely spoiled us!
9. Everything Is SO Cheap!
India is probably one of the cheapest countries to travel to in the world, which is probably why it’s a big destination for backpackers. Without a doubt, when I say cheap, I mean CHEAP! A cup of coffee or tea can cost you $0.08! YES! I’m serious! Medicine is also super cheap! I bought 10 motion sickness pills for $0.80! I got mosquito repellent, that smelled amazing if I may add, for only $0.64! A bottle of coke in most places cost $0.32 and as far as clothes go I got some pretty cool Indian styled baggy pants for less than $4! You can easily live like a king or a queen in India for little to no money. So if you ever wanna feel “rich”, I would say go to Kerala, India and you will definitely feel rich and not even spend that much.
What kid doesn’t love tree houses? But how about a big coffee shop in a tree house or a hotel room in a tree house? In my adult years I don’t think I’ve been inside a tree house, in fact, I’m still waiting for my dad to make me that tree house he once promised me many years ago. Since Kerala, India is field with beautiful jungles, wildlife and coconut trees, tree houses is one of the perks of being in this part of the world full of nature. The Greenwoods Resort had a beautiful tree house, where you can enjoy a cup of coffee or tea with a beautiful view! I also had the chance to check out the tree house hotel room in Vythiri Resort. They have a 3 story tree house room overlooking the amazing jungles of Kerala! Many of the resorts in Kerala offer tree house accommodation and I absolutely love it!
11. The Colorful Painted Trucks
I am completely obsessed with the BEAUTIFUL and artistic trucks of Kerala! They are all hand painted and customized with beautiful flowers and leafs in different colors such as: neon yellow, green, pink, red and blue. Every time I saw one of these cars my face would light up with a smile! These trucks are a true master piece, they are gorgeous and I honestly REALLY want one!
Kerala, India has some of the most beautiful sunsets I have ever seen in my life! They start off by painting the whole sky a yellow orange color and then turning into a purple pink. A sight that must be seen only my the naked eye!
13. Staying at Kumarakom Lake Resort & Having My Own Private Swimming Pool
This hotel was just a dream come true, a perfect wanderluster paradise. It’s also Queen Elizabeth’s favorite place to stay, when visiting Kerala and I can totally see why. My hotel room was a private villa with a BIG private swimming pool and an outdoor bathroom and shower. It was the perfect dream getaway hotel and one of my favorite places I’ve ever stayed at.
14. Climbing A Coconut Tree
I love adventures and I love trying new things, so when visiting the villages of the backwaters of Kerala, the owner of the household, who was giving us a tour, asked who wanted to try to climb a coconut tree, I volunteered without hesitating. They had this awesome cool machine that helps climb up a coconut tree. Of course when we were shown the demonstration, it looked so easy. Only after I got my legs into it and tried climbing up the tree, did I realize that you actually need skills for this. Nevertheless, it was awesome attempting to climb half the tree.
15. Getting My Indian Bangles
I have been dreaming of getting real Indian bangles since I was a kid. I was SO beyond excited to make my dream a reality and finally get to play with all those amazing sparkly and colorful bracelets. I now have a piece of India with me forever.
16. Visiting The Tea Plantations In Munnar
When I arrived to the tea plantations in Munnar, I felt like I had arrived in HEAVEN! I have never seen something so beautiful and perfect in my life! There is just such a relaxed and heavenly feeling when arriving to this part of Kerala. I highly recommend visiting this part of Kerala, it will steal your breath-away.
17. The Art & Colors In Everything
Everywhere you go in Kerala, India, there is colors and art. It’s in the food, in the fabrics, in the flowers, the architecture, the decorations, the nature, the animals, the boats, everywhere you go is a moment of inspiration unlike anywhere else in the world. I have always been obsessed with colorful things and India is an artist paradise.
18. Watching The INSANE Martial Arts Show Of Kerala
Also known as Kalaripayattu. The martial arts show of Kerala, will leave you with your jaw dropped and hands covering your face, with fear and disbelief. I actually was lucky enough to enjoy watching this show twice, by some of India’s worldly famous and best performers, who have been training for years. This show gets super SUPER intense! These men use actual weapons that are so sharp and so dangerous, that all you wanna do is make sure no one is gonna get their arms ripped off or any body parts for that matter. I was completely amazed and shocked at this incredible performance! AMAZING!
19. Watching A Theyyam Performer Get Ready For Show
I went to makeup & fashion school, so anything to do with makeup, fashion and cultural traditions, I LOVE! While visiting Wayanad Silver Woods in Wayanad, Kerala I got to see a theyyam performer get ready from his normal day to day clothes and transfer into a theyyam performer. It was AMAZING! I was completely hypnotized for those 45mins and couldn’t get my eyes off of him. It was definitely one of the coolest things I’ve seen in Kerala. His costume looked like it weighted more than 40 pounds and the amount of the details and layers of it all was just incredible.
20. Visiting The Rice Fields of Kerala At Sundown
I’ve always wanted to visit rice fields, especially when running into beautiful photographs of Asia. We actually got to meet the man, who owns the rice fields we visited in the backwaters of Kerala. He actually owns 600 acres! He gave us a tour of his beautiful rice fields right at sundown. It was definitely a postcard moment! A moment I will cherish and remember forever.
21. My New Friends That Stole My Heart
One of the best part about traveling the world, is always the amazing people I met along the way. I never expected to get so emotionally attached to all the amazing 30 bloggers from 21 countries and the incredible Kerala Blog Express crew, but these amazing people have become my family and completely stole my heart to the point where I was in tears saying goodbye to each one of them. I love them all very much and can’t wait for us all to meet again one day.
So there you have it! My top 21 favorite moments in Kerala. Let me know which one you would like to hear more about in the comments below.