We arrived midday on the Tuesday, exhausted after a long flight via Abu Dhabi & needing a rest, but equally keen to explore. We ventured out for a walk around Kochi City & had a curry (£1.20) for early dinner at 4pm, as we hadn’t eaten since 3am on the plane.
Kochi is a typical Asian city, which boasts the largest shopping mall in India amongst its ‘places to visit’. The city has a host of industries as well as universities (21) such as Engineering, Medicine, Finance, Science & Government.
It has been a port since 1341, when a flood carved out its harbor and opened it to Arab, Chinese and European merchants. Sites reflecting those influences include Fort Kochi, a settlement with tiled colonial bungalows and diverse houses of worship.
Fort Kochi is very different to the city with most of the tourist attractions & obviously more tourists (read places to get a beer & coffee shops) interspersed with every day life.
We stayed the first 2 nights in the city & the next 2 in Fort Kochi.
In the city, initially we walked everywhere, but crossing the traffic is near on impossible. Rickshaws cost between 40p-80p around town, so a far better way to travel.
The ferry to Fort Kochi from the jetty in Kochi City cost 4 pence each. There are queues for men & women to buy tickets & alight the ferry; if travelling in a pair, it is better to get women to buy the tickets, as generally the queue is shorter.
The ferry is ‘rustic’, so if you haven’t travelled much in Asia, be aware that it looks like a rusty tub, but it does have life jackets (which is more than other trips we’ve made).
The crossing is dotted with oil refineries, tankers & even cruise ships, we were surprised therefore, to see two dolphins & plenty of eagles & birds of prey.
Colonial buildings from Portuguese, Dutch & British settlers are still in evidence today in Fort Kochi.
Since 1957 the communist party has been regularly voted into power & is still popular today.
Cantilevered Chinese fishing nets, typical of Kochi, have been in use for centuries
Many fine residencies with colonial influence can be found in the area.
Kerala has seen many disasters over recent years, the most recent the floods of 2018.