Just spent five days in Kerala, on the southwest coast of India. We took a one hour "Go Air" flight from Bangalore to Cochin. The cost was zero for the flight and 4000INR ($100Can)per person, return for taxes. Not a bad price.
The first two nights were in Fort Cochin, a great little fishing town on the Arabian Sea. It is quiet, with small buildings dating back 500 years to when the Portugese and Dutch set up shop, trading spices, teas and other wares.
The first afternoon we took a tuk tuk to the Jewish town. There is an old Synagogue and lots of shops selling jewellery, carvings, antiques and spices. Unfortunately the Synagogue is closed on Fri. and Sat. so no luck seeing it. Craig had some fun on the way back to the hotel - the tuk tuk driver let him sit up front and drive it on one of the smaller roads - big smile on his face and a lot of concentration.
All along the beach front are Chinese fishing nets. They look like giant Praying Mantises lined up one after another. A huge square net descends into the water. On the beach a group of men pull down on a bunch of ropes, lowering huge rocks (weights)and the net is raised. After they check their catch they release the rocks and the net is lowered into the water. They do this every ten minutes or so. The fish are taken to one of many stalls along the beach and are soon for sale.
The first night we stayed at Fort House. It seemed ok when we arrived and lunch at the restaurant was good. But that night it was so noisy with people yakking, dogs barking and ships sounding their horns. And dinner was awful. So the next day we moved to Arches - half the price, quiet, close to the shops and way more comfortable.
Found a good restaurant called Teapot that had mouthwatering chicken curry, good samosas, and huge pieces of Death by Chocolate - need I say more. About $12Can for the four of us to eat.
Fort Cochin was a nice way to start the trip - laid back, little traffic, and lots to see and do. Next - Kerala backwaters and Cherai Beach...