Kochi (also known as Cochin) is renowned as the tourist hub of Kerala in Southern India. I’d seen a few pictures of the Chinese fishing nets which looked beautiful but I was a bit unsure of what was instore for us when we spent 2 days there. Luckily we stayed at an amazing homestay and we were pointed in all the right directions so here’s my 8 reasons to visit Fort Kochi in Kerala.

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How to get to Kochi from Alleppey

On the local bus to Kochi.

We knew there was the choice of either a train or bus to take to Kochi and before we knew it, we got a tuk tuk to the bus stand as we were told it would be easier than the train. We were helped by the lovely bus station guard to jump on the right bus.

Just 1.5h later, we were dropped off in Fort Kochi not too far from our homestay. From what I know, Fort Kochi is the part of Kerala where the majority of the tourists stay, Kochi is the main city. There’s a big difference between the Kochi and Fort Kochi, the latter is beautiful and quiet. 

8 Reasons to visit Fort Kochi in Kerala

1. Stay at Janatha Homestay in Kochi

Our beautiful and clean room at Janatha Homestay in Fort Kochi.

We found Janatha Homestay through airbnb (get AU$55 off your first booking for airbnb here) but we had no idea how good it was going to be and was more like a guesthouse above the family home (the rooms were upstairs whilst the family live downstairs). All modern fixtures, a very comfy bed with ensuite AND aircon which was a godsend because it was very hot in Kochi when we arrived.

Anthony and his family were super kind to us, and really made us feel like we were at home. He told us about loads of things to do in the area and although we were only there for two days, we packed in a lot.Janatha Homestay owners, Anthony and his wife. 

2. Get a tuk tuk driver for the day

Image source: mylittleadventure.com

When we arrived in Fort Kochi we took a tuk tuk and paid the guy like R500 (AU$10) to take us around for the day. He showed us all the tourist sites like the Chinese Fishing Nets, Jew Town, and The Spice Markets all mentioned below.

3. Chinese Fishing Nets

An amazing little spot near to the ferry port on the right hand side of the fishing nets to capture them in all their beauty.

Then we headed out to the Chinese fishing nets, which seemed to be the centre of tourism in Kochi. I’ve not seen fishing nets like this before and they were beautiful. We knew we had to come back at sunset to capture them in all its glory which is what we did. Steve even found an amazing little spot to capture them all lined across the shore without any other tourists in site.

Drone shot of the Chinese fishing nets taken with the DJI Mavic Pro.

The streets were all lined with locals selling tourist stuff to fishermen selling the latest catch of the day. I really loved the cobbled streets and felt like we could have been in somewhere like Morocco. 

4. Jew Town

Peace and quiet in Jew Town, Fort Kochi.

The tuk tuk driver took us over to Jew Town, another area that was famed for the synagogues although being there on a Friday didn’t help as they weren’t open but regardless, the streets again were quiet, with no cars or motorbikes and just cobbled streets with some locals selling their ‘hassle free’ tourist stuff.

5. Spice Markets

I really started to like Fort Kochi as I’d not seen a town like this in India before. We also passed through the spice markets, somewhere I wish we stopped and walked down the street as there were some beautiful photos to be taken of locals selling all the Indian spices.

6. Local dance play at the Kerala Kathakali Centre

The make up process before the play begins.

That evening we went to see a local dance in a gorgeous little theatre which was set up for tourism. For only R300 ($6) it was quite entertaining but a bit random at the same time.

7. Daal Roti

Accidentally ordering a double kathi roll at Daal Roti.

Afterwards, we headed out to Daal Roti, a Lonely Planet favourite for their famous kathi rolls (a bit like a kebab but a vegetarian version) and they were simply amazing, so much so we went back there the next night.

8. Day boat trip along the backwaters

On day two, we decided to do another boat trip (R800 each). From 8am-4pm we had a brilliant time with a mini bus load of other tourists. We were a bit unsure what it would be like (ie would it be some cheese fest tourist gimmick) but it was great. We got on two small boats and were taken down the backwaters to a beautiful part of the outskirts of Kochi, where we got to see people outside their homes and a real sense of peace and quiet (rare for India!!).Watching a local woman wove coconut skin into wool.

During the boat tour we stopped off for a walk around to check out loads of vegetables, herbs and spices all growing outside peoples homes. I had honestly never seen anything like this kind of variety before, it was amazing.

We then got back on the boat and head across the water for a traditional South Indian vegetarian lunch on a banana leaf which was again brilliant.A traditional Southern Indian lunch on a banana leaf.

Once more back on the boat for an hour’s cruisy ride, we got the drone out to be able to show you how gorgeous the ride was below.

When we returned to our homestay that night, our host Anthony had sorted out next steps to Kannur, a town that’s not visited much by tourists and not too easy to get to. We really appreciated his kindness and that he went out of his way for us in the short time we stayed with him. It was a brilliant stay and I would recommend staying with Anthony until the cows come in!

All in all, we had a great time in Fort Kochi. It’s a gorgeous part of South India and I’d recommend checking it out and staying with Anthony.

Have you read my other posts about our trip in Southern India yet?

A guide to Varkala Beach Southern India

Kerala backwaters houseboat vs boat cruise in Alleppey