Being a Gujarati, I somehow have always played around Malayalis(I call them Mallu’s) during my childhood summer times. As their school vacation is announced , they would go to their native place and return with such great stories of greenary,water, food and art. During school time, with no access to internet I always dreamt about how Kerala would look. As grew as a traveler I decided to go solo traveling in Kerala where I spent quite some time as local. Thanks to Kerala Tourism , who supported my wish list by helping them with the “Kerala Blog Express 1” I got to stay in Kerala for 9 months . From staying as paying guest , to luxury home stay, to backpacking place,train travels, I got to experience Kerala as tourist and as local. While these travels, I gathered couple of tips which would be helpful to quite a few women who come to explore Kerala solo , especially international travelers for Yoga ,serene beaches & culture.
Below are the tips which one can use:
Since you are going to be travelling quite a distance from one destination to other, packing light would be good idea as many places from bus you would have to walk up to your home stay.
Buses in Kerala .
There are lovely colorful govt buses which is as cheap as Rs20 to go from train station to the main area where your home stay /hotel would be. Since most of the buses name would be written in local language , you can ask the bus in charge and they will help you. Eg. I took the bus from Kannur railway station to my home stay and enjoyed traveling in the same.
Travelling by train.
Kerala is well-connected by rails . You can take a tourist quota ticket (International tourist only) and Indian can book from IRCTC website as well. You can also avail ticket from the railway counter for a set destination. Also traveling in train is way cheaper than taking private taxi.Also experience how local will offer you their own food seeing you are solo woman , if they notice any Kerala tourism book in your hand.
Most of the temples in Kerala , do not allow shorts, sleeveless t-shirts,etc .Always keep a scarf with you in the bag, wear full pants and t-shirt while entering the temple . Also some of the temples , you only have to wear sarees, like the one I went in Thrissur. In such cases, plan a visit in such a way, that you can ask a local to give you saree and make you wear as well. Also many places in Kerala, it would be great idea to wear Indian clothes over any skimpy ones to avoid extra eyes on you.
Find out from local is there a boat way to go to other side of the area, and try the local life of boat rides. I had so much fun travelling in boat with local , who showed me places which are not there in the google image section as well.
Kerala being very cultured destination of India,people are sensitive here about God, girls, food, art, culture,etc. Try not to talk rudely to a local. Make sure you involve yourself in great interaction and you will see wonders where a local will ask you to join them at home for food.
Talk to Locals.
Locals love to talk with you. Even if there is language barrier, communicate with them about the kind of food they serve, culture shows, new things to see around,etc. Surprise yourself with an offbeat place with their information.
You should make your own itinerary , after researching online, talking to locals and using local books. This would help you to see the place in detail as well.If you are keen on staying back in Kerala for long time, then there are many girl hostels, home stays being offered as low RS-3000 a month for tourists to stay and enjoy local life.
Carry Swim Suit & Yoga Mat.
If you are water buffalo just like me , then carry your swimsuit so that you can jump in the river anytime. But be careful, ask locals about the river/lake as many water is deep within and may have crocodiles too. Kerala has beautiful places to do Yoga with serene sky and weather.
Learn an activity
Since you are solo and not in group , you can take the advantage of traveling to off beat places and learn an activity for few days. I learned Paragliding during the International Para Gliding festival.
Have you been to Kerala ? What are your tips for traveling solo ?