Kerala Journals

India 2011 Part 2: Kochi and Munnar

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An October 2011 trip to Kerala by koshkha

Abad Airport Hotel Photo, Kochi, India More Photos
Quote: Arriving in Kochi and heading up to the hill station of Munnar.

Abad Airport Hotel

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Hotel | "Not Abad Choice at all"

Abad Airport Hotel Photo, Kochi, India
Quote:
Have you ever booked a hotel just because you thought the name was funny? OK, maybe the temptation of staying in Abad (a bad) Hotel was a driver of choice but it did help that it was the closest and nicest choice near Kochi airport in Kerala. I had originally chosen the hotel and was going to book directly but eventually decided to get the local tour company who was arranging our first few days in Kerala to book it for me. As a consequence, I’m not 100% sure what I ended up paying for our stay but it was around the £45 per night level.Our tour company had promised to send a car to pick us up on arrival and the driver had absolutely no problem to spot us since we were the only non-Indians o...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 21, 2011

Abad Airport Hotel
Cochin International Airport
Nedumbassery, Cochin City 683590
866-539-0036

Meeting our driver's family

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Story/Tip

Shijo's smaller son Photo, Kerala, India
Quote:
When you book a tour in India with a local driver you do pretty much take your chances with what sort of driver you get. Very rarely you’ll get a chap who drives like a dream, understands what you want and can explain what’s going on. If you’re lucky he’ll not kill you but you’ll never really have a clue what’s coming next. If you’re very unfortunate you’ll sit in the back of the car for several days with white knuckles.I booked a tour with an Indian operator and they organised the driver. Of course I shouldn’t expect to get someone without amazing English and sure enough our driver was a pleasant chap who tried his best to entertain us, didn’t hit anything or come too close to doing so, a...Read More

Dreamland Spices Park

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Attraction | "I Dream of Spices"

Dreamland Spices Park Photo, Kerala, India
Quote:
The drive from Kochi to Munnar is a long and winding one and we were more than glad when our driver pulled up outside the Dreamland Spices Park and told us we’d arrived at our first attraction of the day. We were never too sure where we were going or what we were doing next as Shijo the driver had the sort of English that meant he was happy to answer our questions but generally with answers that belonged to entirely different questions. His favourite topic was definitely the itinerary and most days he told us where we were going several times over and occasionally we actually understood. I can’t really say that I was terribly excited about seeing a spice garden because I’d once been dragg...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 28, 2011

Dreamland Spices Park
Manjirikel House, Chithirapuram P.O.
Idukki, Kerala

SN Restaurant

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Restaurant | "A favourite with the drivers"

SN Restaurant Photo, Munnar, India
Quote:
When we finally reached Munnar it was already about 2.30 in the afternoon and we were pretty hungry. Our driver pulled up outside the SN Restaurant on Mattupetty Road and we headed inside. It must be a favourite with the drivers because the couple we'd just met at the spice gardens arrived a few minutes after us and then left swiftly because they were strict vegetarians and would only eat in what's locally known as 'Pure Veg' restaurants. I've seen this restaurant listed online as pure veg but I clearly recall that they had egg fried rice on the menu so that's no longer the case. In Indian vegetarianism eggs are classified as non-veg. The restaurant is a rather down at heel place that look...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on November 30, 2011

SN Restaurant
Mattupetty Road
Munnar, India

Floriculture Centre

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Attraction | "A very strange kind of place"

Floriculture Centre Photo, Munnar, India
Quote:
It’s widely believed – but not entirely true – that there’s nothing we Brits like more than a garden centre. I do actually believe that as a nation we have the finest gardens in the world – largely because we have a lot of rain and back to back gardening programmes on TV on Friday evenings. Personally I’m not a great fan – I’d rather the garden fairies turned up and did all the work so I could lie in a hammock but I will occasionally stroll round the local garden centre, usually to buy fish food. When our driver stopped outside the Floriculture Centre on Mattupatty Road in Munnar I wasn’t expecting to be particularly impressed and I had one eye on the big black cloud that was hovering abou...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on December 1, 2011

Floriculture Centre
Mattupatty Road
Munnar, India