What is Kerala Blog Express

Hi there, it’s been a while, right? I’ve had two very busy months travelling around Asia, London, then back to Asia. More precisely, I’m now in my room at Eighth Bastion Hotel, in India’s Kerala state, sorting pictures and reviewing notes taken during our experience on Kerala Blog Express – yes, that competition I was asking you guys to vote for me!

What is Kerala Blog Express

Kerala Blog Express was an initiative by Kerala Tourism, who took 30 international bloggers on a bus all around Kerala state. Brazil, UK, Indonesia, Spain, Israel, New Zealand, Italy, USA and 13 other countries were represented on this 15-day trip that saw us climbing coconut trees (me, me!), sleeping in houseboats, avoiding blood-hungry leeches in the forests and exploring tea and spice plantations. Add to that a visit to elephant orphanages and being visited by cheeky forest monkeys, and you will have “the journey of a lifetime”, as promoted by Kerala Tourism. And you bet we did!

We were welcomed at Thiruvananthapuram airport (or Trivandrum) like A-list celebrities, driven in official cars to our plush hotels, and pampered all the way.

What is Kerala Blog Express

At first, I felt slightly out of my depth – 15 days with thirty strangers? But sooner than expected we all got to know each other, and on our last night, we were all hugging one another and crying, sad to say goodbye to our new friends.

What is Kerala Blog Express

No more dinners together, or crazy bonfire parties, traditional custom dressing. That myriad of places and activities to showcase to us cultural, culinary aspects and the natural beauty of Kerala, will no longer be there.

What is Kerala Blog Express

During the trip, some of my friends asked a lot of questions. So before I start writing detailed accounts of each activity, I will answer their main questions here. So let’s start:

WHAT WERE THE HOTELS LIKE ON KERALA BLOG EXPRESS?

What is Kerala Blog Express

That was actually the most common question I got. I have to say, I couldn’t be more pleased with the standard of accommodation offered to us during Kerala Blog Express. We stayed in some superior level hotels, as well as some absolutely A-MA-ZING five star resorts and spa hotels all over Kerala. From beach resorts, spa retreats, forest and business hotels, there was a bit of everything. Some of us also had the chance to experience local home stays, getting an insight into home life in Kerala. We all had our own rooms, some of them with private pool and jacuzzi.

What is Kerala Blog Express

WHAT’S KERALA’S CUISINE LIKE?

Kerala cuisine, to non-specialists, is similar to the rest of Indian cuisine. Considering this is the land of spices and coconut trees, it’s with little surprise that you’ll find a lot of spicy food. Personally, I found local food milder than the Indian food I’m used to, but some of my peers just couldn’t take so much hot food for so long.

What is Kerala Blog Express

What is Kerala Blog ExpressThink mildly spicy, creamy, colourful curries, fish cooked in banana leaves or in coconut milk. That’s definitely something I’ll miss a lot.

HOW ARE PEOPLE IN KERALA?

Keralites… I can’t stop thinking about the beautiful smiles, curious looks and genuine welcome I (we) got during this trip. Keralites are very hospitable, pleasant and respectful people. Perhaps because they enjoy a higher standard of living and level of education than the rest of India – literacy rate in the state is nearly 100%. Learning a few words of Malayalam, the local language, will get you a lot of attention, but the vast majority of people speak English. However, as you venture into smaller towns and rural areas, that won’t necessarily be the case.

What is Kerala Blog Express

Since we were travelling together on a bus, I felt I didn’t have as much contact with locals as I’d like to, so I really cherished every opportunity I had to talk to them. And I am happy to say that Keralites were the friendliest and most genuine people I met on my entire trip to India.

What is Kerala Blog Express

WANT TO DISCOVER KERALA?

I can’t wait to share detailed experiences with you! Now I’ve got thousands of pictures to go through, notes to review and many posts about this once-in-a-life-time experience exploring tourism in Kerala.

Stay tuned and thanks for reading!

Want to find out even more about KBE, Kerala and India? Then why not sign up to our newsletter? :-)

(Visited 2,924 times, 1 visits today)

24 Responses

  1. Lima Antony

    Thank you so much for this kind words 🙂

    A proud keralite!

    Reply
  2. Santosh Menon

    Good one Pedro!. I am a keralite & dated 2 brazilians (one from belo Horizonte & the other is from rio grande de sul). Love brazilians!. Had colleagues from Brazil too! (Of course, I am in the US)!.
    I love fejoida & caiprinha!.
    Sorry, but I have to tell you that Kerala food you have experienced in hotels or resorts are not the same as it is in general!. We love BEEF, PORK, FISH & other birds besides chicken!. The food is very spicy !& I am pretty sure you won’t be able to handle it in regular setting :)!. Since you guys were from different countries , they made it way toooooo milder!. Guess you have never been to a toddy shop, 1 or 2 star hotels or thattukadas!. It’s wayyyyyyyyyy, spicier than thai or Vietnamese!. It’s like north south divide in a tiny state like Kerala (Recife in the north of Brazil has spicy food compared to rio grande de sul), similarly south Kerala has hot !& spicy food compared to north kerala!.
    London (indian) food is way toooo bland!.
    Travel alone next time yo Kerala to feel the “REAL” Kerala!
    O Brigado!
    Regards
    Santosh Menon
    (Keralite who lived in Manhattan, NYC But currently in Florida).

    Reply
  3. Pedro (The Author)

    Hi Santosh, nice to hear you like Brazil and Brazilian food and drink. 🙂

    Yes, I did have some of the spicier food, which was a bit too spicy for me, but as you said, I’d imagine you guys eat even hotter food.

    Stay tuned for a lot of posts about it.

    Cheers!

    Reply
  4. Top 50 Tropical Travel Destinations Worldwide & Their Bloggers - TourTheTropics.com

    […] A slower pace than the busy cities of Mumbai and New Delhi, Kerala offers a more relaxing experience of India with rice paddies and beautiful scenery everywhere. Known as the ‘Land of Spices’, as this was a spice trading region, the food is full flavored and offers some fantastic regional dishes. Enjoy a backdrop of the Western Ghats, take a relaxing cruise on the riverways, explore the Hindu temples, and enjoy delicious cuisine. The area has some great wildlife sightings with wild elephants and the occasional tiger seen. Some travel bloggers who visited Kerala are Craig and John from Flashpackatforty.com and Pedro from Travelwithpedro.com […]

    Reply
  5. Chaaya

    I couldn’t envision that kerala will be a piece of God’s paradise. The nature is incredible and individuals are warm and kind. We truly feel at our home.
    Chaaya recently posted…Wonderful KashmirMy Profile

    Reply
  6. Pathin Singh

    Lovely narrative post 🙂 I had also visited Kerala during my honeymoon trip and houseboating is an amazing experience. Kerala is really a heaven on the earth.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

CommentLuv badge