Cruise ship arrival, One Day, on a Budget, in Kochi / Cochin, India. Must see attractions included a Hindu temple, trying some Indian food, the beach with the incredible fishing nets, the Laundry and Jewtown, a jewish sector. Let’s go!
We quickly found a gentle young man who would be our taxi driver / guide for the day and negotiated a price of 1200 rupees ($18) for 4 hours. As we wound our way through the busy streets of Cochin, Niyasappu offered to introduce us to his family and show us his home. What a pleasure to meet his wife, son and father as they showed us their lifestyle and way of life.
We were shown how they cook, heat water, sleep and more. A very lovely family so kind to welcome us unannounced into their home! Next stop was a Hindu temple. We were only able to wander the grounds outside as only those of the faith were allowed on premises.
After the temple, we head to the incredible laundry. Here, employees wash the laundry by hand on stones, hang it to dry in the sunshine and then iron as needed. Although some modern irons were used, so were irons heated with coals. It was very interesting to see and one should not bypass this.
Lunch time. We went to a local restaurant called Saee Kaishna Cafe where supposedly the best Masala Dosai in Kochi is served. In addition to this dish, we all ordered Donuts, a rice platter and orange soda. All of the Indian food was delicious, especially Masala Dosai! Total cost for 5 persons: 285 rupees or $4.50
We stopped at a place called the New Castle Gallery. A hard pushing salesman became very nasty with us when we decided we did not want to visit the second floor of the shop. He screamed at us and became very angry. I strongly recommend avoiding this place!
As is all too usual in India, beer is hard to find and a few in our group were ready for a stop so we were recommended the Seagull Seafood Restaurant. The setting is very nice, beautiful waterfront view. 2 beers and 3 lime juice later, we walked out with a bill of 540 rupees ($8.00). Far too expensive for India; we discovered later that the street by the beach has many pub style places where we could have had a beer, so keep that in mind.
We hopped back into the car and headed to the waterfront/beach area. Here we were able to observe an amazing fishing system of huge nets being dropped in the water; once a certain time has passed, through a rock and pulley system the nets are raised again, sometimes with a lot of fish! Surrounding the area were many stalls with vendors selling food and other nick knacks. Across the road from the waterfront were very touristy side streets offering accommodations, pubs and restaurants.
Our last stop was Jew Town; home to pepper traders generations ago. We wandered through the street and at the far end is a Jewish synagogue which you can visit for a 5 rupee entrance fee; we declined, but it is there for the curious.
Our delightful driver got us back to our ship safe and sound!
Next Stop: Colombo, Sri Lanka
Day total for 4 persons: $30.50 (approx. $7.50 pp)
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