I have very little to say about Fort Kochi, other than it has been my favourite stop in India so far and YOU MUST GO. I have loved seeing a very different side to India. Kerala was green and tropical and then all of a sudden you reach this quaint chinese style island with its own very distinct architecture, amazing coffee shops and very rich history.
What I liked about Kochi is that the government has limited the taxi drivers and auto rickshaw drivers ability to rip off tourists. When leaving the train station upon arrival we saw a pre-paid taxi/ auto counter (which I suppose had always been at the stations – I guess I had just been oblivious to them). Now I said the government try limit the drivers ability – the drivers do still try, so keep your wits about you. We caught an auto down to the main jetty and then from there caught a Rs2 ferry to the island (its so little I’m not even going to try convert it).
A word of advice – upon arriving in Fort Kochi – rickshaw drivers will basically ask to pay you to drive with them. They get commission from many of the stores on the island, so a trip that should take 10 minutes could end up taking hours because they WILL stop at 10 different shops. So remember to be clear about where you’re going, walk with purpose and you state your price.
Things to do:
Jew town – the old synagogue and great shopping:
Spice and scent shopping:
Idiom book shop:
Chinese fish nets:
Other than that, there are great places along the shore front to have drinks at.
A complete side note:
While in Fort Kochi, sipping the umpteenth cup of coffee, my friends and I spoke about cultures and the vast difference in communication. Even though in India we were all grouped as Westerners, we worked out that the simple hand signal for 3 was so different between South Africa, USA and Germany.