Friday, December 2, 2011

traveltips # Kerala travel essentials

 Kerala is not very cheap as it used to be a few years ago, because of it's prominence in the world tourist map, and at the same time, if you are careful, still it is possible to stretch the currency. The local currency is the Indian rupee which comes in 1,2,5,10,20,50,100,500,100 rupee denominations. 1 US dollar is approximately equal to anything between 45 - 52 Indian rupee, based on the market fluctuations. Most of the places debit/credit cards are accepted, and even in interior places ATMs and banks are available. What you spend depends on where you stay, how you get around, what you eat and what you buy. In the resorts, during the peak tourist season, it will be difficult to find a good, air conditioned room for less than Rs.1,500/day, and the same can be had at Rs.800-1000, if you are staying in a neighboring town, which is around 10-15 km away. A night in a simple lodge can be much lesser. A typical south Indian meal can be had for anything between Rs.50 to Rs.80 from an ordinary hotel, and at the same time meals at a five star hotel can cost around Rs.800 to 1000. 
Staying in one of the beach side enclaves such as Kovalam or Varkala, you should be able to manage quite comfortably on a budget of around Rs.1500-2000 per day, if you stay somewhere relatively basic. Usage of rented bicycle and public transport, instead of rented taxi can reduce expense considerably. For example, the air conditioned volvo buses plying between the Kochi airport to Fort Kochi will cost you only less than Rs.100, where as a rented taxi can cost you around Rs.900. That is a sure money saver. If you are willing to shell out around Rs.3000 - 4000/day, then you can expect to stay somewhere with more space and good sized sea facing balcony, eat well and get around by car. Any one spending Rs.5000-7000 per day, however can easily pamper themselves in a smart hotel with pool, indulge in tiger prawn suppers and have ayurveda massages every day. To spend much more than that, you must be staying in a five star hotel and renting taxis for the duration of your stay. 

Electricity
Voltage is 220V/50 HZ AC. Most sockets are triple round pin, but accept european size double round pin plugs.



Entry requirements / Visa
Tourist visas are valid for six months from the date of issue and usually cost around USD 75. In many countries it is possible to pay a visa agency to process the visa on your behalf. This is worth considering if you are not able to get to your nearest Indian high commission, embassy or consulate yourself.

Internet
Internet cafes are available throughout the place. Hotels also provide reasonably  fast internet connections.

Photography 
Beware of pointing your camera at anything that might be considered as strategic, including airports, anything related to military and even bridges, railway stations and main roads. Some people prefer not to be photographed , so it is advisable to ask for permission before photographing someone.

Phones
Using a mobile phone is the easiest and most convenient. Simcard can be obtained at the arrival lounge of the airports.

I am updating this list continuously. The latest version of this page can be accessed by Essential travel tips




1 comment:

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