Vypeen Island is a long thin piece of land caught between the Arabian Sea and Kerala's inland waterways. Following the coast from Kochi northwards, it is laced with canals and lakes, groves of palm trees and colourful houses. The scenic bus ride to Cherai beach would be an engaging way of seeing a little further beyond Kochi if the drivers didn't feel it their duty to get you there faster than the speed of sound. Go there during the week when it is less likely to be rammed with tourists, or take an auto-rickshaw for the day and slowly make your way to much less crowded Kuzhippily beach.
Vypeen Island, Kochi, Kerala
Google map: bit.ly/LczYCh
I cannot praise the place enough. I came here for my birthday treat and it turned out to be an excellent choice.
The food was quite simply the best we've had in Kerala, and that includes posh hotels like the Taj, smart places in Cochin and down and gutsy quick eateries in Ernakalum (we've been here for 18 months, so I feel I can write with some authority).
The room was prettily and simply decorated in white and terracotta. There were fresh flowers on the dressing table and a pristine bathroom. We fell asleep to the sound of the waves breaking on the beach right opposite us.
If you want to get away from it all, in a quiet area with no hotels around, stay here. Eat the best food in Kerala, go for walks on the beach, chat to the locals, visit the fish market and pick out your local catch for dinner, play games on the extensive roof terrace while being served endless fresh cold drinks and tea.
It's an excellent place for tired, burnt out workers looking for tranquility in genuine Keralan surroundings.
My one quibble is that because this is not a family home - the family lives elsewhere - it is not a true homestay. But what's in a label?
Kuzhupilly Beach Road, Ayampilly PO, Ayampilly PO, Kochi (Cochin) 682501, India
+91 484 2531456
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