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Houseboat on the Kerala Backwaters

Keralan Houseboat/Rice Barge

Locally known as 'kettuvallam', these traditional rice barges are made by tying jackwood planks together with coir rope and then coating them with black resin made from boiled cashew nut shells.

Today these giant 80 ft long crafts have been converted into simple, furnished houseboats with one or two en suite bedrooms, an open lounge and eating area, a deck, a kitchenette and a crew comprising captain and cook. Cold water showers are available but the crew can provide a bucket of hot water on request and the bedroom air-conditioning can be switched on at night.

You will board your houseboat for lunch and cruise the backwaters until the boat moors just before dusk. Soft drinks and beer are available to purchase on board. Check-out is after breakfast, at around 9.30am the following morning.

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who's been there
Audley Travel Specialist Niall

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Experience it for yourself

You can enjoy this activity as part of the suggested tours below, or we can weave it into a trip shaped entirely around you.