16 Things to do in Kochi, India

things to do in kochi india

Kochi, a small city on the coast of southern India goes overlooked on most itineraries. Although a popular hub for northerners, it's not often visited by foreigners who prefer to see monuments like the Taj Mahal in the north. Those who do venture south often find themselves in larger cities like Goa. Fort Cochin, however, is worth a visit for a few days. After spending over two weeks there, we got the lay of the land and even repeated Uber drivers (a sure sign you've seen it all). So what...

Continue Reading

Taking an Indian Cooking Class in Kochi, India

There’s something poetic about sitting down to a great meal. The aroma of spices wafting through the air. The bright colors on the plate before you. The only thing better than eating a wonderful meal, is the satisfaction you get from knowing you cooked it.

After researching several cooking classes online, I decided to call Flavor Cooking Class, which is located in the Casa Linda Hotel in Fort Cochin. We arrived at a somewhat deserted hotel at 11:00 am sharp and let ourselves into the...

Continue Reading

High Tea: Learning the Art of Tea Making in Munnar, India

Visiting India is like entering Wonderland and falling down the rabbit hole. Suddenly, you’re in a world where nothing makes sense and everyone talks in riddles. Up is down. Down is up, and a head bobble can mean anything. If India is in fact Wonderland, then Munnar is its tea party.

I’d been having a constant struggle with India. You can read about it here (trying to get to a Tiger Reserve) and here (being hustled for more money). For some reason, I couldn’t figure out how...

Continue Reading

How NOT to see the Periyar Tiger Reserve in India

My relationship with India has been strained to say the least. Each country has it’s own version of order or way things work. Usually it takes a few days to adjust and understand a country. As far as I can tell, India has no logic, rhyme, or reason. I’ve been here for over two weeks and still, I feel at a total loss. Even the locals seem totally baffled by simple questions.

 

“We would like to go on the boat safari in Periyar Tiger Reserve.” That statement was met with a...

Continue Reading

Learning the Ropes: The Chinese Fishing Nets in Cochin, India

I was hit with the distinct smell of fish that had been sitting in the sun too long as the ocean breeze whipped across my face. Combined with the shade from the canopy of trees above me, I almost remembered what it felt like to be cool. It was the first time since I arrived in India that the heat didn't hit me like a brick wall.

Continue Reading

Taking a Burmese Cooking Class in Myanmar

My quest of learning to cook continues, and this week it's Burmese food on the menu! I have to be honest, I didn't actually know what Burmese food was until I got to Myanmar. Even then, it took the whole month before I really felt like I had a grasp on it. The easiest way to describe it is a mix between Chinese and Indian food. The common dishes include curries, tea leaf salad, rice, and noodles. Some of the major ingredients are pumpkin, eggplant, peanuts, ginger, and garlic.

Although...

Continue Reading

Sunrise to Sunset: A Day on Inle Lake

Visiting Inle Lake has been kind of surreal. I did little research on this location before arriving and most people who visited described it as "touristy." By Myanmar standards, it is. In Yangon, I maybe saw one other tourist a day. In Bagan, there were plenty of tourists, but with a playground of temples to see (over 3,000) you could go hours without running into anyone else. So yes, Inle Lake is "touristy" in comparison. Regardless, arriving here was almost indescribable. Almost. I...

Continue Reading

Trekking from Kalaw to Inle Lake in Myanmar

I had read about a trek in Myanmar from Kalaw to Inle Lake while doing research. For some reason the idea of walking three days was not as appealing as taking a bus for a few hours, so I decided not to include it in my plans. After asking several people what their favorite part of their Myanmar trip was, the scale was leaning heavily in the direction of the Kalaw trek so, it made sense to experience it for myself.

The weird thing is, I really had no idea what the trek entailed. I...

Continue Reading

Is it Worth Paying for a Hot Air Balloon in Bagan?

The short answer is yes, yes, and yes again. The steep price of hot air ballooning in Bagan, Myanmar can be discouraging, but I promise it's worth it. Riding in a hot air balloon made my bucket list for things I'd like to do before turning 30, so taking a ride over temples at sunrise felt like a great way to check it off, until I saw the price tag. The cheapest price I found was $330 per person for a one hour ride with Balloons over Bagan. When you're working with a $30 a day budget, clearly...

Continue Reading

Speaking English in Yangon, Myanmar

One of the reasons I traveled halfway across the world was to understand cultures that were so different than my own. I'd see photos of people living in what we would consider a shack and smiling. They looked genuinely happy. Meanwhile, in my world, people would have everything and still seemed so miserable. So what was it that made people with so little so happy?

The first explanation came from something that often makes me skeptical. Religion. Most of the countries I would be...

Continue Reading