Cochin, India

Weather today is sunny and 34C.

Cochin may be more reminiscent of a quaint town than a big city, but the deep history and scenic beauty that run through this corner of India are nothing short of extraordinary. This place has been touched (invaded) by British, Portuguese, Dutch, Chinese and Arab influences. Strolling along the harbour, you can almost hear the shouts of ancient traders, haggling over pepper, cardamom and cloves. Today, Cochin has emerged as a centre of international trade, but signs of its storied past remain everywhere.

Local fishermen still rely on the ancient method of Chinese fishing nets to haul in their catches.

You can’t travel to India’s “spice coast” without trying local Keralite cuisine. These traditional dishes are flavoured with native spices and often include a hint oc coconut.

We took a tour to explore the backwaters of Cochin and their many natural wonders, journeying through the waterways of Alappuzha. We peered through the foliage to catch a glimpse of ancient temples and mosques. We discovered palm-shaded canals and lagoons, lined with brilliant green paddy fields and tropical fruit trees, including papaya, mango and jackfruit. Our expedition ended at the Lake Palace Resort for lunch.

We will now be heading to Colombo, Sri Lanka.