Getting around in Kerala
Kerala traffic can be a little chaotic. If you love the adventure of driving on the streets of Kerala, please remember, it is Left hand driving. But we recommend you reserve your spirit of adventure to something more worthwhile- there are plenty. Once you escape the hustle and bustle of the towns, you have plenty of quiet, lovely spots around to enjoy your vacation.
Taxi CabsAlways remember to ask the exact rate before you hire a vehicle. Have an idea about how much it would cost beforehand. On arrival, you can take a prepaid taxi from the airport to your hotel. Taking a prepaid taxi avoids haggling and provides a measure of security. For short distance travel, use taxis. Tourist cabs charge Rs 4.50 per kilometer. Normally one has to pay both, the up and down fare. Though the above charges do exist, taxis are un-metered and thus fares must be negotiated beforehand.
Deciding not to drive yourself is a smart decision when you don't have any driving experience on the local roads. Some tourists buy motorbikes for the duration of their stay. Royal Enfield, Hero Honda, Yamaha etc are good two wheelers you might like to buy.
BusThe local bus service is good for some reasons- they are dirt cheap and safe. But they could be overcrowded. Go to the State Road Transport Corporation operated bus stations to catch buses to any place. They run long distance, medium distance and short distance buses.
TrainTrains are convenient for longer distances and are cheap. Generally booking seats is not necessary when traveling shorter distances within the state. However, it is always a good idea to book tickets, if possible. For short distances not involving night travel, the best option would be to book tickets in ‘Air Conditioned Chair Cars’. They are not crowded, generally clean and comfortable.
AutorickshawsThese three wheeled vehicles are ubiquitous on the streets of Kerala. Take them only for short distances, within a city or town. The minimum charge will be Rs 6 upto a distance of 1.5 kms beyond which the rate per running kilometer will be Rs 3.50 or 14 paise for every 1/25th part of a kilometer, whichever is applicable. If the travel is between 11 pm and 5 am, an additional 50% of the charge shall be levied. No tip is expected by the drivers. Point-to-point pre-paid autorickshaw services from and to select destinations are also available. If the autorickshaw driver does not operate the meter, be wary. Do ask for the fare and ensure that it is reasonable. A police man close by could help.
We know, getting around Kerala might not be exactly exciting- but once you reach your destinations you would enjoy the miracle of nature that is Kerala.