Kerala’s backwaters are to Kerala what the Alps are the Switzerland. Unique in all of India and even Asia they comprise an area of around 200 kilometers (part of a larger 900 kilometer network of interconnected rivers, lakes, canals, lagoons, deltas and estuaries). Ashtamudi, Vembanad, Aakulam, Kumarakom, Kallai… names that spell out a life that is as slow as the many boats that sail on these watery expanses. Spend a night or two on a houseboat. Or have your pick of a luxury or budget resort or even a comfortable home-stay tucked away among the many lakes and lagoons. Vast stretches of wind-rippled turquoise blue water that turns emerald green as you approach the bank, quaint villages from another era, floating vegetable markets, traditional snake-boat races (vallamkali), mouthwatering fresh-water or marine cuisine washed down with a bottle or two of fresh palm toddy (kallu) – Kerala’s backwater experience is not to be missed.