The Jew Town area of Fort Cochin has many traveler orientated restaurants and cafes with mixed menu of all the Indian, Chinese and Western traveler favorites and you can also buy fresh seafood and street food along the shore by the Chinese fishing nets.
Pepper House Cafe serves light lunches, drink and snacks in the cute courtyard setting of the waterfront heritage property. It includes a gallery, art studios and event spaces. i love the store, that stocks some really made in India brands for clothes, quirky jewelry, books, bags and even perfumes.
Qissa Cafe a cafe walking distance from any touristy spot in Fort Kochi and whips some really good french toasts and coffee, i spent hours here, people watching, reading books and reordering iced coffee. They also like many places here promote local artist and talent and you can always buy something as a souvinear to take home.
Kashi Art Café is one of the most popular place for coffee, breakfast or lunch served in their courtyard surrounded by art work from local artists.
Try: Because of the abundant supply of spices and medicinal plants Kerala is the home of Ayurveda, an ancient, natural healing science that has been practiced in India for over 5000 years. Fort Kochi is a perfect place to try a relaxing Ayurvedic massage at a spa or hotel. I skipped the luxury and went for a local center- Ayurville a walking distance form my hotel and a traditional ayurvedic session, they have oils that are made in house, you can choose depending on your concern or skin type. If you don’t concentrate on the ambiance, this place is great for a traditional massage and will leave you relaxed and lighter. I could feel it with the strokes on my back, pressure on the scalp and not to forget the stretches of arms and legs. it was a great experience and i am so glad i visited this place. If you plan to visit, make sure you take a prior appointment, they also offer long term therapies where you can go for several sessions depending on your concern.
Watch a Kathakali Dance – Kerala’s famous traditional dance form dates back to the 17th century and is as enchanting as it is unique. The colourful, elaborate make up and costumes and incredible facial expressions provide a fascinating experience, although its probably better to opt for a touristy performance as traditionally the performance can last for many hours and can be hard to follow at first. The Kerala Kathakali Center has nightly performances where you also see the make up being applied and get a demonstration of the different, subtle but fascinating movements and facial expressions.
Chinese Fishing Nets – On the shore at the tip of Fort Cochin these huge spider like cantilever contraptions are the iconic emblem of Cochin. These impressive nets are a legacy from Chinese traders from 1400 and require at least 4 people to operate. The Chinese fishing nets are at their most photogenic at sunset and, even though modern fishing methods and a lack of fish here have made these nets mostly redundant, you can still see them in operation and even try it yourself (they will ask for money of course!)
Pardesi Synagogue and Jew Town – The small but enchantingly beautiful over 400 year old Jewish synagogue in Fort Cochin features a small exhibition of paintings describing the role the Jews played in Cochin and beautiful chandeliers and tiling. The synagogue is right in the middle of Jew town and the bustling, colourful old port area, one of the most atmospheric parts of Fort Cochin, many of the old spice warehouses are now shops catering to tourists selling spices, antiques, nick nacks, colourful shawls and handicrafts but it’s still a nice place to wander and a great place to shop for souvenirs.
To read all about my stay at the beautiful Ayana Fort Kochi, click here
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