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iXiGOers Dec 09 2012

What tips should one keep in mind while staying in Kovalam?

Nitin Gurha DEC 10 2012
0 people found this answer useful Useful ?Yes

Planning a trip to this beach destination? We are sure you have done your basic research about this destination and might even have a complete itinerary planned out. But have you ever felt or realised, during your past ventures, the need for those tiny details and conductive insights that you wished you had acquired beforehand to make even more out of your trip to Kovalam? If yes, we are sure you are going to appreciate this compilation of helpful little hints which will ensure a smoother, safer and overall a more productive vacation for you and your family.

What to wear

  • Wear loose fitting clothes, preferably light coloured. It does get quite hot on the beaches; you’ll be much more comfortable in flowing garments.
  • As far as footwear is concerned, go for flip-flops or floaters, as you can easily shake off the sand.
  • Kerala is a conservative region. Nudity or topless bathing is banned here. Choose a sensible swimwear to avoid any embarrassing accidents in the waves.

What to carry

  • We are sure you know to pack your sunglasses and a good sunscreen with adequate SPF protection (SPF 30 and above is good enough). No matter how good the sun feels or how bad you want a tan, please don’t go without protecting your skin.
  • It gets quite dark after sundown especially in the beaches and street lighting is very minimal. There is no direct access by road, to the hotels on the lighthouse beach. Carry a flashlight, if you are venturing after night, or you might get lost or hurt.

What to avoid

  • No drinking and swimming. Please avoid this at all cost. The waves and and the undertows can be quite sneaky. You’ll need the full cooperation of your mental facilities to dodge any potential mishap. And the hard stuff is not going to help you with that.
  • There are many small kiosks or other fruit vendors who sell suntan lotions or even “fast-tan” coconut oils. Avoid buying any such products, regardless of the claims. In most cases, the lotions are leftovers from a previous stash, or simply picked up from the beach. They may be half-full or mixed with coconut oil or moisturiser. If you need some sunblock, buy them from a good chemist/ pharmacy/ supermarket.
  • The fruit-sellers or other small vendors can be quite persistent when they want you to buy something for them and then charge exorbitant rates (especially from foreign tourists). Be firm in what you want and threaten to walk away if it becomes too much to handle. They might even ask you to click their picture and demand payment in return.
  • Ayurvedic massages have a big lure in Kovalam. But beware of sham massage parlours who will rip a hole in your pockets and send you back after a warm scrub. Go to the qualified spas and Ayurvedic centres which have a licence from the State Tourism Department.

General warnings

  • Theft is not uncommon in this region. There are many who look for earning some easy money, especially from foreign tourists. Always keep an eye on your belongings in the beach and secure your luggage in your hotel rooms. Secure your windows and lock your doors with your own padlock.
  • The waters here are deceptively calm as some parts of the beach are quite rough (strong waves and undertows) and unsafe for swimming. Please heed to the warnings of the lifeguards if you have strayed away from the safe zone, which are often marked with red flags.
  • Even in the safer parts, the waves are quite strong. Don’t venture too deep in the waters even if you are a strong swimmer, and try to go in groups. Lifeguards are present, but they might not reach you in time. So take proper precautions.
  • You might be stared at on the beach, which is usually quite harmless. But if you feel threatened in anyway, there are tourist police booths present on the beaches. If you are unable to spot one, approach a lifeguard and ask for assistance.

Keep these tips in mind while you enjoy your time in Kovalam. And once you get back, please share your insights and feedbacks with us. We will be happy to hear from you.

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