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Trip Report

Time well spent in India

India is a massive country that has countless places to visit. For this trip I focused on Southern India

by hannah37About Me:Hello! I currently reside and work in New York City. I love traveling and exploring new places around the world. I have spent time going to school in both Paris, France and Cape Town, South Africa. I enjoy backpacking read more

AsiaIndia15 days / September 2019

Highs & Lows

Wild Elephants in Kerela

Hot, humid, damp

Itinerary Overview

Pondichery was once colonized by the french so the area has rich french culture and history. This city is in fact often referred to as the “French Capital”of India. The buildings are beautifully decorated and the food is a mixture of Indian and French. I would recommend either walking or biking in town and along the water. There are numerous cafes to stop at for a quick croissant and tea. Pondichery also has great shopping, look out for the shops with fair trade products that are made by locals. Another fun thing to do is to visit the Pondichery Botanical Gardens and possibly even bring a picnic to have while you are there. If you would like to do a side trip from Pondichery, you should check out Auroville- which is 9 miles outside of the city and is a one of a kind universal community with a very authentic culture. 

Munnar is located in Kerala, the most Southern state in India. Munnar is a place out of a fairytale book. There are rolling hills of tea plants and wild elephants. I would highly reccommend a few day stay in this magical place and to hike through the tea planations. You can also try some local tea! Another fun activity is to take a tour from a local tuk tuk driver. This area can get very wet and rainy so make sure to pack a rain coat! I took a local bus ride to Munnar from another city in India and was absolutely amazed by the scenic hills and green forests that I saw during my bus ride. There are also many cool waterfalls in Munnar, unfortunately I did not have the chance to check them out but . some of the best ones are: Lakkam Waterfall, Attukal Waterfall and Chinnakanal waterfall. 

The beaches in Goa are vast and beautiful. They span along the western coast of India, along the Indian ocea. My favorite one that I visited was Palolem beach. It was very quiet and peaceful and had cute, colorful bungalows along the water. It was so cool to see the cows hanging out on the beach and walking along the water during the sunset. I would highly reccommend this beach if you are looking to relax. If you like eating and drinking coconuts they are in high supply here! One fun thing to do while you are visiting this area is to rent a motorbike and bike along the coast, stoppign at differnt beaches. The public transport in Goa only takes you up and down the coast along the main road, making it very difficult to actually get to the beaches. if you rent a motorbike then you will have very good access to all of the beaches and check more than one out in a day- each beach has its own flair and some even have restaurants along the water where you can get a meal with your feet in the sand. 

  • 5 Nights: Puducherry
    French culture and ocean views
  • 5 Nights: Munnar
  • 5 Nights: Palolem Beach

Q & A

  • Packing tips?

    Bring light and airy clothes. It is very hot and humid and tight clothes will not feel good/ will also make you stand out like a sore thumb. Modest, breezy clothes are recommended!

  • Transportation Tips?

    The train and bus rides are extremely long, usually over 12 hours. Make sure to book them ahead of time and to book a sleeper seat! Bring snacks and comfy clothes so that you can sleep during the ride.

  • Any surprises?

    Holy Cow! There are soooo many cows in India and they are everywhere- on the street, on the beach and basically any other place you look!


  • I stayed at a guest house in Pondicherry. There are many hostels and guest houses to stay at.

  • Lost Hostel: Friendly staff and comfortable accommodation. The staff are helpful in planning tours and socializing guests.

  • The lost Hostel Palolem: this hostel is right near the beach and like most lost hostels, it has very helpful staff!