Alleppey is often called the 'Venice of the East' and features on the tourist trail as one of the major centres for backwater boat trips, served by ferries to Quilon and Kottayam in particular.
Once one of the best-known ports along the Malabar coast, Alappuzha has the distinctive geographical feature of being at sea level or below. Sailing along in a Kettuvallam (houseboat) through the enchanting backwaters of Alappuzha is an ideal way to experience the typical Kerala backwaters. Palm fringed narrow canals winding through the vast expanse of paddy fields and the neat tiny hamlets lined up along either sides of the canals are sights one can never forget. One can glimpse Chinese fishing nets, flocks of ducks swimming around the banks and tiny birds flying across the sky. It is as close as one can get to feel the vibrant life in the countryside of God’s own country.
Kuttanad: The 75 kilometer long sparkling network of rivers, canals, lakes, lagoons and tiny stream lets between Quilon and Cochin and beyond to Thiruvananthapuram, of which the Kuttanad ( Backwaters) comprises of, are akin to a tropical land of canals. This bewildering labyrinth of shimmering waterways composed of lakes, canals, rivers and rivulets is lined with dense tropical greenery and preserves Kerala lifestyles that are completely hidden by road. Called the rice bowl of Kerala, because of her wealth of paddy crops is at the very heart of the backwaters. Yams and cassava which accompany the rice bowl as "side dishes". This is the one of the places in the world where farming is done below sea level (1.5 - 2 meters below sea level). Inland waterways that flow above the land level is an amazing feature of this land. Kuttanad is the heart of the backwaters of Kerala. This beautiful countryside with its waterways also has a rich crop of banana, Cassava and yam. The scenic countryside of Kuttanad with its shimmering waterways also has a rich crop of bananas. Alleppey (Alappuzha) has a large network of canals and is the centre for backwater cruises in Kerala. ( Alleppey) is famous for its boat races, houseboats, coir products, fish and lakes. Alappuzha remains prominent on the tourist trial of Kerala as one of the major centers for backwater boat trips