Fort Kochi is a beautiful seaside getaway famed for its heritage buildings, lip smacking seafood and the Chinese fishing nets that protrude into its emerald backwaters. Locally known as 'Cheenavala', a whole stretch of the coast along Fort Kochi and Vypeen are dotted with these nets.
It is believed that Chinese nets were introduced by traders who came from the court of Chinese king Kublai Khan. The sight of fishermen using these massive nets is worth seeing. However, the huge cost of maintenance and poor catch have forced many local fishermen to consider other alternatives for earning their livelihood. The sight of these fishing nets, supported by teak and bamboo poles, attracts large number of tourists. With the help of these fixed installations, fishermen are able to catch the fish, by operating the nets from the shore itself. The massive structure is operated in a gradual manner by a team of six fishermen. Usually, the catch is modest that gets sold within no time. You can even ask for the fish to be fried on the spot.
Fort Kochi beach as well as the St. Francis Church attract quite a number of tourists. The church built in 1503 is the oldest European Church in India, where the explorer Vasco da Gama was originally buried.
Fort Kochi is full of boutique resorts, heritage hotels and homestays for those who want to soak up some serious culture. Eateries range from gourmet restaurants to street shacks.
For culture buffs, the historic Mattancherry town nearby would be worth a visit. Mattancherry houses Jew Town, once a bustling centre of spice trade, the Paradesi Synagogue and the Dutch Palace. Jewish synagogue was built in 1568 on the land adjacent to the Dutch Palace, given by the erstwhile king of Cochin. If you have deep pockets, you could pick up some great antiques and souvenirs from Jew Town. This quaint little town is also a melting pot of migrant communities like Gujaratis, Jews and Jains.