Around 130 miles north of Trivandrum
lies the cosmopolitan city of Kochi
. A mix of Portugese, Dutch and British influences, you'll find several different cultures, religions and ethnic groups living side by side here. The principle harbour along the Malabar Coast
, everything in Kochi comes back to the sea. The most striking feature of the bustling port is the ghost-like Chinese fishing nets, or (Cheena Vala), that rise up out of the sea. Make your visit at sunrise or sunset for the best views. Eating out should always be about seafood, as it'll always be fresh from the port. In terms of sightseeing, do a little tour of all the places of worship. With diverse architectural styles, you'll find Jain temples alongside mosques and European churches. If you've made your way round the fort and still have some time left over, a bus and ferry ride will take you to Vypeen Island, an almost-deserted beach spot where you're guaranteed uninterrupted sunbathing.