We left Singapore from Changi airport on Tuesday night. I always enjoy flying from Changi: there’s so much to see and do, and they have some great traveller-oriented features such as security at each gate rather than in a central location. Our kids came across a Kinect-based experience where you could see your outline projected onto a large screen with physical (i.e. not electronic) pixels. Like a huge e-Ink display, I suppose.
Our next destination was Coimbatore. Coimbatore is a smaller Indian city that had two main benefits as a stop on our tour: it has direct flights from Singapore and is a relatively short (4-5 hours) drive to our chosen destination of Kodaikanal. We stayed for just one night in Coimbatore, mainly was we arrived quite late and it was going to take so long to travel up to Kodaikanal.
Here’s a picture of a fishpond in our Coimbatore hotel’s lobby:
We first visited Kodaikanal back when we were based in Bangalore in 2003, and really wanted to make a follow-on trip here during this tour with our children. Kodaikanal is an interesting town: it’s a hill station, which means it’s often quite cool up here, and it definitely has a special feel to it. It has a lake, and they make cheese and chocolate. So yes, it does sound a bit like Switzerland. :-)
The drive up to Kodaikanal – for which we hired a car with a driver – was thankfully uneventful.
We did stop off at a few places on the way…
Once to eat ice apple:
Once to drink yellow coconut:
Our final stop was to drink tea.
The tea place had some really interesting antiques on display. My personal favourite was a steam-powered fan from 1902. Totally steampunk!
There was a small gas canister with a flame that drives a small steam engine. I love the idea of using combustion – and therefore heat – to cool you down.
Back on the roads, there are always interesting things to see in India.
As we climbed into the hills, the views got more spectacular…
… even when we started to be surrounded by low-lying cloud.
Once up in Kodaikanal we quickly settled into the place we’re staying. Here are some photos I took as we visited the town during the first few days up here.
We’ll be up in Kodaikanal for another four or so days, so I expect to post more photos of the area before we head onwards to Bangalore. Which should in itself be a lot of fun, as our kids’ first experience of Indian rail travel.
By the way… if you’ve enjoyed these photos, you can see more (and more regularly) via our Instagram page.