Striked Out in Kochi Pt I: Prologue

Pt I: Prologue
Pt II: Getting There
Pt III: Sonnetta’s Sonata

Last October Tiger Airways ran a 1-for-1 (called bring a friend) promotion and the flights to India were very reasonable at around S$110 each way. Managed to get a party of four for the trip which would start in Kochi on 18 February 2013 and end in Bangalore on 24 February 2013. Total cost was a decent S$221.20 for the return tickets. This would be my first real trip of 2013 since Malaysia doesn’t really count.

Although Singaporeans could get visa-on-arrival in India, the service is only available at DEL, BOM, CCU and MAA. Our port of entry was COK so we would need to get our Indian visa in advance. There are two agents appointed by the Indian High Commission to process visa applications and I chose to go with VFS Global Singapore (which has a 24-hour branch near Farrer Park MRT).

Location of VFS Global:-

Before going down to VFS, we had to submit our application online and print out the submitted form. There was some confusion regarding the size of the photograph; the application form requested for 2″ x 2″ sized photograph while VFS indicated passport-sized. Turned out both sizes are accepted. The application was easy enough (S$45 for visa and S$3.05 service charge for Singaporeans) and collection was in two days’ time.

In preparation for the trip, I also went for consultation at TTSH Travellers’ Health and Vaccination Clinic and got some jabs, ie Typhoid and Hep A booster. Apparently they are not essential but are high recommended.

The itinerary for India was simple enough; we would spend two nights in Kochi (including a backwater tour) before traveling to the hill station Munnar. We would return to Kochi for our overnight train (IMO a must-do for any self-respecting traveler to India) to Bangalore where we could explore for the day before catching our flight home.

Well the best-laid plan could easily be derailed by unforeseen factors and we were about to find out…

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