Kerala Houseboats, India
The Tourindia Kettuvallam houseboats of Kerala have been plying the lush banks of southern India since 1991, affording unparalleled views of the unique aquatic ecosystem and backwater channels. The boats are locally built according to ancient traditions, using locally sourced wood, rope and coconut fiber (not a single nail is needed). Tourindia's founder and owner, Babu Varghese, had been inspired to turn a design long used to move rice into a floating luxury hotel for guests.
Meals are prepared on board, flavored with fresh local spices and coconut, prepared in many different ways. The boats have enzyme-based biotoilets, solar cells, CFLs and low-flow showerheads.
Visitors can observe wildlife, fish and tour ancient temples and bustling villages.