I want to plan a surprise trip for my husband to Kerala, but I have no knowledge about the place as all I have seen are the pictures which I why I want to go there. My main concern is about the houseboats, I don't know anything about them. I have put the queries into questions so it is easier to answer. Apologies if the questions may sound stupid but like I mentioned I have now knowledge. 1. What are the Kerala backwaters? If I am not wrong is it the river where boats rides are taken? 2. How are you able to take a boat ride on the river? 3. Are you able to stay in the houseboats? 4. What is the average cost of a houseboat? 5. If you stay in a houseboat, are local shops nearby and easily accessible?