Goa- Name is enough! Lived in Goa for two whole years and still a lot to explore! I love everything about Goa – beaches being my favourite 🙂 The calm near the water, its soothing sound, relaxing atmosphere, music in shacks – heaven 🙂 Goa is a place to chill! It has beaches, sunset, shacks, water sports, nightlife, churches, street walks, Portuguese style houses, flea markets and what not!
I used to live in Sanquelim or Sankli as it is called because my office was there. It had nothing much except for Kaju/Cashew factory near Sankli market, from where I used to buy lots n lots of cashews at pretty reasonable prices. Now Goa Institute of Management has shifted to Sankli from Old Goa and made the place little happening I guess!
Mandovi river flows through Goa.
Best Time to Visit Goa: During Monsoon and Winters. In Monsoons, Goa is so green and so beautiful. If one wants to just enjoy the nature and relax, then monsoon is the time! For water sports, sunburn festival, scuba and other activities, visit Goa from November to February. Summers are a big no no to visit!
How to reach Goa? : Goa can be reached by train, by road and by Air. Railway stations in Goa are Thivim, Karmali and Madgaon. Volvo buses usually go to Mapusa, Panjim and Madgaon. And Goa Airport is in Vasco Da Gama
Commutation within Goa: The local bus service in Goa is pretty good with lot many buses to reach all parts of goa. But the local buses timings are mostly till 8pm after which private taxi or pilot is needed for travel. The houses in Goa are scattered all throughout. Small small villages are there near each other. And yes, how can I forget the famous pilot service! No don’t get confused with air plane pilots! (I did think that these are actual pilots when I first landed in Goa! 😀 ) These pilots are bike taxi providers. Commutation in Goa by taxis is pretty expensive, so this is when pilots save the time and money! When you come to Goad by bus/train, you can also hire a bike, taxi for self driving. The service providers will keep your original i-card and some token money initially. There is smart taxi shop near Panjim bus stand and various other car and bike rentals. Try to bargain hard before taking!
Stay in Goa: Stay in Goa is no problem at all. There are many budget and luxury options available which can be pre-booked or booked on the spot for best bargains! There are also many homestays available if you want to live like a local 🙂 Many foreigners go for the homestay options as they stay here for longer periods of time.
Places to Visit in Goa – Goa is usually visited in 4 parts – Old Goa, Panaji(capital of Goa), North Goa and South Goa. Lets start with the best part first!
The most happening place in Goa. There are so many beaches in North Goa and majority are good ones.
Calangute beach: This is the dirtiest beach of Goa as many tourists come here. The water is almost black! You may go for water sports here i you want but water sports are available at all other beaches as well. Yes but do visit the chat shop near calangute beach for food. It is pure veg and has yummiest of chats available. Its a corner shop and very big one. Pure veg options are very few in Goa. Also, you will find many tattoo artists there. Try temporary ones if not permanent 😉
Baga Beach: This is one of my favourite beaches beacause it has it all! It has many shacks which are awesome at night. Loud music, dance, drinks, sea sound, discs in titto’s lane..too much coolness! And yes there is a casino as well in Hotel La-calypso in case you want to try your luck 😉
Anjuna Beach: Its a rocky beach. Different than other beaches for a change. There are famous staurday night markets near Anjuna beach. Many people come for shopping here. You can go for Go-Karting near Anjana beach. Its super fun! Do check out Curlies on south Anjuna beach. You may like it. Its a nice shack with dance floor on the beach 🙂
Vagator beach: This is another nice beach of Goa. There is famous Chapora Fort near this beach. You have to climb a small rocky mountain to reach this fort. Visit it at sunset and enjoy the awesome view 🙂
Morjim Beach: Nothing special about this beach but my colleagues used to play volleyball on this beach during monsoons. What fun it was! And once our car got stuck there! Took 6 people to take it out of sand 😀
Arambol beach: This one is my favourite beach in North Goa. Few tourists come here. White sand and clean water is what you find here. There are many Foreigners and Indians on this beach who do the tricks to entertain others. This beach has lovely atmostphere at night. So peaceful and happening at the same time!
All the above beaches are on upper side of Calangute. If you go downside, then there are few other beaches.
Sinquerim beach with Aguada Fort near it and also Taj village resort is here nearby which is one of the best luxurious stays in Goa!
Candolim beach has operators providing dolphin spotting trips. This beach also has many sea shells lying around everywhere in case you want to collect!
It is the capital of Goa. Panaji pr Panjim has Portuguese style architecture. It lies on the banks of Mandovi river. The road parallel to the river is so beautiful with river on one side, trees on both sides of road, yellow portuguese buildings on one side, doesn’t feel like part of India! There is Miramar beach, Dona Paula beach on that road, Art Gallery(There used to be a wooden extension bridge on water near this art gallery which has been removed-was my favourite reading place!), Inox theatre, the best Casinos flooded with rich people!, cruise rides(usually in evening- has goan performances, snacks), water sports- Goa is full of activities. You can never ever get bored there!
Panaji has various good restuarants. Whenever I missed home food, I used to come to Panaji to satiate my taste buds! Panaji market is on 18th June road. The shops in Goa open late and close early. People do maintain a good balance in their personal and professional lives 😉 Wine tasting fest is usulally held at Inox in Panaji.
Panaji has a beautiful church. Immaculate Conception Church. White washed walls makes it look so amazing. It is at the start of 18th June road, near Panaji bus stand. Must visit place!
It has the famous Churches of Goa. Two famous ones being the Church of St. Francis of Assisi and notably, the Basilica of Bom Jesus which contains the relics of Saint Francis Xavier, which is celebrated every year on 3 December. I used to visit old goa churches quite often. Felt inner peace here!
South Goa too has many beaches as well. Earlier not many tourists visited South Goa but now the situations have changed. Still there is not much crowd there. So, if you want a peaceful visit, away from crowd and hustle-bustle, stay in South Goa. Most of the 5-star properties are in south Goa with their private beaches. So, if you can afford, do stay in Leela’s near Palolem beach. They have a beautiful private beach, a disc and other five star facilities.
The famous beaches in south are Colva beach, Benaulim beach, Butterfly beach and the best of all – Palolem beach.
Palolem Beach: It is my absolute favourite beach. White and non sticky sand, very clear water, not so harsh on skin. This beach has not much crowd and therefore neat and clean. There are kayaking and rowing options available on this beach if you know swimming.
Scuba Diving: Goa Diving operates from Bogmalo Beach and scuba dives at Grand Island. Scuba diving at Grande Island is just a 10 min boat ride from Bogmalo beach . The village of Bogmalo is ideally situated 10 minutes from Dabolim Airport, and can offer 1 to 5 star accommodation.
Dudh Sagar Falls: The Waterfall is located in the Bhagwan Mahavir Wild Life Sanctuary at Collem in South Goa along the western Ghats, bordering the neighbouring State of Karnataka.You can trek to reach this fall.The water fall is at its peak flow during the monsoon months from June to September and wanes out towards the summers from March to june The trip to the falls is well organized by the local Taxi Union. Jeeps which are allowed to carry only 6 passengers cost Rs 2100/-. The driver will drop you off near the falls and wait for one and a half hour before taking you back to Kulem. You can economise by forming a group of 6 and pay Rs: 500 each. However the union does not help you form the group. Life jackets which can be hired for Rs: 30 per person are made compulsury by the DM before taking the Jeep to the falls.
Last but not the least- Sunburn Festival, Goaaaaaa!!
Sunburn is a commercial EDM (electronic dance music) Festival held in the beach and party destination Vagator, Goa. It was previously in Candolim, Goa, India every year. It is Asia’s largest music festival. The festival is an amalgamation of Music,Entertainment, Food and Shopping. Spread over 4 days, the festival has multiple stages with artists playing simultaneously. Many national and international tourists visit during sunburn as it is he most happening event in asia!
So I guess I have covered pretty much about Goa. But there is still a lot more to be explored. Many unexplored beaches and places. You shall know when you go 🙂 Whether you go there for a long visit or a short one- you will surely fall in love with this place!
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