- Spa and massage
- Encounters with locals
- Beach / Seaside Resort
- Extreme Sports
- Water Sports
- Place or Religious Monument
Does it really need to be introduced? Goa is the very epitome of the trendy Indian destination. Westerners come here in large numbers to enjoy the region's sun, its beaches and its numerous clubs. Goa is a region apart: it is the most westernized, the only one where alcohol is freely available, and the only one where a woman can walk down the street in a bikini without the risk of provoking a diplomatic incident.
Most tourists head for Anjuna and the phenomenal amount of attractions it has to offer. I'm not really a fan of these. Nevertheless, I did greatly enjoy the night market, which brings together large numbers not only of traders and shoppers but also artists, which means there are concerts that suit almost every taste.
Among all of Goa's sites, the one I prefer is Palolem, which, though also very touristy, tends to be more quiet and peaceful, more suited to evenings spent around the campfire to the sound of the guitar, or to cocktail parties away from the sound of heavy bass. Palolem even has a silent disco, where you move and groove with headphones on, free to choose what music to dance to by selecting from among three different DJs.
When I was traveling in India, I went to Goa several times, despite all the negative aspects of the place (mass tourism, prostitution, the mafia and drugs, mainly) I always had a great time!
There are plenty of fantastic beaches to choose from and it’s still possible, with a bit of effort, to find yourself alone in the world in isolated spots well away from the hotels and hordes of tourists.
I would advise all travelers who are ‘doing’ India, to go to the huge night market in Anjuna where you can find some great stuff, and also to visit the beaches of Patnem and Palolem to the south, which I thought were the best.
I visited Goa during my trip to India. Passing by Goa provides a break from the usually frenetic pace of life in the rest of the country. I'll tell you why.
Goa isn't a town. It's a state. By coming here you are, in some ways, leaving 'the real' India. Everyone associates its name with a laid-back lifestyle. But before telling you about the beaches, I'll start with Old Goa. You'll wonder if you are in Lisbon! A basilica, a cathedral, churches and stores selling religious souvenirs - not sure if I was in Lisbon or Lourdes!
The answer was easy, but only because of the tropical heat. The huge, red Bom Jesus basilica is the resting place of Saint-François Xavier, who died in 1552. The beach is close by (it's really hot after all) but be respectful and dress appropriately. Inside the basilica I met two Russians wearing skimpy beachwear (yeah, she looked good, so maybe I'll forgive her), but it made me wonder which 'chests' were meant to be on show here. Her outfit was questionable...The guy was bare chested and paunchy, wearing flowery beach shorts and sandals with sand wedged between his toes. But you must visit the basilica - it's sparkles from floor to ceiling. Phenomenal!
Goa is also about the beaches. I followed in Bob Dylan's footsteps and headed to Anjuna Beach; Hard to be left in peace; it's full of vendors selling sarongs, jewelry, massages, ear candling and even cows! And that's life on the beach in Goa.