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An Ultimate Photo Guide to Visit Goa
I visited Goa from April 14 to April 19 2012 and today is April 25, 2012 when I have started writing this travelogue of Goa. It has been six days since I came back but still whenever I close my eyes, the sweet memories of this heavenly place come in front of me. Goa is a place where you are not bound by any customs, any religions, any traditions, any restrictions, or anything. It is just all about fun, adventure, excitement, and enjoyment. This is a perfect place for people who would like to take an ultimate break from their daily routines and want to enjoy their vacation. I would say Goa is worth each and every penny you spend there. The most important thing that matters when you go to a new place to spend a vacation is the people you meet, how they deal with you, how they speak with you and believe me I have not found any other place in India except Goa where people are so sweet, humble, and take care of you as a guest rather than a simple customer as hotel staff deal with customers in metros. Seriously, here I have learned the real meaning of "guest" and how one should deal with guests. Today I have so many things to say about Goa after my recent trip from this amazing place and there are a lot of things jam packed inside me that I would like to share with you people in the form of my writing with beautiful and amazing photographs and videos. So come along with me to visit Goa virtually via this page...
What else a traveler wants to see, natural beauty, trees, water, few people sitting along the rocky beach, beautiful girls on the beach, your favorite beer or liquor, company of enjoying people, peace of mind, relaxation, a short sun tan, ultimate shopping experience in the market, best nightlife, or whatever thing that is hitting your mind right now. If you wish to experience all these under one roof, then Goa is the ultimate place for you. From Calangute Beach to Vagator, from Anjuna to far off Miramar, from Fort Aguada and magnificent Sinquerim beach to far flung Colva, beaches of Goa always welcome guest from all over the world and when this welcome combines together with great hospitality, care, and respect for the guests who come from far off places, then that destination becomes a hit among travelers around the world. Yes you read it right. According to some recent studies on travel and tourism in India, around 2 million people visit Goa annually out of which around half a million are foreigners including Russians, Americans, and people from all over the world.
Reaching Goa: The best way to reach Goa is by air if you are coming with kids and family but if you are traveling with office colleagues without family and kids then you can come via train. Interestingly, Dabolim airport in Goa is only 40 to 50 kilometers from the most popular beaches of Goa. Right after coming out from the airport, you can go to prepaid/postpaid taxi counter where you can hire Hyundai Accent, Toyota Etios, Swift Dzire, Santro, Alto, or any other car whichever is available around that time. The cars are well maintained and the chauffeurs are well trained drivers who know how to talk with the guests in a polite manner. The rates are already fixed by the government for example if you want to reach Baga Beach from Dabolim airport, they will simply charge you 950 rupees for non-AC cab and 1100 rupees flat for an AC cab. Some beaches that are nearby to the airport, they will only charge you 600 rupees for an AC cab but that is all fixed according to the distance.
Accommodation in Goa: Though there are a lot of hotels and beachside resorts in Goa where you can stay, but as stay depends on an individual's budget, you can choose from anything from 3 star to 5 star hotels and from beachside resorts with swimming pools to cheap accommodations located right inside the market. As most famous markets are situated very near to the beach, it is your personal choice if you want to stay right in front of the beach or in front of the market. Rates of three star resorts range anywhere between 2000 to 2500 INR per day for two adults and two kids below 5 years. If you want to stay in a five-star hotel, the rates vary between 5000 to 12000 in non-season to peak seasons, respectively. You will find accommodation most expensive only around the last week of December around the time of New Year when Goa is jam packed with party people from around the world who come here to celebrate and enjoy their New Year on the beach with drinks, fun, dance, and excitement. At other times, there are a lot of accommodations in Goa and rates are cheap due to competition among hotels and resorts. We stayed in Estrela Do Mar beach resort which is a nice resort to hang out with friends and family near the beach and near the market. Excellent location, good food, great service, and cooperative staff. Website is www.estreladomargoa.com and address is Khobra Vaddo in Calangute, Goa India and bookings can be made at +91 9822219785 or +91 8888886117
Map to reach hottest beaches in Goa from Dabolim Airport
Food in Goa: Finding good food in Goa is not a problem at all. Goans beach shacks and restaurants have a lot of food items in their menu just because of the confluence of so many cultures.
You can eat actually anything in Goa from the finger licking and yummy seafood platters to your North Indian style Tandoori chicken, masala dosa with goan chutney and sambar to Afghani chicken but one thing which I would like to share here is mutton, yes don't eat mutton here as suggested by several people from hotel staff and waiters from the beach shacks. According to them, you will get beef when you order mutton in Goa. Except this, there is actually no problem with the food and all the food is really tasty and delicious.
Lucky Star Beach Shack on Baga Beach: One famous beach shack is known by the name of Lucky Star which is right behind the famous Tito's discotheque and bar in Goa. The food at Lucky Star is awesome and I loved to eat everything there I ordered around 3 nights including chicken tandoori, masala fry rock fish, chicken do pyaza, lemon chicken, etc. Having beer on this beach shack surrounded by people from all walks of life is really enjoyable and great. The best part about this beach shack is you can watch your IPL match on its large screen, have a look on the roaring sea water, talk with your family, and enjoy watching the beautiful girls coming out from the Tito's going toward the beach. So what else do you want. Everything on the same place. Besides, you can also enjoy tequila shots, awesome cocktails, and mocktails include the famous Blue Sea mocktail which is smooth and tingly.
Travel in Goa: It is better to hire a scootie like Honda Activa or something outside your hotel rather than hiring a cab with driver. The cab and chauffeur affair is really expensive and the most important thing is that you will not be able to explore the real Goa on a cab. It is better to hire a scootie for 250 rupees per day which you can use to visit nearby beaches and also do your shopping inside the small shops of Goa. Just remember to buy petrol from outside vendors or a nearby petrol pump before staring your journey as the hire scootie only contains half a liter of fuel. Get 4 to liters inside your scootie and it is more than enough to do your sightseeing around Goa.
On our visit to Goa last month, we hired a scootie from the security guard of Estrela do mar beach resort. He charged us 250 rupees on a daily basis and also kept my voters ID card for security purposes. Also as a reminder, never drive inside the markets or highways without a helmet and also never go in no entry areas or on wrong side of roads with one-way traffic as I had to pay a chalan of 100 rupees for going into no entry. Money is not an issue when you are on a vacation but why to mess up with local police plus it is better to keep yourself safe and secure wearing helmet while driving.
We visited Candolim and Anjuna beach in Goa on Honda Activa. The roads are not crowded and it is easy to drive along with the light traffic. Not like Delhi or Mumbai where there is no space to keep even one foot down when you are in traffic.
So friends, I have a lot more things to share including adventure activities and sightseeing in Goa which I will share with you in my next hub. A glimpse of water sports activities can be seen in the photographs and also the dolphin hunt videos I will be sharing with you.