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Things To Do When Travelling To Goa, India
Including Goa I have travelled from Spain to Africa to Hawaii, I have been lucky enough to travel to all different countries and see with my own eyes the culture, traditions and ways of life. With my job as a travel agent and one thing which is great about my job is that some of my trips were not just holidays but educationals, where I had to check out the hotels from 2 star ratings through to 5 stars properties, sample the excursions and also travel to beautiful holiday destinations. I wanted to share with you the reason why I would highly recommend holiday travel to Goa.
One of my favourite trips was an educational to Goa in India as it really opened my eyes to a "real" country, forget Blackpool abroad, there was no trace of being overly touristy or resorts which had been ruined by holidaymakers, it was untouched, unspoilt and beautiful.
If your looking at travelling to somewhere which is still hot, still has miles of golden sandy beaches but somewhere that's different, a holiday that has culture and sightseeing then Goa is certainly a country to sample.
A bit of useful information which may help you when planning you trip.
The best time to go would be between November and March which is classed as the tourist season as the monsoon season occurs between May and August.
Flying time is approximately 10 hours and Goa is 5 and a half hours ahead of the UK.
The local currency is Indian Rupee but you will not be able to purchase this before hand as the currency cannot be taken in or out of the country anymore so you are best to take Travellers Cheques, Sterling or US Dollars and there will be money exchange facilities in most of the hotels and in the cities.
Before you go booking your holiday you must remember to obtain a visa and have at least 6 months validity on your passport.
You will also need to speak to your GP regarding vaccinations and malaria tablets.
A couple of the Excursions which are well worth seeing to really experience Goa
There were so many fantastic excursions to do and I'm going to have to start with my favourite of all which was when I went to the Indian retreat in Salem, it took a couple of hours by bus but was definitely worth the bus ride there. At the Indian Retreat you can ride elephants, watch them bathe and even have an elephant shower while sitting on their back. They have simple and clean cottages where you can stay overnight and the locals are more than happy to put on a show in the evening and make it an evening to remember.
Why not try crocodile spotting? This was a great way to forget about the dangers of crocodiles and really sit back on a traditional Goan boat and start crocodile spotting and "snapping" away with the camera, I saw 3 crocs whilst travelling down the Mandovi River and what an experience and brilliant excursion it was.
Have you ever wondered where all the spices from your Tikka Masala or Vindaloo came from, well take a trip to the spice plantation where you get taken round by a guide where he tells you which spices and plants are what. When you have looked around the plantation they are the perfect hosts by making you lunch served in a banana leaf (but don't worry the leaves are big, so you wont go hungry).
Goa is home to the famous seventeenth century Portuguese Fort Aguada situated on Sinquerim Beach. Fort Aguada is a fantastic piece of history which is a must see and if history is of interest to you, you could even stay in the Fort Aguada Beach Resort Hotel like I did and really soak up the culture.
You cant go all the way to Goa knowing how close you are to the breathtaking Taj Mahal and not visit. The Golden Triangle tour takes you on a guided tour around Delhi, Agra, Jaipur and of course the Taj Mahal, it will take about 5 nights out of your holiday and is a must see.
I could write about Goa for ages but wanted to give you a couple of helpful tips and also some information about the trips and excursions which I did. I visited many hotels and for obvious reasons the 5 star hotels were without doubt amazing with a vast amount of facilities from spa's to children's clubs but the 2/3 star hotels although they did not have as many facilities they were clean nad satisfactory and the staff were all helpful and friendly.
I would recommend that you go to Goa with an open mind though as when your in the main towns, cities and markets you will see beggars (including children) and poverty. Here's another tip which I did and a couple of days before leaving I gathered up my toiletries like my toothpaste, shampoo, shower gel and so on and also my pens and notepad and gave it all to some of the children who had a little stall outside the hotel which I was staying in and believe me it was like it was Christmas for them, it made me feel like I had done a good turn although it wasn't a big turn, they were full of appreciation, grattitude and happiness and that made my trip more worthwhile than any excursion or fancy hotel.