Way of Life
- Length of Stay: 3 days, 2 nights
- Season: September 2015
- Reason: Last minute weekend trip
- To get to Goa, I took an overnight bus from Pune with Neeta Tours And Travels (tickets purchased from redbus.in). Although the transportation is dirt cheap, I would not recommend this it.
The bus was delayed both ways and it broke down during one of our rest stops. For someone with a small bladder, it was torture. I think we only stopped a couple of times. Nonetheless, the trip was worth it.
- Transportation when you’re in Goa can be tricky. Rickshaw and taxi drivers know you’re at a disadvantage because Goa is kind of spread out, so it’s difficult to haggle. Prices sky-rocket at night. Pick where you stay wisely.
- It’s possible to rent scooters to get around. This would probably be the best choice unless you’re planning on drinking.
I wasn’t brave enough to teach myself how to ride one during this trip so I didn’t try too hard to find out how to rent one.
- Overall Goa felt like a safe place to be. Enjoyed the stay.
- Booked a double room at Hotel Solmar on OYO Rooms. Yes, it looks close to the beach but it actually doesn’t have beach access.
The beaches in that area are also not the types of ones that serve the desire to lie on a lounge chair. 😒
Avoid Miramar Beach.
- We didn’t stay here but I would book a room at C’Roque Resort in a heartbeat. Restaurant on the sand and lounge chairs to order food and drinks from. 👌
- Try to pick an area of Goa you want to stay in and limit yourself to it as much as possible. Decide ahead of time whether you want to stay in an area with resort-like beaches or mostly nightlife.
Internet & Mobile
- I had a local SIM card. WiFi was hard to come by.
- Goan cuisine is different from what I’d been accustomed to in Pune or Bangalore and it is delicious.
- There’s a Portuguese influence and a heavier focus on seafood 🙌.
- Our first meal was at The Upper House in Panjim where we got a good representation of what Goa had to offer. We devoured fish curry, crab xec xec, and pork sorpotel.
- Souza Lobo has a similar menu but the quality not as great. The quantity however is more in their portion sizes. Another plus is that you can eat next to the ocean and then walk down into the sand after your meal.
- Grab some 🍨 at Natural Ice Cream later for dessert.
- I visted a café art gallery called Bodega in Panjim to get out of the heat. The coffee there was capsule Nespresso and not great but the respite was lovely.
- Things I’d recommend buying while you’re there: cashews (Goa is in a big cashew growing region), feni - a fermented liquor made from the Cashew fruit that’s only made in Goa, Portuguese chouriço (Goan spicy sausage), and spices and extracts from spice farms in the area.
- Go to Mapusa Market just to be overwhelmed at how many people are selling all kinds of things. You’ll find fresh fruits, veggies, nuts, gifts, Portuguese chouriço, and FISH! Stretch your haggling skills. 💰
- Drink some pressed cane juice after haggling in the heat.
- Sahakari Spice Farm: I learned a lot about how some common household spices look like in their pure form. The tour was educational and entertaining and there was a buffet at the end with a complimentary shot of feni.
- Elephant rides! I thought about doing this but we visited the spice farm on our last day and I had no clue when my next encounter with a shower would be before our 12 hour ride back home.
- Walking and wandering around Panjim was enjoyable. The architecture reflects a lot Portuguese/European influence.
- We visited a few churches and museums in Old Goa but they were somewhat out of the way and only a thing to do to kill time. I’d pass if presented with the opportunity.