LOCAL TRAVEL, Goa
With the festive season round the corner, Goa is all set to welcome its visitors who make a beeline to its shores during the October to March season that is the best time to explore this picturesque state. Cheap flights to Goa is already the highest searched keyword on Google and the queries are most likely to go up as X’mas and New Year comes on the horizon
Fondest memory: Goa, the very name brings to mind a place that is bestowed with breathtaking natural scenery, waterfalls, beautiful beaches and clear blue skies. In reality it is much more than what words can ever describe. We were planning a tour of Goa for a very long time but never got down to one. Finally on our previous holiday we asked our travel agent to book Cheap Flights to Goa for the entire family and off we were to this scenic destination.
We landed at the Goa airport and thereafter checked into our hotel and decided to explore the city from the next day. To explore Goa, tourists have two options either to join a sightseeing tour being offered by a travel agency or hire a personalized tour guide who can take you to the best places in Goa that are almost a permanent fixture in any tourist’s Goa itinerary. These include the Arvalem Caves, Arvalem Waterfalls, Basilica of Bom Jesus, Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary, Cabo Da Rama Fort, Cotigoa Wildlife Sanctuary Dudhsagar Waterfalls, Mahalaxmi Temple, Mangueshi Temple, Fort Aguada,Mayem Lake, Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, Terekhol Fort,
As we drove through the city, we discovered that Goa is divided into nine major inland regions namely Bicholim, Canacona, Margao, Mapusa Old Goa, Panaji, Pernem, Sanguem, Vasco Da Gama, and Ponda.Each of these places have separate set of tourist attractions and beaches that attract visitors from all across the globe.
We were definitely impressed by the warmth and hospitality displayed by the people of Goa and decided that we will definitely recommend our friends to book their flights to Goa during the peak season when it’s not raining much and the weather is at its best.
Accomodation especially during Dec-Jan needs to be done ideally a year before, still not too late for dec and as your stay for nearly a month, you will be given priority than the ones who stay for a week or fortnight.
Flights can be booked even 6 months in advance(international) and 100 days in advance for domestic to get best deals. Suggest you book via Jet airways(www.jetairways.com) or Kingfisher airlines(www.flykingfisher.com), they fly between Europe and Far East into Mumbai/Bangalore/Delhi(Mumbai is 50 mins fly time to Goa and it is 60 mins flight from Bangalore to Goa) and are the leading domestic carrier's in India.
* Delhi would be last choice, unless your sector does not fly to Mumbai or Bangalore. And during dec-jan, Delhi is not advisable with fog and flights get cancelled and delayed and will be frustrating to start or finish your holiday.
Its people who are fun loving and easy going. There are many places for tourists to visit apart from the beaches in Goa. Temples, local market in Mapusa, the streets and and theater in Panjim. Most of the places can be visited by private taxis which are priced very reasonable unless you are there in December which is the peak season.
If you are a single traveler than try the two wheeler taxis which is even more reasonable. The other option is to hire a two wheeler and explore the inner roads.
Goa is absolutely safe to drive and explore all the time.
Fondest memory: The long stretch of beaches from Fort Aguada till Baga and the little shacks. Dont miss "goan fish curry and rice" in Suza Lobo's restaurant in Callangute - there is no substitute.
Favorite thing: Taxis are a great way to get around in Goa until you find your bearings.If you find a decent taxi driver you will tend to stick with him. And reward him with your custom.You may find that they have good info and work out cheap for your trips out.Most will stay and wait whilst you go somewhere or pick you up at an agreed time.all in the price.Just make sure you both agree first on the best price.You may find they will ask to take you to thier friends shop on the way ? You can always say no ! It just the shops give the taxi drivers a few rupees if they take tourist to these shops.There is no obligation to buy.
Unfortuntely there are mossies in Goa. If you are not going to take anti malerial drugs then you best bet to to be prepared. Personally, i found that Jungle Spray from Boots was excellent. It contains 50% deet and prevents the mossies from even coming near you. I am aware of Odomos but it only contains 12% deet which is just not strong enough to avoid being bitten. Am sure it does help but i dont not beleive it stops you getting bitten. On our last trip the only four people who did not get bitten by mossies in my hotel was myself, my partner and our two friends. It seems that we were the only ones wearing 50% deet. I did try to obtain something stronger in Goa but it was impossible.
Better to be safe than sorry. I would use Jungle.
Also, mossie bites not only spread maleria they can be very painful and dont look too good either!
Fondest memory: The sun, the food, the hospitality and the slow pace of life.........
Goa in its unique location, a paradise for water sport lovers.
From a small boat to a big touristic one, doens't matter what. enjoy the water.
Take a short trip to see the Goan dolphins. Wonderful experience.
We have always gone to Panjim by taxi. This time we also tried it by bus and ferry.
We took the bus from Candolim (at the junction to Panjim), got off the bus at the ferry, took the free ferry over the river to Panjim. We did our shopping, had something to eat and did the same trip back. It only cost us 7-/ each way for the bus and thats it, the ferry was free!
Very entertaining, more interesting than sitting in a taxi. Would probably use a taxi if going at night though.
Favorite thing: If your gonna book a trip or tour try "DAYTRIPPERS" or "JOHNS BOAT TOURS" these trips are like for like as offered by the tour operators ,but if you book with these guys you will save 10 to 15 pounds per person.
The call of Goa never ceases to cast its charm. And the goan monsoons to me is an unmatched sense of its kind. Lush greenery and clean fields. White churches stand up to welcome you, to the land the Portuguese would have killed for. And the goans hold so very dear. The zest for life takes a different meaning in Goa.
Tourist traditions in Goa are now a ritual to be observed during every Goa trip. Renting of bikes, partying at Titos and the henna tattoos. So here we were in Goa on the threshold of a long weekend looking over the familiar land for the unexpected. As always.
Bikes were rented. Backpacks packed with few essentials. Baga Calangute road gave way to the bridge over Mandovi in no time. Off to old Goa on the lovely narrow ride lined with water on either side. A brief stopover at the Church of Bom Jesu and Se Cathedral, we decided to hit our destination. A secluded beach off Dona Paula!
The entrance is a small sleepy fishing village downhill from the main road amidst lush greenery. The only thatched roofed restaurant on the beach is open throughout the year. Alcohol and fish curry is the flavour of the day, all round the year. Coconut trees and a few fishing boats line the sand stretch. The only thing missing one would wish is a hammock and a book. Time flies and you wished the day was just a bit longer.
Back to Baga and you can feel the ‘action’ in the air. A small pub in the Baga fishing village hosts live band on Friday nights. Brittos as usual scents the air with the smell of baked crabs and grilled fish. Saturday nights you can barely walk the Baga road and the music spills over till the wee hours of the morning.
Then comes Sunday morning and the good old goan christians line the churches humming halleluiahs. The usual business starts just to end for the susegat of the afternoons. The weather, the sea, the greens, the fish and the endless list of things to do in Goa never goes out of fashion.
Fondest memory: The smell of smoked fish and the seafood platter still lies refreshed in my mind even today
My general tip in Asian countries. :-) Use taxi. They are everywhere. It is cheap and fast way to move even to long destinations if you do not like to rent a vehicle. Always negotiate the price first. Do not hesitate to hire a taxi for 2-hour shopping at Panaji or wholeday trip, like Calangute-Palolim-Calangute etc. Drivers are willing to wait. The price depends more on the time spent than kilometers, and your hagging skills also.
I maybe paid too much myself, but it was my first time at Goa. :-)
Some examples: Baga-Calangute beach 50 rps, Baga-Palolim oneway 800 rps, Baga-spice farm-Old Goa-Panjim-Baga fullday tour with guiding 700 rps (late March 2003).