Tipping is fairly common in India with the exception of rickshaw drivers or taxi drivers, unless you hire them for the day (although a few rupees or rounding up the fare is always appreciated). These amounts are meant as a guideline. Tip ONLY in rupees, not any other currency. Check to see if a service charge has already been added to any bill.
Waiters - generally 10-15 percent of the bill in upscale places, in smaller places (local/budget) tip Rs. 10-20.
Bellmen - Rs. 50 - 100 (depending on how much luggage).
Hotel Doorman - Rs. 50-100 when you checkout.
Hotel Maid - Rs. 100-200 for your stay (5+ days). Be sure to hand deliver.
Room Service - Rs. 20-50. (20 for smaller things, 50 for meal delivery).
Drivers/ Guides - half day/ Full day sightseeing trips Rs. 150 - 250.
Drivers/ Guides - long trips spread over many days Rs. 150 - 200 Per traveller/ day.
Porters (train stations/airports) - set the rate beforehand (around Rs. 10-20 per bag).
Favorite thing: The closest ATM to Palolem beach is at Canacona - there's a little row of shops and a large hotel, halfway between the beach and Canacona railway station and the ATM is there. It's not far to walk from the Hi-Tide area, though it's a bit further if you're coming from the main street of Palolem.
Favorite thing: The season for Goa is between October and March, with Christmas being the peak time. We were there in early April, and a lot of the beach hut resorts and restaurants were starting to close down for the coming of the monsoon season. That said, just out of season like that, it's a lot quieter.
The thing that strikes me about Goa is how friendly everybody is. The locals are really helpful when you speak to them and strangers smile at you in the street as you pass, a far cry from London that's for sure. We met many people out there and you will be surprised by the number of people from out of town who come up to you and ask nicely to have their picture taken with you. Embrace it and you'll meet some lovely people.
Fondest memory: One of my fondest memories was on the beach walking back from Calangute and meeting a family who had come to Goa for a holiday. They asked us to be in a photo with them, we lined up then suddenly I had a baby thrust in my arms, bless. We in turn asked if we could take some pictures of them. The kids were so sweet and all queued up for kisses when we parted.
India has a large number of mobile phone users. Even among the poorest people. In 2009 they said it was more mobil phones than toalets in India. With their increasing technology it is maybe twice as much now. Domestic calls within India is cheap.
Goa trance is a monotone electronic music said to be originated from Goa during the late 1980's. For me it sounds more like Belgian techno music from the early 1990's. A romantic dream made as a continuance of the spiritual hippie culture.
The music is heard from CD shopping stalls and other places in goa where you find young foreign tourists.
Fondest memory: Calangute is the largest town in North Goa, and an intersection between north and south in Goa. The streets are traficated with restaurants and shops offering souvenirs, crafts, leather items, clothes and jewellery. The Saturday bazaar held in the Beach of Calangute close to the post office has plenty of good deals for shoppers. Another place is the market of Calangute Square.
Fondest memory: The bamboo restaurants and the shanty cottages on the beach of Calangute is teared down every year when the summer monsun starts and some of them are build up again in October when the tourists season starts. Maybe the cottages are too fragile for heavy wind and rain? Actually this is not the reason. There are some disputes among the poor restaurant owners on the beach and the hotel owners, who say they loose money because the shanty restaurants steel their customers. Lobbyism by the hotel owners have resulted in a goverment fee every season of 50000 rupies for each restaurant on the beach, which is an enourmous amount for a poor man. I don't think this is fair. Please be wise when you are here and eat on the beach.
Charter operators recommend Health Clinic in Calangute if you need medical assistance. +91 9822662979
Vintage Hospital St. Ines in Panjim is the best hospital in Goa. +91 8322232533.
Apollo Victor Hospital in Margao, Goa +91 8322728888.
Fondest memory: More than half of all the tourist in Goa are russian. You can hear their languages everywhere on the beaches of north Goa. And you can see signs with the cyrillic alphabet in the streets, hotels and restaurants. The russian tourist are cash-rich and spend a lot of money. Many Indian waiters in the restaurants speak russian and many try to learn the language. I personally have no bad feelings for russian tourist other than they don't speak other languages than russian. Especially the beaches of Candolim, Calangute and Morjim has a high number of russians.
Fondest memory: The Hindus consider the cows in India as holy and they are allowed to freely roam the cities whatever traffic around. This looks strange to foreigners, but you will get used to it. It is always like that everywhere you go. The hindus believe the cows are wise and show a motherly calm.
Calangute and especially Candolim beach has lifeguards to protect the tourists. A man is on the guard each 200-300 metres of the beach, and a patrol car drives between the two beaches. It was a political proposal from the opposition party to have the guards there. The sea is rough with high waves.
15° 31' 59.9400" N 73° 45' 28.9900" E
Fondest memory: The beaches of Goa has a large number of lokals who sell food, drinks, icecream or crafts. In many cases they don't take no for an answer, and keep on hassle until you have bought something. Remember to bargain at least half the price.
Manu fond memories everthing from the fantastic hotel Hyaat resort and Spa to the beautiful beaches, the water sports. The warm waters of the Indian ocean and the mouth watering food at the hotel. Simple unforgetable.
My only bad experience on the entire trip was some very annoying guest East European guests. They looked like a tour group that was simply ruining the tranquility of the hotel.
They kids seems to disobey every rule posted.
1. They would dive into the Pool when it clearly said no diving.
2. Splash around widely and cause wake.
3. Move your towels to grab a shaded spot / chair that you have got.
4. Kids were very loud.
5. The kids climbed the coconut trees that were part of the landscape and picked coconuts and cut them with swiss knife and drank the water.
6. The Parents just didn't seem to care and never corrected any of them.
It was sad to see they the parents set such a bad example to other children.
Fondest memory: Just because you pay doesnt not mean you have the right to do anyhting..
Panaji welcomes the tourists not with tourist sites but with its character. Apart from being the capital of Goa, it is also the focal point of tourism in Goa and a small and charming city on the banks of silvery Mandovi River. Panaji has beautiful, red-roofed houses, built in the Latin style. But the city does not lack in modern infrastructure and you can find modern houses, well laid gardens, statues and avenues lined with Gulmohar, Acassia and other trees.
Area 35.99 Sq Km
Population 53,823 (1991)
Altitude Sea Level
Languages Konkani, Marathi, Hindi, English
Religion Hinduism, Christianity, Islam
STD Code 0832