The Department of Tourism office provides some good information, free and useful maps, etc. It has zonal Offices in North Goa at Mapusa and in South Goa at Margao.
Their website www.goatourism.org is also quite useful for information
Favorite thing: Carnival in Goa is a non-stop 3-day festival of color, song and music, providing a healthy entertainment for all, young and old. The soothing climate, full of fun- 'n' -frolic, which the Carnival generates, is much longed for. It does not matter whether one enjoys or see others enjoying. There is enthusiasm and happiness all around.
Favorite thing: When in Goa, rent a bike and tour the state! Bike rents are amazingly cheap in Panjim - 100 INR which is less that 3 USD a day. Goa has fantastic roads, almost all the beaches and hills are bike-able, and the kick of the speed with salt and spray is more than one can resist! I remember going up a steep hill side
There are two ATMs at the centre of Calangute. Make sure you have your credit card 4-digit pin number before entering to Goa.
If you have not the pin, you have basically only one option to get cash in advance at Calangute area: Bank of Baroda near at the village centre. It is open daily basis, also at Sundays, but do not count on that. Morning is the prettiest good time to transact. There is only one exchange desk at Bank of Baroda.
Favorite thing: The time that we were in Goa first in 95 then in 97 it was really cheap to stay in the budget hotels, but just because they are classed as this does not mean that you will be staying in a flea pit, as we found some of the so called budget hotels were excellent. As you know all too well times change and with many more people finding out about Goa the prices will rise, thats life. There were a few hotels and restaurants being built when we were there to catch up with the 21st century, but I found Goa at the time to be one of the least expensive place that we have ever had the pleasure to visit, for food, accommodation, transport and just about every-thing else that you could mention, but as I found with Thailand after going there in 1984 and then returning in 1990 the prices in Thailand had trippled, so my VT site on Goa is what we paid at the time and hopefuly things havn't changed that much, as like the people and the place there is never any rush only a wish to be happy and content like us all.
Favorite thing: There is Hash to be found in Goa and it is very inexpensive, it usually comes from up country mostly Cannabis Resin and there are different types called Charas and sometimes Nepalese and is bought in lumps known as Tollahs usually 10gms, sometimes you might even come across some grass like Kanataka weed, and so I have been told it is very strong. I did hear that because of the Rave scene and the fashionable drug market you can also get ecstasy and opium but I never saw any, It is not a good idea to smoke openly in Goa even though the Goans are very tolerant of the stoned tourists, Hash dosn't seem readily available until you look for it, word of mouth is usually the best way and the odd aroma in the air will point you in the right direction. If you do decide to partake try and get it from a westener at first until you know the score and treat it with the respect it rightly deserves, Oh and by way the Indian papers are not the same as western standards bring your own if possible. Alcohol is readily available, there are many local beers like Black Label, Bullet, Guru and my favourite King Fisher, some are strong and some not so strong, depending on what type you drink decides the head thumping in the morning. Spirits are also in abundance you can find brand names such as Johhny Walker Whiskey and brand named Vodka, Brandy etc, the local firewater is known as Toddy which is made from coconuts and Feni made from cashew nuts but the Daddy of them all is Arak which is made from distilled rice, this stuff will blow your head off, it's best to mix it with soda or coke to water it down a bit although it is quite palatable on it's own, but a word of warning try and get the bottles that are labled and made by the goverment because a lot of people in Goa and India make there own and that stuff is dangerous, I am told drinking it makes you blind for starters.
Favorite thing: When you go to the banks in the smaller towns to change money, it can sometimes take time as there dosn't seem to be any rush, so make a little extra time for your self to compensate. It's better in the main towns.
Favorite thing: There is an abundance of soft drinks all the favourites like Coke and Fanta and can be bought almost any-where. Mineral water is cheap and I recommend you also brush your teeth with it as tap water although clorinated in big hotels can still give you stomach problems, be careful when buying bottled water on the street make sure that the bottle top is secure because some vendors have a tendancy to refill bottles with tap water. The food in Goa ranges from curries to burgers in fact you can find a lot of food catering for the westener. Where curries are concerned be careful when you order because their version of hot is different to the western palate and hot means very hot so start with a mild curry and work your way up if needed although the Goans are getting used to the western diets. Rule of thumb is on the coast eat fish and in the countryside eat meat. Most of the places that you eat will have cutlery but if they don't put the food in your mouth using your right hand, because the left hand is used for other purposes!
Favorite thing: Be warned that there are lots of mosquitoes around at night in Goa especially if there is stagnent water near by in which they breed. so take some repellent (Deet) and wear a long sleeved shirt and long trousers. I remember getting drunk one night on Arak the local firewater (When in Rome) and fell asleep in my hotel room with the door open I managed to get my clothes off apart from my shorts (luckily) but collapsed on top of the bed, in the morning I thought that I had measles, I had been eaten alive. So I went downstairs and the hotel owner got me a taxi to a doctors surgery which consisted of an Indian man sat behind a desk with a mountain of drugs on top, he looked at me laughed and gave me a pill the size of a gobstopper I reluctantly took it with a glass of water and two days later my skin was clear of lumps. Hopefully you will never require the need to see a doctor but don't be afraid to pay them a visit because many of the top doctors and surgeons in the UK are from India.
What can I say about Goa. Its all been said before. It s one of my favourite places. The sun, the sand and the people. amazing! Don't forget the Booze!! Its cheap and good!
Fondest memory: the best thing to do is drink and laze on the beach. its amazing. the shackwallah on the beaches will bring you beer and food. that is me with the first drink of the day. Looks like a milkshake - it isn't. its a cocktail with a Feni (local brew) base! Amazing!!
Favorite thing: The temples are so beautiful to take pictures of, make sure you carry your camera always as I missed a few good shots not having mine
Favorite thing: Goa has a wonderful variety of most delicious fruits.... India is really blessed with extreme beauty and most wonderful foods....
Favorite thing: This is SUZI an adorable little dog I met in Betlebatim, thought she deserved a place here, if you see her when there, give her a bone.... she real cute!!
If you can find a nice clean stall try taste the lime soda drink made in Goa, its cheap and refreshing
Fondest memory: This guys lime drink was ice cold and tasted so good I had 2 glasses
Favorite thing: This desert was most delicious.... no matter where in the world you have eaten this ice cream desert you must go taste it in India... most delicious