Visit the new home called 'The Mango House' opened by Children Walking Tall. The house is starting to be used as a drop in centre for street and slum children and will eventually be a permanent home for children under the age of 10 years. Children are happy to see new visitors and you can always take along any goodies for everyone to use.
For those who are keen on diving, snorkeling and even free diving there is a great spot now. It's 5 hrs by train to further south of Goa, place called Trasi in coastal Karnataka. Very pristine beach with basic but qualilty accommodation and assistance available now. The beach is also known for the Seas turtles hatch during Oct-March.
The resort was developed about 15yrs ago but now it is becoming a bit popular. The owner is not too money minded but keen on preserving the natural beauty and exclusiveness. While you are in Goa, it's an ideal place for a short break.
For non divers, there is an island about 45mins boat ride away, a nice picnic spot.
The region is known for treks and nature walks also.
There are several dozens of very stately mansions in Goa, most of which were built in the 18th and 19th centuries. There are also several hundred smaller mansions spread out amongst Goa's numerous villages. They usually have large sized two or even three reception halls, dining halls, several bedrooms, a "balcao" or verandah overlooking a well-maintained garden as well as a flight of steps located in the centre leading to the garden and balcao. A common feature of many of these homes was the presence of a small chapel within it. Unfortunately, many of these homes have fallen into disrepair given the enormous cost of maintaining them. In order to cover their expenses, many homes have been opened to the public
you must visit the villages to see the architecture. Goa is not just beaches and parties... unfortunately 90% of the tourists do not get to experience the real Goan village life..
Arpora's Saturday Night Flea Market is a psychedelic, hypnotic, tantric experience not to be missed.
Just get into the rickshaw and ask for the fair. You'll know you're headed in the right direction when you find yourself in a long queue of similarly trippy individuals, all making their way to the once-a-week Bazaar.
From music to Mary Jane, from kurtas to kebabs - you'll find it all at Arpora's Saturday Night Bazaar - alongwith an incomparable community of traders, troubadours, hippies, harlots, angels, and more...
For something different...hire a taxi...and drive inland away from Goa's coast...and find a small town or village...find yourself somewhere to have a coffee or beer...and take lots of pens/sweets/curio's of any type...and you'll be amazed at the kind of day you'll have. The locals will chat to you...the kids will mob you...it'll be fun...so try it!
NB: Dont go to coastal villages...but head east past Mapusa....
Visit Turtle bay in coastal Karnataka, about hrs by train from Goa towrds further south, The scenic beauty of the Arabian Sea, the calm backwaters of the River Sowparnika, breathtaking nature walks, treks along the scenic coast, clean water for snorkelling, scuba diving and swimming - that about sums up what Turtle Bay is all about! Add to that the allure of peace and quiet, rustic living quarters, delicious coastal cuisine, relaxing massages
This is a great get away place for residents of Goa and tourists who would like to be away from the buzzling beaches of Goa.
If the constant Parties, the Beach Life and the Sarong, Bead, T Shirt and Fruit Ladies are getting to you.... Why don't you carry on down Vagator beach... Hike up, the lava-bedecked black rock stepping-stones that lead to old Portuguese fort, and visit it.
This skody old Portuguese Fort is known as Chapora Fort, and it rather skodily provides us with a glimpse of old Portugese times. It's remaining battlements and fortifications are testimony to a time when when Portugusese Royalty ruled the Roost. But its all a little dilapidated now and so one really has to use one's imagination.
However the fort offers spectacular views of the Vagator beaches, The Chapora Inlet, and simple views of the sea, hills covered with coconut trees and rice fields.
hike down into Chapora Village. Chapora is a fishing village that has retained some of its old ways. It is largely a fishing Village and a good part of it's Fisher population are often to be seen amidst their toil in largely traditional attire, and colorfully dressed women are seen undertaking a fishy comerce on roadsides. Its a cool little place and not a far at all from the Total Tourism of Vagator.
Go check it out.
It was the trip of a lifetime!! It had to be booked through a rep (i think) & it cost £70 but it was worth every penny.
It started by getting picked up at the hotel, visiting the spice platation & having lunch. Then on for one of the most refreshingly needed swims ever in a beautiful clear lake & then on to the village we were staying in named "Shanti Nature Resort". It was breathtakinly beautiful!! All the huts are made out of elephant dung & straw. The elephants, along with camals, billy goats & the many spiders live in the centre of the village. Unfortunately & obviously the elephants are chained up but very, very well cared for.
It's totally action packed from the minute you get to Shanti. You get to ride an elephant, feed them, admire their total beauty & wash them in the river that we swam in earlier. Could things get any better i thought to myself? Oh yes they can :-)
We were woke at 5am the next morning to do a mountain walk, it was amazing. After walking the mountain it's time to do yoga outside the most amazing Hindu Temple. AMAZING!!
At one time there were no main bridges in Goa and you used to have to catch a local ferry. As Goa is rapidly improving its infrastructure more bridges are built...and the ferries are rapidly dissapearing. Why not get a taxi to drop you off on the Panjim to Ponda road...and catch a ferry across...its a fun experience...and you can get your taxi driver to pick you up on the other side! Or get the local bus from Calangute to Panjim but get off at Betim. The ferry is free if you are on foot and drops you off in central Panjim.
We took a cruise on the River Mandovi and ended up spending a couple of hours in a village called Pomburpa.
The Mandovi River has its origin at Bhimgad in the Sahyadri range of mountains. This river enters Goa from the north via the Sattari taluka. Before merging with the Arabian Sea at Cabo Aguada, the Mandovi flows through Cumbarjua, Divadi and Chodne. In Goa, the Mandovi has a length of 77 kilometres. Panaji, the present state capital as well as Old Goa, the ancient capital of Goa, are both situated on the left bank of this river.
The most popular cruise on the river Mandovi is Santa Monica. Want something more special, you can also cruise on a houseboat, converted from a traditional fishing boat. You can also take a St. Monica Night Cruise, for an hour long journey during which there are dance performances on the deck as the launch cruises along on the quiet waters of the River Mandovi.
On our day off from the beach, while in panaji, we met Anita. It was 19th Dec, Goa liberation Day and she had put up a stall near 18 June road.
This institution run by Anita, a british lady, has four Children's Homes with 200 or more children. They also have a nite shelter and day care center in panjim which provides food, clothes, and all essential needs for children who live on the streets. So anyone who wants to wash off some of your sins can make a donation. hey they need shoes, clothes and strong toys for the kids aswell.
Set amidst an enchanting landscape, the Arvalem waterfalls is a popular tourist hub in Goa. The Arvalem falls produces a breathtaking spectacle with water tumbling headlong from a height of 50 meter. Even though not on par with the more celebrated Dudhsagar waterfalls, the Arvalem waterfalls are definitely worth a visit.
During the monsoon season, as the plains are lashed by incessant rains, the Arvalem waterfall runs amok with thunderous energy. The otherwise lean stream of the winters metamorphoses into a powerful gush of water cascading down the mountain slopes. After descending down the rocky cliff, the Arvalem waterfall settles in a huge lake at the bottom which is a tempting place for visitors for a refreshing dip.
The GTDC has developed a park nearby to facilitate a ringside view of the Arvalem falls. The Rudreshwar temple located in the vicinity of the falls is a holy shrine for Hindus. The Rock cut caves of Arvalem are another nearby attraction for enthusiastic tourists.
How to Reach Arvalem Waterfalls
You can reach the Sanquelim village by taking a two hour bus ride from Mapusa. But to reach the Arvalem waterfalls, you will have to walk for about half an hour or take a motorbike taxi.
One good road trip is to visit the different mansions all across Goa. There are multiple houses that were build by rich Portuguese throughout the centuries. Some are renovated and available for visit, other are now private houses or rentals. Some other are left abandonned unfortunately, too expensive to maintain.
There are specialized tour organized specifically for the Portuguese mansions
On the roads of Goa you can find many interesting travellers, mostly backpackers.
I met this audtrian guy on the way to Panjim and we met again in Candolim Beach, by chance. Then we decided to share a taxi to Palolem in the south and stayed there a week, after which each one followed his route again...
While I stayed in palolem Beach, the local fishermen used to go out early in the morning in their wooden boats. By midmorning they came back to the beach and spread all their catches on a net at the hot sand. They let the fish drying there for quite a while, as a way to mantain if, as they don’t have freezers here as we do in Europe.
It was a nice view, all those little fishes spread at the sand...