FLEA-STREET MARKETS, Goa
Anjuna Market takes place every Wednesday from October onwards throughout the high-season, from around 09:00am to 06:00pm.
It was the hippies who brought about the trend of the flea market at Anjuna beach during the late 1960s, and it's just been getting bigger and better ever since.
Even if you're not interested in buying anything, or don't have the confidence to haggle, this is still a nice place to spend 1 or 2 hours and to see some real Goan characters at work :-)
What to buy: In this place, anything goes!
This is the best place to get all your holiday souvenirs, gifts and beach-clothes at once!
Most stalls offer more or less the same products, but you can bargain like crazy due to the stiff competition between the stalls and stands.
The flea market is a heaven for hardcore shoppers and good bargainers, to bid on wonderful blends of Tibetan, Kashmiri and Gujarati trinkets and handicrafts, jewellery (silver), European snacks, wooden crafts & carvings, beautiful wall hangings, musical instruments, bed covers, CDs with Goa Trance, artificial ornaments and t-shirts... the list is endless and so is the hustle, bustle, noise and shuffle.
NOTE: Some of the female stall-owners can get a bit pushy, and may even grab you around the wrist (these little women are surprisingly strong!) and keep asking in a loud, shrill voice; "You buy madam! Why not! You buy, you buy!" A stern & determined "No!" may be necessary once in a while, but in general they're relatively harmless and are just trying to make a sale.
What to pay: Whatever price they give you: slash minimum 30% off right away. Then the serious bargaining can begin.
If you want to inhale the true aroma of Goa this market is a must-see in your itinerary. Although it used to be more of an *off the beaten path* destination, more & more tourists are bravely finding their way to this Friday experience. For tourists visiting the town of Mapusa there is not much in the form of sightseeing, but spending 2-3 hours in the weekly village market & then settling down for some lunch at one of the small restaurants dotted all along the main road is what travelling is all about, isn't it?
The town's name, pronounced "Map'sa" after the Konkani words for "measure" and "fill" is an obvious indication of its commercial & trading nature. This is the capital of Bardez Taluka, Northern Goa, 13 km north of the capital Panaji (Panjim). MAPUSA market is known for its fresh farm products with farmers & traders from all over Goa and beyond.
This isn't a market for the typical tourist - this is a simple yet thriving village market for the locals to provide them with their day-to-day groceries & other items.
Basically, this market provides an altogether different experience, far from the naive glee of beaches & other touristy places!
NOTE: If you have a heightened sense of smell, prepare yourself for a smell-and-stench overload. Dried & fresh fish mixed with the smell of onions in the sun and that unmistakable aroma of a nearby open sewer proved to be too much for my travel companions, who were forced to smear peppermint lipbalm into their nostrils ;-)
What to buy: > Fruits and vegetables, fresh & dried fish, spices, etc.
> Flip-Flops ("chapels" in Hindi) for 70 Rupees (US$ 1,50)
> Colourful powders for applying various symbols on your skin
> Candles, textiles, plastic toys, fake branded items (t-shirts, sports shoes, etc) ethnic handicrafts, plants & saplings, oil lamps, clay pots, wooden furniture, etc.
The prices of the products are pretty reasonable. Still just do not give what is demanded at first. Haggling & bargain-hunting are part of the whole Asian shopping experience.
NOTE: It can be rather hot, humid & tiring in the market. Bring your own water along, but there are also plenty of shops selling chilled softdrinks. To be on the safe side, try buying drinks in sealed plastic bottles, as glass bottles are usually "recycled" and there's no telling whether they were cleaned properly or not.
If you’re looking for a more authentic market experience than that found at Anjuna you could do worse than check out the market in the town of Ponda, which is aimed mainly at local customers. We didn’t buy a lot here apart from bananas and bottled water but enjoyed weaving our way past the stalls, smelling the fragrant spices (on some – not everything was so sweet-smelling!) and of course taking lots of photos. Shoppers and stall-holders were equally tolerant of our shutter-clicking although the narrow pathways between the stalls meant that we were sometimes rather in the way of serious shoppers.
You will find all sorts of fruit and vegetables here, the afore-mentioned spices, and also various handicrafts, although the latter tend towards the practical, such as coir ropes and mats, baskets and cooking vessels.
We stopped in Ponda en route to the Backwoods Camp (see accommodation tip) in order to buy bananas for the elephants. An alternative would be Mapusa’s Friday market, also relatively untouristy I believe. Marpusa is situated a little way inland, almost due east from Anjuna and can be reached by taxi from the beach resorts.
Anjuna Market is held every Wednesday and is one of the main draws for tourists in northern Goa. It has its origins in the early days of Goa’s discovery by hippy back-packers in the 1960s, but these days is heavily commercialised and marketed by tour companies. Don’t let that put you off however, as it’s still a good place to pick up souvenirs and presents and is really colourful.
Stall-holders sell all kinds of crafts, including jewellery, carvings, fabrics and musical instruments (but if such things matter to you, be aware that most of these will not be local to Goa, as the sellers come from all over India). There are traditional sari fabrics and cheap Western-style clothing, some of the items designer rip-offs, others basic t-shirts etc. There are also plenty of places to eat or grab a cold drink, and when you’ve finished shopping you can wander down to the beach to examine your purchases and watch the sun set over a cold beer.
What to buy: We bought some pretty note-books of hand-made paper as gifts for family, a bangle for me and a t-shirt for Chris. I don’t remember any prices but I know everything was very reasonable and haggling expected.
For a much better bargain than the tourist markets, head to Mapusa to buy your spices.
What to buy: Cinnamon, cumin, sugar-coated fennel seeds, various curry powders and spice mixes, cadamom, white poppy seeds, ajwain seeds, star anise, peppercorns, mustard seeds, cassia bark, nutmeg, coriander seeds, turmeric, dried chillis and saffron. We found the vanilla pods a little on the expensive side.
What to pay: If you are a spice lover like me - the sky's the limit! I actually spent over US$50 on spices!
We shopped at 3 different markets in Goa.
1. Mapusa Friday Market...This market is open on Friday from 8:00 am til 6:00 pm..We took a taxi from Candolim for 400 Rs. (expensive, yes) and they waited for us for 3 hours i think..This market is more of a local event and has everything from clothing to produce..Really enjoyed it!!
2. Ingo's Night Market...This Saturday night market was booming with vendors, food vendors and entertainment..Also took a taxi from Candolim for 400 Rs and they waited for us for 5 hours..
3. Anjuna Market..This market is a major attraction for tourists..I found this market to be a bit more touristy and sold everything imaginable..Open every Wednesday from 9:00 am, best to get their early..It was so hot out the day we went..but we did enjoy it..
What to buy: Everything that exists is sold in the markets..At the:
Mapusa Market: I bought 4 really nice cushion covers and a wall hanging for about 800 Rs. which i thought was a really good deal...Also bought a pair of shoes..
At Ingo's Night Market..All i bought was Kingfisher!! Although there was a variety of everthing.
Anjuna Market bought some blouses, a purse and some tank tops!! Could have bought way more, but it was just too hot to shop!!
Alot of the other things i bought in Goa, where from stores in Candolim and Baga..But mostly i bought cushion covers in every style and color..
What to pay: You can spend as little as possibe at the markets..as you can haggle and get the price way down if you know how to do it right!!
Its a great place to shop, you can buy anything here as long as you are prepared to haggle , sometimes long and hard! There is great food made by a lillt old Indian lady right in the middle, samosas, bhajis and such, so you can sit in the shade and have some lunch, This is a whole day out to enjoy, even our kids liked it!
What to buy: OK this Market has some great rugs/blankets, lots and lots of joss sticks, (2 yrs on and we still havent used ours all yet!)
you vcan buy spices and the best clothes! lots of tie dye stuff There are leather goods and a lot of jewellry too, just be prepared to haggle!.
What to pay: Absolutely anything, basically the rule is , get a price in your head what you think its worth/what you are prepared to pay, start much higher then work your way down.
Anjuna Market on a wednesday is a great experience. But I only did it once. It is worth it to go once, just to see what is there.
PLEASE MAKE SURE YOU HAGGLE!!
Pros: Just to say you have done it.
Just to know what is there.
To experience some entertainment
Cons: It is now put on for the tourist. Everything you can buy at Anjuna you can probably get in your resort, at a much cheaper price. Even if you haggle. Never buy cigarettes from Anjuna, they are probably fake and taste nothing like cigarettes from home. The Indian stores are not really GOAN, they are from other states , cashing in on the tourist.
What to buy: Go to Anjuna in your second week, when you have been to the local stores and know what the local prices are.
What to pay: HAGGLE , HAGGLE HAGGLE. EVEN WALK AWAY IF IT IS TOO DEAR.
All the markets and bazzars are the same, you cannot walk down the street without being spoken to. Come look, come buy, come see, please. It is really quite tiring because if you were to stop at them all. A. you would have no money left. B. you would have no time left. You have to be abrupt sometimes which is against the british way, but as I say there is no other way. When you do see something, they will tell you a ridiculous high price. All you have to do is come up with a ridiculous low one and argue till you are in agreement. If you want to bring childrens clothes with you for the many orphanages etc. Then buy your holiday gear from the stalls, everything is cheap enough not to make a hole in your budget.
What to buy: If you are looking for a special outfit, try a tailors. ie. mans suit around £50
If you have 2 weeks in Goa, save Anjuna Wednesdays Flea market for your 2nd week. This market is more of an experience than a shopping trip. It is a hot, busy, tugging at your sleeve, boxing you in kind of place.
It really is a one trip deal, you will have no need to ever visit it twice.
What to buy: come here mainly to look and get the feel of a busy market. You may find some good deals on pashmina (type) scarves, but dont purchase until you get closer to the beach..as here the price will be a 1/4 of what you first told and will probably be for 4 not 1 scarve.
make sure you inspect the scarves..as the quality varies hugely..you may be disappointed when u get home.
What to pay: my sister spent Rs3000, I had only turned my back for a second and she came away with bed sheets etc. be careful..visit many stalls before buying, always divide the price by 4 and work up if you think its worth it.
Anjuna Beach market takes place on wednesdays at Anjuna Beach, every week but only during high season. I went there in august (monsoon) and all I found was 2 or 3 indian girls selling me blankets.
This famous market is one of the few remains of the hippy 60s ambiance that made Goa famous in the last century. You can still see here the old hippies that came for some months and established here to live since then. You can really find bargains here, but there's too much "hippy circus" too, as someone told me.
Where can you find a place that sells everything under the sun from Porcelain, candle work, Turkish hookahs,ancient artefacts, religious deities, Pashmina shawls, G strings, trance compact disc's, beads, Quartz and Calcite crystals, uncut gems, Sitars, Guitars and the list continues… You could also have a dreadlock haircut or learn some magic tricks. How about a quick course in juggling or clay pigeon shooting? For the more adventurous there is always the good ole art of body piercing, tattooing or maybe even a foot massage.
If this is making you wonder if all of this is too good to be true then think again. A place like this does exist. Known to most locals as the flea market and probably one of the best in Goa is 'Ingo's Saturday Nite Bazaar'. Those holidaying in Goa and not making the trip to this market in the village of Arpora in North Goa are missing out on an experience of a lifetime.
What to buy: Shawls, lounge CDs, cheap beach wear and glassware
What to pay: Bargain hard
Haggle affably for some great bargains. Have a price in mind, but don't rip anybody off.
The first customer of the day is considered auspicious, so go early.
What to buy: Carvings, embroideries, imitation designer lablel clothing, spices, nic-nacs and a whole host of other things you didn't even realise you needed!
If you like flea markets then I strongly recommend Ingo's and their counterparts Mackies on Saturday nights rather then the hassle that is Anjuna Market on a Wednesday.
Not only do you get away from the heat on the Saturdays, but the live music and variations of food available definately makes the markets a must.
You also don't get a parade of people trying to make you buy drums, saris, whistles and clean you ears all at the same time!
What to buy: I think the jewellery on display is amazing, as are many of the carvings. Try not to get caught up buying loads of trinkets or saris from the first buyer you come to. If you walk away from them as the price is too much, they will probably chase you and let you buy the item for the price you want to pay.
What to pay: As much or as little as you want
This is the place to visit on a Wednesday a cacophony on sound, smells and people the Gypsies, the hippies, Tibetans, beggars, you name it they are there and will try and sell you something from woven goods, trinkets, jewewrly Silver and paper mache boxes,all sorts of handicrafts, bet you come away with something! And all to the sound of a pulsing techno beat!!