All over Goa you will find 'local' barbers...and they are really worth checking out. A shave will cost about 25 rps (about 35p) and you'll never have a closer one! First they foam you up the old fashioned way, then they take a cut throat razor and give you a really good shave, pinching your skin to get it taught. It feels wonderful...and just as you think they have finished...they shave you all over again! Then various astringents are massaged into your face...and then finally cologne...wonderful!
It's every woman's dream: a fancy spa where she can endulge in manicures, facials, massages and basically be pampered from head to toe.
...Sure, you can visit one of the 5-star resorts and pay good money for great relaxation, but I found that especially in Asia there are plenty of little gems "off the beaten path" that offer beauty treatments and a whole lot more for a lot less.
This "shack" for example, was located on the road leading down to the beach near our hotel in Calangute (Golden Eye Hotel). The owner only works here during the dry months, and moves into the city during the monsoon.
One of my friends was complaining of back aches & pains, the other had an upset stomach, and I just wanted a nice facial with some natural oils & pastes. We decided to enter this "shop" full of spiritual posters, herbal charts, crystal stones and flickering candles and never regretted it. This seems to be a popular "healer" as we had to wait 2 days for an appointment, and there were always queues of locals & tourists alike.
To cut a long story short: my friend's back was 80% better the next day, the other girl's stomach settled soon thereafter, and I had 1 hour of absolute bliss in my own little universe :-) We paid between 700 - 1000 Rupees per treatment... TRY IT!
Services offered were:
> traditional Ayurveda treatments.
> Herbal remedies.
> Nutrition advice.
> Yoga & stress counselling.
If you are brave enough...after a shave at the local Barbers...ask for a Head Massage...its a weird experience! Lots of lotions are massaged into your head...using fingers, knuckles...the palm. And then you get pummeled! Can't really describe how they do it...as you can't see whats happening...but lots of pings happen all over your head.
But...strangely enough...it is refreshing!
1. Spend a night in Palolem.
Rent a beach hut for 500Rupees. Run along the same beach as Jason Bourne, have a breakfast on the beachfront and have a walk outside the beach area and pick seashells near the fishing boats.
2. Find a favourite beach shack and stick to it. You will get VIP treatment. Our favourite was boat shack, but there must be hundreds of them.
3. Dudshagar Water falls
Take a tour or rent a taxi. A couple of hours ride. The last hour in a 4-wheeler on a dusty dirt track. There are lots of half tame monkeys and huge signs telling you not to feed them although there are even bigger crowds of people selling fruit intended for feeding. A short walk along a track ends up at a pool with clear cool water with a waterfall. A swim in the pool and a shower under the waterfall is just pefect, unless you go in the monsoon peiod. Then it is flooded.
4. An elephant shower
Typical tourist trap to swim with an elephant, scrub it and get a shower from the elephants trunk. But the children loves it....
5. Get a new suit
Lots of tailors. They will probably cheat you but it is a great experience to have a suit or a couple of silk shirts made just for you.
6. Watch the Dolphins
Must be a major attraction since every cab driver wants you to let him take you on a trip.
I had seen dolphins before so...
7. Ingos Market
The no 1. night market. A thousand stalls with things you dont need. Survivors from the 60s flower Power. An excellent food court where you could try nepalese, tibetan, chinese, indian food as well as pizza slices. Music and people smoking small funny pipes.
8. Anjuna Market.
Probably the same people selling as in the night market but here you can see the stuff in day light.
9. Body treatment
I got a shave for 40rs and my wife had massage and manicure.
10. Old Goa
Said to be a must but old churches is not so exciting for us europeans as elephants in the street.
Why not have a relaxing massage on the beach as you can see this tiny masseur is struggling to get his tiny arms around my ample neck, mind you once he had finished stretching, pulling and pounding me. I could have slept like a baby.
A wonderful beach, clean, shacks selling good food, there is the majorda beach Hotel close to beach, and many good restaurants, you can get massages on beach, really a highlight of my visit( if you like a quiet place)
Both lokal men and women walk around the beach and ask tourists if they like a massage, manicure or pedicure. The normal price is about 2-300 INR (5-7 USD) for a 30 minutes massage.
The indian woman Tara changed from selling clothes to give massage.
In front of Titanic restaurant on Palolem beach I found a husband and wife team from Menali who were offering massages - the husband would massage male clients and his wife the ladies. She gave me a wonderful head massage, with a short shoulder rub thrown in (and boy was I tempted to go for the full thing!). For 15 minutes I paid 120 INR (which was less than £2). My hair smelled of cocunut oil for quite a while!
On most Goan beaches you'll get asked if you want a massage...they are cheap (about 250 rupees) because they are not trained masseurs...but its relaxing...and passes away half an hour or so.