There are tons of things to do whilst in Goa...but if you book it through a holiday rep in your Hotel you'll get charged 'tourist rates'. Its much easier to book through a local tour agent...or just ask a taxi to drive you to wherever you fancy visiting!
In Goa I saw my first bus with sleepers beds. Yes, beds in a bus, instead of seats. This bus (Laxmi Queen) left Poona in the evening and arrived in Panjim (Goa) early next morning. The sleepers are rather comfortable. When I stepped into the bus I thought they were quite roomy too, I was OK. BUT 2 hours later another passenger arrived and I had to share my “spacious” bed with a total unknown, which was not so pleasant… at least he didn’t snoar!
While in Goa on a few occasions I bought water and cold drinks that had been filled with other water, they were sealed so tightly you coluld hardly even notice, ask for a sealed bottle, Shake gas drinks to see if they still have gas, and only take a sealed bottle from restaurants, you wont believe how many times I got stuff that was not sealed..( in the first 3 days) there after I looked more closely.Even had my soda replaced in my hotel room, and they drink your drinks when you out, so unless a bottle sealed take it with when you go out .... unless you dont mind who shares your drinks)
Unique Suggestions: Buy a pack of water bottles ( of 20) thats still sealed with a plastic wrap around., take with when you go out, crush bottle after use, so it cant be filled to resell.
Some areas in Goa having trouble with rubbish dumping, plz make sure where your accom is as this can sometimes have the most terrible smell.
Unique Suggestions: Try go to a place with good reviews, especially for BUDGET accom
Fun Alternatives: Alternately... book when you get to Goa so that you can see for yourself.
massages are really expensive in Goa. It is not like Thailand where you can get a great massage for 250 baht.
Having a massage on the beach can run the risk of injuring yourself..are they properly trained? have they washed their hands? I dont think so..be careful
Unique Suggestions: Dont let them massage your kneck.
only use someone that a friend rececommends and looks clean...watch them do another person first.
definitely dont pay more than rs500/-
Fun Alternatives: Even massage centres at some hotels have had bad reports.
Alternative...Go to Thailand!
While on the beach we noticed that there are groups of men taking photo's, They stand or sit and pose for the picture, all looks fine until you notice that where they are stood or sat is useually in front of western women in swim wear, and you notice that the camera is pointed at the women. Sneaky.
I had rented a Taxi Cab to take us to see some of the sights in South Goa like the St. Francis church, beaches, temples etc. As I stayed at the Park Hyaat in south Goa is was a long way off and quite a few miles drive to get to North Goa.
As we were heading to the beach our Tax driver suggested that we visit a traditional Portugese house... even though I though it was a waste of time my wife said its on the way so lets check it out..
That was a big mistake. As the house was old and was in no good shape and looked like they were trying to squeeze the last $$ out of then crumbling piece of real estate, overall a wase of precious time.
Unique Suggestions: First Avoid such diversion such as Portugese house / shopping trip. They take you to places where they get a comission on your purchases and downright lousy.
Fun Alternatives: Stick to the plan.. do what you intend to do, do not get carried away.
The beach is the number one tourist trap. However, it is also an extremly enjoyable experience and helps pass the day away making it easy to bathe in the sum. The people are really lovely Goa, and yes they may have a few handicrafts to sell you and most of it is junk but it is really interesting to speak to them. A polite no thank you usually does the trick and some of them just want a rest by your bed. Most of the beach sellers are told to move away because some people dont like to be bothered by them but i do not think it is a problem.
The beach children are wonderful and speak perfect english. They are funny and most want to have a laugh and a joke with you in exchange for a cold drink or a lolly ice. Please dont be put off by them or the sellers.
Unique Suggestions: Smile...
Fun Alternatives: Sunbathe by your pool where you wont be bother but whats the point in going to Goa!
whn you check into any hotel after a package deal from your agent, you will notice there is a day trip included in the package to north goa, its ok,if you are in north goa, but if you in South Goa, think twice. when we went on the bus from the hotel, it was almost a torture, takes almost 2 hours to reach and you hardly get any thing to see, except the river cruise, but then you can do it on your own. dont waste time on this. either rent a bike and make hay in the sun, or stay a day at North Goa like we did, and then just travel from t here. I found the Calungute to be the best, the water was simply wild, and the shacks great. avoid looking at the local girls, the accompanying persons may not be very hospitable.
Fun Alternatives: bike
it is illegal for foreign nationals to buy property in goa!!!!!!!!!
it is illegal to work in india without a work permit!!!!
Unique Suggestions: well renting leasing is allowed but buying a property is not allowed.you may be suggested a lot of loopholes but if you are found out then the purchae is illegal.
there have been a lot of scams in goa but yet the lure of sun sand and surf and a warm tropical home is irresistible.
only recently there have been a spate of advertisements in russian newspapers for buying a house in goa.my advise is there has been no change in rules and it is the same all over india no private property/land buying for foreign nationals in india.
Fun Alternatives: dont look at buying property instead you can rent it out.