Goa is neither a French Riviera nor Spanish Mallorca. So people have to respect the local customs to avoid being frowned upon. As far as possible avoid topless sunbathing or swimming in beaches like Calangute or any other beach for that matter esp on Sundays or when families or a group of Indian men are there as it will attract unwanted stares or worst comes worst get photographed(from Indian Men) or mobbed.
IF U FEEL THAT A GROUP OF INDIAN MEN MIGHT HARRASS YOU, SCREAM AND TAKE HELP OF THE SHACK-OWNERS. SECONDLY IF YOU SEE ANY INDIAN MEN POINTING THEIR CAMERA TOWARDS YOU, SAME THING, CALL THE SHACK OWNERS OR SMASH THEIR CAMERAS.
If you really want to sunbathe Topless, then go for bigger beach shacks in Anjuna as they have an upper deck built on the roof so you can enjoy sunbathing without someone ogling at you. Secondly do not sunbath far away from the shacks as the chances of getting harrased is more.
SAFE WAY OUT: If you want more privacy and enjoy an undisturbed sunbathing, stay in hotels that have private beaches as that particular part of the beach is ONLY for the occupants of those hotels.
Be careful of people who come to you posing as forigen exchange agents. Their main intention is to part away with your valuable DOLLARS / POUNDS / EUROS by giving counterfeit (fake) Indian currency.
Always exchange your money with an authorised agent.
For a complete list, browse through the website below and click on Goa. After that click on Foreign Money Exchange Dealers.
I had menitoned about this in my earlier tips. This is just a summary.
They usually comprise of group of Middle aged men, Teens or guys in their mid-20's who might be sons of BIGSHOTS or slumdewellers from other Indian states who are always drunk & who behave like Hooligans and who are just in lookout for a chance to lay their hands over an unfortunate victim. Travellers Esp Women and young couples might face the following problems in their path.
They might take your pictures or pass lewd comments while youre sunbathing in bikinis or topless, Some might pose as Masseurs .In some cases you will find them masturbating right in front of you to cause Embarrasement. In such cases tell the shackowners and the rest leave it to them.
IN PARTY SPOTS OR NIGHTCLUBS:
They might try to surround you and make all types of vulgar expressions or sometimes abuse you physically. Some might try to brush their elbows or body againts your body. Some might even deliberately bump against you. NO NEED TO WORRY. IN SUCH CASES JUST INTIMATE THE PARTY ORGANISERS OR THE GATEKEEPERS AND JUST WATCH THE FUN OF INDIAN GUYS GETTING BASHED UP.
IN STREETS, LANES.
Though its very very safe to walk in the streets or lanes of Goan coastal village side yet some amount of precaution needs to be taken. You might face motorcycle gangs of guys in groups of 20-30 or even more who would encircle their motorbikes around you and molest you. While youre taking a walk alone say in deserted lanes, you might find huge group of Indian guys coming from the opposite direction and might bump on you deliberately or even touch your body parts. I have seen with my own eyes what they do. IN SUCH CASES, IF YOU FIND A ROAD DESERTED WITH NO SHOPS OR RESTAURANTS AROUND, DONT GO WALKING. HIRE A MOTORBIKE PILOT. IN LANES, IF THERE ARE A GROUP OF INDIAN GUYS WALKING TOWARDS YOU, YOU HAVE TWO OPTIONS. EITHER SNEAK IN TO ANY ADJOINING SHOPS / RESTAURANTS OPEN or SCREAM AND SHOUT. AND THE REST LEAVE IT TO THE LOCALS TO DEAL WITH.
In general, Goan people are very friendly and hospitable and are harmless towards tourist. They treat the tourist as someone of their own as it is the only source of their living. But some people who come from other states might pose some threat like harassing women tourist, or constantly following asking questions like where are you from and stuff. If you find yourself in such a situation the only way is to scream, shout on top of your voice and take the help of Locals. They know how to deal with these punks. Moreover dont forget to take the help of the cops.THE HELPLINE NUMBER IS 100. But at the same time dont invite trouble by roaming alone in dark or in sceduled places,sceduled hilltops alone. There are many dark roads , sceduled hilltops and any kind of crime would go un-noticed.
Also while walking by the lanes if you see a Huge group of Indian guys ,sneak into any adjoining shops or restaurants or homes and wait for them to leave as nobody knows what would they do?
If you feel that youre being constantly followed, take the local help from the adjoining houses or Restaurants. If you dont have the energy to scream and shout, carry a whistle blower and blow the whistle continously and cry for help. If possible carry sharp objects like pen-knife, screw drivers and pepper/chilli sprays. More over do not hestiate to slash their wrist or throat for self protection.
Even in Pubs, Discos or Party spots you might be approached by Indian males who would try to overwhlem you with their sweet talks and ask you to come for a ride on their bikes or cars. Use your own discretion as there are chances they might take you to a sceduled place where their friends would be waiting and you might be sexually abused and assulted. The reason is Indian men have a prejudice that western women are very free and open minded on sexual matters. Even in beaches too, apply the same principle!
BOTTOMLINE: DO NOT FEAR AND HAVE A PLEASENT STAY. AND IF YOU FEEL INSECURED, CRY OUT FOR HELP AND THE LOCALS WILL BE THERE FOR YOUR RESCUE.
These are not American fire ants, these red ants are close relatives to the American Ants but smaller. They are usually half a cm in lenght and their front portion is Reddish-Orange and rear portion is black. They can be found dwelling inside holes beneath the trees, Open Grounds and hilltops where there are lot of Grass and also in the Village side cottages in the corners of the walls.
So while youre sitting beneath the tree for a shade, or walking up the hills or just standing on an open grounds just keep an eye down. These ants are aggressive and its bite is really nasty and can cause Red Blisters accompanied by itching the whole day. Also in the village side cottages before going to bed or before wearing inner garments like Vests and briefs have a thorough check for these red ants as even One is enough to make you dance. Do not litter any eatables like tiny pieces of biscuits, choclate, chips or anything sweet and oily. Usually the rooms are sprayed with insecticides from time to time but yet they manage to come from somewhere or the other.
Driving in Goa is not for the faint hearted and anyone on a 2 week holiday should think twice before roaring off down the road. What rules there are here are largley unknown to most of the driving populace. Ive asked several people what is the correct procedure when joining a roundabout and of course the answer is whoever gets there first or as is usual throughout india 'might is right'. Expect a vehicle pulling out of every turning without looking, vehicles on the wrong side of the road while going round corners, and of course someone overtaking whilst going uphill into a blind bend. Expect the unexpected. Your horn is your best friend, make sure it is working, beep everything you pass. Watch out for speed breakers, they are not always well marked. The helmet law is now in force though only on the highways, and only for the driver. If you are driving to Panjim you need a helmet , car drivers must wear seatbelts. The police are being especially vigilant this year.
This is a warning many people tend to ignore. Sometimes at night time on your way back to your room from a party spot or vice versa(esp in the coastal village side) , you might find people in the middle of the road asking for a lift. These people are mostly from other states, some poor locals ( who give a helping hand ) or even forigeners in some very rare cases who are desperate for money either to go back home or to extend their stay and they operate in a well organised manner. Sometimes they even use beautiful girls(wearing skimpy, seducing and inviting outfit) as a bait who are also a part of this modus operandi .Never get tempted to give lift to such unknown strangers as there are chances they might guide you to a sceduled place where their friends will already be waiting for and you might be robbed of everything from your money to your motorbike and left alone on your fate. There are many sceduled roads which forigeners might be unaware of and at nighttimes these places have no lights and is pitch dark.
Bottomline: If you spot anyone asking for a lift, dont stop......Just move on...........
Note: Such incidences are very very rare, but yet why take a chance. As it is always said, prevention is better than cure.
You will come across a few people in beaches (Esp males) who insist they would offer you a massage at a low price or even for free! They would often keep a small pocket diary containing remarks of people who availed their sevices and would often show! These people come from other states or even a few of them "Far away Goan locals". Their main motive is to fulfil their lust for WHITE SKIN and lay their hands over the same and have pleasure under the cover of massage! If you're being forced, take the help of shack owners. Do not encourage these people!
The shacks have their own masseurs and it is advisable to avail their service.
Stray Dogs are a bigest menence in Goa, everywhere on the beaches, streets, lanes and wherever you can lay your eyes on. One must be careful while roaming at night alone in beaches, lanes etc. Some are very hostile & aggressive and they will just tear a bit of flesh from your feet/legs or if youre unfortunate enough some will catch your neck and choke you to death. They roam in Packs of 10-15 ready to pounce on any unsuspecting prey. So you decide as per the situation. As far as possible, walk in groups or Carry a Big fat stick to shoo away the dogs. When alone at night, for long distances take a taxi as that would be more safe.
Prevention: If youre planning to go out walking at night , here are a few tips. Roll over Crape bands on both your Legs in 2-3 layers from your Knees to your Ankles as 90% of the Dogs usually bite between these portions and wear a Thick jeans for extra protection. So even if the dog manages to bite, Its Teeth (Esp the Cannines) wont go in and you would be safe.
Some more Tips:
1. Keep a safe distance between yourself and dogs being walked on leash.
2. Never approach a barking, snarling, sleeping, eating, or nursing dog. Do not stare the dog in the eyes. AND DO NOT RUN.
3. If charged, get something between you and the dog's mouth - umbrella, pack, jacket, stick.
TREATMENT FOR DOG BITE: Theres an Injection called "RABIPUR" which the victim has to take either 3-6 times as per the doctors advice. The first dose must be taken immediately after the Bite.
BOTTOMLINE: ALL dogs wont bite! Dogs are most active during night-time so at day time people do not have to worry.
Sometimes when youre travelling by a bus or a train, you will come across people ( Fellow travellers) who would offer you eatables for taste. Also during festivals, some people(Strangers with some evil intention) might force you to eat 'PRASAD' (Small sweets that is distributed after perfoming rituals to various Hindu Idols) or during Christmas you would be offered Goan sweets like cakes, bebinca, dodol etc.
It would be recommended not to accept anything from such strangers as it might contain some intoxicating substance which could put you off to sleep and you will be CLEAN SHAVED of all your valubles including your passport, travellers cheques, cash.
If any family people offer you anything, then its absolutely no problem in having it but yet use your own discretion.
Bottomline: This could happen anytime, anywhere.
This is a warning to all those folks who ususally swim at night in the beaches during Trance parties or New year beach parties etc. In some Goa beaches,a few species of these sea reptiles come ashore during night, swimming in shallow waters and ready to strike their fangs on anyone who steps on them or if they feel threatened. These snakes are highly venomous and its bite can be fatal. So better be careful while swimming at night time.
NOTE: This tip might seem inaccurate to many but the fact is this is not completly inaccurate. The reason for me writing this tip is me and my friends have seen this with our own eyes. So my Job is to give all possible information to travellers just to make them aware. For example some people in Scotland say that they have seen a mysterious monster swimming Lochness river whereas some claim that its only a Myth. Who knows who is right? Sea snakes arent a Myth and they actually live in the oceans.
There are a few spots in some beaches that have deep trenches as shown in the diagram. Do not to rush into the sea hurriedly out of excitement as some people might be unaware & could slip into it thereby causing bruises and injuries by sharp rocks inside.
As far as I know, theres one such spot in Anjuna beach. There might be a few in some other beaches too. So Take care.
Note: This picture is drawn by me just for illustration. I am not that good at Drawing *blushes*
This warning is for all those people who get tempted to have pork meat/sausages in Goa. When people hear of Goan Sausages, it sounds mouthwatering. Let me explain you how mouthwatering is it. These are not the pigs found in western countries who are clean, healthy and kept in Hygenic conditions. This is how the pigs are kept in Goa in such unhygenic conditions. They are the carriers of all types of diseases and they feed on excreta of Humans, Other animals and even their own. The pigs are kept for these purpose to eat up all human waste. Better avoid having it.
Along the road we encountered this beautifull painted elephant. We stopped to take a photograph and the mahout posed willingly for us.
This was a charity stunt, and I was more than willing to pay for the privilege of taking pictures, however we felt pressured to give more than we wanted by the guys who showed us how much 'everyone else' had given! All donations are entered in a book, and the usual contribution was (allegedly) US$ 30 - 50. They rely on the fact that you don't want to feel mean and give much less!
Never make a mistake of sharing rooms with unknown persons or casual acquaintences whom you must have made ( Say in a bus/train/restaurant ) as there ae chances that they could land you up in trouble ! There have been a few cases where innocent tourist have been robbed, molested or cheated by these unknown roomates ! So Be cautious !