When you finally land in Goa, when leaving the airport you will see lots and lots (and lots) of men running around in brown trying to take your luggage and carry it to your bus for you. They do not work for any of the tour operators regardless of what they say, they will just look at your labels on your bags and yell out that name..
All they are after is a way to make some money from you.
Tip: It is alot easier just to let them push your trolley for you to your bus. If you try and do it yourself you will be fighting them off the entire walk and in that heat, after that length of journey, it really is more hassle then it is worth.
Just give them a pound for doing it (as the rupee is a closed currency they don't expect you to have any yet so don't worry) When the tourists are leaving the same men ask them to swap the pounds they have in return for any rupees you may have left....entrepeunerial and resourceful I am sure you will agree!
Then once you get to your transfer bus, just wait until you see where they put your bags....;o)
Many people don't use buses when they holiday abroad, especially in areas like India, Africa and the like.
Not using the local bus ca be missing out on a great part of the general holiday experience. Generally they are clean and well operated "No Standing - No Spitting" and by far the cheapest way of travelling around.
A cheaper means of short travel than taking a taxi is to use a three-wheeler tuk-tuk which is an interesting experience.
They zoom around even faster than the taxis and most of the tuk-tuk drivers have one hand on the outside horn to blast at everyone who is remotely around the road in front of them.
If youre planning to stay in Anjuna and you need Cars/Bikes on Hire or for transfers "TO or FROM" , contact this person. His name is Shambhu Malvankar. He is an honest and a genuine guy and you can be assured you wont be cheated.
He usually hangs around at Anjuna outside Marys holiday Home.
His Home Number is 2273577
STD FORMAT:- 0832 - 2273577
ISD:- 0091- 832 - 2273577
His cell Number is
If youre in Goa directly dial his cell Number without putting 91.
From other states precede the cell number with 0
Find yourself a good taxi driver at the start. On your first day ask a few drivers how much they would charge to take you somewhere or to hire for the day adns ee who gives you the best price. Then keep them for the holiday. Book your next trip each time you finish the last because then you are not having to go through the whole price thing every time. Also agree the price before you set off on a trip then you know where you are and there no surprises.
Use your taxi driver for excursions. the tour operators charge a fortune and your taxi drive will be able to take you for a fraction of the price. Also if you get a good one he will even do some haggling for you and ward of the beggars.
Don't hire a scooter unless you are extrememely brave. I did see some tourists on them but I have never seen roads so crazy and they leave only an inch gap when passing if necessary, if that! My partner is very experienced at driving a scooter in the craziest of places but even he was put off.
Tuc tuc's are a cheaper form of transport. The motorised rickshaws but are only good for short journeys as they are very bumpy and not too comfortable.
Goan Taxis and Taxi Drivers are generally really friendly and great value. Make sure you agree a price before you travel and if you are happy with the journey - book another journey or leave a rounded up tip. Sometimes the taxis may ask you if you want to visit a shop. If you arent in a rush - you could do this as the driver can receive tokens for prizes. Generally though - we found these shops to be a complete rip off compared to the markets and the shops around the beaches.
We also took a return taxi to Old Goa, Arpoora and Anjuna - which wasnt too expensive - and the drivers Angelo and Jack looked after us well.
We travelled quite a lot around Goa, and all by Taxi, as soon as we found a driver we liked ( which was pretty much straight away) we kept using him for the 2 weeks, he showed us the sights and took us to some of the best beaches and got us some great deals with the people he knew. They are comfy and as safe as it gets over there. Oh and they all burn Joss sticks in their taxis!
Getting around Goa is very cheap. Lots of tourists and locals ride scooters, however the roads are very bumpy and not lit like roads in the UK. We tended to travel by taxi and our driver was a wonderful man named Nash, he was very reliable and informative and used to pick us up from outside our hotel, take us to our destination and wait for a few hours or more if required until we met up with him again. Costs for this was very cheap, anywhere from 300 - 450 rupees for the whole day. What an experience getting into Panjim during the rush hour ! Glad Nash was driving !!
Forget motorways, forget dual-carriageways, they don't even have decent A-roads!!
The infrsatructure in India needs a lot of serious financial investment by the government, and whilst Goa is one of the more affluent states the roads are still very poor.
The roads are very bumpy and windy, and narrow, so the smaller the vehicle, the better.
Everything gives way to a larger vehicle and watch out for the elephants also!!
Needless to say I would not recommend hiring a vehicle in India and driving yourself unless you are a regular traveller.
Moving aorund panaji takes to u back in time, with the sleepy lanes and beautiful old houses. And since we had our own car, it was all the more relaxing, without a tour guide or a troupe of 50 to 100 people moving in a herd!!
Goa has so many undiscovered places that a tourist guide wouldnt be able to take u to all and also what better way to explore a new place than on ur own.
Bikes available on rent in goa for as long as you want for a few or for weeks. Just produce your driving license and get going. We made our journey by car all the way from hyderabad to Goa, and believe its so much freedom when ur going around not knowing where u are going. On our way back home, these three tired revellers are enjoying a nap in the back seat and in what gr8 comfort!!!
Goa is very well connected with buses from Goa to other neighbouring cities - including Bombay, Bangalore, Mangalore, etc. Also buses from north to South Goa run frequently. Mapusa is the town where you have to board your buses from if you are going to Panjim, the state capital, or to any other place in north or South Goa. The bus station at Mapusa is a bit of a mess and very disorderly, but people are very helpful with information and rarely will you be misled into catching the wrong bus.