With its white and golden sandy beaches, sublime Arabian sea water, the exotic marine life, clusters of palm and cashew trees, tiny hills surrounding the beaches, the waterfalls and the gorgeous backwaters, Goa is a beach heaven.
When I took a trip to Goa this January, we reached the Dabolim airport, on the outskirts of Goa which is equidistant from both North and South Goa. Goa is primarily divided into two territories both tourism purposes, that is North and South Goa, which Panjim as the Capital city lying somewhere in the middle. Taxis, both pre-paid and post-paid are available on the airport for hiring. The taxi driver union is very strong and therefore closed to bargaining. An ideal ride from the airport to any part of the city would cost you between 1500-2000 rupees.
From the airport we headed towards Club Mahindra’s Varca beach resort which was 45 minutes into the taxi ride towards south Goa. It offered an amazing private access to 10kms of the beautifully calm beach of Varca. It had breathtaking sunrises. Tiny crabs would harmlessly crawl all over the beachline while the water’s massive dance entertained us all.
South Goa has many other pretty and exciting activities to indulge in at the beaches. The Palolem beach in South Goa is a haven for swimmers. Its calm and swelled up waters, its lack of popularity and hence lack of population and crowd is a big hit for the tourists. South Goa beaches like the Palolem and Colva beach offer exciting water sport activities like Dolphin spotting, parasailing, kayaking, banana boating, jetsking and streaming along the vast beautiful, almost magical coastlines.
As compared to South Goa which is silent, calm and less crowded, North Goa is known to be more happening. It is lively mix of colourful markets and restaurants offering delicious cuisines. Almost all restaurants specialise in Goan cuisines, their exquisite chutneys, and fish delicacies. North Goan beaches usually have shacks all over the popularly tread coastline. The clubs and colourful markets of clothes, alcohol, cigars and the infamously known Mambo’s club and Bar can be found at Baga beach of the North. The flee market of specifically the Anjuna Beach is the best spot to shop till you drop as one can buy accessories of all utilities. The Candolim beach in the North which boast of a course but very pretty shiny golden sand, also offers a host of activities like tattoos and hair breading etc. along with the usual water sporting activities. The fort Agauda is a majestic structure of the colonial times and has been kept intact since for the tourists as an example of a colonial cellular jail. No visit is officially done without a visit to the church of Saint Lawrence, patron saint of sailors. This church will make your day and appeal to your eyes.
The Goan culture boasts of a very progressive society, which does not objectify women for their clothes or their occupation. It has a very open drinking culture and an alcohol shop at very 2 km. the beer is available for rates cheaper than Northern India. People can drink on the beaches openly without any restrictions. Trance lovers are also attracted to Northern Goa beaches because there are clubs and beach parties that erupt every night here and there at north Goa beaches. One can also try on luck by going to royal casinos where winning and losing has there own cheerfulness and charm.The tourists have embraced the beauty of Goa and totally embedded themselves in the culture and have also made contributions in it. As a group, I really admired the Goan people for their hospitality and service and a smile that they always maintained on their faces. Another eye chatching detail is in the Goan architecture which is hugely Portugese in its inspiration. Beautifully small and weirdly colourful houses which look ancient and pristine, remind you of the Goan economy that is thriving to make itself big everyday. A big push to the economy is given by a local alcohol produced in Goa, a white cashew and coconut based drink that sells all over Goa. Another push is given by the Cashew industry that exports huge amount of Cashew every year. If you wondering what gifts to bring for your friends from Goa, these two should top the list, Cashews and Fenny.
Goa’s serene beauty and basking splendour makes one feel out of this world. When it comes to dining, the guests can choose amongst an array of eateries. Among the famous ones are, La plage at ashwem beach with a French meditarrean menu, Martin’s corner at Betalbatim beach south Goa, famously known because of Sachin Tendulkar’s frequent visits, Thalassa club at Vagator beach are among the few places one can choose from.
The Dudhsagar waterfalls is located on the Mandory River and can be seen from a train ride to Goa. However visitors travelling by Air can visit the outskirts of Goa to see the amazing marvellous waterfalls.