What is travel, if not to seek something new?
Goa is by far the most travelled city in India and rightly so, for its pristine beaches, cheaper alcohol and coconut trees adjoining the scenic villages. Goa’s old school charm can never fail to mesmerize you or liven up your soul.
Way back in August 2013, I attempted my first solo trip in India and after much mulling I had pinned on Goa. Since then Goa has become an annual affair, yet each time there is a new story to tell, a new beach to discover and a new sense of happiness.
These are my recommendations from my recent trip and kick starts my travel blogging journey.
Stay: We had booked a 2BHk apartment through AirBnB called Mesmeric Sunsets at Benaulim owned by a couple called Jolene and Sujit, although they don’t stay around the property, it’s a beautifully done house and I totally recommend it if you are looking to travel around South Goa. The Benaulim beach is just five minutes away from the apartment, which caters to the guests of Taj Exotica and other premium properties around it and we came across very few people on the beach, making it one of my favorites. The house has every amenity that one can ask for and is spick and span.
Cost- Rs 2330/- per night, minimum booking 2 days.
Clubbing: Even though news reports suggest that Goa’s partying scene is up for some major overhaul, we did manage to dance our way through the night. Off late Club Cabana at Arpora is the major favorite among tourists overtaking the old ones like Tittos. The interior of the club is well done with a rustic look, a pool to sit by and a closed dancing room where the DJ plays latest favorites. Even though the club was crowded, one can find their own sweet corner to chill. The dancing room is too chaotic but the music makes up for all the jammed space and sweaty faces.
Entry Fee: Rs 2000/- couple, Rs 1500/- Stag entry in a group
Saturday Night Market (SNM): Although we came across a rip off of the original SNM called Saturday Night Bazaar, I would still recommend the original one here.
The market isn’t just another flea market but culmination of live music, food stalls, edm and trance dance area and the higher you climb the hill the better it gets!
The SNM is open on Saturdays from October to April 30. There is no entry fee or parking charge, one needs to pay for stag entry at the dance level. We heard Electric Pulse, a Goan rock band play live music and then headed towards dance. There is no way one can miss local live bands play in Goa, their music is too good to be missed. Also, the flea market has some really good local artifacts. Bargain as much as you can but don’t strain them all.
Beaches: As you keep driving towards South Goa the world seems calmer, better and happier. There is no other way to express that feeling. Highly recommend all the beaches along the south till Polem.
Books: We came across a beautiful library nestled inside the lanes of Bardez called Literati, owned by Neha Kapur. The Villa turned into library not only boasts of classics and new collections but a beautiful collection of Antiquarian Books. I managed to grab a 1940 edition of The Three Musketeers. Adjoining the book store is a small café and we totally recommend the chicken pizza and good reading time!
Goa is known for its beaches and churches and casinos, hence it would be too unfair to pick any one! To live it up , Go Goa!
Picture Credits: Mayank Mishra.