"Just right..." Top 5 Page for this destination Goa by bpwillet

Goa Travel Guide: 2,069 reviews and 3,929 photos

Dynamic place to be...

I just got back from this amazing place on the Western coast of India. I can't wait to show you all the pics that my friend Dan and I took (3500+). Don't worry they won't ALL be on here.

Goa is one of the most dynamic places I have visited. Or at least that I have visited in a long time. One of many distinct states of India which was released from Portuguese control as of 1964. They value their fheritage, they value their local language, their food, and their hospitality. Goa has some of the best natural beauty in all of India. Bordered by the Arabian Sea to its west, the Western Ghats to the east creates this pristine landscape with wildlife sanctuaries, great areas for growing crops, and small villages tucked in under cashew trees and coconut palms.

Settling in.

Goa has had many different rulers throughout its history. Kadamba-Chalukyas to the Vijaynagar to the Bijapur. The battle for this area of India was strategically and commercially important and continued until the Portuguese arrived in 1510. Goa is said to have been formed when the sage Parashuram ordered the seas to recede and the sea god gave up the land of the Mondovi and Zuari rivers. Another myth is that Lord Krishna was taken by the ladies on the Konkan coast that he named the area after the local cows. Whatever the story there is a lot of harmony that exists here in this area. The influences of Hinduism are clear as you walk or ride around the towns and villages around Goa. There are Hindu temples that dot the countryside and many families have a personal shrine in their front yards. With the arrival of the Portuguese came the arrival of Christianity mainly Catholicism. Great churches were built all around the new Portuguese colony and served as not only a place of worship but many were also educational institutions. The different religions of Hinduism, Christianity and even Islam still exist among the locals in the area and they share a common mutual respect for one another. The Indian Army finally liberated Goa from the Portuguese in 1961 but it wasn't until 1987 that Goa was given statehood. Later, the Goan language, Konkani, would be officially recognized as an official Indian dialect. While English is widely spoken, any attempt at Konkani will bring wide smiles and laughter from the locals, who are more than happy to act as tutors.

Beach lessons

Many visitors to Goa come for the rest and relaxation of a beach bungalow and a sun bed. Goa's entire western border is beachfront so it is hard to miss the many beautiful beaches that Goa has. Fishing was a major industry for Goa before tourism became such a promising enterprise. It is hard to beat lazily soaking up some rays on the beach or having some fresh fruit juices from a nearby cafe. Where there are beaches, there are beach shacks. Most serve a mixture of Indian and Goan dishes and have very persistent staff. The tables face the ocean and are perfect for watching sunsets or just taking in some traditional Goan cuisine.

Some things I learned while in Goa (India):
The caste system is still alive and well.
A bottle of water in Mumbai is cheaper than in Goa.
It is good luck to be the first customer of the day at a shop-though don't let that guilt you into buying anything.
There are very few "Western" toilets around-be prepared.
The people are very friendly, hospitable and can be persistant.
Hiring a taxi is the way to go! The drivers are your cultural and personal guides and are a wealth of knowledge. It is better for them to hang out all day than to have spend the money buying petrol-even if you are just lounging on the beach. Really they won't mind-most get better at their card playing or get to hang out with friends.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Beautiful landscape and extremely cheap
  • Cons:Haggling the hagglers
  • In a nutshell:A dynamic mix of cultures and traditions...
  • Last visit to Goa: Nov 2005
  • Intro Updated Dec 20, 2005
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Reviews (43)

Comments (5)

  • mallyak's Profile Photo
    Feb 20, 2012 at 12:34 PM

    Wonderful pages and great pics.Did not think there were that many places to visit in and around Goa.Hopefully will make a visit this trip to India!

  • Rabbityama's Profile Photo
    Sep 25, 2010 at 12:21 AM

    Great tips and nice pictures! Happy Birthday!

  • topoftheworl's Profile Photo
    Dec 27, 2005 at 12:40 PM

    Comprehensive and coherent. Great work.

  • BluBluBlu's Profile Photo
    Dec 27, 2005 at 6:33 AM

    Nice Goa tips and photo's Brad! The Sun Village is a great hotel...although personally I prefer the Marinha Dourada which is closer to All Spice restaurant! Blu

  • b1bob's Profile Photo
    Dec 23, 2005 at 3:56 PM

    Nice beginning! I hope there will be more to come. It goes to show you don't necessarily have to pay big bucks for a decent place to sleep.

bpwillet

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