In Part 1 of our Goa series we spoke about how a novice to goa should go about planning his/her travel and choosing the beach where they should camp during their stay. Moving on, another important thing to do in Goa is to soak in the culture, be it through the food you eat or the music you dance to.
Goa is one place which you can enjoy in any amount of money. Be it INR 5,000 or INR 50,000 – there’s room for enjoyment for everybody!
Where to stay?
For the budget travellers:
Baga and Calangute, two of the most tourist stricken areas of Goa have plenty and by that I mean PLENTY of options for the budget travellers with rooms as cheap as INR 500 per night. If you are going solo or with a group of 2-3 people, you can also try hiring a bed at the many tourist hostels in Goa. These hostels are really warm to people, and facilitates a great level of interaction with fellow travellers. Who knows you might end up making lifelong friends!
For the tourists:
Not everybody wants to live a rugged life jumping around in a backpack living the vagabond dream, so for the ones who travel slow and steady, the beaches mentioned above and other beaches have a variety of stay options with per night tariffs ranging from INR 3000- INR 5000 per night. Like I said in my last post, if you want to be at peace still not being very far from the chaos and revelry that is Goa, I suggest you live at Candolim Beach. We stayed at the Ruffles Beach Resort at Candolim, 2 minutes away from the Candolim Beach. There are plenty of other options in the same road that leads to Baga on the south and Sinquihim Beach on the North.
Always have a look at apps like makemytrip, goibibo, and nearbuy, they always have deals for cheap stay options. Sometimes you might just strike gold.
2 minutes from Ruffles is also the exquisite Kingfisher Villa which is the Goa home of liquor barron Vijay Mallya albeit with huge State Bank of India notices as it has been sealed now. Also, on the same road is Taj Vivanta.
My experience mainly revolves around North Goa, but some non- Indian travellers told me Ashwem and Arambol have amazing hotels too, though a little expensive and more deserted than the commercialised areas.
If you have had enough of the noisy over crowded north goa beaches, you can always move to south goa and see a completely different kind of vibe. A lot of non- Indian tourists also prefer living in South Goa and the area is more beautiful and untouched, with cleaner and emptier beaches.
What to eat?
Goa is a sea food heaven, there is no dearth of sea food options that you can gorge upon in Goa. From prawns, fish, lobsters, crabs, squids to king prawns and even sharks! Not raving about all the amazing options to eat, I am just going to keep it short and simple and list down my favourite restaurants and what you must try there.
- Milkshakes and smoothies at Brittos – Baga [they don’t accept credit cards, so keep a truck of cash with you]
- Prawn fried rice with chicken gravy in oyster sauce at St. Anthony – Baga again, bang next to Brittos, [these guys accept cards, have karaoke and candle light at nights and have the most horrible vegetarian club sandwich in the whole of Goa – do not try it.]
- Butter Pepper Prawns at Fisherman’s Cove – Candolim, on the road leading to Baga from Ruffles.
- Prawn Curry and Steam Rice at De Baga Deck – Candolim again, a little ahead of Fisherman’s Cove.
- Fresh orange juice – Everywhere. This was our one stable intake throughout the trip. Blame it on the scorching heat or that the oranges in goa were to sweet for sweets, the orange juice in the beach shacks just tastes like liquid from heaven.
- Have the brunch at Curlies. One word. Amazing.
Most of the restaurants in Goa have live music or karaoke in the night with amazing deals on liquor. Also a pint of Budweiser is cheaper than fresh orange juice here.
These restaurants are not the very famous ones, they are unconventional and low-key. We tried the famous ones too, and well they were over priced and over hyped. All the positive publicity over the years had just ruined their essence, and that’s why we listed out the ones which were actually good to give them the hype they really deserved!
Veggie lovers fear not, there are quite a few places for the vegans as well, and plenty of pure veg restaurant options for the jainy buddies.
Also, a very special mention – third shack on the right side of Candolim Beach when you enter from the 3 monkeys tattoo parlour entrance on candolim is the Bob Marley Shack. Bob Marley serves one of the best cheese omelettes ever! Fluffy and oozing out with cheese. They also have really amazing Chinese and sea food options. If you visit Candolim, you must go say hi! To my friend Mr. Marley!
There’s also Ram’s Shack on the same beach, where on asking – you can get a leg and body massage for INR 350.
A pint of Budweiser on an average costs INR 90 and a Carona costs INR 250 [big disappointment for people who think Carona is cheap in Goa.]
Also be prepared to be looted in Goa, being a tourist destination, everything is sold here at an inflated price. We saw a tourist buy a pack of cigarettes in front of us for INR 350 and a sheesha flavour for INR 300 [If you are an Indian, you know what I am talking about!]
Last but not the least, as of December 2016 – Zanzibar is under renovation and Chronicles on Vagator has become 9 Bar.
So, I just gave you a list of all the meaty places in Goa, why not like subscribe and share it with your gang?
And while you are at it, here’s a look of my gang: