Goa is world famous for its beaches, chilled vibe and heritage. Fortunately, it did not disappoint. I felt thoroughly relaxed after a five day stint in Northern Goa and I was impressed by the history of Central Goa’s Panjim and Old Goa.
For the most part of my week long stay in Goa I was in the north for its beaches, backpackers and parties. Despite the fact I came in low season I was pleasantly surprised to see many backpackers were still in the area lapping up the sun. I stayed in Anjuna at Roadhouse Hostel. My stay there was great, they’ve managed to nail the communal area which manages to brilliantly accommodate both socialising and privacy.
If you’ve got a few a days in North Goa, I would suggest you spend a couple of those days on a rented scooter – always test drive first and ask for a helmet! Venture to the beaches in the surrounding area slurping mango lassies as you go. I managed to see Ashvem (my favourite), Arambol, Vagatore, Baga, Calangute and Anjuna in my time there. I also visited Chapora Fort which was one of the highlights of my trip, it offers great views of the beaches either side of it and the opportunity to peacefully trapse along the hilltop.
On Saturday evening most of the hostel went to the night market that offers a wide array of goods for you to buy. Alongside these wares, there were bars, food, live music and a nightclub blaring out trance. It was quite bizarre, but fun nonetheless. For the rest of the evenings I spent my nights chatting and relaxing with other guests at the hostel. However, during high season there are a huge variety of clubbing nights you can go to – if that’s your thing!
To get to central Goa, I got a rickshaw to Mapsa and a fun bus journey to Panjim. I stayed at the well equip Old Quarter Hostel and spent five hours walking around Panjim. In and amongst the pretty, colourful Portugese houses, Panjim has a lot to offer. Amongst these there is the Immaculate Conception Church, the tired old Goa State Musesum, the eco-park near INNOX cinema (my favourite) and much more. From Panjim, you can easily visit Old Goa by bus for the day and take in the various historical buildings in the area.
Goa has certainly been welcoming and I somewhat regret not going to the south as I’ve heard the beaches are meant to be stunning. My only qualm with Goa is the litter that haunts it. You don’t have to walk very far to find rubbish strewn across the street. On one of the beaches we found (and disposed of) a needle. Even at Fort Chapora, a historical site, there were smashed beer bottles, plastic bottles and food packaging thrown over the side of the wall.
Goa is certainly beautiful, good-natured and well worth a visit! Go during high season to enjoy the parties or low season if you don’t mind the heat. If you plan on visiting, do your bit and make sure you don’t litter whilst you are there.