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Planning memorable trip to Goa (2)

Planning a trip to Goa? Here’s what you can do..

 

ENJOY GOA!

Goa is one of the most mesmerizing beach destinations in the world. But Goa goes beyond its sunny self; the state is even more vibrant in the monsoon, as the wilderness comes to life during this season. There’s something truly magical about Goa during the monsoon. The rainy season means that Goa is taking a break from the busy tourist season and this is a perfect opportunity for you to put your feet up along with the locals as well. Take a lengthy siesta, or a rainy walk along the beach. If there's adventure on your mind then hike up to Fort Chapora and watch raindrops crashing into the ocean. If it’s relaxation on your mind, then sit in your balcony and enjoy the rainfall along with a hot cup of coffee and a book.

 

To make the travel decision easier for you, we suggest a following activity to Goa this monsoon.

 

 

WORLD CLASS ACCOMMODATION

And not just travel but you could also stay in luxury resorts.

 

 

VISIT TO THE SCENIC DONA PAULA

 

 

Visit the Dona Paula Jetty for a bird’s eye view of Goa. This is where the two famous rivers of Goa (Mandovi and Zuari) meet the Arabian Sea. You may get a chance to get splashed by the sea, as the turbulent weather conditions causes the waves to lash up only in this season. Visit the Cabo Raj Bhavan and gain knowledge of the tale of the generous Dona Paula; also get spooked out in the British war-graves cemetery.

 

The haunting beauty of the Chapora fort and the Vagator beach makes it some of the best places to visit in Goa in monsoon. There are other forts as well which are great to visit but Chapora definitely make it to the top of the list when it’s all cloudy and beautiful.

 

 

VISIT TO HISTORICAL SITES

 

 

You must visit the historical sites. Old Goa was the centre of Portuguese focus during its rule. The 16th century saw the development of many great Churches like Basilica of Bom Jesus and Se Cathedral some of which have been classified by UNESCO as World Heritage sites.

 

 

EXPERIENCE THE WILDNESS

 

 

 

 Wildlife in Goa is in full bloom in monsoon. Hence wild life sanctuary must be on your bucket list. One of the best ways to explore Goa’s true wild beauty is by trekking. There are many tour guides that take you on trips exploring the states numerous waterfalls. The popular waterfalls of Goa include Dudhsagar, Arvalem Falls, Sada Falls and Hivre Falls. If you are daring and an adrenaline junkie, you must try out white water rafting. It is dangerous and fulfils every nature lover and adventure junkie’s dream.

 

Goa’s iconic Dudhsagar falls is in its full glory during the rains which is one of the most amazing monsoon activities in Goa. Its powerful gush becomes almost dizzying! Stand close too close to it could get you completely drenched. You can reach the falls either by train or by road through Panaji or Margao. And if you’re young bones are screaming out for more you could also trek up the falls.

 

 

SPICE PLANTATIONS

 

 

The spice plantations are no less refreshing and pristine, washed up in the Goan torrents. The Savoi spice plantation is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Goa during monsoon that can reached through a serene drive along the verdant valley and tropical forests.

 

 

 

TRY THE FAMOUS GOAN FISH CURRY ALONG WITH A DASH OF FENNY!

 

 

Yes, you’ll get it at any other time of the year as well but the fishes are the freshest in Goa during monsoon and it tastes like heaven!

 

 

WILDLIFE SANCTUARIES

 

 

Unlike wildlife sanctuaries across the rest of India, sanctuaries in Goa are open all year round. These sanctuaries are an absolute must-visit during the monsoons when they are washed clean by the rains. Some of Goa’s popular wildlife sanctuaries are the Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary which is located in North Goa near Valpoi. This sanctuary has a large number of Bengal Tigers and is set to become a Project Tiger Reserve. The Bhagwan Mahavir Sanctuary and Mollem National Park is also a popular wildlife sanctuary, which is situated in Mollem along the Goa Karnatak border. Another sanctuary you must visit is the Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary, which is a popular one with tourists and school children. This wildlife park has a deer park, a mini zoo, as well as many beautiful nature trails which are perfect for hikes.

 

 

NIGHT LIFE

At the end of the day, what is Goa without its vibrant parties!  This is by far the best season for party animals, as places like Mambo’s and Tito’s that you usually need to queue up endlessly to enter are now free of the crowds. Head to the Bar at Park Hotel in Calangute, or enjoy live music at the chilled out Cavala, on Baga-Calangute Road. If karaoke is what you’re looking for then head to St. Anthony’s bar on Baga Beach and sing your heart out. Another popular nightclub in Goa remains the LPK in Candolim, which is famous for its foot tapping music and peppy ambience. Goa is the only state in India where gambling is legal and there are many floating casinos where you can try your luck at the slot machines and roulette.

 

 

TAKE BACK GOAN SOUVENIR AS SWEET MEMORIES

 

 

How can you leave Goa without taking back a souvenir? Last day is for shopping. You can shop for artefacts at Marcou Artifacts or at Galeria Azulejos De Goa The Flea Markets are the most exciting places for shopaholics. There are several markets, such as, the Friday Market in Mapusa, the Wednesday Market Anjuna and most popular is the Saturday night market Arpora. Bargaining is a must! The food and music is bound to keep you energized throughout your shopping. Europeans have set up stalls selling foreign items like jewellery, clothes, shoes as well as food. These markets are so large a full day (or night) is required to complete the entire area.

 

 

There are few destinations around the world that can rival the year round charm that Goa possesses. Contrary to popular opinion, a vacation in Goa during the rains is sheer bliss! So what are you waiting for? Plan your holiday to Goa and splash your way through the place this monsoon!  


10 EATERIES IN GOA THAT YOU MUST NOT MISS AT ANY COST

LOCAL FOOD 

1. Poi from the local baker

It's best eaten fresh so wake up early in the morning and hunt down a local bakery for the latest batch of poi, a soft, pao-like local bread that looks like pita but has a more doughy texture. It is slightly crusty on the outside and soft inside. You can make poi pockets by heating them up in the oven, then thrown in a sausage and enjoy them with your cup of morning caffeine.

 

2. Fish thali at Starlight

Fish thali is a Goa staple and almost every dhaba will cook you one. The basics are the same everywhere: you get a piece of fried fish, fish curry, a vegetable curry or dal, rice, and pickle. Starlight in Arpora, a favourite with locals, is one of the best places to try it. The fish will be the fresh catch of the day (most common would be kingfish or sea perch) and this wholesome meal comes for about Rs. 200! Usually thalis are only available for lunch but do try your luck after a night of drinking out in town and this will be the most memorable meal you've had.

 

3. Rava fried prawn at Anand

No one does a rava fry better than Goans. Coated in crispy crumb, these giant, fresh prawns at Anand dhaba complete the bliss triangle with beer and sea. Spend an evening watching the sun go down on Goa at this popular "bar" in Siolim, eating plate after plate of their rava fried prawns with mug after mug of King's beer. You will definitely not be able to stop at one.

 

4. Crab at Laxmi

When you are in Morjim, stop for lunch at Laxmi 'family restaurant', among the best local food places you will find in Goa. Crab curry and grilled crab rubbed with local masala (tandoori crab) are their specialities, with tourists and locals queuing up to sample the fresh seafood here. Also, remember what you will get on your plate are huge, meaty crabs, not the miserable ones we find in other cities. Crab curry probably wins over the grilled version, as you mop up the spicy gravy with pao or rice.

 

5. Anything at Bhatti Village

I cannot recommend any particular dish here, because there is no menu at Bhatti Village. You get to eat what they get to catch – pretty simple, eh? Patrick D'Souza and his wife Merciana run this restaurant out of their house in Nerul and the idea is to trust their local hand to turn the find of the day into a delicious local speciality. On the menu will definitely be some local fish, plus pork and probably prawns, all prepared to simple Goan curries and recipes.

 

6. Fish fry at Ritz Classic

If you manage to never step out of Panaji, poor you, fear not, there is yummy fried fish to be had right in the capital too. Stroll over to Ritz Classic, the one near National Theatre, for some bombil fry, local beer and to hide from the Goan sun. Ignore everything but the local fare on the menu (always a handy tip when travelling) of which rava fried Bombay duck and fish thali are two of the best things to pick. This is a busy place so don't expect to spend a languid afternoon with calming views here, just straight-up soul food and off you go exploring Goa.

 

WORLD CUISINE

7. French at La Plage

Opening out to the beach in Morjim, this one continues to be a huge favourite with travellers and some Goans. Fine presentation and delicate flavours rule the menu at La Plage where your squid is thinly sliced, your prawn melts in the mouth, your filet is perfectly cooked and your terrine is just the right texture. Seafood, including kingfish, is probably your best bet here, though they do a mean chicken liver pate. Finish it up with their chocolate thali, world famous in Goa for the different types of yummy dessert in an Indian style thali.

 

 8. Japanese at Sakana

All about subtlety in décor and flavour, Sakana is where you go to have miso soup and rice and some great seafood on the side. Kingfish is a local favourite but their tuna teriyaki is also superb. Run by an Indian-Israeli couple, this cosy place in Anjuna serves the best sushi in Goa. You must try their home-brewed wasabi vodka too. For the less adventurous, there's sake on the menu.

 

9. Burmese at Bomra's

It's so local that it's tough to think of Bomra's as not Goan food except for the fact that it's not. It's Burmese and we don't mean it's a khao suey joint - that being almost the only Burmese dish that Indians know. In fact, khao suey is not even on the menu. But wait till you dig into Chef Bawmra Jap's light and flavourful dishes including a super yummy tea leaf salad and squid ink pad thai. Follow it up with the tender coconut panacotta. Open for dinner only, this place is in Candolim. Oh and they do a khao suey once a week, so call and check.

 

10. European at Antares

 Right next to the popular Greek restaurant Thalassa at Vagator is the newer Antares that offers the same sunset views and a wider menu. Get there by 5 pm (reserve a table up in the front for the best views) and order several espresso martinis because you are going to love both the drink and the view and want to linger. Run by Masterchef Australia 2014 contestant Sarah Todd, the menu here is seasonal but their lobster linguini and fried calamari are both super and almost always available.


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