Fun, Frolic and Fantasy! These three words truly describe the Goan experience. Goa is just not Indian, it’s English,Portugali, French and American too. The Goan culture and community is very much like Goan trance… funky,liberating and out of the world! The carnivals,fests,trance and culture create an aura around Goa tourism and make it a different experience than the experience that any other Indian city has to offer to you.
Goa tourism is divided into many parts first are beaches, heritage sites which include temples and churches, historical sites which includes forts, Architectural sites which includes buildings and churches, wildlife and nature sightseeing which includes the forests, birds sanctuary and butterfly conservatory and then comes recreational goan visits for casinos and gambling. Goa is also a paradise for party freaks and goan trance lovers. The february goa carnival and december sunburn festivals are now part of goan identity. There are so much for any honeymooner to do and to live in Goa.
One very good looking couple Manisha and Vineet chose Goa for their honeymoon to explore a culture and city which is not so Indian unlike the closed and compact culture Kolkata has to offer to them where they reside. They flew to Goa the very next day of their wedding which proved to be a welcome break from their traditional wedding. They divided Goa into parts and planned their entire seven day trip accordingly.
Goa is all about beaches. It is where the most of Goan action takes place. There are many famous beaches like Calangute which is the most popular beach of north Goa, Baga which is a lot quieter than calangute but very popular too.Most of beaches and action lies in North Goa there are many famous beaches like Candolim, Vagator, Aguada etc. The south Goa has also few beaches like Palolem,Betalbatim etc. Most beaches are filled with street side shops and vendors which sell some really cool stuff from bikini to cool coral accessories. The famous saturday night market at Arpora is a great weekend activity and great place for some junk jewelleries, hippie clothes and craft items. The food, the sheer display of products, the music everything is very international.
Manisha says that “bargain hard before buying anything to agree over a reasonable price and also don’t forget to carry cash as there are no Atms nearby.”
The Goan beach activity has no dearth for honeymooners from adventurous water sports like Kayaking, wakeboarding, windsurfing, scuba diving, parasailing and banana tube boat rides are just to name a few. These beach activities are not offered at a single beach but mainly two three water sports activity at a single beach like scuba diving is limited to Grande Island’s, St. George Island, Devbagh Island, Pigeon Island, Netrani Islands and mainly Calangute, Candolim, Mobor, Miramar, Raj Baga beaches beaches offer most of watersports activities.
Manisha advices “newly weds should carry plenty of western clothes with them on the trip and always carry two sets of clothes while heading to the beaches along with the slippers. Though you can easily buy it from the flea market near the beaches but it’s best to carry your own stuffs ranging from towels to sun block cream.”
Fort Aguada and Cabo de Rama fort are the two most famous historical sites in Goa. Fort Aguada became famous after Dil Chahta hai was shot there though Manisha says that “There’s nothing much to do there except the view of the Arabian seas and sunset. Though it is one of the most popular tourist places in Goa and normally stuffed with people in the evening. Beware of fraudulent people there who would offer many honeymoon packages to you and just avoid scratch cards etc which would be offered to you by the locales there.”
Cabo de Rama lies in south goa and if you are fond of long drivings with beautiful backdrop along with your wife than you can surely head there. This is a lot quieter and offers some exquisite views of the Arabian sea in relative peace.
Basilica of Bom jesus, Church of our lady of the immaculate conception, Se Cathedral are few famous churches in Goa which reflects a lot of Portuguese architecture. The interiors are equally impressive and Manisha highly recommend these sites. There would be street vendors selling lot of accessories and key rings around which you can buy but you will also get the same stuff easily in any of the flea markets on the beaches.
Shantadurga Temple is also one of the most famous sacred place in Goa which is surrounded by a local market.
WILDLIFE/ NATURE SIGHTSEEING
It really makes Goa honeymoon experience exquisite. Bondala wildlife sanctuary is basically the only zoo in Goa with limited animals. Then there is butterfly conservatory Ponda, Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary and Dr. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary etc. Dudhsagar is located around the Bhagwan Mahavir wildlife sanctuary and it is truly a great place for the nature lovers. Though it’s located very far way but the forest is very dense and you can locate some wildlife activities too.
One thing that gives Goa it’s true identity is night life. The beach shacks, the bars and pubs the night clubs, party cruises, all night casinos and discotheques makes it an unforgettable experience for newly weds and also fulfils all the fantasies of party goers. The psychedelic trance ignites the Goan spirits of Goa nightlife continuously.
Club Cabana Arpora,, Sin Q and Club LPK Candolim, Titos and Cafe Mambos at Baga are few famous night clubs in North Goa and famous for it’s all night party. Though the parties are mostly happening on weekends.
Sometimes party goes on in open on full moon nights with some great electromagnetic music playing on the back drop on the beaches of South Goa outside the night sacks.
The Zuri white sands casino, Casino Palms at Calangute, Casino Royale and Deltin Royale casino are cruise casinos at Panjim which are some famous Casinos in Goa.
Night life is a must have experience one should have in Goa. Even night walking with your spouse with holding hands together on the long moonlit twinkling beaches are some beautiful romantic ideas in Goa.
Goa is the land of fests and carnival like Goa international film festival which is held every year in Goa is currently going on and end by 28th November. The world famous Electro Dance music EDM ‘Sunburn’ festival which enters its 10th year is scheduled to happen from 27th december to 30th of december 2016. This beach party is held on Vagator beach. You get to witness the craziest of all the DJs like David guetta,Dimitri Vegas and Martin sharing the stage together. You just can’t miss this one experience. But it’s jam packed that time of the year in Goa. So make sure to book tickets months before.
but it’s all worth it for music,eat,drink,sleep and repeat experience!
Goa Carnival is scheduled to be held on saturday 25th February 2017 and end on Tuesday 28th february 2017 as per the tradition. The entire Goa looks like dancing on streets, the singing,dancing, old people with funny masks can be seen having fun on the streets along with religious christian ceremonies. The carnival ends with a colourful parade which is no less than holiday parades in south america.
Very few people would be knowing it but it’s not just western fests but Goa also celebrates hindu fests like Zatras with equal enthusiasm. Zatras festivals are held in November and one can experience the colors,costumes, cuisines and culture of hinduism in Goa. The temples like Shantadurga, Mangueshi, Ramnathi display grandeur during this fest.
Feast of St Francis Xavier old goa is one fest too which is celebrated every year on 3rd of december.Christmas celebrations are also something to watch for when the special Goan sweets are prepared and cribs are constructed on highways,farms and water bodies to depict baby jesus.
WHERE TO STAY
If you ask me then the shacks around the beaches are best to stay. Just go there to sleep and spend the entire day on the beaches and roaming around but if you are an urban traveller and want luxury and comfort during your stay while enjoying Goan trance and beauty then there are hundreds of hotels in North and South Goa like TAJ Exotica South Goa or TAJ Vivanta Panaji, Goa and other five star luxury hotels. Go through these links for more details.
HOW TO REACH
Goa has an airport and railway station both. Both Dabolim Airport and Madgaon railway stations are far away from the main city. The airport and railway station is well-connected to all the major cities. Though the best route is to reach Mumbai first stay there for a day or two and then take the train to Madgaon before heading to Goa. This one train route is far more fun than any flight to Goa. Lot of wanderer from across the world will meet you there with their backpack in that train to Goa. Madgaon itself has a very beautiful beach and I will suggest you to stay there for a day or two before moving to Goa by road. It’s an hour ride from Madgaon to Goa.
Here are few other links which might help you plan your honeymoon better.
Published by Swapnil Pandey