Friday, 29 August 2014

Accommodation in Goa

Goa's prime real estate unlike most cities i India is spread across in litlle pockets across the state in small towns and suburbs. Travelling through and fro with ease is one of the main factors you should consider while searching for an place to stay in Goa, whether you are here for a holiday or looking to rent out for a while.
looking around and checking for convenience to get to point A to B would help you get an estimate of how he neighborhood is.

As I had mentioned, real estate is spread across in small pockets and in each pocket there are several factors to consider while finding the right accommodation. If you are living in Colva and need to travel to Mago everyday is a better option than living in Varca and need to get to Margo. The rents do vary in both instances and so does the type of offerings but keep in mind dont consider only consider the price is on the only factor.

Panjim, Margao, Vasco, Mapusa and Ponda are the main business town in Goa, the beach belt of north Goa is now also considerd a prime area for good real estate being for the demand for short and long term stays. For long term stays people do prefer the in-between' s  such as Porvorim, Caranzalem, Succor, Verna, Dabolim that are slight relaxed on prices the rentals have to offer. These suburbs are also filled by real estate built under 5 years and are full of amenities and often has the daily essentials in close proximity.

With a large demand in housing architectural firms such as Eadus, are now catering to the exclusive westerner market that is increasing each year. These clients require their apartments to be designed according to the pads back home for comfortable living in Goa.

The real estate boom took off in early 2006-2007 and gave rise to the many suburbs that are popular now a days. The main cities are small and there isn't place to build new structures any more hence opportunities for housing in new areas near these cities were opportunities for many in the business.

Finding a good listing can be quite a run, a good place to start would be the Navhind Times that is most popular with its listings, you might also like to keep options to looks at a broker, who does the job of finding easily. Looking online has its advantages, sites such as OLX and Quikr has several listings you can browse through, Rental Listings Goa is a local site that is frequently updated in its daily listings. Most of the listings available over the internet are through real estate brokers who would charge you a fee for their services. You could strike a good bargain with some of them and more than often these chaps have some of the better listings you can find.

Tourism in Goa

Tourism in Goa has come a long way since the early backpackers visiting Goa back in the mid seventies to the modern tourist of today flocking in for the casinos and nightlife. Yes, Goa has come a long way and it has been adapting to the changing time and demands. The state has so much to offer and you apart from its beaches that it is famously known for.

The churches in Old Goa and the rich heritage of temples in Ponda gives you a glimpse of its diversity in tourism. The culture is warm and friendly and is has been talked about by many who visited over the years.
Tourism did make take a change over the last few years, the state introduced off-shore casinos, one of a kind in India, attracting a different type of tourist adding another feather to its hat in terms of of its diversity in tourism.

Popular visited by interstate tourist as well people for Russia and Europe being the most popular, there are many who make it a point to visit on a regular basis. Music festivals such as Sunburn and the International Film Festival of India has has put Goa on the tourist map.

Places for tourists in Goa are plenty, the beaches its surroundings being the most popular. Traditional cultural festivals such as the Goan Carnival has continued to attract visitors and has been attended in huge numbers every year.

The locals are friendly and the food food has been the cravings of many, wanting more on every visit. The last few years have also seen five starred hotels sprout in both the north and south Goa, bring about another layer of visitors wanting to spend their holidays in the lap of luxury.

Private transportation has grown at a quick pace as well, you can self commute with privately hired two-wheeler s as well as four giving you the opportunity to explore Goa the way you would want to.Better connectivity by air and rail has made Goa more accessible to visit, with air connectivity being the most popular.Water sports have been operated by private owners and now moderated by the Government. Tourists can take on several rides to explore their adventurous side.

Goa remains a popular destination in India due to healthy tourism policies by the Government as well as the local contribution by local businesses, making it one of the most attractive places to holiday in India and as a tourist so much to explore.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Where do you party it up in Goa?

The tourist season is the best time to visit Goa, the entire place is full of life, there is so much happening in the beach belts, the parties, the food you can party for days and still want more. The tourist season peaks by December, the stays get costlier but the partying new stops.

Baga, Anjuna, Vagator are world famous for its nightlife but during this time of the season they take it up a notch. Classic such as Tito’s at Baga always has it going. From a wide offering of culinary delights to tickle your palate to a pleasant ambiance to it Tito’s is popular landmark and is now a part of many itineraries of travelers visiting the state.Tito’s lane is mad with entertainment, with Cape Town Cafe in the lane dishing out some beat dropping music.

You might want to hop over to Club Cabana as well which is located at Arpora Hill. This place is often visited by Bollywod stars and has a great ambiance to it. This night club in the sky as it is famously known for is a great hangout place with good music, unlimited booze and filled with party people.

Liquid Sky in Ashwen City Resort is place for the settings of a great evening. The club is located on a hilltop has spectacular views surrounding it. Known for its psytrance to techno, electro, this club showcase some of Goa’s bet disk Jockeys

Qutback Bar in Arambol near Sweet Lake changes the pace a bit, its a chilled, calm ambiance and a great location to just relax evening. You are right at the sea front and if you are around early you can catch the beautiful sun-set.

Sinq Beach Club is in Dando Candolim is has been popular over the last few years. Apart from being an amazing nightclub the club has a perfect setting for a business lunch as well.

The nightlife is what part-lovers in Goa and visiting Goa really love, its remains as a great place to unwind and distress from everyday routine.  The season begins in September and winds up in March.  A few nightclubs are open throughout the year while a few operate only during the season.  The nightlife is very vibrant along the beaches of Goa and is visited by the thousand who flock in every year to soak up the sun in India's most popular holiday destination.

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Panjim’s Boat Rides and off shore- Casinos

Goa has seen casinos flourish across the state over the last few years. From on-shore to now the off-shore casinos Goa has added a another wing of attraction to the tourists visiting the state. Although on-shore casinos have existed for a while, off-shore casinos have sprouted over the last few years and is great tourist attraction for those visiting and want to pay lady-luck a visit.

The off shore casinos are seen on the river Mandovi and are quite an attraction as they sail across the Mandovi right upto Miramar Beach.  Deltin Jack, Crown Casino, Caravela , Casino Carnival are the some of the river boats you can visit. You can also enjoy the entertainment and food on board these vessels and  off course the sights as you sail across the river.

If you are in the mood to dance the evening away with live entertainment and music you should try the boat rides at the Panjim jetty. Long ques are often see at the ticket counters but it is worth the wait. Hop on board to the be entertained as well as to take a short cruise down the river Mandovi. Musicians and Dj’s will play tunes to get you to the mood to be a part of the entertainment. You can also sit back, relax and catch a glimpse of the city from the deck.
Cruise along as the boats sail across the city towards Miramar, you will pass by landmarks such as the Kala Academy, the Mariot, after which you will sail to the white sands of the Miramar beach and of course, you will see the city from a different perspective.

If you want to get a bit more closer to the water drive up to Dona-Paula to catch a Jet-ski or a private boat ride across the jetty. The rides are refreshing as you breeze across the river facing the famous Dona Paula jetty and the Mormugao Harbour on the opposite side of it. The jet-skis and boat ride are very reasonably priced and offer you an amazing view of the nearby coast.

One among the many things to do in the city, boat rides along the river Mandovi and Dona Paula are famous among tourists and highly recommended to try. The stretch between Miramar and Patto is the best time to visit Goa during the Carnival Season every year in the month of Febuary

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Weather in Goa; how to work your travel plans around it!

The tropical weather and the sun kissed beaches is choice of many who plan their visit here and the weather in Goa has a lot to do with it as well due to the fact the  coastal belts is pretty much shut during the monsoons. Goa is cooler during the months of October until March when the summers set in. By cooler, you need not pack up you heavy duty winter gear as the temperature drops to a maximum of 23 degrees. 

The tourist season kicks off in the month of October with Russian charters flying in tourists for the holidays. The beaches settle down after the rains which are quite heavy and you are ready to soak up the sun. However, the monsoon has its own charm; after the hot summer that are hot and humid. The rains bring about a refreshing change to the landscape and is full of greenery.

The beaches remains off limits during the monsoons as they are unsafe to swim in, you do see a lot of interstate tourists visiting to enjoy Goa the weather and take advantage of the prices stay, food and travel drop due to the low demand during this period. Villas in Goa for rent are a steal during this period if you are travelling as a group and you are surely to get a good deal looking if looking for one.

The best time to visit Goa is definitely after the monsoons and you when the season peaks at Christmas and New year and end slowly winds down after the carnival in Feb. The weather during this period is a pleasant 25 degrees with the tourist season kicking-off, businesses begin to gear up for the season at hand. As the season progresses and the prices for stay, food and travel peak in the month of December as compared to the off season prices of July- September. If you plan to visit during the months of October to December, booking you stay well in advance can you a better package rather than booking last minute. Accommodation availability also remains scarce as we head into December, hotels, villas and serviced apartments and rentals in Goa  run out of space as Goa's gets ready to ring in the New Year. The parties, the nightlife the food, the lazy evenings, the beaches and of course the weather make travelling here during the period the best time to travel in the tourism calender.

Come January, February the mercury starts climbing and you begin to feel the heat! 30 degrees is only the beginning which then lead into the summer that peaks at around 38 degrees! yes, hot and and humid. Well, the entertainment still goes on with Carnival and lastly the San Jao feast in June that ends the party calender.

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Goa's Beaches and its nightlife

Goa is blessed with a beautiful coastline that attracts thousands every year that visit for a holiday. The night life that surrounds these beaches adds to the fun and frolic of being there.  Although sharing the same coastline these beaches are divided into north and south Goa and a quite different from each other.

The beaches in the North of Goa are extremely popular and have vibrant nightlife and is packed with party-goers and beach bums. This coastline is filled with popular shacks at that are popular and full of life. A great way to relax away to the setting sun sets a mood for a great evening; not missing out on the beers you can grab at arms length on a comfortable beach chairs. Baga, Calangute, Anjuna, and Candolim are the craziest of them all, the crowd thins out as you head out toward Ashwen, and Morjim.  You will find great restaurants serving all types of cuisines, the nightclubs dropping the best beats and you can always shop your heart away on whole bunch of things at flee markets and shopping centers. The northern belt is famous for its parties and its night life, there are plenty of beach resorts in Goa you can choose from if you when visiting.

The south is different from the north, the beaches quieter, the nightlife less crazier that makes the setting for those who plan who like to soak up the real Goa! The beaches in the south of Goa are also popular for its beach resorts that are located by the beaches, places like the Park Hyatt and Taj Exotica to name a few. The south of Goa has its own charm, the village life in these belts still exist and  its is seen across the coast with homes that are tucked in its greenery. The nearest and popular suburb being Margao and its most popular beach being Colva is just one among the many beaches you can visit and relax. Betalbatim, Arrosim, Benaulim, Varca, Cavelosim and lastly Pallolem are the beaches that will have you enjoy your vacation especially of you are looking for Goa's Beaches as a holiday destination.  

Goa's beaches have been the focal are of its tourism and its mainstay as a place of interest for vacationers. There are a lot of things to do in Goa beaches as well,  its churches, temples, backwaters and casinos are other attractions to visitors. You can hire a two wheeler or a four wheeler as well to hop at the various points, and as you visit do check out the many restaurants you will find, especially the ones you can find serving up fresh fish. Do not worry, these are easy to spot, the mouth-watering aromas of fried fish as you pass-by will draw you in if you are looking to explore as you drive along. Places such as Britos in Baga, Souza Lobo in Calangute, Martins in Betalbatim, Fishermans Wharf in Cavelossim should be on you list to visit

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Traditional Goan everyday snacks

Coconut is a popular commodity used here in Goa to make every day snacks consumed at tea time at most households especially over the weekend. These delicacies are available at most bakeries across Goa, you also explore Dhosh, Dhodol and other sweets as well

The base of these pancakes are made of rice that is soaked overnight, the rice is then ground into a thin paste and mixed in coconut juice. This mixture is then tossed into a pan and allowed to cook. A mixture comprising of jaggery and raw coconut are mixed together and spread evenly. Delicious to have and easy to make

Shira is made of rawa and ghee cooked over ten-fifteen minutes on a slow flame  to which cooking colour is added along with a few dried fruits along with some spices such as dried spices such as cloves and cardamom.

Mung juice with coconut juice and jaggery
Mung is soaked overnight and then streamed in a pressure cooker to cook, after its cooks the a mixture of coconut juice and jaggery is added to it. This snack is very good to clear a cold and highly nutritious

The delicious mouth watering delight is a made in layers and is not only popular among locals but now also exported to Australia and the United Kingdom

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Goa Beyond its Beaches, Churches and Temples: Spice farms, Ancestral Goa, Mario Miranda Art gallery and Kala Academy.

So, you pick up a nice tan and visited the temples and churches and you still want explore some more, well, there is a lot more to do and following are a few places you should try if you are in the mood to  explore Goa’s roots and traditions.

Spice Farms are popular in Ponda, a forty minute drive from Panjim, these farms are located amidst lush green surroundings of the neighboring mountains and is a great place to experience food and the farm itself which has a lot of explore within itself. The spice plants that the farms cultivate are spread across multiple acres and produce spices such as Nutmeg, Cinnamon, Pepper, Turmeric, Ginger and Vanilla besides the numerous Cashew plantations in the area. The visit includes a meal as well at the restaurant that serves up a Goan spread consisting of mainly Fish Curry Rice, Chicken Xacuti and Vegetables.

Ancestral Goa is located near Ponda as well, roughly a 30-40 minute drive to get there and is located near the Savior Of the World Church Lotolim.  Ancestral Goa is a treasure of artifacts and precious items that reflect Goa’s cultures and traditions. Big Foot takes you across the many sculptures that depict the rich history of Goa. Across Big-Foot is the old Portuguese house you could visit as well. Casa Araujo Alvares is an structure that has been standing since the Portuguese rule in Goa and has been renovated to give visitors a glimpse of the early days.

Kala Academy is in Panjim and is any another gateway to Goa’s rich cultural diversity. Musicals, Tiarts and art exhibitions are quite famous here that showcase local artist and talents.  Art, music and drama is what you can explore here in abundance, you can also visit the old light-house behind the academy to catch a glimpse of the Mandovi.

Head out to Salvador Do Mundo to get a taste of art by Goa’s famous artist Mario Miranda. His signature styles that depicts Goa’s life will allow you to explore what Goa was all about back in the day. His art is unique and descriptive that will have you mesmerised in its beauty. 

Goa surely has a lot to offer other than its beaches and nightlife. You can explore more than you can imagine from its little villages to its beautiful sights you are in a unique experience. If you are looking to explore the many places to visit in Goa that are different in its own charm, places to visit in Goa are famous  where you can explore the cultures and traditions. 

Monday, 24 February 2014

Tourist places in Goa

So you are planning your visit to Goa on a holiday and are in the mood the explore its surroundings and off course get a tan as well or will ending up doing so any ways!

To start with the food is always a good start! These are several place that will flood that list but here a must visit few; Souza Lobo- Calangute, Brittos's- Baga, Sea Pebble-Dona Paula, Mickeys-Colva, Martins Beach Corner-Betalbatim, Fiplees Betalbatim and Fishermans Wharf Cavelosim.

Night clubs should be on your things to do list as well. The every popular Titos's lance has become a global landmark you  must visit. Club Cabana, SinQ and 9Bar are highly popular places in the north of Goa to catch a chilled beer or dance your heart out.

Popular and must visit beaches on the cards would be Baga, Calangute, Anjuna, Morjim and Mandrem. With shacks availabel at most of these beaches it is a great place to spend the day, water sports included.

Flee markets are very exciting as they offer entertainment as well as shopping, the Anjuna Flee market is one of the oldest flee markets in Goa and remains the most popular. You could also go visit Mackie Saturday Night Bazar as well.

Hopping over to Ponda will give you a nice outing to the spice plantations and temples that it is so famous for. There are plenty of farms to choose from and it would take up a day check out. These tours also have lunch included. Temples here are very popular, you should check out the Shanta Durga temple or the Mangeshi temple and don't forget to charge your camera while you plan the visit.

Landmarks such as Dona Paula, Fontainhas and the cruise boat ride on a visit to Panjim, the capital would help you to explore as well as get entertained while you are at it. The cruises are only in the evening at the new Patto bridge. Casinos have been a new attraction over the last few years for many visit. Try you luck, have a drink and food included is a nice way to spend the evening.

Old Goa if you want to explore more on Goa's Portuguese influence on Goa, there are churches and cathedrals that you could explore, the drive there too is by the riverside and is very enjoyable.

Looking deeper to know the culture, plan a visit to Mario Miranda Musuem in Porvorim and Ancestral Goa in Lotolim as well.

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Goan Carnival in 2014!!

Known for it white sand beaches , its crazy nightlife, liberal ways of living and its kind hospitality it remains the choice of many to come back on a holiday. The Goan Carnival held annually in February reflects the fun and happy side of the Goans and is the time of the year when people come out in large numbers across the state to be a part of the fun and frolic.

The Carnival festival has been influenced by Goa’s Portuguese roots and has remained a part of Goa’s cultured for many years and reflects Goa cultural diversity. Held in the month of February, this festival has everyone in a happy mood filled with color and music to go with it. The carnival floats are paraded across multiple cities in Goa and is one of India's most unique festivals held nowhere by here in Goa.  Locals and visitors come out  in large numbers to celebrate and watch the parade go by to be a part of the celebration.

The Goan Carnival takes place just before the season of Lent marked by the Christian Calender and is the last celebration before a 45 day fast that then followed by Easter. Live bands playing carnival tunes, floats accompanied with dancers in colorful costumes and hundreds cheering on the festival is witnessed by people from India and abroad.
King Momo the iconic figure marks the begin of the festival and is seen on the first float that kick-starts the festival. The first float itself has dancers, musicians and performers in action and is one among the vibrant floats seen in the parade. Most floats  are themes on social and cultures reflections.

Time your holiday or make sure you plan a visit at least once in a life time to witness this celebratory experience and if you are here during a holiday do nothing to miss out on it. 

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Best time to visit Goa

Goa has a lot to offer for everyone visiting through out the year, the tourist season being popular from October until Jan and the off season being from June until September.

The period of November and December sees the most tourist visiting from India and abroad. This time of the year remains the peak of the season and sees prices of accommodation and travel shoot up compared to the rest of the year.  Room rents can go up at least one and half times as compared to the beginning of the season and yet there is always a shortage due to rising demand. Accommodation would be costlier by the beach belt and less expensive in the suburbs, you can hire you own car/bike, the only real disadvantage being you are a bit away from the night life! well, if you prefer it otherwise, nothing like it.

Popular places such as Candolim, Calangute, Baga and Anjuna are very popular in the north of Goa, while Panjim and Donapaula are preferred while living closer to the capital. Morjim, Ashwem, Anjuna, Vagator also make their way up that list.

In the south of Goa, Pallolem is the most popular beach by a mile but it is pretty isolated from rest of the action at beaches such as Colva, Varca, Cansailim, Betalbatim and Benaulim.

The months before that are also popular, mid-September marks the beginning of the tourist calendar and you can find a good bargain during this period.

The month of May sees a huge number of interstate tourists as the summers are about to end. Prices are pretty reasonable during this time and you also can get a nice deal as most businesses are preparing to shut for the off season.

Planning you visit to Goa in December is on of the best times to visit, the beach belts are buzzing with activity and is very vibrant and busy. Last minute deals are always available through travel agents but yes they do come at a price.

The most economical visit would be just before monsoons, the foreign tourists leave by then and you will see a drop in airfare and stay bookings, room rates being much more realistic for the best time to visit for a holiday.

If you are looking to get away from the madness of urban life and need a break, the monsoon for some is also a popular time to visit. The other jammed packed beach belts are calm and quite as well, but you need not stay by the coast, you could get a place in Panjim or around and even explore and stay are wild life sanctuaries during the rains. The weather in Goa can play spoilsport if not planned around it so do make sure you plan accordingly to avoid a disappointment.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Forts of Goa you must visit during you visit!

Chapora Fort
‘Shahpura’ which means ‘Town of the Shah’ was first constructed by Bijapurs ruler Adil Shah and is located on Anjuna beach which among the popular attractions in India. Built out of laterite stones this fort is situated on the banks of the Chapora river and changed hands several times after the Portuguese took over Bardez

Fort Tiracol
This fort is located on the northern tip of Goa along the banks of the Tiracol river accesable from the Querim ferry. The fort remained in history as the Portuguese's critical maritime defenses. The fort has been now converted as  hotel, the Tiracol Heritage.

Reis Magos Fort
This fort rests on the banks of the river Mandovi facing the capital city of Panjim which was built in the year 1543 and was designed to curb enemy ships that would sail across the Mandovi. The fort also functioned as a jailhouse till 1993, until it was abandoned and then back in 2012.

Rachol Fort

Home to the famous  Rachol Seminary this fort that rests by the Zuari, was restored and converted into a museum.