When people say they went to Goa, they’re talking about a pretty wide space. Although it’s the smallest state in India, there’s quite a lot of amazing coastline to see. I was there for about a week and a half and visited three beaches: Anjuna, Baga, and Palolem. Anjuna and Baga are located in north Goa, where the nightlife is more evident, and Palolem in the south where you can find a more relaxed atmosphere.
Anjuna is a hippie’s paradise. It’s the place you go when you’re “just traveling through” and then end up staying for month’s on end, serving drinks, smoking weed, and living off of free food and accommodation. It’s not an uncommon site to wander into a bar and find that its occupants are delirious on LSD, which definitely makes for some interesting nights. I stayed at a place called Pappi Chulo where the owner, Cheeky, will tell you his inspiring life story, make you chai, and treat you like one of the family. Anjuna also has a killer flea market, but if the beach is what you’re looking for, tough luck. The beach is mostly sharp underwater rocks so it’s difficult to get in.
If you’re really looking to party, go to Baga. Every night you’ll find the streets lit up Vegas-style and bumping house music all the way down to the beach. We went to a club called Mambo’s on Saturday night where you could dance inside an air-conditioned room (thank the heavens). The beach here was better than Anjuna, but the water was a bit rough so it was not my favorite beach.
Palolem was a paradise and my favorite place in Goa. It had a relaxed atmosphere, but not overly flower child. The water was perfectly calm and warm, and enclosed in a small bay. The best activity in Palolem is kayaking. You can rent a kayak for 100 rupees per hour, or make a deal to rent it all day for a discount. Paddle across the bay, around the island that’s not too far offshore (where you can see dolphins!!) and down the little inlet of water to the right of the beach. Did I mention it’s paradise? You can also find a beach shack for a decent price. I rented one for only 500 rupees per night.
Each beach is about an hour or two away from one another. Sometimes they don’t have direct routes from one beach to the other, in fact I took 4 buses from Baga to Palolem. But it’s definitely worth it and the connecting buses were always easy to find. I met some people who took a taxi from Baga to Palolem for 2800 rupees while I paid a grand total of 140 rupees for my 4 bus trip. Oh, and eat their fish curry 🙂