Wondering what to do if you ever decide to visit Goa. I’ll like to share with you what I look forward to doing every time I visit home (Goa). Through the years the list evolves for the tourist, but its the same for any goan who lives away and has missed home. The land is known for its Sun, Sand and Seafood or for its wine and song, which is true as the saying goes, if you throw a stone it will fall on a bar or a church. Goans as the locals are called, don’t need a reason to celebrate be it rain or shine but with all the merry-making it is still considered the most peaceful place in India communally.
Goa is the Hawaii, for Indians. Very popular with the newlyweds from all parts of India and popular with the Europeans. The Euro stretches a long way in Goa then Hawaii where a gallon of milk on an average cost $7.49. So cross over and experience the tropics.
1. Visit the beaches
Goa being a coastal state just like California has a coastline of 78 miles.The further north or south you travel the beaches are less crowded and cleaner. The Rich Aqua blue waters and the rustic white sandy beaches along with the warm tropical weather makes it a very scenic place to live or visit. Enjoy some great food on the “Shacks” which are wooden huts made with palm leave roofing. It couldn’t get any better than this.
2. Try the local foods
The local specialties which is hard to find in other parts of India are the Goan Sausages, Sorpatel made of pork, rice curry and fried fish, the local staple. Vindaloo a dish very popular in Goa and abroad and the freshest local seafood. Sweets like Bebinca made with coconut milk and eggs and flour, Dodol made with jaggery (raw sugar),coconut milk and wheat flour and Doce de Grao made from fresh grated coconut, gram dal and sugar. These are just, to name a few.
3. Try the local Spirits( Alcohols)
Goa has its own range of liquor, wine and beer. It’s not just called a party place for nothing. Popular wine is the Sweet Port Wine, influence of the Portuguese. Feni(Fenny) which is made from fermentation of the fruit of the cashew tree, while coconut feni is made from the sap of toddy palms. Try out Kingfisher or Arlem Beer a mild brew which are popular.
4. Visit churches
Most Churches built during the colonial period leave an everlasting impression on the visitors. Built during the 15th to 17th century they remain intact and still retain he old charm. Basilica of Bom Jesus Basilica, St. Catherine of Alexandria Cathedral, Church of St Francis of Assisi, church of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception, Holy Spirit Church and many more churches that offers a treat to your eyes with is architectural magnificence.
Local marketplaces and flea markets offer a good opportunity for bargain shoppers. One of the biggest marketplace in Goa is the Mapusa market place in North Goa and Margao down south. It’s a great experience to a street market and local foods.
I always want to experience the excitement of the Goan festivity and so my travel is scheduled around Christmas or just before Lent, its carnival time. Every street and corner of the state is perfectly decked up to set the festive mood of locals as well as visitors. The celebration is marked with lots of drinking, feasting and merry-making. Experience the “Dances” they have during the festivity which is dancing through the night with great live music and good food. No picture can capture the liveliness of the moment.
This will be a trip that will be etched in you memory forever.