Goa may be a small state but it is not a place anyone in India has not heard about. It is, if not the best, one of the best and most preferred holiday destination. Goa is famous for its beautiful beaches and nightlife. But this article does not focus on that. Rather it speaks the contrary and talks about the other mellow, rich side of Goa which is often overlooked by travelers during their stay.
Goa, a former Portuguese colony with a rich history spread over 3,700 square kilometers with a population of approximately 1.4 million, is a small state in the western region of India. It is a small state by area but a massive contributor to the economy and tourism of India with a GDP per capita two and a half times that of the country as a whole, and an estimate of 2.5 million visitors each year.
Goa has a unique mix of Indian and Portuguese cultures and architecture. This blend in culture happened as a result of the place being a former Portuguese province. A lot of its culture, influence in cuisine and lifestyle lean towards the influence left by the Portuguese, which also adds more to the whole ‘Goa’ experience making everything seem very ‘Goan’ and exotic. With the abundance of fresh fish available on a daily basis, rice and fish are the staple diet of the locals here. There are many signature Goan sea fish curries loved around the whole of India. To run with or to better cater the ever increasing number of tourists and travelers, there are a good number of 5 star and 3 star hotels in Goa coming up. Although they provide you all the facilities of a proper hotel, there are many low budget and decent cheap hotels too, where you can have a completely proper and comfortable stay.
Although the first thing that sparks into the mind when we think about this place is the extraterrestrial nightlife and beach parties, Goa is not all about that. Goa can be a really lovely vacation if you explore it further more and not just party the whole night and sleep the whole day and repeat, until your stay comes to an end. It is a place with a rich cultural heritage with lots of stories to tell and share, a paradise of food where the cuisine is a blend of two nations and culture, home to some really vintage stores with the rarest collections and a street fashion experience like never before.
The best way to explore Goa and get the real feel of Goa is by walking. Walking past the buildings built during the colonial times which stands tall to this day perfectly with people living under it. The people are warm and inviting in such places of Goa and there is truly a place where you feel homely and safe. Also, you need not worry about getting hungry as there are cafe’s all along the way serving the best coffee, snacks and cakes whose aroma will pull you towards your cafe whether you are hungry or not. All these cafes resonate a homely ambiance with various wall arts and beautiful paintings hung on the walls with a quirky but exciting decor.
Another exciting thing you can do apart from the nightlife fun is to be a part of the weekly street markets and experience street shopping at its best. The busiest and the most popular among them is the weekly Wednesday market at Arjuna market. Here you will find various stuff ranging from clothing, souvenirs, jewelry, handicrafts, electronic items and various other things. Stay cautioned for the price though as the vendors do not let you go without a good bargain.
Another market to visit is the Mapusa market where you will find everything local, from local spices, carpets, handicrafts and all things local. But this market closes by sunset, so you need to plan prior to explore and experience this place. And if you do not like shopping in the afternoon with the hot sun on your back and humidity soaring high then you can opt for the Arpora market the next day. This Saturday equally stocked with all things to take your street shopping to the next level is a night bazaar which happens every Saturday.
Goa in all its glory has everything to make your holiday an awesome experience. You can get your flight, bus or train ticket booking online or get a holiday package instead and have the time of your life. Goa is for the party animal, the art lover, the photographer, the artist, the historian and just for any other other traveler looking for adventure, fun and knowledge, and a visit to this place will leave you wanting to come back for more.