Thursday, April 28, 2011

North and South Goa

Many would argue that there are many sides to Goa. I don't know it well enough to know all the sides so I'll stick to what I do know - the north side and south side. The kids side and the adults side. As different as day and night to me.

North Goa - this is where the party is at. You rent a bike, you find a beach and the goods on the beach find you. This is the more touristy side of Goa with cheap rooms, cheap food and lots of it all. There are shacks selling everything with amazing flea markets (Sat night at Arpora and Wed afternoon at Anjuna). The 'happening' clubs line up the road to Titos and the party goes on till 3am there. Then the party moves to the beach where many hang out till dawn - playing/listening to music and sitting their buzz away. I read the word 'bacchanalian' outside a dictionary in a Goa guide describing Anjuna beach parties on full moon night. Have not made it to one but it won't surprise me if they are bacchanalian indeed.

South Goa - North Goa's pretty sister turned into nun. Well, kind off. South Goa has the pretty pretty beaches and the fancy resorts. Really awesome if you want to lay back on a pretty property and don't mind shelling out a bit extra. It is a pretty place... the beaches are not crowded and offers to massage your feet, braid your hair, tattoo you are almost few compared to the North. The resorts are gorgeous and luxurious- great for a good relaxing vacation but as one friend put it - you could be in Goa or Jaipur, the resort makes it feel the same.

The other two side to Goa that I know are with kids and without kids. Here is what we did on our trips -

Without kids- rent a bike and stay by the beach. We stayed at SunCity Resorts on Baga. The room was average and breakfast buffet dismal. But we were never in the room and were too sleepy or full to care about their breakfast. Drive over to Anjuna and find a spot at the Tantra shack. Walk to Britto's (on Baga) after every meal and take two desserts to eat on the beach. Get lost on the bike. Make few plans and go anywhere and everywhere. Stay North.

With kids: take an apartment at Resort Rio in North Goa. Use their taxi to visit Baga and buy the kids some trinkets. Take them on the Panjem boat ride (the most scary tourist thing one can do in Goa is get onto a very lit up boat with 300 others then watch them dance - kids, men and women separately). Then move to South Goa. Find a good deal in a resort (Zuri is a good one) and relax there. Don't look at the menu prices too much - hmmm try to find an all-inclusive meal plan so you don't have to look at the price on the menu. Laze on the beach and relax. The kids will love resort grounds, the pools, the beach and activities planned for them. You will get a tan and some sleep.


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