Since “the season” is gearing up around here, I figured it was time for a top ten list. Well, either that or I’m just in an extra good mood because the sun is out again and I have all clean laundry. Winning! Okay, so here’s some of the reasons I thought might swindle your emotions and encourage you to dream about your next trip to paradise. Brace yourselves. . .
1. Beach Shacks and Restaurants
Imagine lounging in the afternoon in a magical boudoir of cushions and tranquility, drinking a coffee or a fresh fruit juice. Just.think of how many books you can read or how many cool blogs (wink, wink) you can read surfing the internet. . .all while continental and Indian food is at your beck and call.
I know, I know, there’s beautiful sunsets everywhere, but I swear there’s something extra special about the sunsets in Goa. The pinks and oranges are so vibrant you can almost feel their energy. Maybe it’s the lush jungle horizon, or the music in the trees, or the sounds of the peacocks calling to their lovers. You’ll just have to come and see for yourself.
3. Wacky International Dance Parties, Live Music, and Community Events
Picture on right taken by Suraj Mohandas of the BimBam Project at Guru Bar
If you’re in the mood to groove, Anjuna (especially) is THE PLACE TO BE. It is famous for the psy-trance parties where people and DJ’s come from all over the world to participate in having a good time. These parties are usually on the beach or in some special forests with all kinds of psychedelic decorations. However, if you’re not into the electronic scene, which I totally understand, there’s an abundance of international musicians performing live all around Anjuna on different nights of the week. Not only is it entertaining but you get to meet a whole heap of super cool folks from all walks of life. Goa is quite a little melting pot.
4. Delicious Fruit
I know I’ve already bragged about the mangoes during the monsoon, but when it’s “the season” there is no shortage of amazing papaya, pineapple, and watermelon. The grapes and the bananas taste like fruits I’ve never tasted before–so bursting with flavor it makes you realize how bland such things taste in other countries–and the fresh figs must be sent from some Grecian gods.
5. The BEACH
Oh, the glorious beach. I know when I didn’t live near the beach I often dreamed of going to one, so I totally understand the sandy wanderlust. There are many beautiful beaches in Goa and the Arabian Sea is oh-so-salty so it makes for the perfect floating kind of water. You can sit under umbrellas and get massaged or drink a beer. You’ll even have the opportunity to buy some pretty souvenirs (or not) whilst catching some rays.
6. You get to travel to India
Now, maybe you’ve always had a fantasy about coming to the exotic land of mother India, but you’re not quite ready to deal with the culture shock, or the smells, or all of the confronting things you’ve read about or seen in movies. . .
But, Goa is a bit like India-light. It’s more laid back and the Portuguese influence changes so many things–food, religion, and the price of alcohol. . .heh heh. There’s not as many people as compared to other wild places like Delhi and things like traffic and pollution are minimal. Plus, with this being a mecca for international travelers, the locals are more used to many kinds of people and it makes it less uncomfortable to be different. In Goa, different is the way to be!
7. Old Portuguese Architecture
If you’re Catholic, you don’t have to worry about missing mass. Goa has some of the coolest churches around. If you just like to admire neat buildings, then there’s plenty of them to see. There’s nothing quite like riding around through the windy jungle streets and passing by homes and churches that look like remnants of a long lost history. The vines of Banyan trees dangle above cement crosses and big house porches and the greenest of jungle envelops corners and crevices like the spirits of the southern bayous.
8. Afternoon Siestas
Not only do you get to relax in various different ways, but how cool is it that it’s culturally accepted, and possibly expected, to take an afternoon nap?! Um, yes please! Even if you don’t want to nap, per se, it sure is lovely to take advantage of some extra down time. Just think of all the things you can do. . .even if it’s doing nothing at all.
9. Cool People
Picture on left of Ping Pong and Coco taken by Sandhya Sanjana
As I’ve mentioned before, Goa attracts people from all over the world. Artists, musicians, community activists, yoga lovers, doctors, teachers. You’ll definitely have many chances to meet some of the quirkiest, fun, international people the world has to offer, and who knows, maybe you’ll even make a few new friends. The world is truly your oyster.
*Ping Pong and Coco host some of the best community events and musical nights all around Anjuna. They are an abundance of Anjuna history and fun spirits. Check out my post “Ping Pong’s Legendary Hippie Walk” to see some of the stuff they do.
10. The Chill Inn Guesthouse
The Chill Inn guesthouse is a family run kind of place that is situated down a lovely, quiet street, but only a 10 minute walk to the beach, the famous parties, and the infamous Anjuna Flea Market. It’s also next to some of the best restaurants in Anjuna–The German Bakery and Mango Shade. If you’re looking for something comfortable with a home like feeling, then this is the place to be. Everyone at the Chill Inn will make your stay as cozy as possible (minus fancy frills, of course) and welcome you with gracious hospitality. The Chill Inn Guesthouse is also the only place in Anjuna that offers renting some of the sweetest bicycles around.