Things to Do

Tips for first-time Goa Visitors

Goa is famous for its beaches and places of worship in India. Foreign tourists, mostly from Europe, arrive in Goa in winter whilst the summer and monsoon seasons see a large number of Indian tourists.

Goa the land of mellow sunshine and sandy beaches, flavourful cuisine and pungent feni, crumbling architecture right out of a bygone era, river cruises, water sports, hot air ballooning, all this and more is part and parcel of a holiday in the Indian Paradise known as Goa. With its geographical and cultural diversity, Goa has something to offer everyone. From the balmy sea breezes to the vanilla scented air of the spice farms, the tropical beaches to the cool Dudhsagar waterfalls*, panoramic ocean vistas or ancient man-made edifices, spicy cuisine to continental fare, luxurious five star hotels or little seaside shacks Goa can satisfy your appetite for almost anything.

So your bags are packed and you’re ready to Visit Goa. But are you sure you’ve got everything? Here’s a checklist to get you ready for the sunshine state.

1. If you plan on spending time at the beach, don’t forget to carry sunscreen. In case you do forget though, there are several pharmacies and shops where you can purchase one.

2. Do you have your shades and a hat or cap? No? Never fear- Pick up a pair of sunglasses in jazzy colors from one of the little roadside stalls. Buy a dashing fedora or a great floppy straw hat. You’ll be spoiled for choice.

3. Carry clothes and footwear that are appropriate to both the climate and the activities you have planned. Goan roads and footpaths are not always smooth.

4. Bling is fun to wear, but limit the amount of gold you carry and wear to the bare minimum.

5. Don’t carry huge wads of cash. A debit or credit card would definitely be a safer bet.

6. Keep yourself hydrated with water, nimbu paani and other juices. Even if you are in a coastal town or village, the heat can sap your energy.

7. If you do wish to sample the local varieties of liquor- feni and urrak- remember to limit the amount you drink. These two may taste smooth, but make no mistake- they are potent.

8. Always listen to the lifeguard. The calm waves might look inviting, but they could hide a current or a sudden depression.

9. In case you have dietary constraints, check with your waiter about the ingredients in whatever you want to order.

10. Worried about getting lost but not willing to hire a guide or someone to drive you around? Get a map! You could purchase one from your hotel or a shop nearby. If you are the sort who likes to plan in advance, map out a route for each day using Google maps and either print it or save it on your Personal Digital Assistant.


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