FLASHPACKING IN GOA
Flashpackers - One more adjective, one more lifestyle, one more fancy word to define modern-day travellers. Flashpackers are 20 something footloose travellers aiming to measure the earth but with all comfort though out the journey. In modern-day language we can say that Flashpackers are Backpackers Version 2.0, they operate on the backpacker's platform but with added features. The main ingredients of Flashpackers are high disposable income, zero responsibility and unlimited freedom. And these are the three things which make Goa, a flashpackers paradise and one major destination of Flashpacking INDIA.
Goa – Surf, Sand, Sun, These are the three words that come to your mind when you say Goa. So much has been written about Goa – about its beautiful beaches, its sunsets, the friendly people and the shopping that sometimes it feels like there is nothing new left to tell. But that wouldn’t be entirely true. Goa is simply the favourite winter haunt of Indian tourists, that is true. Everybody seems to have visited it or they want to. What is it about Goa that makes it such a favourite?
The answer lies somewhere in the shacks that line its beaches, the xacuti and vindaloo that are doled out generously by the shack owners, the beautiful beaches, the awe-inspiring churches of Old Goa and the care-free beautiful people who tramp the city streets. Goa does seem to have it all.
You really have to see flashpacking in Goa for yourself and experience its unique vibe. Shops are still down their shutters for the afternoon siesta, old ladies offer the freshest sausages and spices possible and great bargains are available for those willing to hunt for them in the city’s famed flea markets. For the sake of convenience, the state of Goa is referred to as North Goa and South Goa. North Goa’s beaches were the first to become popular with tourists. It is here that the famed Goan rave parties are held over the weekends – Calangute, Baga, Anjuna (don’t miss the Wednesday flea market and subsequent rave parties) and Vagator. Those looking for a quieter time head to South Goa – Majorda (an expanse of white powdery sand), Colva, Canacona and the pristine Palolem. The state was once a thriving Portuguese colony, the remains of which are visible in church strewn Old Goa or the old quarter of Fontainhas with its beautifully preserved Old Goa. The thing really to do in Goa is – absolutely nothing. Chill out on the beach, grab a bite and a cold beer, hire a motorbike and explore its nooks and crannies, sample the local Konkani and Portuguese food, browse the shopping alleys, get that tattoo you always wanted, and, if you are a fan of electronic music, then groove to its hypnotic beats.
Don’t worry, the real world has been left far behind...
Best things for Flashpackers to do in Goa
Archeological Museum at The Convent Of St Francis Of Assisi, Old Goa- History and Culture
This was established within the convent in 1964. What's interesting is the eclectic collection of 60 portraits of Portuguese viceroys and governors of Goa. What it also now houses is the statue of St Catherine from the Viceroy's arch. Sati scones, coins and wooden Christian iconography, not to forget the stones with Marathi and Persian inscriptions are worth looking at. The best parts of the museum are the grey basalt stone statues of Vishnu and a standing Surya both from the Kadamba period. Timings: 10 am to 5 pm (Friday Closed). I have been there as a school Kid and stayed in the church. You can feel it in the air.
Angling and Fishing- Nature and Adventure
The beaches of Goa offer a varied & plentiful, almost inexhaustible, supply of seafood, still incredibly cheap & absolutely fresh. Go to Betul for Goa’s best & largest mussels, brought ashore by expert divers. Go to Agonda (not to be confused with Aguada) for all imaginable rockfish which, with any luck, you could angle yourself. Soormai, salmon & mullet are frequent catches.
Water-Skiing- Nature and Adventure
Water skiing is a new sport that's taking shape in Goa. You can ski anywhere across the northern beach belt in Goa. Dona Paula Beach (8 km from Panaji), Arambol and Candolim Beach in North Goa offer water skiing and other water sports.
Underground Arena - Entertainment & Night Life
This club styles itself as a discotheque-pub-bistro and is managed by Hotel Manvin. The club features themed Bollywood Nights, weekend parties and live band performances. Entry is for couples and families only. Open only on weekends. Address: Hotel Manvin, Souza Towers, Panaji
Club Cabana - Entertainment & Night Life
Great location-top of the Arpora Hills. Charges high, but then gives unlimited drinks.
Colva, South Goa- Beaches
The village of Colva in South Goa lies at a distance of 8 km from Margao. At one time, Colva used to be the summer retreat of Goa’s elite. Nowadays, it is one of the biggest villages in South Goa and a bustling tourist centre. Colva beach is second only to Calangute in terms of popularity within Goa. The best time to visit is mornings, when the beach is tranquil and quiet, its sands beautiful and the water sparkling.
Panjim Municipal Market- Shopping
This is a huge covered municipal market which stretches inland from the waterfront and rapidly spills into the nearby streets and alleys. Stalls sell a baffling array of fresh produce, dried fish, household wares, herbs and spices.
Wednesday Anjuna Flea Market - Shopping
Among street markets in India, the Anjuna Beach market in Goa is undoubtedly the most famous and the most fabled. Initially started by the hippies, today this market has become part of Goan life and is thronged by both the locals and tourists alike. The high season of this market is between November and February, during the peak tourist season in Goa. Situated at a distance of 18 km from Panaji, you can find anything at the Anjuna beach flea market. Whether it be the typical tourist Goan clothes favoured by foreigners or souvenirs, sarongs, bamboo work or beachwear – the Anjuna Flea Market welcomes all kinds of buyers. It is also the meeting point of the footloose and fancy-free Goa. Enthusiastic musicians might give an impromptu concert, and palmists and tarot card readers will read your fortune. Who knows, you might even stumble upon a restored Bullet being sold by a departing tourist.
Candolim, North Goa - Beaches
One of the popular yet peaceful beaches in north Goa, Candolim beach is a 7 km stretch between Aguada and Chapora beach. Candolim is frequented for the many water sports on offer here – scuba diving, windsurfing, water skiing, crocodile and dolphin spotting or one of the many island trips. The beach is also located close to the very popular Calangute and Baga beaches.
Church Of Immaculate Conception, Panjim- History and Culture
It stands bang in the centre of Panjim city. This Catholic Church has a dramatic façade and an elaborate white stucco bell tower. It is one of the most striking sights in Panaji.
Wax Museum, Old Goa – History and Culture
Old Goa is the home to India's second wax museum. Each figurine is carefully sculpted of paraffin wax; the hair used is natural, although the eyes and teeth are artificial. The museum has over 30 life-size, statues of famous personalities of Indian culture, heritage and religion. One of the main attractions is the sculpting of the 'last supper which is 22 feet in length and weighs 500 kilos.