The sunsets in Goa was absolute magical! Accompanied by the taxi driver's chosen local Ballad playing on the radio and the cold air flowing out of the old air conditioning of the car, I actually felt like i was in one of their many movies. We drove in silence for a while, swallowing the fact that we had actually landed in India. Never had we ever considered even the slightest that a trip to India to happen so fast. but here we are. Impromptu as we will ever be. We bought our flight tickets the week before and our hotels just the day before. Planning? - None. We were going to wing it.
So I've finally stepped into Indian territory. I did this trip right after I got the news that I was to report duty for my job in Brunei. So I guess this was my celebratory trip. Though some may not favor going for a trip to India over their other equally notable neighboring Asian countries, I for one say, if one never tried, one will never know!
Scintillating with Portuguese culture whilst still perforated with the traditional Goan culture, Goa will be a unique trip to make by itself and will be remembered till the end of your days.
Goa, known as "Rome of the East" to some, houses many interesting and delectable cultures, architectural uniqueness, food, night life, shopping avenues and many more.
Matching up to it's nickname, Goa, accommodates many churches, museums, government buildings with unique Portuguese-Indian influences that clearly shows that this part of India long ago had been a prime settlement of citizens from another land.
People in general would not think traveling to India would be a place for luxury traveling. True. In my opinion, traveling to India, being that I'm not at all an Indian of origin or ancestral background, traveling to India will also mean to learn and experience a place a new perspective. This experience is rather different then all my other travel logs for obvious reasons. The locals this time would obviously know I'm not from the area! I can't blend in!
You see, my family and I had always been in the minority category (even back home). But at home, we could still blend in because we look the same with everyone else in general ( unless you know my full name and my ethnicity). But however different I was, every local I met was nice enough to make me feel welcome.
Accommodations as usual was booked through: www.booking.com
The view outside the hotel - a quaint little neighborhood with very friendly people too. We choose a hotel in DonaPaula area, PANJIM for easier commute between the North and South and the Airport transfer. I decided to book the accommodation in the heart of Goa itself, Panjim! one of the Party Zones in Goa. (unfortunately we went during off season- so no party for me *sobs*)
Transportation fees here are considered cheap comparing it to the fees we have in Malaysia. Transportation here: Tuktuk/buses/private cars/Taxis
Please refer to your lovely hotel receptionist for price inquiries and places to go to
Places to do and Things to do
Sunset Boat Cruise
I went for two boat cruises during this trip. This Cruise in particular highlights and introduces tourists to the filming site of many previous famous Indian Cinematic Industry ( Though most f the narration was done in Tamil/Hindi - i got the hints of a few famous movie names made here in Goa)
A plus side though- i get to experience real life Hindustani dances like in the movies! LOL.
They really do dance everywhere ( or maybe it was just that particular group)
LOOKS PRETTY but in reality the Church compound area was not kept clean- saw rubbish by the sides and weeds growing around the Church walls and grounds. Fortunately the insides of the church was kept clean.
local beach in my area - just 5 minutes drive away from the hotel - scorching hot however
DONA PAULA JETTY
Went to one of Filming site for Diwale :) (i didn't know then ) it was nearby my hotel- so we decided to walk from our hotel to this Dona Paula Jetty just for the fun of it.
or also known as Velha Goa located in the North of Goa - was built by the then existing government serving as the capital of the city (Portuguese India) in the 16th century until it was abandoned in the 18th century because of a plague.
The Basilica of Bom Jesus
Bishop's Palace & Se Cathedral
Tourists have the option to take a bath with the Resident Elephants for a price ( i personally do not agree to keeping elephants and resident anything and rather they be released wild and free)
DAY ONE: CITY TOUR
1200 INDIAN RUPEES (DRIVER&CAR)
DAY TWO : NORTH GOA TOUR
1600 INDIAN RUPEES (DRIVER&CAR)
DAY THREE : SOUTH GOA TOUR
1800 INDIAN RUPEES (DRIVER&CAR)
DAY FOUR : FREE & EASY
2000 INDIAN RUPEES (DRIVER & CAR)
On the last day we decided to take it a little easy on the touring and booked a driver just to shop in Mapusa Market and around the vicinity.
Famous for being a huge market that sells everything from fruits and vegetables to things like watches, clothings and kitchen utensils. Be careful however, especially someone who does not look Indian at all- you'll be targeted by vendors by selling their items at a hefty price. Be smart about it - strongly and politely turn it down and walk away or make sure you get the best discounts you can get (exm: from 800 rupess to 200 rupees) - the usually up their prices by 200% minimum from the original prices.
However- when buy sarees/shawls/kitchen utensils - i can guarantee it is the best of quality! so i didn't mind at all when i bought a Kashmiri Shawl for RM80/piece
Saree we found has the price rage starting from RM189/set - i bet there were better prices set a other places- we didnt have much time to explore around to look or sarees since it wasn't in our itinerary in the first place. This was impromptu. I mean, WHEN EXACTLY AM I GOING TO USE A SAREE ANYWAY?? but being a girl that I am. I SIMPLY CANNOT RESIST!
OTHER TRIP OPTIONS : HINDERLAND TOUR
(ONLY DURING MONSOON SEASON)