Goa, the booze and bikini paradise. That’s exactly what I thought about it until I actually went exploring the place. Before I went to Goa, I did my share of research. In other words, I stalked the #goatrip on Instagram, watched Goa trip vlogs on YouTube, and asked recommendations from my Goan friends. After all, I wanted my first Goa trip to be memorable. Of course, I knew much had changed since Go, Goa, Gone but I was so eager to make this trip fantastic that I forgot to keep my expectations low.
Rule number one of planning a Goa trip is to go with a clean slate, devoid of any Bollywood inspired Goa expectations and the inaccurate portrayal of ‘freedom’ Goa is stereotypically known for. So here are a few things to keep in mind before you step foot on the land of cheap booze.
If you’re a Malayali, you won’t find the landscape interesting because Goa is as good as living in Kerala. The backdrop is as green as Kerala’s pristine and eye-opening biodiversity. The panoramic views of Goa’s landscape will remind you of that ‘one’ place you visited in Kerala or even your backyard. However, the cultural differences, local offerings, people-friendly environment – all of which you can experience in food, style, language, interactions, and alcohol. Since Malayalis do love to drink their alcohol like a king, Goa will definitely not disappoint.
Do not drink and drive. You may think Goa is the kind of place that has no police checking, but it’s far from reality. Trust me, there are policemen (many, in fact) waiting to catch the next ‘high’ person driving without a licence. And mind you, they charge a bomb. So, you carry as much as booze as you want, but don’t drink while your drive.
Don’t Go In The Summer
Summers are the worst in Goa. You’re going to come out the place with a really bad tan. And the heat is most probably going to ruin your trip, especially if you ride a bike on rent. March, April, May, and October are really the worst months to travel to Goa because the air will get really humid and muggy. Your hair will go for toss because it’s going to turn into one tangled frizz ball.
Carry More Clothes
Goa is not a place you go to shop. It’s the place to chill by the beach while you sip on a bottle of chilled beer. And if you’re planning to soak yourself in Goa’s beaches, you better carry an extra pair of clothes and underwear when you travel. While you’re at it, don’t forget to pack sunscreen, just in case.
Do Your ‘Stay’ Research Beforehand
You can either stay in a backpacking hostel or you can book a room using one of the room booking apps. Backpacking hostels usually has a lot of reviews and recommendations on their social media pages because close to 70 percent of travellers prefer a hostel stay due to its affordability. However, if you want to go a little bit premium on the stay, you better do your research properly.
North – Nightlife, South – Peace
That’s how I’d describe Goa. if you’re the kind of person who wants to go to Goa for the booze, stay in North Goa. But, if you’re looking for a cultural immersive experience surrounded by peace, South Goa is your hub. Also, the beaches in South Goa are much cleaner and less crowded.
Goan Sausages -YUM!!
Another reason why people head to Goa is to try out their delicious cuisine. What I loved about Goa is their Goan sausages – they are to die for! The Portuguese influence is clearly visible in the food they make. You can roll your eyes and make all the beef jokes you want, but Goan beef sausages are (kind of) better than the beef roast you get in Kerala- please don’t kill me! So if you’re looking for something palatable in Goa, you know what to eat.
Do Not Book A Cab
Booking a cab to travel in Goa is the worst decision you can make. I mean, seriously though, travelling via the local transport system will get you to your destination in no time and in a cheaper rate. Or, you can do what I did – rent a bike. Yes, it’s what everyone does there and it’s affordable. Don’t forget to negotiate though.
Get Yourself Some Fenny
Some of you may not know this, but Goa is home to one of the best alcohols in the world. And it goes by the name Fenny. Many a drunk stories have sprung up because of Fenny. Ask anyone who has been to Goa. Fenny is made from the fruit of the cashew tree. You may fall in love it, you may dread even trying it out, but it’s something you can’t ignore if you’re in Goa. Pro Tip: Mix Fenny with Limca if you want the right balance of tropical flavours. Be warned, you will get a bad hangover if you get drunk on Fenny.
You’ve come to Goa to enjoy. So chill. Don’t worry about anything other than the nine points I’ve mentioned above. The party capital of India exists for one sole reason – to keep people happy. Make full use of it – that’s your wake-up call, right there.