Goa

kenny1000

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Planning to go to Goa. Never been before. Where to go, what to do, cost, best time of year, who to book with and who to avoid. Over to all the mastermind crew. All advice appreciated
 

ChrisEdu

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My uncle (deceased) and aunt have an animal charity / sanctuary out there. They were the founders of International Animal Rescue and there's the Goa branch of IAR out there, plus my aunt and uncles new charity - Primate Trust (Primate Trust India - The Tree House, Monkey Rescue Center (GOA)). You could always spend some time volunteering there, seeing the monies, cats, dogs, etc....

The beach is also very nice and worth a visit, however, you do need to take care and be careful. Incidentally, there is still a fair amount of corruption out there to look out for.
 

Darrell

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A lot of my friends go to Goa for their winter holiday and all love it.
I spent 6 months there but that was back in 93 . I thought it was fab although I was single, flush and had no children.
I would love take my wife and 10 year old daughter so I'm eager to see the comments to this thread.
 

Gurd63

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Been to Goa twice now, both for a week on the way back from visiting family in Punjab (North India)

Goa is a lovely place to go to; good weather, brilliant food, friendly people and plenty of things to keep you busy.

Each time we've stayed at the Goa Marriott in Panaji and the hotel is brilliant, the service especially. It feels a bit more exclusive and less commercial than the other hotels as its smaller, but I often prefer that. While I was there last time I mentioned to the concierge that I wouldn't mind going to Mumbai from goa for a few days as its only a 35 min flight! 30 minutes later she found flights and rooms at the Mumbai Marriott for a cheap rate. Upon arrival we were told she also upgraded us (for free) to a 3 bedroom suite on the top floor which was sublime. Their customer service is great.

The beaches are nice, can be busy though. We found a lovely one in sounth goa (can't remember the name) but it was literally deserted and spotlessly clean which was lovely.

Food wise there's plenty to choose from (mostly South Indian cuisine). You'll find that most of the inner city hotels have the nicest restaurants but some of the traditional street food is lovely too (depending on if you can stomach it lol)

Travel wise the independent taxis are dirt cheap, way cheaper than the hotel ones. They're usually safe too, we never had a problem.

If you need any specifics on restaurants ect im happy to help.
 

renault12ts

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My maternal grandmother hailed from Goa...that's as much as I know about the place.
 
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kenny1000

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Been to Goa twice now, both for a week on the way back from visiting family in Punjab (North India)

Goa is a lovely place to go to; good weather, brilliant food, friendly people and plenty of things to keep you busy.

Each time we've stayed at the Goa Marriott in Panaji and the hotel is brilliant, the service especially. It feels a bit more exclusive and less commercial than the other hotels as its smaller, but I often prefer that. While I was there last time I mentioned to the concierge that I wouldn't mind going to Mumbai from goa for a few days as its only a 35 min flight! 30 minutes later she found flights and rooms at the Mumbai Marriott for a cheap rate. Upon arrival we were told she also upgraded us (for free) to a 3 bedroom suite on the top floor which was sublime. Their customer service is great.

The beaches are nice, can be busy though. We found a lovely one in sounth goa (can't remember the name) but it was literally deserted and spotlessly clean which was lovely.

Food wise there's plenty to choose from (mostly South Indian cuisine). You'll find that most of the inner city hotels have the nicest restaurants but some of the traditional street food is lovely too (depending on if you can stomach it lol)

Travel wise the independent taxis are dirt cheap, way cheaper than the hotel ones. They're usually safe too, we never had a problem.

If you need any specifics on restaurants ect im happy to help.

I have never been and looking for something different. Been all over Europe and the Caribbean so looking to the Indian continent now. Who did you book with, what the cost and what does it cost for a couple on a daily basis (food and drink) and what are the beaches like
 

Darrell

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I have never been and looking for something different. Been all over Europe and the Caribbean so looking to the Indian continent now. Who did you book with, what the cost and what does it cost for a couple on a daily basis (food and drink) and what are the beaches like

The largè British tour ops all go there and no doubt there are specialist companies also offering holidays.
Pricewise...it was dirt cheap. I couldn't spend money, as I posted earlier it was a long gime ago but it is still cheap.
Beaches were good but not as good as I expected or what you see in the pictures. A lot of stray cogs, cows and the odd beggar.

Hope this is of help.

PS, Have a look at Kerala.
 

Palfrem

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Been there twice and love the place.

If you like Bohemian simplicity, check out Palolim!

Great beach, superb food at the shacks and you can sleep in an air-conditioned, clean and comfy shed for £12 a night.

Cost of living is remarkable.

I'm going back soon. November and December are best. Monsoon over and not yet too hot.
 

Darrell

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Been there twice and love the place.

If you like Bohemian simplicity, check out Palolim!

Great beach, superb food at the shacks and you can sleep in an air-conditioned, clean and comfy shed for £12 a night.

Cost of living is remarkable.

I'm going back soon. November and December are best. Monsoon over and not yet too hot.

I went there. Do they still have those funny looking river ferries. I toured south Goa on an Enfield.
 

paulshep69

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Been 8 times. A great holiday. The first time we went, it was to Candolim in the North, we looked at each other on the bus journey from the airport and said "we can't stay here for 2 weeks!", by the end of that day we'd fallen in love with India and the people that live there.

The further South you go, the cleaner it is and less hassled on the beach you are.

It really is an amazing place.

We used to go for New Year but generally go in January now. We've only had rain there twice, once on New Year's Eve, just before midnight and this year in January, just after breakfast time. For a couple of minutes only, each time.

We go to the South now, The Holiday Inn at Mobor beach, it's a 4/5 star (Western standards) hotel, a little piece of heaven and a great beach to wonder on, wether it be to the river Sal's mouth, or to the beach shacks at Cavelosim.

The beach shacks are a must to visit. This year, you could spend the day, living like a king for about £10-15 per couple, that's for a curry, rice, naan bread, plenty of Kingfisher and a glass or two of vino for the wife.

Be warned though, once visited, you'll find it hard not to want to go back to and you'll compare all holidays to your Goa experience.
 
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kenny1000

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Sounds like an amazing place and looks like I made a good choice. Now just got to pick where to go
 

minty63

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We come to goa twice a year Xmas and easter ,we have tried south goa but found it too quiet and prefer the Baga area ,Xmas is very busy as there are many Indian tourists ,the beaches can have a lot of rubbish lying around as there are thousands of people ,new years eve on the beach is very special, there are many beggars .
If you've never been to a third world country it's a bit of a culture shock ,the people here are very friendly and are always smiling . Right now the day temperatures are mid thirties but the humidity is 70 to 80% . If there's anything you need to know ask away although the WiFi is poor I will reply when I can.
 

fredT

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My wifes family originates from there so we have been a couple of times.

First time was absolute bliss, stayed in the Park Hyatt on the beach. Apart from breakfast (The curry breakfast in the hotel was amazing) pretty much all our meals was in the beach huts as the food is as good as in the hotel at a fraction of the price. Drink whisky and soda.
We did a few excursions to old Goa, spice plantations and saw some extended family. Being able to visit family out there was a real treat as we got to see where the locals go, markets and restaurants and so on.

Then we went again last year, with our two boys 3 and 5 at the time. This time we stayed at the Alila Diwa which is set back from the beach a few hundred yards, and that was probably a bit of a mistake. Hotel is great don't get me wrong, but as the hotel is not right at the beach, the beach is not nearly as clean as where the hotel is 'managing' the beach. It was filthy, top of the beach was strewn with rubbish. You wouldn't want to walk there with your flip flops off , and we constantly had a to stop the kids from touching things. As you got down to the actual beach it was OK, I guess the shack owners tidy it up.

This bring me to my next point; the whole place has seriously gone down hill between our visits. It was absolutely filthy, everywhere. Rubbish EVERYWHERE, seriously there was rubbish hanging from the trees, the whole place was more or less like a rubbish dump. Absolutely reeking at times. It wasn't like that when we first visited 8 or so years ago.

I love the climate, the food, the people, the culture yes pretty much everything about the place. But it is ruined by the filth.

Such a shame, we will not be going back for some time.
 

lespearsons

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We went to Goa a couple of times in the early 90's and really enjoyed it. In 2010, after a trip around Northern India we were really looking forward to a return to Candolim in Goa but were disappointed at how it had changed. The area from the Aquad Fort to Baga had seen a lot of development and the infrastructure was struggling to cope. There was the problem of the ship that had run aground near the Taj hotel and that spoiled the beach but I believe that has now been sorted. There were lots of Russian tourist who were not not very well behaved and disliked by the Goans.
It might have been that when we first went we were working and the rest was what we were looking for and now retired we need something more than a beach.
We still love India and intend going back to the South which is our favorite region (with the exception of Kovalam).
We all like different holidays so this is just my slant on things.
 
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kenny1000

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Thanks for that minty63. Ok Baga area it is then recommend any decent beach hotels where you don't get too much hassle. Maybe some beach huts so we can pretend we are natives
 
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kenny1000

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My wifes family originates from there so we have been a couple of times.

First time was absolute bliss, stayed in the Park Hyatt on the beach. Apart from breakfast (The curry breakfast in the hotel was amazing) pretty much all our meals was in the beach huts as the food is as good as in the hotel at a fraction of the price. Drink whisky and soda.
We did a few excursions to old Goa, spice plantations and saw some extended family. Being able to visit family out there was a real treat as we got to see where the locals go, markets and restaurants and so on.

Then we went again last year, with our two boys 3 and 5 at the time. This time we stayed at the Alila Diwa which is set back from the beach a few hundred yards, and that was probably a bit of a mistake. Hotel is great don't get me wrong, but as the hotel is not right at the beach, the beach is not nearly as clean as where the hotel is 'managing' the beach. It was filthy, top of the beach was strewn with rubbish. You wouldn't want to walk there with your flip flops off , and we constantly had a to stop the kids from touching things. As you got down to the actual beach it was OK, I guess the shack owners tidy it up.

This bring me to my next point; the whole place has seriously gone down hill between our visits. It was absolutely filthy, everywhere. Rubbish EVERYWHERE, seriously there was rubbish hanging from the trees, the whole place was more or less like a rubbish dump. Absolutely reeking at times. It wasn't like that when we first visited 8 or so years ago.

I love the climate, the food, the people, the culture yes pretty much everything about the place. But it is ruined by the filth.

Such a shame, we will not be going back for some time.

Bit of a shame that, but nothing surprises me these days. If I go somewhere it has to be clean and we love the beach as well. Would you still recommend the Park Hyatt now? I travel around the world being in the merchant navy and have seen some poverty.
 

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