In retrospective, one of my biggest regrets going into Goa was going in blind; I had only two full days in the state and not knowing specifics was a bit of a blocker. Here are a couple of things I wish I’d known:
Goa is broken down into two parts: North Goa and South Goa. South Goa is for those people who like nature and want a quieter stay; this is where the luxury hotels are. North Goa is for those who are there to party / rave / trance / not sleep. All of the beaches combined make up 125kms of India’s western coastline. As such, it’s difficult to get around unless you have a scooter, know the bus schedule, or have a hired car. The best time to go is in the winter (October to March). It’s monsoon during the summer months.
People seem to be very protective of their preferred choice of beach; and, there are so many to choose from. The ones that come to mind immediately are in North Goa: Vagator, Ajunta, Baga, Calangute, Sinquerim, and Candolim. Even though I went into this blind, I did have some good friends and co-workers tell me where to stay: the Raman Beach Cottages in Calangute (North Goa).
For the most part it was pretty quiet. During monsoon all the beach shacks disappear and the people with them. Compared to other beaches around the world, it was still pretty busy, the water rough, the beach dirty, and the scenery muted. Again, this could be because it was monsoon.
The view looking towards Calangute beach:
The view looking towards Baga beach:
My little cottage at the Raman Cottages was excellent. The cottages are located partway between the Calangute and Baga beaches. They’re set back a few paces from the water, are clean and quiet, and can’t be found in guide books or on the Internet. I found out about the place from a friend. As such you’ll need to have directions written down to give your driver at the airport.
Here’s the view of my little hut from the pool:
The smart little dog who liked hanging out in front of my door:
The view from the door of my cottage. The beach is on the other side of those trees:
The door of my cottage:
And finally, inside:
All this said, I think for my next visit, I will save up and stay in the Hobbit Hotel [link removed].