Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Goa: Just a Glimpse

So March is now long gone and therefore, so has my holiday, booooooooooo!

So I figure, having now had a bit of a taste of India, I would give you a bit of a glimpse into my holiday, likes/dislikes, my general impressions of the place and any tips that I have to share....  It’s good to share... or at least that’s what my mammy always taught me.

Our Holiday

Right, so we stayed at the Ronil Beach Hotel in Baga in north Goa, which is good in India standards (different to the UK!), but generally probably a 2 star.  For us it was ideal, it was in the centre of town and surrounded by restaurants and shops and the perfect location if you’re after something similar to our holiday.  Despite the fact it was a 2 star the hotel was a fairly good standard and at the end of the day I do think a hotel is just a base, unless of course you’re staying somewhere where it’s just not possible to leave the hotel on a regular basis.

 Ronil Beach Hotel

I’m not really a big lounging about kind of person, don’t get me wrong, I do like a bit of a lie around the pool or on the beach every now and again, but generally I get soooo bored.  So during our trip we done a bit of exploring and a lot of walking up and down the beach which can take you into a number of the different towns which lie along the coast.

While we were there we also went on some excursions, two of which were booked through Thompson (who we booked our holiday through), and one through a local company (John’s Boat Trips).  These excursions were:

Mumbai Express: One day sightseeing trip to Mumbai with an overnight journey back to Goa.  I’ll go into this trip a bit more later.
Elephant and Spice Excursion

Elephant and Spice Excursion

 Elephant and Spice Excursion

Elephant and Spice Excursion

Elephant and Spice: A trip to a spice farm and ride on an elephant, self explanatory really...

Crocodile Dundee Trip

Crocodile Dundee Trip 

 Crocodile Dundee Trip 

Crocodile Dundee Trip

Crocodile Dundee: A trip down the Mondovi river looking for fresh water crocodiles.

We really enjoyed all these trips, but did find it was cheaper to go through local operators, and I would recommend you booked through these for local tours, but maybe for further destinations, like our trip to Mumbai I would definitely say to book though a company you know and trust.

 Ingo's Market

 Ingo's Market

In addition to this there are many markets going on, most notably, Anjuna market on a Wednesday and Ingo’s market on a Saturday night.  We went to the Saturday night market and loved it.  There is live music, plenty of food stalls and so so many market stalls that you’ll get lost walking around them all.  I loved the whole hippy vibe of this market and found it quite similar to Camden, I would definitely say this is worth a visit when you go.


Generally food in Goa is quite cheap; we spent about 350 pounds for 2 weeks, where we had to buy our own lunch and dinner every day.  I would say the average spend for us for each meal was around 12 pound, that’s, with both our meals and drinks included.  Obviously, prices will very but it’s quite minimal between restaurants.  I would say you will be pushed to find bad food, generally all the restaurants we visited were pretty good, but if you’re going over there looking for amazing curry you may be slightly disappointed.  I personally love curry, we ate it pretty much every day, but I certainly wouldn’t say that it was any better there in comparison to what we have at home.  Also, I certainly wouldn’t say the curries are any more spicy to what we get here, so don’t be afraid to try anything, I love spicy food, so I was disappointed that they weren’t very hot.  Come on, give me the hard stuff! 
Generally we preferred restaurants, but the beach shacks there are all very cheap and serve good food so be prepared to give them all a try.
If you would like some recommendations of some good restaurants, then let me know.


Driving past a slum

Dhobi Ghat
Streets of Mumbai

Hanging Gardens

 View over Mumbai

Gateway to India

We knew before we left to go on holidays that we wanted to visit Mumbai.  I think that without visiting here I would not have felt like I had seen real India, as Goa is more of a tourist destination.
Having flew in in the morning we were taken around the city to see the slums, thieves market, Victoria train station, the hanging gardens, the biggest open air laundry, gateway of India, Taj Mahl hotel and a few other places.  I feel our tour give us a good insight into the city and I learnt quite alot.
Although Mumbai was a good experience it most certainly not a city that I would ever visit again.  There is a massive difference between rich and poor, for example surrounding the Taj Mahl hotel (which is extremely plush, and one of the most expensive hotels in India), people are literally just sleeping on the streets, a common sight on the streets of Mumbai.

To travel home we used the sleeper train, which is around half a mile long and has 26 carriages.  We were in second class, where we had bunk beds 3 high and were open to whomever was passing through.  Despite the fact there were mice on board (I saw one run past), and we were literally sleeping surrounded by strangers, it wasn't half as bad as I thought, and I would definitely do it again.

In my bunk - no room to sit up!

I’ve never been to somewhere like this in my life, and I feel that anything I say here won’t really do justice to what I saw and learnt, but if you would like to know more, then just let me know.

General Impressions

 You'll see alot of cows wandering around


Baga Beach at sunset


Candolim Beach

I would say that if you are going here purely for the beach, I would recommend you look elsewhere.  This certainly isn’t you picture perfect beach location, in fact the beach was very dirty.  There seems to be a general lack of respect towards the beach, and given that this is a beach location you would think that people would generally look after it better, but this is certainly not the case.  We found we had to keep our shoes on when walking along the beach this is because there is a lot of litter thrown onto the beach and a lot of broken glass.

 Baga Beach

Baga Beach

 Main road through Baga, just outside our hotel

As you would expect from a beach holiday it has got that beach vibe in the towns, where the roads are lined with clothes/trinket stalls and generally all streets and towns have the same look.  Most of the time there are no pavements and alot of scooters, so if your quite nervous of traffic, then get ready to be on edge.

Scooters are easily rented in Goa, and most tourists do seem to use them even though it appears that most of them have literally no idea how to drive them.  I personally didn’t use a scooter as I have some value for my life, and I wouldn’t recommend you did, but at the end of the day, it’s up to you man.

Overall I enjoyed my holiday, was happy that I had been there but probably would not go back.  For one, there are so many places in the world I have not seen that I can’t fathom why you would continue to see just the one same place and also because I think whatever is good about Goa now will be erased as more and more tourists go there.

If you want to know anything else or want some tips or more information about Goa/Mumbai then let me know and I’ll try help.

p.s. Don’t forget to follow me on twitter and you can now find me on WIWT.

Peace and Love,


  1. oh that´s great!!!! :)


  2. It looks so lovely there!


  3. This looks like a lovely experience!


  4. Oh wow this looks like the most amazing trip, so so jealous right now!x


  5. Looks like you guys had an awesome time. We've always wanted to ride an elephant! cool


  6. This looks like such a beautiful, colourful, exciting trip! The animals (crocodiles, so cool!), architecture, and landscapes are really breathtaking. I would love to visit India some day! xo



  7. seems like an awesome trip :)

  8. wow! Goa looks amazing, I have some family memebers who go every year and even have built a house out there..pretty cool, but I've never been!! Glad you enjoyed it :)


  9. Wow, looks like an incredible experience!