Arambol, GOA

A Day and Night in North Goa

Forever is what it took us to plan a visit to Goa. For years, unknown reasons kept us away from one of the most famous vacation spots of India. We planned and re-planned and every time something or the other came up that never let the plans materialize. So in the December of 2017, Goa finally happened on a whim with very less planning and a short lead time for distractions to happen.

Arambol, GOA

We flew into Goa from Bangalore to make the most of our time. At the airport waited our rental car with a squeaky gear and clutch system and almost nonexistent brakes. Half the rental cars in Goa seemed to be running that way so we wouldn’t let that deter us. We then took the 1 hour drive to Calangute where we had booked our accommodation in the elegant and happening Deltin suites and Casino where the sight of the long rooms overlooking a neat swimming pool welcomed us to our Goan escapade.

Deltin Casino and Suites

We are skipping the details of the usual Goan landmarks and going straight to what impressed us the most. The night markets of Anjuna and the Arambol beach. Coming from the freezing cold of Michigan and melting in the December heat and humidity of the packed Fort Agoda had us running back into the comfort of the hotel room. Unfortunately, December isn’t your best time of the year if you wish to avoid crowds. The Fort compound was packed with hordes of picnicking school children and tourists – not quite the scene that we expected after watching those songs in the popular Bollywood film Dil Chahta Hai!

Sunset at Arambol

So after a weary and tiring first half day in Fort Agoda followed by a break from the heat, we headed off into doing something better – spending an evening watching the sunset in Arambol. Goa has numerous beaches and it wasn’t easy to decide where to watch the much famed Goan sunsets. Because we were in the company of experts, we went by popular vote and decided on Arambol.

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Arambol Beach, Goa

As expected, no beach in North Goa is free from crowds – but the charm in Goa lies in the crowd that it attracts. We spent the evening watching the very diverse crowds weave in and out like the tides of the sea. The numerous hawkers trying to sell their stuff, the sand arts, the music and the waves splashing against our feet all went together to give us an evening to remember.

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The Night Markets of Anjuna

By and large, this is a not to miss event if you are in North Goa on a Saturday Night. There appears to be multiple Saturday Night Markets and it remains open to debate which one is the authentic one. However, we went to the one in Anjuna and like to hope that was the best one around!

Night Market Anjuna

The well-guarded and organized night markets of Anjuna has shops selling everything that can catch the fancy of a shopaholic. It was a struggle to not give in and end up scooping up everything.

Night Market Anjuna

The vibrance of the place was electrifying and the band playing the music had everyone swaying to their rhythm.

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The numerous food stalls had options for people from every corner of the world. From temporary tattoos to lengthy dream catchers, we were impressed by it all.

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The Saturday Night markets run quite late into the night. It is wise to plan your trip around a Saturday in order to be able to spend an evening in the fun and action these markets promise.

Night Market Anjuna

A little of this and that

We did do a bit of the usual touristy things in Goa before we got back to the airport.  We were impressed by the neat architectures and roads of Central Goa and the multitude of food options that we got to savor during our travel

St. Francis Xavier Church, Goa

We visited the Basilica of Bom Jesus in Goa which is a popular UNESCO world heritage site. The place holds the mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier. This church belonging to Central Goa is a popular landmark if you are on your first visit to Goa owing to the historical importance of the place

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The neatly lined streets of old and central Goa is welcome relief from the crowded and bustling roads of North Goa.

Goa

When you are in Goa, it is highly likely that you if you ask a person for directions on the road, you will be given directions in terms of churches, or by the restaurants or the pubs and bars.

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And then there was this quaint restaurant, Tao of Panaji, that earns our praise. We spent a good deal of time here before leaving to the airport. The staff and the food were amazing. We spend an entire afternoon here savoring items off their menu and everything we tried turned out to be amazing.

Tao of Panaji, Goa

Goa has a multitude of places to visit and our this visit focused primarily on North Goa. We do hope to return to Goa in the future and explore Central and South Goa further. If there are interesting less crowded places that you think we should explore, feel free to drop us a note in the comments section.

Feel free to reach out to us at kindleandkompass@gmail.com or leave your questions in the comments column if you are looking for any pointers and we will be glad to help.

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One comment

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