I am Goa Lover . In my mind it sounds like "I am an alcoholic". I can never get enough of the place and I admit I am addicted to the place. I have been going there every year for many years and I am putting in words my most recent experience of Goa. Those who are regulars and live there will understand better , those going there for the first time will find it useful.
Goa used to be place where we would go to get away from the busy life of Mumbai and chill by the beach because beaches in Mumbai suck. During our teens (People who were in their teens during early 2000's from Mumbai can relate to this experience and observation more ) Goa was attractive to us due to its proximity to Mumbai and the Psychedelic trance culture which was nothing less than magical , It seemed like a different and bizzare world to us where we would see bunch of hippies riding thier bikes completely stoned without anyone bothering them. It was a place where as rebellious teenager many of us felt completely at ease and away from our regular city life. Goa then had tourists from everywhere but was dominated by western Europeans and Israeli's in particular. The Colonial charm was cute and many times we stayed in old Goan colonial bungalow's. Sure there were a few casino's but they were not a big thing then. Baaga was the only really commercialised beach then where all the domestic crowd would hangout and other beaches were still less packed. The extreme north just had a few shacks and was very quiet , even the accommodation was really basic in those parts of goa. The South Then was much more isolated and had a few shacks .
Goa has definately changed and the change has been rapid more visible every trip , from a hippie counter culture mostly dominated by foreign tourists from western Europe ,the feeling when you get there now can be best described by a famous Michael Jackson song goes "stranger in moscow". The amount of charter flights from Russia and ex USSR has increased dramatically. Many of the clubs pay Russian music and almost all places have an alternate Russian menu. The locals are not happy with the change as they say "Russians coming to Goa spend less and Fight More". There is a clear tension between them and the locals as some of them have set up business and are now part of the Mafia. They were earlier restricted to Morjim and pockets of the north , now their presence is felt everywhere.
I was curious as to why this is so and realised that 13 countries enjoy visa on arrival and Russia is one of them.
The trance counter culture that attracted us to Goa is only on during Christmas and new year. It is not on the scale as it was before.
Goa still has its amazing natural beauty and by in large maintains its old colonial charachter but that is changing very quickly , old houses are being demolished to make for new more modern developments and the amount of hotels is also on the rise. All major hotel Chains are now in Goa which is great as we have stayed in some bad places , the quality of accommodation has definitely improved or we have grown older :) Beaches like Aswem and Morjim have luxury resorts , Casinos have also increased , many large boat casion's exist and are popular among domestic tourists . The large number of hotels has also made Goa a popular wedding destination for Indian destination Weddings during December.
Goa has now transformed completely , from a getaway and hideout for the rebelling youth to completely commercialized tourist destination with everything to offer. I definately prefer the Goa of old with its wild underground parties secluded shacks .
One of the coolest places to stay if you are looking for a quiet vacation by the beach. The resort is on the beach . You can walk from your room straight to the beach. The place has a really nice bar/Club and restaurant. The crowd here is more polished and a well travelled crowd unlike the main beaches of Goa. The places décor is completely white , the place also throws some really cool white parties where people are dressed only in white. Staying here also allows to check out the other places located on the beach and makes them walking distance to you. Really Nice if you want the best of both worlds , be right on the beach and have all the creature comforts.
This place really catches your attention when you drive past it during the night. It is an old Villa converted into a restaurant. It is really lit up in a dark street. The Feel is very colonial and the food Mediterranean , great food , great service and great ambience .
Located on top of the hill at vagator , the place has a view overlooking the beach that just makes you forget the world you came from before you entered the place . The place is amazing during sunset . I must warn you that after a few drinks you might not want to leave. It is the kind of place you spend at least a few hours chilling out with your buddies or ! and drinking at a very slow pace and soaking the view and the lovely Greek food. Besides the restaurant there are a couple of small boutiques in the place as well . So its a good place to go ! . WARNING : You might get stuck there out of choice. Prebook during season.
Definately one of the coolest places to check out in Goa , A really grand entrance with a statue of a giant lady in a skirt right at the entrance. Cover Charge with unlimited booze its a great place to party. The entrance is endless and located next to a creek , The place does look magnificent during the night. The place is built by the same people as the famous paradiso in goa. The similarities in design are visible including the stony finish and curvy colums. The place is filled with russians , the music is a mix of edm with russian dance tracks once every few songs.