Tell me if I'm wrong but I think that the sun, the sand and the sea are three of the most important elements for a fantastic vacation. And in India, the best place to soak up all three is Goa. If you're looking for some fun and adventure, head to North Goa where banana boats, para-gliding, para sailing and bungee jumping are a fun-filled, not too expensive proposition. But if dolphin watching, snorkelling and trawler fishing are your idea of fun, you need to head to South Goa. One of the best known beaches, though not the cleanest, is the Calangute Beach. A stone's, or rather shell's, throw away is Souza Lobo, which serves mouthwatering Goan cuisine. Remember to sit at a table outdoors where you can sink your toes into the sand, tuck into authentic Vindaloo curries and enjoy a live band playing against the sounds of crashing waves. A brisk walk further down takes you to Baga, known for its fisherman's village. This is where I saw my first ever fire-eater by the shacks.
On most season nights, fire-eaters will perform at dinnertime as entertainment. The nearby beaches of Anjuna, Vagator and Candolim all serve meals on the beach. In fact, shacks are the best places to enjoy a meal in Goa. And while you are here, ensure you visit the museums of Goa. The most famous museums are the Goa State Museum, Architect Gerard da Cunha's relatively new architectural museum called Houses of Goa and the Big Foot at Loutolim, which attempts to illustrate and recreate Goa's traditional past.
In the village of Benaulim is the Goa Chitra Museum, containing the largest collection of ethnographic artefacts ever assembled in one place. There's even a vintage car collection at Ashvek Vintage World, which is dedicated to restoring and preserving motoring and motorcycling gems of historical interest in Goa. Here you will find cars ranging from the old Mercedes Benz to the Peugeot, Morris, Chevrolet and even the old Volkswagen. This museum is in Nuvem.
If you like trekking, Chapora is a short distance away from Baga. If you climb up the hill, you can relax with a fabulous view of the sunset from a watchtower in the ruins of the Chapora Fort. Incidentally, many of Goa's forts have been used as backdrops in Bollywood movies. And when you're driving around, make sure you take in the beauty of the Goan countryside. From flea markets and clear and rocky waters to forts, there's something for everyone in Goa.
- Goa's capital city is Panaji.
- Vasco Da Gama, or Vasco as it is called, was supposed to be the capital of Goa. The town is named after the Portuguese explorer.
- Goa has more than 40 estuarine islands, eight marine islands and about 90 riverine islands.
- The total navigable length of Goa's rivers is 253kms.
- Goa has more than 300 ancient tanks built during the rule of the Kadamba Dynasty and over a hundred medicinal springs.