The state of Goa in India is a place lauded by many and experienced by few. It is far from anywhere, especially other states and cities with India. Goa is the polar opposite of everything that is India. It is a relaxed paradise of sorts. It’s not a paradise for all but certainly a paradise for some. Its nightlife radiates all day and night, making up for what the beaches do not satisfy. During the day however, there are many alternatives to lying on dirty beaches crawling with stray dogs and those were my finest memories of my week in Goa.

The first decision in Goa is at which beach you should stay. As I finally came up with North Goa and the town of Anjuna Beach, I set out from the airport in search of a paradise that I had heard so much about around the world-wide traveling circuit.

I arrived at my guest house, Villa Anjuna, and plopped down at the very nice pool. After thanking God that I was no longer in the sweltering filth of Mumbai, I enjoyed myself at the pool and bar with a few Kingfisher beers.

After a fun night of partying with some Israelis that I had met at the hotel (there are so many Israelis in Goa it’s unbelievable) I set out to rent a motorbike and explore some of the other beach towns in Goa. You can actually rent nice motorbikes in Goa for literally $2.00 a day. Motorbikes are the best and most convenient way to see the state of Goa. I started north toward Vagator Beach and explored all the way up to Arambol at the northern tip of Goa. Each and every town has similarities but each is very different and unique in their own way. As I was riding from town to town I couldn’t fathom that I was in India, the same place that I had to swat beggars and touts away by the dozens just two days earlier in Mumbai.
After a relaxing afternoon and early evening in Arambol, culminating with a sunset swim with my Israeli friends, I decided to leave a bit earlier than the rest of the group because I wanted to have a nap before the night’s activities. I jumped on my motorbike and headed south on roads that had no lights let alone signs. I was a bit nervous to go 30 km in the dark where I really had no idea where I was going but the idea also excited me at the same time.

It turned out to be the most relaxing part of my time in Goa because I was able to enjoy the breeze in my face and the temperature was so much cooler after dark that it was very comfortable. I took a few wrong turns, of course, but was always pointed in the right direction by the very polite and helpful Goans. I made it back in a few hours and never actually ended up taking that nap because it was time to start getting ready to go out, but I didn’t care.
For the next few days I did the same thing but just in the opposite direction, heading south back toward the airport and South Goa. I saw many little towns and beaches with souvenir shops selling everything under the sun. I bargained my way to a few good deals and of course the customary, “It’s Better in Goa” T-shirt.

That slogan is actually true because in India it really is better in Goa. It is a welcome reprieve from the lunacy of the cities and the desolation of the desert. I will not remember Goa’s beaches for being a bit disappointing, but I will always remember Goa for being that oasis for me. A place where I could ride my motorbike all day and party all night with people from all over the world.

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  1. I’m very sorry that you found the beaches in GOA so poor, perhaps you should have tried south GOA varca beach is 22miles long white sand and some fantastic shacks to eat at. Anjuna is an interesting place to visit but South Goa IS PARADISE

    • That’s absolutely true. I am born in South-Goa and during my trip to other countries I always said I’m from Goa and everyone seems to know it. I never had to mention that it’s in India. Lol

  2. Hey Chris, I didn’t dislike the beaches in Goa I was at-in and of themselves they were nice. However, I hate lying on beaches where there are stray dogs all over the place and thats how it was there at Anjuna and some of the others I was at. I know there are nicer ones in the south that are cleaner. I also tend to like beaches where the cows don’t congregate on the beaches as well but that is kind of funny and unique I suppose as well-except of course when they use the sand that we lay on as a toilet.

  3. i never saw a single stray dog or cow on any beach.in fact the beaches were rocking ..the music was psychadelic….the people were awesome…all in all a great trip.

  4. I totally agree it was awesome but there were tons of cows and stray dogs where I was. The music and scene was a lot of fun of course!

  5. i have to agree with most of the comments. Goa is a cool place to go for a holiday and the beaches are ok. i had my holiday planned from a tour agency and i had a great time.
    i highly recommend this destination.

  6. Hey there are stray dogs,but only on some beaches.Be positive.See the beauty of goa.

  7. I went to goa last year and am hoping to go again in April, like you I wasn’t as keen on Anjuna beach but i thought candolim was beautiful. I met some amazing people and the atmosphere was like nowhere i had been before. When I travelled down to the south it was truly paradise. Has anyone ever been to Kerala? I was considering going but am not too sure what its like.

  8. hi I have been to Goa 18 times over the last 20 years. We used to go to Calungute and Baga but these have become to commercial. We now go for 4 weeks every dec/jan to Cavalossim. It is quieter than the north but not to quiet and the beaches are much better. you still get the odd dog, they guys walking the fighting bulls at the sea edge but there are far fewer sellers.

    I would recommend Goa to anyone who has an open mind and doesn\’t look for 5* conditions for 2* prices

  9. Ofcourse,Goan beaches are nice but dogs and cow dung is the speciality of india.
    Skin infections are common.

  10. I was in goa last winter,my second visit after 9 years,during these long gap I could find little changes except few concret jungles which came up near beautiful beaches like Baga and Anjuna.

  11. we booked 7days in Goa-the last three we spent locked up in our room in the resort. Suffice to say we were reeeally disappointed. what u see on the net, is paradise.what u see when u land is HELL.Even Baskin Robbins is spicy there..crows wake u up in the morning, humidity and the smell is just unbearable.. my shoes are still red from the soil color. Ukh. Such a waste of money.

  12. Mia, I hear you on Goa as you read I wrote that the beaches were a disappointment but they were still OK-some of them. Goa is a nice place for India and very raw and its certainly not for everyone-you kind of have to accept it for what it is and not have the expectations that many do when going there for the first time-including me because the dirtiness will get to you. India-love or loathe it, hardly an in between…I am flying back to India tomorrow to check out some more Indian beaches that look like paradise online etc…Lakshadweep and Andaman…we’ll see!

  13. I agree that in India, some beaches which are commercialize , are not like paradise, but still there are few unspoilt beaches where u can really feel u r in heaven. write me for more detail [email protected]

  14. u ppl have very wrong impression abt india and indian beaches ..i m myself from india ..lived in spain for 8 yrs ..i did see lovely beaches in tenerife ..however it just depends how do u take it..enjoy every bit of india ..u will know wht it is all abt ..i did see some stray dogs on the beach ..however i get to see wierd things on the beaches like dogs n cows ..i really enjoyed that ..something diffrent u see,”Beauty Lies in the Eyes of the Beholder”. All that glitters is not gold (for beaches outside india)

  15. Thanks for the info man.

    Going to India for business and was considering heading to Goa.. but after reading so many reviews and seeing pictures.. this is not paradise.

    To all the comments “You people really need to see what the world has to offer in regards to paradise.”

  16. actually the whites made goa untollerable for good indian soffisticated family, in india our moral values is everything and u made the beaches naked beach which doesnt allow our constitution.stop being vulgur here.

  17. BHUJEL,Prakash says

    hi everyone it’s very nice place we should to go once time.

  18. Goa beaces are god in India, but surely it must not call a Paradise. It is nothing as compared to other tourist destinations in Far East. Infact I found Goa dirty as compared to Bali or elsewhere.

  19. hi
    i went to goa first time and enjoyed the rustic beauty i was at varca beach south goa, also enjoyed pallolium in yhe north
    yes there r cows and few stray dogs, but thats india! wake up people
    it why i also loved mumbai, yes its mad and in your face, but the energy shops, food bars and night life r fab
    i rather b somewhere intoxicating and adventourous than boring and commercial
    like so many ‘clean’ but ‘boring beaches or cities in the world,
    best of all the indians are friendly and the food great!

  20. Next time come to Goa, but for a cross over to Gokarna

  21. Michael Trend says

    Goa is in India and so there are cows and dogs on the beach too. Don\’t worry!
    And people throw trash on the streets.
    It is not as cheap as it was…
    Thailand and other destinations offer a cleaner environment at the same price.
    The Goa advantage are the parties, and the indian people.
    If you are not interested in India or electronic music, then go for other beaches.

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