You probably must be thinking why one would need to read about Goa? A trip to Goa is supposed to be the result of drunk-planning. Fortunately (or unfortunately), we are not really the ‘let’s drunk-plan a trip’ kind of people. Vikas had been to Goa before but it was my first time and I wanted to explore the less-explored parts of Goa, indulge in its innate beauty and get a step closer to observing the culture. The first thing that I wrote in my travel planner was a big NO to the late night parties because we all know how it goes from there. And when you are at a place for only 2 days, you can’t really afford being drunk one day and hungover the next!
So here is a list of 8 things that you can do apart from the beach parties and clubbing (not that we don’t enjoy those)-
1. Stay at Curioso Goa and get in touch with your creative side
We were quite fortunate to have found this place on Instagram. Curioso is run by 3 extremely proficient women- Devika, Inchara and Neeta, who decided to ditch their conventional urban lifestyle and settled in Goa for good. Curioso offers luxury stay in art based suites and studio apartments. We stayed in the Abstract Suite that offered a view of tropical forest area, so you will basically wake up to the sound of chirping birds. They not only extend a bespoke stay, they also let you slide into your creative side. They have a workshop in the basement, where you can try your hands at clay modelling, Pollock style art, decoupage, doodling and much more. So if you are looking forward to spending a quaint weekend to blow off some steam and recharge your sensory skills, we highly recommend Curioso! Have a look at our experience here.
2. Rent a scooter
If you started taking a cab to commute in Goa, you’d go broke in a week. Solution? Rent a scooter! If you are staying at Curoiso, the hosts also provide bikes for free, in case you want to visit a few places close by. Otherwise, you can easily rent a scooter for Rs. 300 a day. We’d advise you to carry your helmet (you better!) and driving licence while riding in Goa for random checks by the local traffic police.
3. Go for a run on Morjim beach
I know, why would you wake up early and go for a run in Goa! Simply because you don’t get to run barefoot on a beach every day. It was a spontaneous plan and we don’t regret it a bit. We woke up early, drove to the beach and found ourselves alone. We had the entire beach to ourselves. I then put on my Zelocity activewear and ran for about a mile. I have to admit, now running on the city roads or in park feels boring and lifeless. When I think about how my hair smelt of the ocean breeze, how damp sand felt between my toes at those early hours, it puts a smile on my face.
4. Have breakfast at La Plage (Ashvem Beach)
La Plage is easily one of the best places to eat in North Goa, at least among the ones we tried. Surrounded by palm trees, La Plage offers a view of the ocean, delicious fresh fruit cocktails and salads, and gourmet French-Mediterranean food. It is slightly expensive than the average eateries in Goa but if you are not a tight budget, it is definitely worth a try!
5. Visit the Museum of Goa in Pilerne
Museum of Goa (MOG) is a private museum owned by Subodh Kerkar, mostly featuring contemporary work by various local artists. It was a long drive to the museum but if you appreciate art and would like to indulge in the works of Goan artists, MOG is a must-visit.
6. Spot the sunset from The God’s Place
We didn’t exactly know what to expect when Devika from Curioso recommended this restaurant. It sounded like one of those cafes in Kasol. The God’s place is about 2 km from Curioso, so we decided to ride a bike and get there right before the sunset. The cafe offers a view of the estuary and after the sunset, it becomes a perfect spot to spend the evening and relish its hippie-esque hypnotic vibes.
7. Ride along the river from Aldona to Panaji
River Mupasa passes by Aldona, a breathtakingly beautiful village in North Goa. If you have an evening to spare, take your scooter and leave for a ride along Mupasa and experience the beauty that Aldona is.
8. Visit the Saturday night market for live music, scrumptious food and good vibes
This market is everything that you dream of before your first trip to Goa. A confined space, everyone around you grooving to the beat, floral scents, and happy, carefree faces! Saturday night market offers a wide range of products, from clothing to collectables, perfumes to home decor, you name it, they have it. From the moment you enter the market premises, you’ll hear a beat, keep following the sound to get the area of live performance which is surrounded by food stalls. Basically, this market has all the flavours of Goa.
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Happy traversing, fellas!