Situated on the western coast of India, Goa is one of the smallest state in India. It is also one of the newest territory that joined India after India’s Independence, newest being Sikkim. Goa was an enclave of Portugal till 1961 when India and Portugal engaged into military conflict that lasted 36 hours and a 451 years of Portuguese rule was brought to an end becoming a national tragedy for Portugal, but rejoice in India for gaining its historical land.
Today Goa is the holiday destination for Indians as well as foreign tourists. Goa, which is famous for its warm sea water, and clear sky is most popular from October to April. Goa receives heavy rainfall from the month of June to September which is the off season, but still some adventurous tourists visit Goa during these months to experience the wildlife of the western ghats much away from the beaches.
Being back from London, enjoying the night life and party environment in the London bars, Goa is different. Although Goa is famous for its late night beach and cruise parties, the kind of Goa which we saw was calm and peaceful with a little bit of hustle and bustle.
We started from Delhi International Airport and landed on Dabolim Airport in Goa in the evening time. By the time we reached our hotel resort, which was 45 KM far from the airport, it had become dark. Candolim in North Goa, is comparatively a peaceful and beautiful place. The market alongside a double lane main road was lightened by shop hoardings and yellow street light.
I can say from my observation that Candolim is a mini Russia. Shop banners, signboards, hotel instructions, menu cards in every restaurant were in Russian language and everyone from hotel reception to shopkeepers to waiters knew very fluent Russian though with a distinct accent. My teammate who was also from Russia joked that she feels like home here. Wherever we went we could hear people talking in Russian as the number of tourists coming from Russia is very high.
|Usage of Russian language in Goa|
Restaurants around are very professionally themed and will involve you completely in typical Goan environment. All the restaurants have their own way of absorbing you, from live music to karaoke. With perfect blend of lighting and old English/American and Russian songs from country to jazz, it lightened the mood and made the evening perfect. Most of the restaurants serve wide variety of food, from `classic Indian to authentic local Goan food to European. And all of this in very reasonable price around ₹400 for two people without drinks. Drinks are available in all the restaurants.
|Team TWR at a restaurant in Goa (c) TWR|
Candolim also has two major super markets, so if you want to cook or make sandwich at your room you can buy everything required for daily needs at very cheap prices. Fruits sold in Goa are very tasty but very costly too. If you want to try some exotic Indian fruits, consider Delhi or Mumbai or any other city which you would be visiting on your trip.
|Super Market at the Candolim Main Road (c) TWR|
Walking on the Candolim streets is a different experience all together. Candolim main road is a narrow two lane road but has less traffic and pedestrian rush. The road is accompanied by markets alongside. There are shops mostly selling souvenirs, clothes, swim wear, semi precious stones or there are restaurants. At night it is lightened by yellow street lights and colorful lights coming from the shops and the restaurants. During day time it is showered by the golden sunlight forming very clear pattern of your shadow on the street. Sun is amazingly bright and people from different parts of the world look amazing bathing with the sunshine together.
|Candolim Main Road, (c) TWR|
The place had large number of resorts and high quality guest houses, we chose Alor Grande Holiday Resort and were very happy with the service, ambiance and quality. It was more like a big modern apartment complex developed in goan style. In just ₹4500 per night you will get Swimming pool, WiFi (Paid), included breakfast, laundry service and parking facility, the hotel is less than 100m from Candolim main road and main market. And less than 500m far from the Candolim beach.
|Alor Grande Holiday Resort, Candolim (c) TWR|
Candolim beach is also a peaceful place where sea water is clean and warm. Most of the tourists are from Europe (especially Britain) and Russia. It is the place to sit and relax for sunbath listening to the sounds of waves striking the shore. If you love water sports, you can go for water surfing, motorboat and parachute. As soon as you will enter the beach people will come to you asking if you need shacks or if you want to go for water sports. Beach shack costed only ₹100 per person, per day. And an umbrella costed ₹50. The shack guy was nice and he offered umbrella for free the next day. He will keep coming to ask you if you need anything like snacks, meals or drinks, he will bring it right to the place where you are sitting. Many massage practioners, fruit sellers and tattoo makers will also approach you. Unlike other places, no tourist guides will come after you to hire them. Goa is the place to experience and enjoy yourself. It becomes really hot in the month of February after 2 o’ clock and it becomes difficult to stay after that on the beach.
|Candolim Beach (c) TWR|
You can take bike, scooter, or car on rent and go to nearby and adjacent beaches of Calangute and Bagha, which are equally nice and famous.
Start your day with rich Indian breakfast, walk to the sea, enjoy the sun and warm sea water. When it starts to get hotter, walk down the street, it is a good time to shop. Enjoy the European or Indian lunch in a restaurant. Walk back to your room, watch bollywood movie clips on the TV. Don’t just indulge in running everywhere, seeing everything and getting busy in taking photos, because you will miss the whole point of spending time together and enjoying the present moment. In the evening go back to the beach to see the magnificent sunset, walk down the street and enjoy the jazz and country music playing everywhere. Have a sip of the wine and relax and stimulate your senses with dinner.
You will be glad that you spent your vacation here, this place is suitable for the tourists of all ages, couples and family. Candolim is Goa in the real sense and a mini Russia.