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.
7 Travel Safety Tips You Should Know
Travelling can be enthralling, but have you ever asked yourself what if you get robbed? What if you get kidnapped? Or you get lost?
Leaving the comfort of your home to explore a foreign country can be an exciting experience. However, several worst-case scenarios can make you anxious when travelling overseas. From losing precious items and getting injured to theft or kidnapping, a lot can happen abroad.
The first step is to acknowledge that bad things can happen, which is part of the adventure. With these safety tips below, you can protect yourself as a traveller and have peace of mind.
Conduct Sufficient Research
Research and gather a lot of information. Travel safety starts even before you board that plane. Google about your destination and know the common risks and prevalent scams in that country. Get to know the safe and unsafe neighbourhoods.
Ensure you read reviews in the places you’ll visit or the hotel you’ll be staying in. Check if your rent property is in a safe environment. Read blogs from travel bloggers to find if there is anything written about your destination. You can watch videos on YouTube to learn a few things. You can listen to the accent, see attraction sites, and what the landscape looks like.
TripAdvisor is also a great platform where you can search your destination before travelling. It’s great for hotels, restaurants, local attractions, and tour companies. Read reviews to get valuable information from previous clients.
Doing research helps you feel confident and comfortable when travelling.
Buy Travel Insurance
A vacation isn’t a vast investment, like buying a car or house, but you still need a lot of money. Buying airfare, paying for tour guides, and accommodation needs tons of cash. The travel insurance cover protects you from lost or damaged items.
It can be expensive to replace items like electronic devices, clothes, and medication. You might also get hurt or sick while in a foreign country. If you get hurt or sick before travelling, you’ll have to cancel your trip. With this, you’ll lose the full cost. In such a scenario, the travel insurance will reimburse the amount used.
You may also need to get evacuated from a danger zone, and using helicopter transport can cost you a fortune. This is where travel insurance comes in. Early returns or losing a family or friend are other incidents that should motivate you to get insurance cover.
However, ensure you get a comprehensive cover that will cater to almost every bill you might incur. Choose a reliable insurance provider to give direction and offer the necessary help. Check the reputation of the said company, their insurance packages, and don’t forget to read reviews.
Share Information with a Reliable Friend or a Close Relative
Travelling is marred with uncertainties. Anything can happen when in a foreign land. That’s why you should let those close to you know about your whereabouts.
In case of an emergency, you might not manage to communicate specific details. The insurance may require you to call before going to the hospital. They can help you find a reliable hospital nearby.
It is always advisable to scan and print important documents and upload a digital cover of the insurance package.
Keep Your Money in Various Places
Never travel with all of your money in the same place. Stash emergency money throughout the luggage just in case you lose some. You can also place cash on your body but in different pockets.
You may wear a money belt beneath your clothes or have a handy bra pocket to keep your credit cards and cash. Invest in an excellent zippered passport pocket that can hold a phone and a passport. This way, even if you get robbed, you’ll still have some cash and cards tucked away.
More so, be mindful of purses and pockets when in a crowded place. It’s too easy to get pickpocketed in a crowded subway or bus. Criminals know their target pretty well, but you can give them a hard time trying to rob you.
If you get into a crowded place, keep your hands-on any pocket that has your valuables. If possible, tuck the purse underneath your arm to ensure it opens towards your body and hard to access. Ensure the purse can be zipped, covered, or fastened.
Avoid keeping stuff in your back pocket as it’s an easy target. Also, it’s recommended to ditch the purse and wallet altogether.
Lock Your Bags
Locking your luggage can deter thieves. Zip your wallet and purse and lock your bags as well. A determined thief goes for easier targets. They know travellers carry tons of valuable items, and that’s why locking your luggage during transit is a great security measure.
You can use non-TAS travel locks as they’re hard to break, unlike the universal TSA lock. However, you may use a TSA-approved travel lock for added security and peace of mind.
Don’t Bring with You Your Precious Items
It’s easy to have items disappear while in transit. It could be a scarf you left in a park or sunglasses fell in the water as you were surfing. When packing for air travel, leave anything that will break your heart if it gets stolen or lost.
For instance, leave your precious jewellery at home. Carrying education or property documents is risky. Bring cheap items like a travel-friendly necklace or wedding ring, an older smartphone, or inexpensive clothes.
Watch Your Drinks
When in a foreign country, you become an easy prey. No matter the circumstances, ensure you watch over your drinks. Make sure you see what’s being poured so someone doesn’t spike your drink.
It would also be best to avoid getting drunk. If you usually take six drinks, reduce to two. If you didn’t travel with a buddy, go everywhere with your drink, even to the washroom.
Every day there is news of travellers who have fallen victim to several crimes while travelling. This should be your huge concern in taking the necessary measures. Don’t be too naïve or optimistic to think it can never happen to you.
But don’t allow anything to stop you from having an enthralling vacation. Follow these travel safety tips, and you’ll enjoy a peaceful trip.
A unique perspective of Jamaica
Over the last years, Jamaica has become one of the most visited destinations by tourists in the entire world. This beautiful Caribbean island with its stunning beaches, rich nature and delicious gastronomy has everything you could wish for in a holiday destination. However, if you want to experience Jamaican culture in a unique way while interacting with nature hand in hand, there is a place you can not miss during your trip: Yaaman Adventure Park.
The most original holidays
Jamaica is famous as a beach holidays destination. And who can really blame those that choose to visit the country because of this? Its white sand beaches with crystal clear waters and jungle right next to the shores make out for some breathtaking views. However, Jamaica has so much more to bring into the table. A good example of this can be found in the famous tours in Ocho Rios offered by Yaaman Adventure Park.
Ocho Rios is known as the most touristic area on the entire island. And in an area with such a wide catalogue of activities focused towards tourists, we can find Yaaman Adventure Park. Formerly known as Prospect Plantation, Yaaman Adventure Park original placement used to be an 18th Century agricultural property with a lot of history and cultural points. Yaaman Adventure Park offers its visitors the opportunity to interact hand in hand with nature in a lot of adrenaline filled adventures that will make out for unforgettable experiences.
Do not limit yourself to simply laying on the beach, discover the beautiful island of Jamaica and its culture in a fun and original way.
The perfect activities for everyone in the family
There are as many types of holidays as there are types of people in the world. Yaaman Adventure Park is aware of this, and that is why they offer a wide catalogue of activities in Ocho Rios that will adapt to everyone’s needs. Your age does not matter, there is the perfect activity waiting for you at Yaaman Adventure Park. Yaaman Adventure Park has a lot of fun activities that will allow you to interact with nature, as well as some more relaxing ones that will help you understand Jamaican culture better. Some of their most renown activities include:
Bird aviary tour
An activity that everyone in the family will surely love! In this aviary, you will be able to interact with exotic and local birds while they freely fly around you. The aviary is a tropical heaven for the birds that live there, and will make you feel like you have been transported to a fairytale world.
Swim with dolphins
Dolphins are some of the most beloved sea animals in the world. And in Yaaman Adventure Park you will be able to swim with dolphins in their unique shore excursions in Ocho Rios. These loving creatures are very smart and love interacting with the visitors. During these excursions, you will be able to swim with them and even hug and kiss the lovely dolphins.
Cook genuine Jamaican recipes
Jamaica has one of the most delicious cuisines in the world. Their traditional colourful dishes are full of unique flavours that will not disappoint your palate. On the cooking tour offered by Yaaman Adventure Park, you will learn how to prepare the traditional “Jamaican Fare”. The famous chef Irie will teach you all the secrets of this dish consisting of festival, Steamed Callaloo and chicken. All of this while you enjoy some breathtaking views 1100 feet above sea level.
But these are only some of the activities you will be able to enjoy at Yaaman Adventure Park. From Mud buggies tours to tours across near stunning rivers, rides on the back of camels or a jitney ride, the possibilities at this park seem endless. So if you are looking for a fun and original alternative for your next holidays, then look no further, Yaaman Adventure Park is the perfect place to go.
How much money do you need to live comfortably in Spain?
There are plenty of reasons why you may be thinking about living in Spain: its population is friendly and kind; its climate, especially in the coastal areas, is enviable; its gastronomy is incredible… but, what about its prices? What is the most affordable way to live in Spain?
Perhaps the most important question if you decided to go: would it be better to buy instead of renting a property in Spain. Or yet living in a Spanish residence?
Spanish cities where to live cheap and well
In the geographical variety that Spain presents, we can find many differences in average salaries and the standard of living that reside there would require. The areas of Galicia, Extremadura, Castilla y León, together with Almería and the south of Alicante usually have a lower price of euros/square meter in their homes. The quality of life is really appreciable, but you should know that there are fewer possibilities for business and transports.
The autonomous community of the Basque Country, Catalonia, and Madrid, which have higher than average incomes (normally more than 24,000 euros per year), also have higher prices. However, Madrid has such a wide range of rents that it sometimes makes them cheaper than other countries.
In addition, and taking into account the tourist seasons, the areas of Valencia and Andalusia are normally a preference when it comes to living in Spain for a while or even spending your retirement. Although day-to-day life can be more expensive than in other areas of Spain, the mild climate and variety of leisure options are often worth it in the long run.
Whatever your option is when moving to another country, especially if you don’t know its legal system, can be very tiresome. That’s why our advice is to try to contact local agencies (that speak English) to give you fair and fruitful advice. For example, to move to Andalusia, we usually recommend Tejada solicitors.
I have already decided on the place. Now what?
Well, if you have already fully immersed yourself in the streets of a beautiful city that we have talked about, what should be your first step?
Decide what kind of stay you want to be in (since your future economic situation will also depend on this: taxes, permits…). You may have already chosen, for example, property conveyancing in Marbella, but it is recommended that you also think about renting a property, because it can be very profitable while you are in your other place of residence.
To sum up, before moving to a Spanish city, decide if you want to spend a little more money per month in exchange for the exceptional conditions that their precious land can give you; secondly, contact a reliable agency that will help you make the best investment and even more, apply for a Spanish residency if you are decided to stay for a long time.
And remember: a move is always a new beginning.
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