After my week at Swan Yoga Retreat in Assagoa, I had one week to explore the coast of Goa. Visiting the South of India, including Goa had always been a dream of mine ever since I visited Rajasthan and surrounding areas in 2007, see my blog post on photos of this trip. I love hippie-esque places and Goa seemed ideal.
After doing some research – I found the Hippie in Heels blog very helpful , and with this along with my trusty Lonely Planet, I made the decision to travel up the coast to Mandrem- a chilled out beach. I stayed at The Mandala and honestly I couldn’t recommend it more.
I stayed in a room in the beautiful Art house- these are huge and more suitable for a couple or group rather than one person! I had my own bathroom, a downstairs room and an upstairs bedroom overlooking the lake!
Mandrem beach was probably my favourite beach, it was so calm here. I’m sure in peak tourist season it takes on a totally different vibe, but at the end of April it was easy to get a sun lounger to yourself, or a patch of beach. You do get locals coming and selling you things- I found in I kept my earphones in they would soon go away, but other times I enjoyed talking to them, and did buy a few things – a scarf/sarong, beaded bracelets and some fruit.
After my relaxation at Mandrem, I wanted to check out the hippie town of Arambol… I got here by walking up the beach from Mandrem- the beahes all interconnect. I can’t remember how long it took – an hour maybe?! This was a really cool place and I thoroughly enjoyed my visit here. Again, plenty of cafes, restaurants and hippie types. It just has a really cool atmosphere. I can imagine in peak season it would be crazy here! I wish I had more time to stay for a few nights as I heard at night is when it comes alive with people dancing round fires on the beach.
However, I had heard a lot of good things about Ashwem- a more upmarket beach with plenty of boutique and eco resorts. When I arrived with my backpack I imagined it would be easy to get a room at a good price- I was on a strict budget at this point! However the cheapest hut I could find was around twenty dollars a night- unfortunately this was out of my price range so I stayed two nights. It was nice enough but for me didn’t live upto the hype. I have heard that there are some lovely resorts (if you have the money) which I unfortunately didn’t and so I returned to Mandrem…this time I stayed in one of the huts or ‘eco village rooms’ which was super simple but super cute. However, here I had to use the communal showers and toilets.
I then finished off my stay with a few nights at the original hippie town of Anjuna famous for its market which was originally set up by hippies such as the famous Eight finger Eddie where the original hippies would sell their goods in order to make a living. Today the market sprawls up to the beach, and is now made up of locals selling sandals, clothes, tea, spices and other goods. I bought some pretty sandals, cushion covers, a throw, tea and some other bits and bobs. A shoppers paradise!
So overall, Goa was a great place for me to chill and relax, however this was largely due to the time of year I visited- Any time in peak season particularly December and January and I think it would be very crowded and still a great place, but more a place to party.
Hi, I live and work in Dubai. I enjoy getting out and about and seeing what Dubai has to offer, travelling in my holidays and spare time – prepare for blog posts about this, and cooking vegetarian recipes. I am passionate about travel and animals.