So as they say (and very rightly)…. one never really needs a reason to go to Goa! But I had 2 VERY GOOD reasons:
A – it had been toooo long since my last visit (5 years to be exact), and B – it was my birthday and I needed a getaway with friends! 🙂
And what a trip it was. As cliched as it sounds, Goa is more a state of mind than a place. And when you go with a crazy, fun, super chill and awesome group of friends, it will only leave you with some lifetime memories.
Some very cool places I went to this time around that deserve to be mentioned:
1. Morjim beach – we actually stayed at Morjim (it was my first time) and I must say, it’s super! The beaches and resorts are amazing, there are just the right amount of people (not too crowded), the restaurants and places around are very cool, and if you wanna go to Vagator or Candolim etc, its just 30-40 minute drive. Loved it.
2. La Plage at Morjim – very good food (think it’s owned and run by a French family), even better ambience, and super location (its right on the beach!). Must visit for anyone at Morjim.
3. Thalassa at Vagator – but of course! Half the reason I went to Goa was so I could have my birthday dinner here. We caught the sunset at 5.30pm, and stayed till way past 9pm. The ambience, the fooooooood (OMG), the entertainment (dancers at regular intervals), the wine, the cheese, the music, the sound of the waves crashing below the cliff (we were seated right at the edge overlooking the sea)… and just the vibe of the place with its cottages and stores.. I love it. It’s become really popular and really commercial since I last visited in 2010 but there’s a reason it’s so popular! If you plan to visit, make sure you make a reservation and you’re not late.
4. Antares, Vagator – It’s right next to Thalassa, same awesome view and we heard the food is good though we just went there for drinks after dinner. Must say – super amazing cocktails, the espresso martini is to die for. It came recommended by a Goan friend so we had to go try and we weren’t disappointed!
5. Night market at Vagator – a mini market we just popped into to have a quick look. Good place to walk it out.
6. Chronicle at Vagator – it’s almost a mini-trek to this club so well worth it! All the way down on the cliff overlooking the sea again… we brought in my birthday on the first night here and it really couldnt have been more perfect! Beautiful place, amazing music, friends, cocktails, waves crashing, moonlight, perfect! What a night. Highly recommend this.
In fact, we even went back on our last night.
7. Waters – a proper club with 3-4 floors along the side of the cliff. Not my scene but if you like that kinda thing, go.
8. Taj Vivanta Holiday Village – I am definitely staying here the next time I go to Goa! Super resort, super staff, amazing food, cocktails, location, sunsets, everything brilliant. 🙂 LOVED.
9. Aguada Fort/Lighthouse – we rushed here on Day 3 to catch our last sunset from here and we made it just in time, it was gorgeous.
10. Calamari Shack – I think it features in the Top 3 beach shacks in the world! Super food, service, live Goan music, sunbeds, foot massages…ah, it was a good good morning and afternoon here. Don’t miss it.
11. Saturday Night Market at Anjuna – and finally, MY HAPPY PLACE. I came here first in 2006 last and had been craving a re-visit ever since. Unfortunately I was never able to be in Goa on a Saturday night so this time I planned my trip around this. It’s AWESOME. The food, the music, the art, the clothes, the jewelry, everything and everyone had that perfect Goa vibe. There’s something about street markets that I LOVE and I try to visit at least one such market anywhere I travel but nothing so far has compared to the vibe of this place. The food is awesome, and you don’t just find street stuff on sale… it’s actual artists and designers and people with labels and stores who show their stuff here. I loved it. Make sure you add this to your must-do list in Goa.
So, funnily, my friends and I decided to Vlog through this trip, as and when we remembered to switch on the camera. I especially really wanted to capture the moments and a definite highlight for me was coming back to the hotel at 4am on our last night, and going straight up to the beach front (our resort was on the beach), and lighting a lantern that I had purchased at the night market. It was something I really wanted to do as a symbol of letting the last year go, fly away, and making a wish for the new year which was startin for me now on the 1st day after my birthday 🙂 And I can tell you, the second that lantern took off into the sky and started rising…we couldn’t take our eyes off it. Beautiful, enchanting, awesome…everything together. Everyone made a silent wish, and that wrapped up the magic of our trip.
If you’d like to see that lantern lighting, you can skip to the 34th minute of this video. We almost burnt the place down so it was pretty funny. LOL. *facepalm*
One word of advice – when it comes to trips with friends, don’t think twice, just do it.
A quick round of high fives to my partners in crime:
Deepak – fine, the jeep was an amazing idea! 🙂
Rivoli – super awesome fellow capricornian, thank you for the flowerband!
Lipika and Zeenie – thanks for making this happen, if you girls hadn’t been on top of things, none of us lazy bums would have finalised!
And finally, Nakash – you decided to come 2 days before the trip and I’M SO HAPPY we finally finally got to bond again araam se. Good call Naksy, be spontaneous more often like this! 😀
HUGS TO MY GOA GANG – love you guys – for giving me the best birthday trip ever. 🙂
To many more!