Gap Year Travel Goa: Arambol, Anjuna, Benaulim and Panaji
On the train to Goa, I met a young Scottish couple and we all got on very well & decided to stop off in Arambol – a small fishing port in northern Goa. Arambol is very beautiful with long stretches of beach. We found some good rooms in the Welcome Inn hotel just 50 metres from the beach.
The best part about Arambol is the freshwater lake which is 15 minutes walk from the main port. We went to the lake everyday for almost a
week for sunbathing and swimming. The lake is only 4 to 5 feet deep and the water is drinkable & very clean. Unfortunately many of the tourists were still in the habit of leaving their litter around causing untold damage to the local environment & wildlife.
Most evenings were spent at various restaurants along the beach. The Little Italy restaurant was particularly good with their clay ovens and great Italian food. The Indian food at other restaurants was also very fresh and probably the best Indian meals I’ve had so far.
Goa became very fashionable in the 1960s and 70s when hordes of hippies visited the region for its wild and free lifestyle. Some of the remnants from that time can still be seen at the flea markets of Anjuna where a variety of goods are on sale from pushy sellers including clothes, musical instruments, statues and souvenir items for tourists.
After a week in Arambol, we travelled down to Benaulim and Panaji. Panaji is the main town in Goa and due to it’s Portuguese part, the architecture and many of it’s restaurants are still distinctly Portuguese but most of the buildings are in a state of disrepair. Panaji and other beach resorts can be seen on the map of Goa. Benaulim was a typical Goa beach resort with miles of sandy beaches with little shade. Although not as beautiful as Arambol, Benaulim was still worth relaxing in for a few days.
After an amazing three weeks in Goa, it was time to catch my next gap year flight to Thailand with Bangkok as the first stop.