RSS

Tag Archives: Tourist

A Goa Story

Goa to me is now permanently linked to a certain soap that my company makes thanks to spending time on a shop floor. And also Indian uncles jumping into water at Calingute beach in their underwear. But I also remember the greenery and the beauty I used to savor every morning on the way to my workplace. Yes I have worked in Goa. In a factory no less.
So when AB announced the only way to ring in my 30 was to party in India’s party capital,I decided to make the best of the situation by getting started on my excel. Yes, I make holiday excels with itinerary, cost, must dos for all holidays and making the excel is one of the most exciting things I do to build up any vacation in my mind. Yes am an MBA thank you very much.
My Goa trip was very different from the past (and yet it was the cliche-d partaay trip)  and am sharing the things that made this an awesome trip to bid goodbye to my twenties.

1. Peak Holiday Season in Goa = Give me all your monies

So booking airfare and hotel between Christmas and NYE in the second week of December, not such a great idea. SKYHIGH is where the prices where if the hotel wasn’t fully occupied already. At one point we were looking at staying at the beach for 4 days or file for bankruptcy. This is kill time for the tourism business. That Activa you zipped around in for 200 bucks during monsoons, be ready to shell out a grand for it now.

2. Sunburn

Actually the VIP passes to Sunburn – arguably India’s only international level music festival is the one that really bought me in. And I have to say it was everything and more. There was music, food, rides and people. This year they had Afrojack, Axwell and Markus Schulz headlining but I also loved Arnej ,Shermanalogy and Shaan. The mega huge mainstage, lights and pyrotechnics was fabulous.

Morjim Sunset3. Morjim and Aswem

After spending the first evening in Baga, we headed north. The moment we crossed Chapora, we met a Russian overdose. Many restaurants in fact had only Russian signage! But The beaches were beautiful and also much source for eye candy.

4. La Plage

Took some effort to find this Aswem based French restaurant but it was worth the trouble. Beautiful beach setting and some of the best food I had in years. So much so we returned the next day, driving all the way from Candolim. We had grilled mussels, beetroot and mango carpaccio, ravioli and everything was superb. We tried some 4 items from the dessert menu and all of them were mouth watering. We expected to run a huge tab but I found it quite reasonable compared to what many places south were charging. Only word of advice- pre book, the place fills up fast.

5. Hike up the Chapora Fort

I climbed the slippery terrain in a pair of chappals to be greeted with a beautiful sunset over Vagator. Worth the risk of sliding all the way to the bottom!

6. Mum’s Kitchen, Miramar

Food in GoaI had read that this was one of the best places to try authentic Goan cuisine, so off we zipped to Panjim. Its here I learnt Goan food is spicy, spicy, spicy and cocunut laden-much like Kerala. AB had a fish which he couldnt stop raving about. Again the place filled up in a jiffy and we were lucky to have landed early without any bookings and in finding a seat.

7. Thalassa

A Greek restaurant at the edge of a cliff in Vagator overlooking the beach. The location is worth the visit, but the food wasn’t really that great for the money they charged. Add to it chaos due to overbooking and dishes taking more than an hour to get ready. Maybe they were having an off day. The baklava was quite good though.

8. Curlies

A landmark at Baga beach their egg poi sandwich and milkshakes really hit the spot at 1AM. After 6 hours of EDM I no longer had the energy to dance the night away but things would have been different 5 years ago 🙂

Eat. Sleep. Party. Repeat.

Twenties now am done with you!

Advertisements
 
1 Comment

Posted by on December 30, 2013 in travel

 

Tags: , , , ,

Nights in foreign shores

There are vacations spent in nice warm beaches or driving up the twisting curves of the Himalayas in cold evenings but there is an energy, a madness to spend it in a metropolis. One of the things people always say is how all global metropolis’ kind of resemble each other. Maybe it’s true- the same high rises, the footpaths, an efficient MRT system, expats at bars. And still you find the small quirks, something different because every metropolitan also tells it’s own story. I love being the tourist in a metropolis. Be the one who walks slowly as the world rushes by, try a new hole in wall cafe because it seems crowded, search out the subway to have the veggie delite, walk walk walk the city from tip to toe.
Hong Kong seemed like Singapore’s soul sister. At least the Singapore I remembered. A port. City-state (almost). Immaculately dressed office workers and an easy to figure out MRT connecting everything.

HK Skyline from The Peak

HK Skyline from The Peak

We did the touristy things. Watched the skyline that beat Manhattan to win the best city skyline award. Stood in queue for more than hour to view it actually from the Peak. Sat on the Star Ferry and watched the sun go down and the lights and sound show come on at the Avenue of Stars. And sat at the promenade and wondered how different our life would be if we lived here. This is an old game of ifs and buts we ask ourselves in every new place we visit and then conclude by convincing ourselves how we would rather be home.

Street Art

Street Art

 

 

We try staying out late when travelling provided the city is safe enough. Places change their personality once the sun goes down. Visited the Ladies night market. Saw the electronics- funky USBs, Dr Dre beat knockoffs, phone covers-nothing we hadn’t seen a year ago in Thailand or Malaysia. The things that was different-very street in HK is lined with beauty stores. Not the “fancy ladies” styled mom n pop types back here but chains of Sasa, Bonjour, Colormix, Mannings, Watsons- sometimes two shops of the same chain on the same road which made us wonder if we were simply going in circles. Had read somewhere Chinese and Koreans being the most beauty conscious in the world and it appeared alarmingly true. I hauled like no tomorrow-Korean brands like Étude house, samples on sale (legal?) from Clinique and Lancôme, sheet masks. Avoided the strange snail essence(!!) and placenta masks (what?).

The next night was spent gambling away some hard earned money at casinos in Macau. But more of the Las Vegas of East later.

Halloween celebrations on the street

Halloween celebrations on the street

2 nights later we were on our way looking for Soho- the global cuisine and entertainment centre of the town. Or so we heard. And on foot we discovered a city wide awake at 12 AM on a work night. It was Halloween. There were enough Batmen and slutty kittens around at Lan Kwai Fong. With the expats. So many expats, at bars advertising 10 shots for cheap rates. Coming from a city where shutters down at 11 to protect out culture and our women, it reminded me of Mumbai except this was at a different scale. The music , the street artists, made you want for this night to not end. Even in the foreign we settled on the familiar. Ordered our usual drinks, the usual starters and listened to the in house band croon to the early morning. The expats and glambots came, drank, made out and went.

We took a taxi back to our hotel. There is something soothing about not having to negotiate double the meter at midnight.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on November 24, 2013 in life, travel

 

Tags: , , ,