Alex's travel diary in Goa
Goa is the beach away of India, the only place where you can really enjoy the beaches, and bathe in the sea: «farniente under the sun» ambiance, really to visit at least once! My favorite spot is on ashwem beach, in north Goa, where we have our beach shop under a big white Marahadja tent.
Start your day with a beachfront yoga class or at one of the many specialized centers; I advise the « SAMATA HOLISTIC RETREAT CENTER » in Arambol (Tamarind Tree, Templs Road, Goa 403512).
Go for a boat ride on the «Chapora» river with POONAM KONKAN EXPLORER » : you can also go kayaking.
In Goa we spend a lot of time eating, drinking, chilling! The food is great with a large variety. My favorite restaurant is« LA PLAGE » (ashwem beach, Goa, next to «The Shop by Nana Ki), the French restaurant of my friends Serge, Florence and Fabienne. Feet in the sand, in front of the sea, a really quality cuisine with a little twist in each recipe: classics like carpaccio with the best dressing ever tasted, or the real beef burger - something rare in India -, and of course fish cooked to perfection. I spend my life there when I am in Goa, alternating beach, gourmet moments and work in my shop.
Another gem, the restaurant « SUBLIME » (House No. 481, Bouta Waddo, Assagao, Goa 403507) of my Indian friend Chris, who is very good chef and will inevitably make you salivate, a neat service in a very nice Portuguese house..
The best Indian restaurant is undoubtedly« GUNPOWDER » (No. 6, Anjuna Mapusa Rd, Saunto Vaddo, Assagao, Goa 403507), in a pleasant setting, a spicy cuisine from southern India.
Goa is also a good place for the fashionistas The 2 markets to go for a shopping session are « LE SATURDAY NIGHT MARKET » et le « HILL TOP MARKET »and the «HILL TOP MARKET» of Friday; that of Saturday opens only around 18h, ideal time to stroll when the sun is down, and lasts until very late, it usually ends in dancing party; wide choice in this market ranging from Indian kitscheries to pieces by Indian and foreign designers; the Friday one is smaller and more cosy, a selection of designers and where one can go with the children, a playground being dedicated to them.
And to get pampered from head to toe, the best spa around is« SNIP » (Taj Road, Gaurawaddo, Calangute, Goa 403516) which is located at a calangute, a bigger city than Morjim-Ashwem; all treatments are carried out with care by real experts; The hair salon is also fine.
If you have enough time, I also recommend a getaway to « FORT TIRAQOL » (Pernem Taluka, Tiracol, 403524), perfect getaway escape for lovers, away from everything and every one, with the sea out of sight. The rooms are beautifully decorated, all the comforts and a good restaurant.
I would recommend only one place to stay on Ashwem, the boutique hotel of my friend Raju « SUR LA MER »( Morjim-Ashwem Road, Pernem Taluka, Morjim, Goa 403512), in a very beautiful house so pleasant to live, made like a hacienda, with a huge swimming pool between the 2 buildings; the rooms are spacious, nicely decorated and with all the comforts; relaxed atmosphere, and Raju takes care of everything!