Difference between revisions of "Anjuna"
Revision as of 16:16, 18 February 2010
You have to get down at Mapusa train station:Thivim. Then the cheapest is to take the local bus to Mapusa bus station: Kadamba. - go out of the train station, across the parking, and along the road, if you don't see the bus, ask around. Then in Kadamba, Just ask around where is the bus to Anjuna. It will cost you less than Rs 10 to get to Anjuna from Mapusa by local bus (sometimes crowded)... Or Rs 350 gets you there in an auto-rickshaw
You'll arrive near Kadamba, or depending on the bus company sometimes directly inside Kadamba.
You can either hire yourself some transport or use the public transport, theres lots of choices available. For taxis, motorbike taxis and autorickshaws you can nearly always find some available near the main cross roads (Starco Junction) and it's best to negotiate the price before you get in.
It is possible to hire bicycles, usually without gears and somewhat dangerous to ride given the traffic.
A great way to get around is to hire scooters or Motorbikes. On a daily basis which can range anywhere from ₨ 150 to ₨ 400, depending on what you hire. They may require a small deposit, but don't leave your passport, you can leave a photocopy if you are asked. Bikes are available easily, just ask the locals who own restaurants , and shacks. refrain from asking the locals who run road-side stalls or at flea markets. Also a good idea would be to ask the person at the reception at your hotel. If you're lucky, they can arrange one for you. If you do manage to get one please fill the tank to the fullest, as petrol pumps are far away from each other.
Be aware that no one seems to wear helmets and the traffic can be busy especially in peek season, its not a good place to learn how to ride a scooter or motorbike. Also you should have an international drivers license to ride a bike. If you are going to go into Mapusa or Panjim find a helmet, the police will want a bribe (baksheesh) if you don't have one or an international license.
The nearest petrol pump is Near Vagator, to get there head north at Starco junction until you hit the main T junction at Vagator, turn right and head for about 2 km (1.2 mile) just past where the road merges with the main road into Chapora, the petrol pump is on your left, join the queue of waiting bikes.
Petrol is also available in one liter bottles at most of the stores around Anjuna, although the price would be roughly 60% higher than from the gas station and also purity is hard to guarantee.
These are very cheap and are a good way to get to other towns like Mapusa or Vagator but won't take you off the beaten track.
These are a Goan specialty, simply pay the driver and he'll take you where you want to go, probably the cheapest form of public transport after local buses. Most short trips will be in the ₨ 100 range. You will find one at Starco Junction.
The usual indian autorickshaws are also available, cheaper than taxis more than motorbike taxis. Negotiate
The most expensive option but the best for getting further afield like the airport or if you want to visit Old Goa or the beaches in South Goa.
Anjuna beach is to the west of the village with lot of restaurants and bars. Not really the most beautiful beach you can see in Goa, and not a quiet place (beware of the incidental skydiver landing on the beach, watch out for that infuriated cow), it is still possible to have good times there.
Anjuna Flea market happens on Wednesdays and runs from morning till dawn. Go early if you want to hunt for bargains, take a rest at noon and come back when it's not as hot anymore. The market offers pretty much anything of what you can think of. Haggling is expected and failing to do so means missing out on the best part.
Apart from that there is not really much to see in Anjuna.
In Anjuna, there is everything a traveller may need an ATM (see Money section), it is possible to rent bikes, rooms, houses. you can also find many cyber cafes...the best one is at Nehal Travels and Manali Guest House, Manali Bookshop is the best Bookshop in this area, restaurants with different kinds of food (Goan, Indian, continental, Israeli, Italian, French, ...), small grocery shops, a convenience store (oxford's arcade), and 24/24 open restaurant (Munchies).
Anjuna Beach is to the south of the village with its usual lot of restaurants and bars. Not really the most beautiful beach you can see in Goa, and not really a quiet place (beware of the occasional skydiver landing on the beach, watch out for that one infuriated cow), but it's still possible to have good times there. Be sure to check Curlie's at the end of the beach, that's the place where people meet, chill or just listen to music
Some restaurants have TVs with cable TV but if you want the movie experience, two movies per night are shown on a big screen at the Sea Queen restaurant on the south side of the road about half way between Straco Junction and Paradiso. This place is good for watching films but never stay there as the Sea Queen staff, seem really friendly and good to talk to, especially while the cleaner is cleaning your room, and stealing the money of the customers. Waiters work with the cleaner in this and the owner knows about it, so he might be involved with all of this. BE CAREFUL and do not let your holidays to become a nightmare like it happen to many of us who stayed there.
Anjuna is also the home of the most popular night club of goa: Paradiso, and so despite the fact that they will try to charge some people with entrance fee (Rs 200 to Rs 500+) and not others. Most of the time the security service will prevent the locals to enter the club. even if it's worth going in once to enjoy the view, this is not the place where you want to go if you're looking for parties. Better go to nine bar or hilltop in Vagator and ask around for open-air parties.
There are nightclubs catering to western package tourists in Baga and Calangute to the south that are easy enough to get to by taxi.
Curly's This is definitely one of the best places in Goa during daytime for trance people, freaks, hippies & other positive people... :-) It is located just next to the Anjuna Flea Market place, on the extreme south of Anjuna beach. Nice beach shacks with really nice music (psy trance & ambient in Curly's bar, and Israeli psy trance in some another beach shack 50 metres further to the south), nice people - so this is really excellent place for some psychedelic relaxation before/after parties, or just for watching the beautiful Goan sunset while drinking some fresh pineapple juice.. )
Anjuna is famous for its parties, however they are increasingly being discouraged by the authorities, you may be unlucky and not find any while you are here due to the police stopping them, you may want to try Arambol further north.
The situation is currently under review, as there are state elections (April 2007). As many business owners complain about plunging visitor numbers, the next government (and season) might allow more parties.
Places to find parties near Anjuna are: Dolce Vita/Bamboo Forest (recently closed, Feb. 07), but particularly at the beach. If there's one when you're around, be sure to go to one of the famous full moon parties, or one of the less known black moon parties.
You can spot where the parties are by looking for the flickering lights of the "chai ladies" on the beach. They always congregate where the parties are happening, and the flames from their kerosene lamps are a great signpost.
Best idea is to go to Nine Bar in Vagator and ask around.
Wednesday Flea Market
On the way to the beach by main road, you'll cross the Wednesday flea market location. The Anjuna flea market is attracting so many people from all north Goa every Wednesday that the traffic becomes a problem in south Anjuna. if you're going with a 2-wheeler you'll have to pay a few rupees for parking. Inside the market, you'll find all the shops that are on the streets the rest of the week and some more. be careful not to be fooled by the sellers who will tell you that it's not even their cost price or that they can sell it to someone else for 3 or 4 time the price you want. If you plan to open your own shop in the flea market, it will cost you ₨ 100.
Ingos Saturday Night Market
This one is a must go, more diversity in the shops, good quality items, food stands but also usually more crowded. Many foreigners are running business in this market (didgeridoo player selling didgeridoos,to travellers doing some business to travel more, Tibetan cooking Tibetan food to raise money for Tibetan refugees, etc.). It's on the way to Arpora from Anjuna. You can also find some smaller night markets around, some are worth spending some time inside, others aren't.
Unfortunately it seems that Ingos has been forced to move from its old location at Arpora to a new location on the other side of the new road bridge just north of Siolim, its yet to be seen if the new location will be successful. Many of the Westerner stall holders have moved to Mackies for the moment.
Mackies Saturday Night Bazaar
This Goan run night-market has expanded recently and seem to have benefited from the problems experienced by Ingos, its worth a trip. It is located North of the river at Baga, to get there follow the windy road that heads south from Oxford Stores until you hit the T junction at Baga river, the entrance is just across the road to the left. Indian store-holders are concentrated in the first section, in the middle is a large bandstand with live music which seems to consist of popular covers from the package tourists from Calangute and Baga, you can buy beers here. Past the bandstand are the westerners stalls and the food stalls.
Roadside and Beach Stalls
It's impossible to miss these, you will be hounded by their owners saying 'come look my shop' at every opportunity. They have some good textiles and tee-shirts but mostly have the same items and there's much more choice at the markets. If you bargain hard you can get things for a good price but you may find the experience a bit draining.
Fashion showroom Miriam Strehlau
The showroom of the designer is just behind the shore bar and offers the opportunity to purchase limited editions and customized pieces besides the actual collections as well as home accessories artwork. Characteristic for the design is the fusion of contemporary and tradition style. A mix of innovative materials, sustainable fabrics and handcrafted Indian textiles.
There is a new HDFC ATM as you enter Anjuna in the same building as Dominoes Pizza, This is the only ATM so far in the Village and it tends to get crowded in peak season time. So plan for it and be Patient :-)
Alcohol is cheaper all over Goa and is more freely available than most other places in the country, due to the relaxed taxes.
Beer is very common and is available from nearly all restaurants (German bakery is an exception) and many stores.
Good quality wine is not common in India and is generally not as good value as beer. Some restaurants especially the more expensive ones serve wine by the bottle or the glass. Bottles of wine can be purchased at Oxford Stores (just north of Starco Junction).
Although not as common as in the rest of the state, Fenny -- a locally distilled liquor -- is easily available in Anjuna. There are two varieties -- from the Cashew fruit and the Coconut fruit. The Cashew Fenny is a hit with the locals but will leave quite a taste and smell in the mouth.
Regular spirits like whiskey, rum, vodka etc. are readily available at fairly decent prices.
There are many different places to stay in Anjuna (from hotel with swimming pool, to a room inside the family house), you'll find hotels, houses, and rooms almost everywhere, you just have to walk the streets with your backpack/luggage, and you'll be offered rooms.
Prices vary depending on the comfort, the commodities, the season, the duration of your stay, and your ability to bargain. To get cheaper prices, you should look in the south part, especially in St Anthony's church area.
If budget is not a problem, a nice and friendly place to stay is Marth's breakfast home on the way to flea market (phone 2273365).
Villa Anjuna (on the road from StarCo Corner to Paradiso) is an excellent place to stay, but is slightly on the expensive side. Double A/C room would cost you Rs. 1000+ per night, but the facilities are worth it. I would really recommend this place. It is very safe, they have security 24 hours, the restaurant is also open 24 hours and the staff are really nice and friendly. The owner is also a very nice and polite man. The swimming pool area is really nice and clean and a good place to meet nice people.
Around Anjuna/Vagator you may have encounter some corrupted policemen (or pretending to be policemen) trying to scare you to get bakshish. From illegal drug possession to driving without helmet/license, they will try to charge you with almost everything, even threatening to hit you with a bamboo stick. Their catchphrase is "if you help me, I will help you" and they ask you to help them with ₨ 500 to ₨ 5000+. This kind of encounter is not very common, but you have to be aware it may happen almost anywhere (not inside restaurants, parties nor on the beach)
There have been some cases of robbery in Anjuna, its best to not walk alone at night or to walk in out of the way places. Also keep your rooms locked there are thefts from rooms, specially in places like Sea Queen, that have already a big reputation for stealing customer's money from the rooms.
Traffic can be heavy and chaotic in Anjuna especially on market day and in the peek season. Inexperience, drinking, drugs are issues to be aware of. Potholed roads, cows and dogs, speeding busses, lack of helmets, speed and inexperienced westerner motorbike riders are all hazards to contend with. Its perhaps not the best place to learn to ride here. It may be wise to know where medical help is available.
If you are a long stayer, a mosquito net is worth having. You can buy fancy ones at the markets or the German bakery. Oxford stores has ones for ₨ 450 and you can get them from the fabric shops near the Mapusa markey for ₨ 300 or bring one from home.
If you have a decent scooter or bigger bike and a helmet you can travel almost anywhere in goa, but drive carefully: dogs, goats, cows and even elephants are wandering on the roads which are someplace falling apart.
you'll find many travel agencies in Anjuna where you can book plane, train or bus tickets, check schedule, confirm your flight, etc. one of the most reliable can be found on the post office street. - from main road, on the way to Mapusa, turn right between the 2 two speed breakers, then go straight and you'll see a change rates sign on the right side of the road, the agency is right there on the right side- by the way this agency has one of the best change rates in Anjuna.