Goa – Where Old Hippies Go To Die

Goa - where old hippies go to dieIf you grew up around hippies in the 1960s or 1970s you probably heard some stoned dude with a beard longer than an Imam’s talking about Goa and the scene there. The smallest state in India was and is a veritable Mecca for those interested in exotic culture, far out spiritual experience and unregulated drug and alcohol experiences. In the 1980’s Goa seemed to take a turn as a holiday spot for the jetset, but one thing is for sure no matter what decade you come from – Goa has a rep as a party spot that causes a lot of people to shun its potential for wildlife tourism, a safe exotic destination for families or solo travelers.

Goa has always seemed like a place that hippies from Western cultures would go to let loose. A place of hedonistic pleasure and fulfilling the desire for the exotic. To be honest, the past few years, I’ve avoided it because it seemed to be one of those places where young backpackers go to enjoy being away from home for the first time, but in truth – there really is a lot more to Goa than I’d imagined.

Sure, young Brits love to take low cost flights to Goa and it is all of those things I mentioned above, but there are layers to Goa. It has always been one of the top holiday destinations in India and there is a reason it is a top visited place among tourists, vacationers and honeymooners. In a word, Goa is amazing.

Goa Hippie ParadiseDuring the holiday period, Goa is filled with large numbers of tourists from all around the world and of course, the major attractions are the beaches in Goa. Goa beaches are where you can have a perfect holiday trip and everyone knows it. Some of the well known beaches are Palolem Beach, Baga Beach, Candolim beach, Dona Paula Beach and Anjuna beach. Parties, adventure activities and of course, plenty of beach time.

The beaches though, aren’t everything. There are also monuments, churches and wildlife sanctuaries in Goa. Panaji, Mapusa, Dona Paula and Margaon are just a few of the many cities and regions you can visit. Panaji is the capital of Goa and offers architecture, monuments and a lively and interesting culture. Mapusa, the third largest city in Goa is famous for its Friday market and crafts. Dona Paula is a well known beach lover’s paradise – famous for honeymoons. Margaon is a clean, fresh city filled with green spaces. Each place in Goa has its own rich history.
When you are looking for something to do in Goa though, look no further than the water. Snorkeling, Wind Surfing, Speed boating, Canoeing, Para Sailing and more are available. For the land minded you can book jungle safaris into your holiday package.

For the cultural traveler, you will find exotic cuisine, lively festivals and a nightlife that is up to the wildest of expectations. Want to see more of Goa? Why not cruise to Grande Island, St. George Island, Devagh Island, Pigeon Island, Candolim, Calangute, Arossim, Utorda, Mobor or Dona Paula beach?

One thing is for sure, Goa is a world of its own and there is plenty there for even the most intrepid of adventurers but if you are looking for hippies, drum circles and that whole vibe – you will still find it in Goa. It’s where old hippies go to die and young hippies go to find gurus.

The photos in this post are ccImages from the Flickr photostreams of Slavasizov, Iain Tait and Nimboo

Vago Damitio

Vago Damitio

Vago Damitio  (@vagodamitio) is the Editor-in-Chief for Vagobond. He jumped ship from a sinking dotcom in 2000 and decided to reclaim his most valuable commodity, time. He bought a VW bus for $100, moved into it and set out on a journey to show the world that it was possible to live life on your own terms. That journey took him from waking up under icy blankets in  the Pacific Northwest to waking up under palm tress in Southeast Asia. Three years later, his first book, Rough Living: Tips and Tales of a Vagabond was published. After diving into the Anthropology of Tourism and Electronic Anthropology at the University of Hawaii (with undeclared minors in film and surf) he hit the road again in 2008. Since that time,he's lived primarily in Morocco and Turkey, married a Moroccan girl he couchsurfed with, and become a proud father. He's been to more than 40 countries, founded a successful online travel magazine (this one!), and still doesn't have a boss. Life is good. You can also find him on Google+ and at Facebook

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