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Spring Break: Anjuna Beach, Goa

by Akhil Kalepu

Nov 26, 2014

Anjuna Beach, Goa, India © Francocogoli | Dreamstime

Spring Break

Goa is a popular destination for travelers from Indian and foreign travelers, and if you are looking for an exotic Spring Break destination, look no further than Anjuna Beach, a little-known town with a history of attracting party-seeking Westerners.

 

Originally a Portuguese colony, Goa became a hippie enclave in the ‘60s and ‘70s, attracting expatriates from America and Europe. Colva Beach was where the first hippies made their landing, but the “Goa scene” got its real start when an American expatriate named “Eight Finger” Eddie heard about a little-known spot called Anjuna.

 

There are hostels and guesthouses that line the beach and nearby back roads, most of them costing no more than 1,000–1,500 rupees a night. When it comes to food, the town’s history of attracting foreigners means there are all kinds of restaurants with food at a cheap price. Avalon Sunset is one such place, offering a variety of international cuisines that will cost about 100 rupees for a meal. The restaurant is part of a hotel that has free WiFi, and they also rent out bikes, which is highly recommended for getting around fast. Goa’s low tax on liquor means alcohol is much cheaper here than in the rest of India. Heidi’s Beer Garden is a popular watering hole, serving authentic German food for around 400 rupees and more than 40 types of imported beer.

 

One of the most fascinating places to visit is the Anjuna Flea Market, open Wednesdays 12–5 p.m. Legend has it “Eight Finger” Eddie founded the market in 1975, after he and his friends spent all their money and needed to barter for supplies. Today, vendors are a mix between locals and expatriates, selling everything from hammocks to handmade jewelry to bootleg DVDs. The prices inflated since Goa became a tourist destination, but you can still find unique, inexpensive items like a yak wool hoodie for only a few hundred rupees. On Saturday night there is a vibrant market in Arpora also worth checking out.

 

Goa is perhaps best known for Anjuna’s full moon dance parties. The early expatriates began the scene by throwing beach parties, powered by the psychedelic rock they brought from home. As electronic music became popular, these influences combined with the hippie aesthetic gave birth to Goa trance, which by the ‘90s became the de facto soundtrack for full moon raves. If you are looking to do some dancing, check out Curlies and Shiva Palace, two popular beachfront bars that serve food in the daytime and host weekly parties at night. Though, if you ask around, you are sure to find a number of party spots on any given night.

 

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