5 Best Things to Do in Anjuna, Goa

Of all the over-crowded and dirty places in North Goa there is one destination that somehow stands out for its own signature style is Anjuna. The quaint by-lanes leading to the beach is picturesque with lined up Portuguese style row houses, cosy cafeterias, and shops where one can stumble upon some rare vintage treasure. The eclectic ensemble offered by Anjuna makes it one of the must visit stops in your Goa itinerary. Rest of the North Goa can be skipped in a heartbeat. Anjuna is a small place and shouldn't take more than one day to cover; unless you really wish to explore more. Personally I had exactly 24 hours to spare and based on my experience here is my list of top 5 things to do in Anjuna in one day.

1. Visit the weekly flea market

Any travel enthusiast is well aware of the famous Anjuna flea market. And needless to say, it tops the list. This market had started off as a weekly market for the foreigners who used to gather around to exchange their own collection of vintage or hippie knickknacks. Then it expanded with time. Number of shops grew exponentially, making it a full-fledged one stop destination for the shopaholics from all across the globe. You can get everything like Tibetan artifacts, export surplus clothes, banjara artwork, beaded jewellery, home decor, spices. But the market follows a strict time schedule. It takes place every Wednesday only. It opens early in the morning and wraps up by 6.30 sharp in the evening. I was late to arrive and had only one hour to spare so I did not get a lot of chance to explore. One shop selling banjara artwork from Karnataka caught my eye so I shopped mostly from there. And since it was closing time I got some really good deal without having to haggle much. Bargaining hard is the most important mantra while shopping here. I felt the  prices were quite steep here. Which was a boon in disguise as I did not end up going home with a pile of crap.

2. Go to Curlie's

You cannot possibly miss Curlie's while roamign around Anjuna as they have put up signboards with directions all over the place. I was told once upon a time Curlie's was the most popular 'party' destination in Goa; if you know what I mean. However, I have never been a drug enthusiast and after having attended one of the Goa parties I had no interest in indulging myself into unnecessary torture upon my soul. My trip to Goa has proved and put an official seal on the fact that I am a strict introvert and partying is not my forte. However one can simply spend a quiet evening on the rooftop of Curlie's. If you are an adult woman happen to be there on a ladies' special night they might offer you unlimited free Corona during the happy hours. If you are luckier you might even bump into the many resident rottweilers and get a chance to pet them to your heart's content. Don't be alarmed, they are extremely obese and docile. And if you still feel apprehensive the free beer will help you to become absolutely confident while fiddling with giant rottweilers.

3. Spend night in one of the Portuguese heritage hotels

During season time getting a room at Anjuna on short notice might be next to impossible. So is finding a spot to park your car. So try to book the hotels in advance. Try booking.com or Oyo where the heritage properties will be listed. The small heritage houses turned hotels are the best options to spend one night at Anjuna. Next morning go back to Curlie's to have breakfast.

4. Explore the beach

Anjuna beach is not very specious and the geographical position makes the beach very windy and full of gigantic waves. I was overly cautious while walking as the waves were strong enough to throw one on the big rocks scattered all across the shore. If the hazardous rocks were one impediment then the second thing would be the hawkers. Local women selling trinkets on the beach could be annoying enough to drive tourists mad. Not to mention they will try to con you at every chance. Be on your guard.

5. Visit the nearby places

Beaches like Baga, Calangute or Vagator are very near from Anjuna. Although personally I would discourage anyone to take that option. Vagator alone was repulsive enough for me. Instead go to Parra. This small village is a favourite among Bollywood directors for its picture postcard appeal. But here also be ready to come across dumbass Indian tourists. We came across several morons sitting right in the middle of the road posing for the perfect shot. The psychopath in me was relishing the mental picture of running them over.