goaIf you plan to visit Goa in India, here’s what you should shy away from. By Gauri Retarekar.

Somebody once said, “The kind of a vacation you have will primarily depend upon not whether you know what exactly to do but more so on what not to waste your time in doing.” Every time you are on a holiday, chances are that you will end up wasting a lot of time and money on useless pursuits. So if you are visiting Goa in India, here are some of the things you are better off not doing.

Ignore Bagga and Calangute

Mention Goa and the first thing that people suggest is visiting Bagga and Calangute beaches. But the truth is Goa offers a lot more than just these two beaches. The true spirit and colors of Goa are found in the beaches of the South Goa like Utorda, Majorda, and Palolim. North Goa too has a few good beaches, but Bagga and Calangute are definitely not them. These could only be a paradise for a shopping spree, but nothing more than that. Try Anjuna, Vagatore or Morjim instead.

Getting Inked

Getting a permanent tattoo is something most of the tourists look forward to while scheduling a trip to Goa. But, getting a local tattoo-wala in Goa is a bad idea. A proper tattoo parlor happens to be the only safe place where you can get one done without fear of being infected. So why waste your time getting one from Goa when such parlors have mushroomed in cities all over the world? Cross this one out of your to-do-in-Goa list without second thoughts.

Visiting Goa during Christmas/New Year

Why visit Goa during Christmas or the New Year’s when the state is so jam-packed with tourists that most properties are selling for more than triple their original costs and there is a little chance you’ll enjoy your private time?

Ever heard of Sao Juao? It is the most fun-filled festival celebrated in Goa during July/August. The festival marks the beginning of rains and so involves soaking in rains, eating and drinking local delicacies, and of course, dancing all through the three-day long celebration. Sao Juao falls during the ‘non-season’ in Goa, and hence most resorts and hotels eagerly dole out packages for the festival at almost half the cost, inclusive of food and events typical to the festival.

Myths about North East

While Goa happens to the most popular destination of the country, travel destinations in the North Eastern corner of India happen to be the least explored of all. That doesn’t mean they are any less beautiful. On the contrary, these virgin beauties preserve their scenic splendor and offer the most diverse flora, fauna, and cultural extravaganza ever. But when in the North East, pay no heed to the following suggestions.

All National Parks Are the Same

Most people believe that all national parks and sanctuaries are just the same. So visiting one should just about sum up their encounter with the wild in the North East. But that is such a serious fallacy. Be it Nameri or Kaziranga, Manas or Orang, they all have their own set of attractions, in terms of the activities, flora, and fauna they offer. Make sure you do your homework and then choose the ones that interest you the most.

North East is All about Bamboo

The variety and quality of handicraft and handloom that the north eastern tourist spots have in offering is incomparable to any other region of India. Apart from bamboo, you can also look for brightly colored shawls from Nagaland and Mizoram, gem stones, cane-craft, cotton handloom, Assam silk, traditional gold ornaments, teak wood furniture, and crystal decorative and glassware.

Gangtok Zoo – a Must Watch

The most beautiful part of Gangtok is perhaps its open-air zoo spread over a large area on a hill with plenty of space for each of its inhabitants. Usually, a zoo is a confined space for the animals, but the sloth bears, snow leopards, pandas, civets, and wolves living here still have plenty of space to walk around in their large, close-to-nature enclosures. Sometimes these enclosures are so large that you won’t be able to see the animals without waiting for them to emerge from the woods. A family of pandas, a family of bears, a bunch of civets, and even a snow leopard couple are living here. The paths that connect these enclosures go through thick woods and bamboo groves running for several kilometers. The cool weather of Gangtok has allowed a large number of flowers to bloom along these paths, forming bright yellow and purple dots in the woods. It is a zoo unlike any other in India.