It’s true, what you’ve read in the papers. Like a well-worn lover, Goa isn’t carrying middle age very well. It’s been 55 years since her independence, but the concrete jungle is quickly spreading, garbage is strewn everywhere and the industrial complex is making inroads into the lives of those who call Goa home. The romance of the sussegad lifestyle is showing cracks and leaving many disenchanted, including tourists. But if you’re willing to slow down and stay off the beaten track, you’ll find the beauty and character of Goa nestled in the details that reveal themselves to you— only if you are patient. If you’re keen to step off the usual conveyor belt of sightseeing staples, here are some of my favourite things to see and do while still having a memorable stay.
Find a village homestay
The image of Goa that tends to stick in people’s minds is of booze-fuelled partying and beach-swims. But the best way to see Goa is to wander through its villages on a two-wheeler or, better yet, a bicycle. Find a village that speaks to you and set up camp in one of the family-run guest houses that advertise rooms with signposts on their front gates. Tucked away in one of those villages, you’ll find yourself waking up to charming birdsong and the clarion call of the local poder (bake