Goa Travel Guide
Precaution is Better than Cure! To make your Goa tour
convenient and comfortable, there are some travel tips and
precautions to be taken by you, which are as follows :-
- If traveling by the train, attach your baggage to the berth
with a chain to save it from theft. Do not accept any food item
from strangers in the train/bus.
- Keep your money, passport-visa and other travel documents
(preferably wrapped in plastic to avoid dampness) in a Money
Belt tied to your waist to avoid its visibility.
- Prefer traveler's cheques/ATM cards to money in liquid form
as money exchange and ATM centers are available at most of the
locations in Goa.
- Carry a voltage adapter for your personal electric
appliances. Also check the voltage before using any electric
appliance, as the voltage/power is quite low in Goa.
- Always keep an identity card handy; mentioning your name,
age, blood group, other relevant details and contact phone
numbers for use in case of emergency.
- Beware of touts and never keep your articles unattended on
- Always go for mineral water, fresh seafood dishes and wash
hands with soap before having your breakfast/lunch/dinner.
- Never go for money exchange through private dealers,
instead; prefer banks or government/authentic institutions.
Similarly hire a metered taxi/motorcycle taxi/auto rickshaw to
avoid wastage of money.
- Keep in mind that possession and trade of drugs (hard or
soft) is totally illegal in Goa. If caught red-handed, 10 years
rigorous imprisonment in jail and Rs 10,000 fine is imposed on
you by the Goa Police without any scope for bail.
- Purchasing articles made from animal skin of rare and
endangered species is banned in Goa so avoid buying such
articles from roadside shops or sellers.
- Always consult a lifeguard while venturing into the sea.
Remember that nudity on beaches and public places are prohibited
in Goa and punishable under the law. Avoid going for even
permissible sex through sex workers due to high risk of AIDS.
- Keep your driving licence, passport, visa and other
necessary documents with you while driving and follow the
traffic rules to avoid mishaps and inconvenience.
Due to the change of water and climate, the tourists may suffer from
chronic/acute stomach upset so they are required to take the
necessary precautions and ensure that the required vaccinations are
done. It is advisable to plan your vaccinations well in advance,
consulting a doctor, before starting your tour to Goa. In India you
also require essentially, the yellow fever vaccination especially
when you are entering India from an infected area. Keep your feet
clean and dry and prevent walking barefoot to prevent fungal and
Passport and Visa
The tourists can go for any of the six visas available with them -
Business Visa (issued for a month or six months), Student Visa
(valid for one year or the duration of opted course in India),
Conference Visa (for attending international conferences in India),
Transit Visa (issued for maximum 15 days with single/double entry
facilities), Journalist Visa (issued to professional
journalists/photojournalists) and Employment Visa (issued to the
foreign professionals working in Indian organizations).
Getting the Indian Visa
- The visa application with pasted passport size photographs
should be submitted along with a passport valid for a minimum of
six months beyond the date of intended departure from India.
- The foreign nationals should submit a proof of long-term
stay (at least three years)/ permanent residence) in the country
from where they are applying for Indian Visa. References are
also to be produced in addition to the residence proof.
- The visa fee/charges and the processing duration depend
totally on the nationality of the passport holder and the
type/duration of visa applied for. The charges are refundable
only if the visa already issued is cancelled thereafter.
Registration Of Foreigners
Foreigners visiting India with a visa valid for more than 180 days
should register themselves at the nearest foreigners' registration
office in Goa within the fortnight following their arrival in India.
They have to undergo registration only once during the validity of
Indian Visa. They can leave and re-enter India as many times as they
want, only if their visa is a multi-entry visa. They can also extend
their tourist visas for a maximum of three months at the foreigners'
registration office at Panaji. They have to surrender their
registration certificate, which is mandatory, at the time of their
final departure from India.
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Useful Articles by real travelers:
The Debate on Malaria Tablets & Vaccinations...
The most pesky holiday pest: mosquitoes - Goaby JessH
Luggage And Bags: Goa is relatively safe, but in crowded
"touristy" areas such as the markets - we found it useful to have
deep pockets with zippers or bags that we could hold close to our
bodies. We avoided rucksacks/backpacks simply because they're too
easy to open & steal the contents.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: A good pair of
sneakers/walking shoes is recommended. As soon as you venture away
from the beaches and the main road, the paths are rocky & bumpy.
Toiletries & Medical Supplies: There's a lot of confusion,
conflicting reports & split opinions about whether or not Malaria
tablets are necessary when travelling to Goa. It's everyone's
personal decision, all I can give you is the facts & info from
personal experience: The risk of malaria in Goa is very low compared
with the rest of India. It's such a low risk because you are near
the coast. The general rule stands in all tropical countries: the
further inland you travel (the more "jungle" there is around you),
the higher your risk of catching Malaria. So it really depends on
how high-risk the area you are visiting is. The side effects of the
Malaria tablets make many people feel very ill. Apparently, the
weekly tablets make you feel worse than the daily ones (but I cannot
speak from personal experience as we opted for sprays & creams, and
didn't take the tablets).
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: Mosquitoes are of course most
active at night, but dusk is the most dangerous time as they
literally "swarm" when the sun sets. We sprayed ourselves with
mosquito repellent every night, and most hotels provide mosquito
nets if you want to sleep with the windows open
Miscellaneous: Before we went to Goa, we got our
VACCINATIONS for: > Tetanus > Polio > Hepatitis A Some also advise
getting immunized against Typhoid/Cholera, but this is not
compulsory. You may need to declare if you have been in a known
yellow fever area prior to entering India. But the actual Yellow
fever vaccination certificate is not required. The bottom line is:
Malaria is not a disease to play around with: ask or your doctor's
advice, and take it. Not taking anti-malarials where they are
indicated will put you at greater risk. Fact is: Malaria is a killer
and should not be taken lightly. The symptoms of malaria can appear
many months after leaving the malarious region. Any flu like
symptoms, especially within the first few months after returning
from the region should result in you visiting your doctor and
mentioning where you have travelled too to rule out malaria.
Updated By JessH on April 18, 2006
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What you need and don't need
Bring the largest hand luggage you can and pack the heavy stuff
in there on the way home. We bought so much we had to buy new hand
luggage bags just to fit it all in!
Girls don't take your high heels, the roads are very uneven and
there is no such thing as a pavement. I lived in flips flops for the
whole forntnight. Take a pair of the cheap plastic ones for daytime
as the ground is the colour of chilli powder and will ruin anything
nice. Then buy the fancy ones when you get there for night time.
They have hundreds everywhere you look in every colour you could
want. Also don't take trousers because if they touch the floor they
will be stained with the red dust. Skirts and flip flops are the
best bet. Daytime whatever you wear will end up filthy, the dust
from the ground coats your skin and you clothes so take things that
are easy to wash. But pack light as there is so much to buy.
Wet wipes are a must, take as many as you can carry and keep some
in the fridge. It gets so hot and dusty you will want to wipe your
face down about 50 times a day and the result will be a very brown
wet wipe when you're done. Also take something for your stomach if
you're planning on eating lots of local food and not used to the
spice or the malaria tablets may upset your stomach.
Take sterling. i was advised by my travel company to take US$
which was completely wrong. You can even pay with sterling in some
places and in the airport you will be bombarded for pound coins.
By majallen on November 21, 2004
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As most hotel rooms have a fridge in them with a small freezer
compartment, ice bags come in handy. Just fill them with bottled
water and then you can have a nice cool drink in your room, with ice
cubes, without fear of spending the next day in the bathroom!
By Cat1976 on August 20, 2005
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