Baga, Goa - Package Traveler Central
Trip Start Jan 10, 2008
42Trip End Apr 26, 2008
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I arrived in Baga, checked into my most charming guest house with the nicest man running it (thank you Lonely Planet...); one of my favorite rooms thus far in an old Portuguese house built over 100 years ago. First things first, I headed to the beach, and behold, I could not believe my eyes.
Envision this: tropical sandy beaches, as far in either direction as you can see. Now, place tens of thousands of fat, white, hairy, tattooed, fat, lazy tourists in beach chairs, stacked 5 rows deep, and going on for miles and miles. It was a sight like I have never seen before. The majority of the people here are from Europe, lots from England, and a good share of Russians here as well. Damn near no Americans, except maybe a few younger travelers.
I wandered down the beach, amazed. I came here in part because I heard it was like this, which in honesty, is quite a rarity from what you will normally see in India. I had to see the madness first hand. I must have been laughing out loud for miles and miles down the beach, past hundreds of beach bars with their claim on the hundreds of chairs in front of their shop, serving foreigners beers and pina coladas and mai tais and what not while hawkers give them a kind 10 second rest before trying to shake their hands and sell their goods or clean their sunglasses or offer massages right there in their chairs (can't lie, I got a massage). All truly a sight to behold.
I think the funniest thing about these types of travelers, who booked a trip to exotic India, had great pizza and Chinese food, and got one hell of a tan, is that when they go back home, they get to say to their friends, "I went to India!" Very authentic... That would be like going only to Las Vegas in the US and saying how crazy America is...
One more thing to point out, Europeans and their lack of inhibitions is both the coolest thing ever and the nastiest, most wrong thing ever. I cannot tell a lie, during my miles-long walk along the beach I couldn't help but to notice the ample number of Europeans sunbathing topless. Many a pleasant sight caught my eye. Unfortunately, there are no regulations on who can decide to let it all hang out... not that I am advocating that only young, attractive women should be entitled to this... but spend a few hours gagging at 300 lb. 75 year old women flopping around and you might side with me on this. And I never thought I would be happy to see nasty, nasty men in speedos; only happy because they were not wearing a G-string like half the other nasty dudes here. Man.
These funny things aside, Baga is a fun place, for sure. Tons of young tourists as well, looking to party at beach bars, discos, clubs, you name it. Very good vibe there. My first night while sitting on a crowded dark beach lit by candlelight and fireworks drinking a beer, I was invited over to hang out with some Australians and a Dutch gal, all of whom were scuba divers. Next night cruising around with an Indian friend playing pool, drinking beer in a lounge and smoking sheesha (flavored tobacco-like stuff) out of a hooka.
It's a great place for doing just what all of these package tourists truly came here to do: escape the crappy winter weather back home, sit on a beach, and do nothing. I only spent one day just chilling and reading on the beach, but it was damn close to paradise indeed.