Goa is a state on the southwestern coast of India within the region known as the Konkan. It is India’s smallest state by area and the fourth-smallest by population. Goa is divided mainly into two parts, North Goa and South Goa. There are many places to visit in Goa which include famous beaches, churches, and many old structures. Goa tourism is famous all over the world
In ancient literature, Goa was known by many names, such as Gomanchala, Gopakapattana, Gopakapattam, Gopakapuri, Govapuri, Govem, and Gomantak. Other historical names for Goa are Sindapur, Sandabur, and Mahassapatam.
North Goa is especially for a group of friends, solo travelers, and party lovers, whereas South Goa is more of a family place. Here in this blog, we have shortlisted the top 10 must-visit places in Goa.
1. Calangute Beach
Timings: Open 24×7
Calangute Beach is situated at a distance of 14 km from Panjim Kadamba Bus Stand, 10 km from Mapusa and 41 km from Vasco Da Gama Railway Station, It is the largest in North Goa and visited by thousands of tourists. The peak tourist season here is during Christmas and New Year, and during the summer in May. During the monsoon season, from June through September, the sea can be rough and swimming is prohibited. The beach offers water sport activities like parasailing water skiing etc. Apart from enjoying the beach, you can also visit St. Alex Church and the famous Tinto market in Calangute.
2. Baga Beach
Timings: Open 24×7
Baga Beach is a popular beach situated at a distance of 15 km from Panjim Kadamba Bus stand. It is located at the north end of the contiguous beach stretch that starts from Sinquerim, Candolim, leads to Calangute, and then to Baga. You can sit here and relax while enjoying Goan cuisines at beach shacks. It is the most visited beach of goa after the Calangute Beach.
3. Basilica of Bom Jesus
Timings: Monday to Saturday 09:00 am to 06:30 pm and Sunday 10:00 am to 06:30 pm
The Bom Jesus Basilica, perhaps Goa’s most famous church is part of the Churches and convents of Goa UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is situated at a distance of 9 km from Panjim Kadamba Bus Stand and 27 km from Vasco Da Gama Railway Station, the church is located in Old Goa, which was the capital of Goa in the early days of Portuguese rules. The basilica holds the mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier. The construction of the church was started in 1594 and ended in 1605. Bom Jesus means good Jesus or infant Jesus and the church is dedicated to him. It and is more than 400 years old and is open to the public every day.
4. Aguada Fort
Timings: Everyday10:00 am to 5:30 pm
Fort Aguada is a well-preserved seventeenth-century Portuguese fort, along with a lighthouse. The Fort was built by the Portuguese colonial rulers at the Sinquerim beach located south of Candolim. It was built in 1612. A freshwater spring within the fort provided water supply to the ships that used to stop by. This is how the fort got its name Aguada, meaning Water. Fort Aguada was the most prized and crucial fort of Portuguese.
5. Shri Shantadurga Temple
Shri Shantadurga Temple is a Private temple complex belonging to Goud Saraswat Brahmin community It is situated 33 km from Panjim Kadamba Bus Stand, 34 km from Vasco Da Gama Railway Station and 20 km from Margao Railway Station. Shree Shantadurga temple has an impressive idol of Goddess Shree Durga who mediated between Shree Vishnu(Hindu God) and Shree Shiva(Hindu God) and stopped the fierce full war going on between the two.
6. Chorao Island
Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary timings: Everyday 06:00 a.m to 06:00 p.m
Chorão is an island along the Mandovi River near Ilhas. It is the largest among the other 17 islands of Goa. It is located 8 kilometers away from Panaji and 10 kilometers away from the city of Mapusa. This island is true to its Sanskrit name meaning ‘Stunning Precious Stone’. It is mainly known for its beautiful bird sanctuary. By visiting Chorao island you can explore a very interesting ancient history of Brahmin and Portuguese colonizers.
7. Grand Island
Grand Island is located 19 kilometers from Panjim true to its name. It is amongst the most offbeat yet adventurous tourist places in Goa. It offers a grand experience to the lovers of watersports as it is home to excellent Scuba Diving sites. Suzy’s Wreck, Shelter Cove and Bounty Bay are some of the Scuba Diving sites around Grand Island.
8. St. Augustine Church
Timings: Monday to Friday 6:30 am – 12:45 pm and 4:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Church of St. Augustine is a ruined church complex located in Old Goa. The church was built on top of the Monte Santo (Holy Hill), between 1597 and 1602 by Augustinian friars. It is part of the World Heritage Site, Churches and convents of Goa. The church had four towers out of which only one remains. The remaining tower is a four-storied structure built of laterite and 46 m in height. Excavations show that the complex had eight chapels, four altars, and a convent.
9. Casino Palms
Timings: Open 24 hours
Palms the most famous casinos in Goa where you can try your luck. It is on the Calangute beach in North Goa. You can enjoy games like roulette and other electronic games here. There is also a chic bar and plush lounges inside the casino where you can enjoy the nightlife.
10. Club Tito’s
Timings: Daily 06:00 p.m to 03:00 a.m
Tito’s is a name worth its reputation in Goa. This club is one of the oldest and most renowned bars in Goa. Right on Calangute beach, It has a perfect setting and a great ambiance. The food is good. Live performances add flavor to an already great place. Prices are on the higher side, like everything else in Goa. In the night time, service is rather slow. Music is loud, but that is the case with every place in Goa.
The Haunted Catacombs of Paris
The Catacombs of Paris are underground ossuaries in Paris, France, which is one of the most haunted places on the Earth. It holds the remains of more than six million people in a small part of a tunnel network built to consolidate Paris’ ancient stone mines. They’re some of the creepiest and most taboo places on the planet. For a city of lights that is known worldwide for its fashion, romance, and culture, Paris is hiding a dark secret. These little-known facts about the vast Catacombs of Paris will leave you puzzled.
The Catacombs remained largely bygone until it became a novelty place for concerts and private events in the early 19th century. After further reconstructions around Place Denfert-Rochereau, it was open to public visitation from 1874.
Paris’s original spot to be bury was at Saints Innocents, the city’s oldest and most used graveyard. But in the 18th century, the cemeteries were running out of space. If that wasn’t bad enough, some bodies weren’t buried properly and were spreading disease. So the Parisian officials chose to condemn the city’s cemeteries and move the remains they contained elsewhere. So all of them were taken to their final resting place which is now known as the Catacombs of Paris. The Catacombs of Paris became a curiosity for more privileged Parisians from their creation.
Every day, thousands of Parisians and tourists are unaware that they’re walking directly above a long series of underground tunnels that house 6 million skeletons. A dark history that often goes without notice as busybodies commute to work going about their daily antics whilst a mysterious world exists below. The tunnels are known as the Paris Catacombs.
Although the catacombs offered space to bury the dead, they presented disadvantages to building structures because the catacombs are directly under the main streets, so large foundations cannot be built. For this reason, there are only a few tall buildings in this area. Skulls upon skulls. Bones perfectly arranged by hand to form ongoing, never-ending walls made of skeleton pieces. What’s truly shocking is how many bones have actually been deposited there. This may seem odd to some visitors, but the whole experience is quite repetitive due to the large volume of bones that never seems to end.
A group of urban explorers known as Cataphiles has also spent vast amounts of time within the depths of the Catacombs for their own enjoyment and adventure. They have also created maps so that people who visit there don’t get lost in the vast tunnels.
Apart from bones, there’s some pretty good wine on offer within the catacombs, too. There was a case in 2017 when a gang of French thieves drilled through the walls of the Catacombs into a nearby vault, which was located under an apartment and contained around 300 bottles of vintage wine. After this, the Catacombs were closed to the public during September 2009 and reopened on 19th December of the same year.
Now it is open to public visitation as a museum. So you can also visit there if you want to.
Tourism in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands
Tourism in Andaman and Nicobar Islands relates to the journey in one of the seven union territories of India.
The Andamans is an archipelago of over 570 tropical islands, of which only 36 are inhabited. Radhanagar Beach at Havelock Island was bestowed with the title of ‘Asia’s Best Beach’ in 2004 by the TIME magazine. It is also listed as the world’s 7th most spectacular beach on Time magazine list.
So, if you are willing to pack your bags & jump right into this one of the Union Territories of India, you’ve come to the right place. Here, in this article, we’ll tell you everything about Andaman & Nicobar Islands & leave no questions unanswered.
Andaman and Nicobar have approximately 86 percent of the forest area of its total land. The forests constitute an integral wing of the natural resource of Andaman and Nicobar and it houses 96 Sanctuaries and 9 National Parks.
The primary sanctuaries that form a part of the natural resources of Andaman and Nicobar islands are Narcondum Hornbill Sanctuary, which protects hornbills; Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park, which features a large variety of aquatic creatures; Nicobar Pigeon Sanctuary; South Sentinel Island Sanctuary, offering giant robber crabs; and North Reef Sanctuary, which is principally dedicated to the nurturing of a variety of water birds.
So, let’s see the five best places in Andaman & Nicobar Islands:
1. Ross Island
Ross Island, officially known as Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Island, is an island of the Andaman Islands. It belongs to the South Andaman administrative district, Andaman and Nicobar Islands. In April 1979, the island was handed over to the Navy, which set up a small post, INS Jarawa, named after one of the indigenous tribes of the Andaman group of islands.
2. Viper Island
Viper Island is an island of the Andaman Islands. It belongs to the South Andaman district of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Viper Island derives its name from the vessel H.M.S. Viper in which Lt. Archibald Blair came to Andaman and Nicobar Islands in 1789. The vessel, it is believed, met with an accident and its wreckage was found near the island. This small island was the site of the jail where the British used to imprison convicts and political prisoners. It has the ruins of a gallows atop a hillock. The Island is a serene beautiful tourist destination situated near Port Blair’s harbor and can be approached in 20 minutes from the Phoenix Bay jetty. The Harbor Cruise, available daily from the jetty, provides an overall view of different points of the harbor and a trip to this haunted Viper Island. This place is visited by a number of tourists as it has multiple attractions with historical importance and also has mesmerizing picnic spots with natural picturesque environments.
3. Radhanagar Beach
Radhanagar Beach is a popular tourist place in Andaman. It is among the seven best beaches in the world. It’s a must visit tourist destination in Andaman. It is situated on the western coast, also known as Number 7 Beach, which is one of the most popular beaches on Havelock and was named “Best Beach in Asia” by Time in 2004.
4. Baratang Island
Baratang Island is an island of the Andaman Islands. It belongs to the North and Middle Andaman administrative district, part of the Indian union territory of Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The island lies 150 km (93 miles) north of Port Blair. It has very few private accommodations. Panchayat, Forest and PWD guest houses are also available. Visitors should book well in advance for a confirmed reservation. It’s a budding destination, Most tourist visit on the same day trip to this Island due to lack of proper accommodation. The major attractions are the limestone caves, the Mud volcano, Parrot Island, and Baludera Beach. The Jarawas, also allure many tourists each year. While driving through the dense forests on the Andaman Trunk Road, it is possible to encounter a Jarawa. Until 1998 the Jarawas managed to keep their distance from the outside world for thousands of years. But a highway running through their homeland which draws several hundred tourists each year.
5. Cellular Jail
The Cellular Jail, also known as Kālā Pānī (Black Water), was a colonial prison. The prison was used by the British especially to exile political prisoners to the remote archipelago. Many notable dissidents such as Batukeshwar Dutt and Veer Savarkar, among others, were imprisoned here during the struggle for India’s independence. Today, the complex serves as a national memorial monument.
Top 10 Best Places to Visit in Thailand
Thailand, also known as the Land of Smiles, is a jewel of Southeast Asia. Developed enough to provide most comforts yet still wild enough to offer off-the-beaten-path adventure.
Thailand is a country ripe with opportunities for once-in-a-lifetime travel experiences. Whether you start with the world-class beaches in the south or the mountain villages in the north, Thailand will not disappoint.
Cities like Bangkok and Chiang Mai are bustling hives of activity and commerce, but you haven’t really seen the country until you’ve trekked in the mountains or enjoyed some face-time with elephants or the bold monkeys (who will steal your lunch as soon as look at you). Thailand’s attractions are diverse and each provides a rewarding and memorable experience in its own way.
1. Railay Beach
Krabi province is home to some of Thailand’s most famous beach destinations, and Railay is the cream of the crop. Widely considered one of the best beaches in the country, Railay delivers on promises of white sand beaches, clear blue water, and a feeling that you’ve found a slice of paradise. You have to take a boat to reach the island getaway, with services available from Krabi town and Ao Nang.
The beaches are the main reason to visit Railay, but it’s also a rock-climbing hotspot. Railay’s karst peaks draw adventurers both experienced and novice to try their hand at climbing the towering limestone cliffs. Among the many other active things to do, you can go elephant trekking, whitewater rafting, kayaking, and snorkeling, or take on some lighter options such as cooking classes and indulging in a massage. There’s also the tourist-friendly Diamond Cave, with a convenient walkway to accommodate curious visitors looking to do some exploring between stretches of sunbathing.
2. Koh Phi Phi Islands
The Phi Phi Islands, also in Krabi, are one of Thailand’s most popular resort areas for a reason. Only Phi Phi Don is inhabited, with day trips available to the surrounding islands. One of the fun spots on Koh Phi Phi is Monkey Beach, where you’ll come face-to-face, literally, with the namesake creatures. You can hire a guide to take you out on a small wooden boat or rent your own kayak. There’s also a small stand where you can buy snacks and fruit shakes, but hang onto your treats. If you leave them unguarded, the monkeys will brazenly dig in and chow down right in front of you. Long Beach is another nice spot on the island; it’s not a secluded place but is great for watching the sunset. If you’re lucky and the tide is out, it’s a beautiful walk back toward the main part of the island.
Tour operators offer packages for snorkeling and diving trips, as well as excursions to the infamous Maya Bay, where the Leonardo DiCaprio movie The Beach was filmed. Because Koh Phi Phi draws so many tourists, there are plenty of tour companies arranging tickets to other beach destinations, such as Phuket, Koh Chang, and Koh Lanta. Though you would hardly know to see it now, Phi Phi Don was one of the areas hit hard by the 2004 tsunami. Guesthouses, restaurants, and markets have been rebuilt and crowds still come in droves to the resort island. There is a small, somber memorial park to honor those who died in the tragedy, yet the resort areas appear otherwise revived.
3. The Grand Palace, Bangkok
Even if your plans for Thailand mainly involve frolicking on a beach, cozying up to elephants, and eating as much Massaman curry and tom ka gai as humanly possible, you’ll probably spend at least a day or two in Bangkok. There’s plenty to see and do in the capital, but it’s perhaps best to start with the Grand Palace. This is the number one sightseeing attraction in the city, and it’s staggering in historical significance and craftsmanship. The grounds are a maze of royal halls, temples, and ancient relics, the most important being Wat Phra Kaeo, Temple of the Emerald Buddha. A relic within this temple is said to be a piece of bone or hair from the enlightened Buddha himself. Allow several hours to do the Grand Palace justice, but if you’re up for more walking afterward, you can easily take in some of the city’s other major landmarks. The famous Wat Po and Wat Arun, the Temple of the Dawn (a great place to watch the sunset), are also nearby. And as Bangkok is the main hub for international travel, it’s a great starting point for excursions throughout the country.
4. Tha Pae Walking Street, Chiang Mai
Every Thailand visitor looks forward to cheap and delicious food, and it can be found in abundance at Chiang Mai’s Sunday Night Walking Street. Vendors sell all kinds of treats: pad Thai, Chicken Satay, Samosas, Crab Cakes, Fried Bananas, Sweet Rotis, and fresh fruit shakes – often for less than $2 a piece. When you’ve satisfied your culinary cravings, you can peruse hundreds of stalls selling an array of unique goods such as all-natural soaps, hand-dyed textiles bearing the unique patterns of local hill tribes, incense and essential oils, musical instruments, paintings, wall hangings, and more.
The market gets crowded every week without fail, no matter what time of year you’re visiting, so brace yourself and try to enjoy being part of the throng. This is a must-do in Chiang Mai and is an essential part of the Thailand experience. If you’re not around for the Sunday market, or just want to get a taste of other market experiences in Chiang Mai, check out the Saturday Night Walking Street or the Night Bazaar on Chang Klan Road, a daily event. For something less touristy, check out the daytime Warorot Market, near Mae Ping River.
Thailand’s reputation as a country of beautiful landscapes and friendly people is thanks largely to the world-renowned southern beaches. Most people don’t realize that the vast north is also home to breathtaking landscapes, though these are of a different nature entirely. Northern Thailand, particularly the western region near the Burmese border, is marked by mountainous jungle terrain that is both rugged and beautiful. Pai, in Mae Hong Son province, is a perfect place from which to enjoy the country’s natural beauty as well as the famed Thai hospitality and cooking. This small town has developed a reputation as a mecca for hippies and backpackers, though you will see locals and families here as well. There is a small nightly walking street market, a variety of local and Western foods, and easy access to nearby temples, waterfalls, and the impressive Pai canyon. There is an air of cheerfulness and relaxation as you walk through the tiny town center, and it is this vibe that continues to draw crowds season after season.
6. Khao Yai National Park
Elephants are revered in Thailand, and statues and paintings of them can be seen everywhere you go. There are many tour groups and elephant camps throughout the country allowing you to spend a day or more with the creatures, trekking through the jungle, bathing them, and even getting to help out with their morning feedings. But perhaps more exciting is the chance to see them in their natural environment, and Khao Yai National Park provides a great opportunity to do just that. You’ll see elephants roaming near waterfalls, exotic birds of prey, monkeys, and plenty of other tropical creatures that call the park home. If a one-day stay isn’t enough to take it all in, it’s possible to camp out at the park and get up early enough to watch the sunrise over the lush landscape.
7. Sukhothai Old City
This is a favorite stop for history buffs and photography enthusiasts, as there are many lovely photo ops in this ancient capital of Thailand. Ruins of this old city still stand proud despite enduring centuries of battle and exposure to the elements. Sukhothai’s Old City is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and much has been invested to restore and preserve one of Thailand’s most significant historical sites. Attractions here include many wats, which speak to the country’s long history of Buddhist devotion. Each structure tells its own story of the old society, with relics and influences from other ancient civilizations appearing in the design of each.
8. Historic City of Ayutthaya
Ayutthaya presents a glimpse into the glory of ancient Thailand, where visitors can wander the haunting but romantic ruins of the former capital. After the Sukhothai period, the city was the most important in Thailand, and the old palaces and temples stand as a testament to this. There are also several foreign settlements, where you can gain a greater understanding of the influence other countries had in Thailand at the time. Ayutthaya is located only a short bus trip or train ride from Bangkok, making it convenient for a day trip if you’re pressed for time. If you’re on a more leisurely schedule, plan on spending a few days in the ancient capital and rent a push-bike to tour both the old city and the new.
9. Doi Suthep
Perhaps the best-known wat in Chiang Mai sits atop Doi Suthep, a mountain overlooking Thailand’s northern rose of a city. In a crowd of monks, devout Buddhist followers, and fellow travelers, you’ll have a chance to marvel at intricate religious carvings, observe worship rituals, and gaze out over the ever-growing sprawl of Chiang Mai city. Just be sure to bring a bottle of water and your walking shoes – the staircase to the temple is steep. At the base of the stairs, vendors hawk everything from tasty local treats to goods handmade by villagers from the surrounding mountains. There’s also a shop selling masks, elephant carvings, and home furnishings so you can do some shopping while recovering from the trek up and down the stairs.
You can combine your trip to Doi Suthep with excursions to Doi Pui, a small Hmong village in the mountains. It’s far more touristy than other villages, but if you’re on a tight schedule, this will give you a taste of Hmong culture and a chance to learn more about the hill tribe communities in the region, not to mention purchase some beautiful hand-woven textiles. The Bhubing Palace, open to tourists, is on the way to Doi Pui from Doi Suthep as well.
10. Floating Markets
A visit to one of the floating markets is a fun way to do some shopping and eating while supporting local vendors and observing local commerce in action. Some do seem to cater more to the tourist crowds than to be part of the fabric of local Thais’ daily lives, but there are others that make for a nice authentic travel experience. You’ll need to get up early to visit a floating market, as vendors are out in their long wooden boats first thing in the morning with their goods, fresh fruits, vegetables, spices, and tasty dishes.
There are several floating markets near Bangkok, Amphawa and Damnoen Saduak being among the most popular. You can go it alone or join a guided tour, which can include visits to local houses and shops.
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