The roads in Goa are bad even by Indian standards. The signs are poor, there is hardly any two-lane road and most highway sections are under construction. There is very poor visibility at nights. Most people seem to prefer travelling by self-driven Rent a Cab. We would suggest taking a local taxi instead. The self-driven cabs are a prime target for the cops and they seem to stop and ticket them for the flimsiest of reasons.
Finding standard Indian vegetarian food is quite easy in Goa. The challenge is to find local/Goan vegetarian dishes. The big cities have a few restaurants that serve vegetarian thali. We tried one at the Anantashram in Vasco and it was exceptional. Tato is a chain serving a wide variety of vegetarian dishes. They have a large selection of pav-bhaji dishes. Navtara is another good chain for Goan vegetarian snacks.
Ginger Goa (Panjim):
1) The place is quite neat and all staff wear mask and all are fully vaccinated.
2) The rooms and bathrooms are clean.
3) The breakfast spread is good and is served early – starts at 7:30 am.
4) They have a laundry service.
5) The internet speed is good. The basic internet is free which is good enough for casual browsing.
6) The staff is courteous.
7) The hotel location is good. It is a very short walk to the Fontainhas from here and at the same time, it is very easy to get in/out of Panjim from the hotel.
8) There are a decent number of eateries next to the hotel.
9) Like most Ginger hotels, there is a good travel desk and they helped us with our travel needs.
10) The a la carte service is available through out the day and the choices and taste are good.
11) The tariff is reasonable.
1) As with any Ginger Hotel, the rooms are bit on the smaller side.
2) The breakfast taste is a bit average. And a few items do not get served until well past 8 am.
3) The front desk seems a bit understaffed. They need to add more members during the peak times.
4) The bed was too soft for our liking.
Time Required at the Sights
- Fontainhas: One hour. The old Latin quarters are breathtakingly pretty and there are several by-lanes. Don't miss Altinho Steps, Painted Steps, Hanuman Mandir, St. Sebastian Chapel.
- Goa State Museum: There isn't much here to see. You can skip this. Or you can do a quick in and out in 15 minutes.
- Old Goa: Takes half a day (4 to 5 hours) to see all of it. Take a taxi to the Our Lady of the Mount. The rest are easily walkable from one another.
- Chandor: One hour - the two houses Fernando and Braganza are worth a dekko.
- Usagalimal: 30 mins. But it is quite difficult to locate. Unless staring at 600 year old petroglyphs give you goosebumps, you can skip this.
- Forts - All three major forts (Reis Magos, Aguaga, Chapora) can be covered in an afternoon. You only need about 30 mins per site. But it takes a long time getting between them.
- Mahadeva Temple, Tambdi Surla: 30 mins. But it is a good 1.5 to 2 hours drive from Panaji.