If you’ve heard about Goa, there is a good chance you’re aware of its psychedelic party scene. Since the hippies came in the 60’s and 70’s Goa has built a reputation as the go to destination in India for a good time and beautiful beaches. Goa as a state is 80km long making it India’s smallest yet in no way does that make it the least lively. The season is outside the monsoon season from around the 1st of September to the end of March. The place is apparently a ghost town during monsoon so don’t burn yourself.
Among the main beaches – Arambol, Vagator, Baga, Fort Aguada, Palolem and countless others – is Anjuna, the state’s party capital. We spent 3 weeks in Northern Goa and one week in the South. The 3 weeks up north comprised of waking up, eating, beaching, partying and sleeping. In that order! In the morning we would ride to Vagator from our guesthouse in Anjuna to chill out, join a chillum circle at Shiva Place and basically live it up. When we were done with chilling out we’d head to Oxfords local supermarket and pick up some cheap 50R beers, if you’re on a budget like us it would be worthwhile to lock your lips onto the Kingfisher Strong (8%), over the Kingfisher Premium (5%) for obvious reason and the Strong is normally cheaper wherever you go. Hopefully Australia follows suit one day…. Doubtful. Beers at clubs vary depending on the night and/or party on that night but don’t expect to pay more than 200R (AUD$4).
As far as going out and getting loose goes you’ll have more options than you have hairs on your body. All the worthwhile places are isolated in Anjuna so I wouldn’t venture out too far when looking for somewhere to go.
The first night we arrived in Anjuna we quickly made friends over a few joints and shot straight over to HILL TOP (between Anjuna and Vagator), which literally is a festival in a club in the backyard of a guesthouse. The dance floor is huge and even better during HILL TOP FESTIVAL, which is around the start of February every year and this year hosted huge names like Outsiders, Astrix and the godfather Raja Ram. If you’re planning a trip to Goa around this time, you’re wasting your time if you don’t go to HILL TOP. The energy at this place is “full power 24 hour”. The festival actually shuts at around 12 however there are plenty of places open for after parties, where these parties are is more of a word of mouth thing, there were a few planned parties this year that were cancelled because of politics and then moved to different venues. Hill Top is a Psy-Trance party and is open every Sunday night.
If you’re keen on going until the break of dawn and even longer, depending on crowds, SHIVA VALLEY in South Anjuna will open at 6pm on a Tuesday and in most cases will last around 24 hours, check out the video below which was 21 hours in. The vibe here is great and the music is just as solid as Hill Top. Another option for all of the Psy heads out there!
A personal favourite of mine, CURLIES in South Anjuna next door to Shiva Valley. This was my go to place because of its Monday night PURE TECHNO policy. A completely different scene to any of the Psy parties in Anjuna however just as brutal. Tuesday night TECHNO RAVE’S at CURLIES are wild and the party would normally finish up around 6AM. I had the honor of playing a few gigs at CURLIES Techno Rave which was amazing, their sound system is heaving and the stage set-up really does need to be seen to be believed.
Last but not least is CAFÉ LILLIPUT. Killer place with a lot of locals who love to party. Techno and House is what you’ll find here and the crowd is always heavy.
I could list a lot of other places for example. UV BAR, CRONICLE, 9 BAR but you’ll really just have to go and check it out yourself.
If partying that hard isn’t your thing, but it is, but it isn’t, but it is. Do your self a favour and go to the Apora Saturday Night Market. Seriously, the best market I’ve ever been to and you can trust me because I know my shit, I hit up markets all the time. There are stalls as far as the eye can see with authentic Indian goods to the more unique style of clothing you’ll likely only find in Goa or similar places in the world. Once you’ve busted your ass walking through the crowds and finally wind up at the top of the hill you’ll be pleased to find 2 bars where you can wet your whistle and have a boogie with DJ’s playing all night. The market is open until 3AM every Saturday night (hence the name). The Wednesday Anjuna flea market is also a gooden, a little cheaper, minus the DJ’s and the overall vibe and you guessed it it’s on every Wednesday.
I hope the above is a good enough guide to help you on your way. You may be thinking – “man you rated everything 10/10, you’re a piece of shit” – Goa is literally a 10/10 place, we’re only 3 months in to our trip and I don’t know if it can be topped. I met so many amazing people, everyone is a friend and everyone just wants to have a good time.
GO TO GOA NOW!