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TRAVEL...// "A simple guide to North Goa, India."// by Kelly Mason

Updated: Nov 23, 2020






I have been back in Goa for just under a week and already many of you are asking for recommendations; where to go, what cafe's to drink in; and what boutiques have the nicest and most beautiful offerings. So I thought why not write a quick 'Simple guide to North Goa' so anyone finding themselves between the Arambol and Morjim beaches you can skip the hassle and go straight for the golden hot spots spread around North Goa!



Within this writing I mostly focus on the strip of four main beaches; Arambol; Mandrem; Ashwem & Morjim however I do give a few mentions to a number of locations a little further out in Assagao, Vakator and Anjuna as I believe they are well worth including especially if you are into yoga, ethical and conscious consuming and plant based cuisine.



The reason my main focus is on these beaches is I live on the beach of Ashwem, smack bang in the middle of this beach stretch and for me an those who have also visited Goa, when it comes to a getaway holiday, in my opinion, this strip is the one of best beach area in the North of Goa.






This is a quick guide to North Goa , beach areas and the offerings of Arambol, Mandrem, Ashvem & Morjim. What to do. Where to eat. Where to stay. With a few extra details and personal stories in between.





First thing is first the WIFI in Goa has been a problem for me for the last two years, it seems sometimes like this area in Goa has been cut off from the rest of the world. Once you have crossed the river and made your way towards other areas in the north such as Siolim, Candalim and surrounding areas the WiFi doesn't seem too much of an issues except for when there is the odd power cut which in Goa you cant avoid.


If you are coming to Goa for a long stay and possibly working online then the first section of this article will be of much use to you however if you are looking to come to the area to escape the fast pace and caos of back home and for a few weeks drop off the radar then maybe the first section you can skip.


So my writing starts with this, a few spaces where I have found there to be the most realiabe WIFI, but know that even with these recommendations one day to the next the Wifi may not be working for one reason or another - so please don't hold your breath at any of these spaces!

Really I am not kidding!



For work and to keep up to date with friends and family there needs to be internet connection - it's the reality of the new age and these new age tools, even though if used in excess aren't great, should be utilised especially when you are across the world from your family or your profession is of course working online...


There are two places I have found to have the most reliable WIFI spots and that is "Dunes" which is located In Mandrem Lower village along the beach front or "The Place" A sushi pizzaria on the main road on the way to Morjim beach.






WIFI HOTSPOTS



"THE PLACE"


Location : Morjim beach

Located between Ashvem and Morjim on the main road strip just on the left beyond Marbella beach club.



They offer air conditioning and they do very nice Vegan sushi. The space itself is not really my scene however I do find I get a lot of work done when I drag myself to their space to use the internet.

There have been a few occasions when the internet, hasn't worked but if you are staying in Morjim or the Ashvem stretch this space is always pretty quiet in the day and its sometimes nice to sit in the air conditioned room when the mid day heat gets too hot.






"DUNES"


Location: Mandrem Beach, Lower Mandrem village

@Dunes_Holiday_Village




Dunes is found in Lower Mandrem and is located n the beach front. They have a beautiful bridge accessing the back and sun beds on offer with waiter service.

The Dunes space itself is big, with wooden decking and a steady bamboo structure. Its a popular and well known place if you live in Mandrem or the surrounding areas as they all know it has good food, a nice view and Wifi.

Do note that even though this is a perfect location to spend your work days that during the peak of the season the space conducts Yoga teacher trainings and all the student "Yogis" suck up a lot of the Wifi so get there early during their morning guided session to get the bulk of your internet time in...

The space also hosts @Theyogapeoples teacher trainings so if you are ever interested in taking a Course while you are in Goa this might be the place to do it - I have heard many good things about their Mandala trainings and many graduating teachers from this program are teachers around the Manchester and London circuit.









RESTUARANTS & CAFE'S




When it comes to places to eat, places to drink coffee and spaces to chill in the shade I have a few recommendations for you that will be perfect for you to have a memorable experience during your time in Goa.


All these spaces are vegetarian / vegan or have plenty of options.


To find a place to eat plant based or vegan cuisine isn't too hard in India. It is one of the reasons that I love living here - the abundance of vegan and vegetarian fresh & local, made with love food!


The only thing to really watch out for when you are visiting restaurants is to ensure that you ask to have no milk, butter or ghee added as this is used a lot, if not 90% + of the time in traditional Indian cooking.




Usually I don't really branch out anymore when it comes to eating out - our nightly meal usually consists of coconut oil & sesame fried cabbage with greens, tamari, ginger and chili with a large side salad bowl or if I am to dine out I usually buy dal an a side salad. Keeping it simple in my diet usually works best for me so I try to keep it just that while still including many tropical and seasonal fruits throughout the day. But if I do find myself out and about you will most likely be finding me enjoying myself at one of the following locations during the season…






"HOOPS COFFEE SHOP"


Location: Wellness Inn, Ashvem Beach

https://www.happycow.net/reviews/hoops-mandrem-142653

@HOOPS_COFFEE





Of course I can tell you no other place to get coffee, not only because it is actually known as serving some of the best coffee in North Goa and good coffee is hard to find in India but also its owned and ran by my wonderful Partner who owns the space during the season.

The space also offers vegan and vegetarian waffles with new savoury waffle included in the 2019 / 2020 menu as well as homemade plant based desserts and baked goods like peanut butter cashew cheesecakes, banana bread and cinnamon rolls.



The space offers various toppings and people go crazy for their waffles - in the peak of season the space fills fast so its better to visit in the mornings and the evenings.

However with the space opening at 8am and closing 10:30pm everyday between November - April you can come pretty much anytime of the day, any day during your stay.

The plant based desserts vary and they plate each serving with homemade syrups, dark chocolate & finish with dried organic flowers.



The coffee shop is on the main street in Ashvem located inside a space called Wellness Inn (@wellnessinnbeachresort) (with separate accommodation & a space that hosts massage workshops and Yoga teacher trainings throughout the seasons peak.)

It is dainty, its the cute coffee corner with stylish decor and fresh flowers placed throughout every couple of days.



Listen to coffee house jazz while sippin' one of their vegan lattes like blue spirulina or Matcha peppermint. Or if you fancy, have a cacao and wild orange hot chocolate in the chill out space.


RELAX. ENJOY. DRINK COFFEE.