Shopping in Goa
What is a holiday without some fun, spur-of-the moment shopping? So lets explore some Goan shopping avenues . . .
Mementoes and Souvenirs:
If it is tangible memories of your holiday that you are looking to shop for, well, you need not really look! Many of the beaches in Goa, especially the North Goa beaches, are preceded by shanties and shops selling you every possible memento you can think of – there are fancy show pieces and art work made from sea shells, I Love Goa fridge magnets and frames, cheap beach clothes, T-shirts with Goa emblazoned on them. Basically, every possible item you’d find on any popular touristy place anywhere in the world, its all available, customized for Goa, of course! Some of the best places for mementoes are: Dona Paula, Vagator Beach, Anjuna Beach Flea Market, Calangute Beach and so on.
Of course, Goa is the alcohol lover’s ultimate paradise! Drinks being tax-free in Goa, you not only get your alcohol cheap, but you get a wide variety of brands as well. So while you can splurge on your favourite international brands to your heart’s content, don’t forget the local fare as well – most notably, Kings Beer, which is Goa’s very own homegrown Beer, as well as Feni, the traditional Goan alcoholic drink. Mind you, thought, you need a permit to carry alcohol out of the state, so make sure to get your permit in advance, and do not try to smuggle alcohol out of the state – not only is it illegal, it could incur a hefty fine!
Well, this is a tricky one! Dotting the various market places are several Kashmiri shops selling authentic Kashmiri stoles, pashmina shawls, embroidered dresses as well as woodwork from Kashmir. Kashmir being as far from Goa as could be possible, this is indeed strange, and most shopping aficionados will find it hard to resist a truly beautiful Kashmiri artwork! If you are willing to splurge, go ahead and do it (but don’t tell anyone you bought a Kashmiri shawl from Goa!).
Other than that, you will also see several other arts and craft. Shell work being the most predominant among them, as well as lanterns and wall hangings made of jute. Papier mache items are also quite prevalent and a favourite with tourists.
You simply can’t return from Goa without buying cashews to take home for yourself or for friends and family. You can get varieties of cashew nuts, plain, roasted, salted, shelled, unshelled. You can shop for these at either the factory outlets (Zantye’s being the oldest and best known brand), or at shops in Panjim, Mapusa or Margao, or even at local market places, particularly in South Goa.
Well, Goa does happen to be on the Malabar Coast! While not many know that varieties of spices are available in Goa, there are many spice farms dotting the state that offer fresh, premium quality spices, including cardamom, pepper, cloves and so on.
Jewelry and Semi-Precious Stones:
Many of Goa’s best known flea markets have Tibetan artisans selling their wares, which basically comprise of jewelry made up of semi-precious stones and crystals. You will find an irresistible array amethysts, turquoise, aventurine, Himalayan quartz, lapis lazuli all strewn into neckpieces, earrings, or best of all, bracelets.