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Interesting Information on Goa, India

Airport Departure Tax in Goa

Airport tax should technically be included in the price of your ticket these days, but the rules change from year to year and it makes sense to check in advance, through your travel agent or tour operator (or holiday company rep once in Goa), just in case you have to hang on to some rupees to hand over at Dabolim Airport prior to departure.

Cigarettes in Goa

Various brands of cigarettes, including imported makes such as Rothmans, Marlboro and Benson and Hedges and many, are available in Goa. More expensive imported rolling tobacco, including Golden Virginia, Duma and Samson, are sold at Anjuna flea market and some stalls around Colva, although it is advisable to bring your own papers as the indigenous Capstans are thick and don’t stick very well, while imported Rizlas are expensive. One of the great smells of India is the bidi, the cheapest smoke, made with low-grade tobacco wrapped in a eucalyptus leaf.

Electricity in Goa

Generally 220V 50Hz AC, though direct current supplies also exist, so check before plugging in. Most sockets are European-style double round-pin, but sizes vary. British, Irish, Australian and New Zealand plugs will need an adaptor, preferably a universal one; American and Canadian appliances need a transformer too, unless multi-voltage. Power cuts and voltage variations are very common.

Interesting Information on Goa, India

Laundry in Goa

No one goes to the laundry if they don’t do their own, they send it out to a dhobi wallah. Wherever you are staying, there will be either an in-house dhobi wallah or one very close by to call on. The dhobi wallah will take your dirty washing to a dhobi ghat, a public clothes-washing area (the bank of a river for example), where it is shown some old-fashioned discipline; separated, soaped and given a damn good thrashing to beat the dirt out of it. Then it is hung out to dry in the sun and, once dried, taken to the ironing sheds where every garment is endowed with razor-sharp creases and then matched to its rightful owner by hidden cryptic markings. Your clothes will come back from dhobi wallah absolutely spotless, though this kind of violent treatment does take it out of them: buttons get lost and eventually the cloth starts to fray.

Massage in Goa

The art of massage has been practiced in India since ancient times, and masseurs, carrying a bag of oils and a towel, regularly offer their services on the beach. Their trade does not have the seedy connotations it sometimes does in the West, although women should definitely think twice before accepting a rubdown from a man.

Opticians in Goa

Glasses and contact lenses can be made up in Goa to exactly the same standards as in Europe and US, but for a fraction of the cost. Panjim, Calangute, Mapusa and Margao all have large, opticians. Just take along your specs (or a prescription).