Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Fontainhas Old Latin Quarter in Panaji / Panjim, Goa

When did you fell in love with Goa?

When watching Kuch Kuch Hota Hei

I have such a high expectation on Goa after watching the movie and I bet some of us still do, but I was disappointed upon arriving, don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t Goa in general that I was disappointed of, it was just the beach. I was given the impression of pristine and picturesque beach but when I reach there I was unimpressed. Perhaps I didn’t venture more or further, perhaps there are other wonderful beaches. Perhaps.

But what I was overwhelmed was - Panaji, the capital of Goa.

Panaji is a rich Portuguese influence city with its tiled roofs, baroque churches, colourful villas and home, and of course cobbled streets. Staying here in Panaji (as the beach site area was too expensive) was not what I expected, being warned that it is a distance walk from the bus station, an hour bus ride to beach and that the guesthouse was a bit hidden and far back from the Old Latin Quarter or Fontainhas kind of dampen and lowered my expectation, in fact, I felt worried. Until I saw the quarter, the day we took a stroll aimlessly, the day we decide to dine at one of the villas enjoying the local dailies, the day we chill; doing nothing. No thing.

The locals are super friendly, the environment is pretty safe, the culture is rich… all to my liking, wondering and wandering is fun. I spend half a day just walking and checking out the galleries, oh yah! There a few galleries here too. Just small ones. You get local handicraft shops, probably a handful yet you’ll enjoy browsing. Unlike those touristy places, come to think of it, I don’t remember seeing any tourist on some of the days we were there.

Other thing that caught my attention was the locals doing yoga, eateries with local ambience, nice expensive villas (for those who can afford), the converted kopitiam; now a Goa CafĂ© amongst other thing. As I was strolling in the evening, my pictures did not do it justice but I swear the ambience is fantastic. Especially if you like old architecture and culture. Don’t give this a miss.

One thing I wish travelers get to experience the same way we experienced was local wedding (again me failing to snap any pictures), during this we get to listen to their music which is Portuguese or Latin in nature, more upbeat and danceable. I too feel like joget joget. Hahahhaaaa…. I should just volunteered myself to joget together huh. 

Here is the Goa Portuguese Folk song /dance - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PavrtiIMtgs 

Sounds familiar?
Like our Malaccan Portuguese song right?

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