6 months here in Goa are coming to an end; wow – the time was really flying! The season is ending also, many shops and restaurants shut down already, while the temperatures are rising every day. The coming monsoon is showing its hot side.
Everyone is waiting for the rain to fall. Time for a wrap-up, as done previously before the departure from Bali.
As this was the first time in Goa (and India) for me, I could only rely on what other people described on forums and by word of mouth:
A good resource, which helped me a lot to research Goa and India is for instance the forum over at Indiamike.
Still nothing can prepare you 100% for the culture shock that is India. The impressions of the first 14 days I wrote down here.
Now, after 6 months and without any further ado; the Best, the Good, the Ugly of Goa:
Getting the 6-month Visa for India - an easy and straight-forward processAlthough it may sound like nothing special or too obvious, the best thing about Goa (or India that is) for me was simply the easy Visa Process. Apply once and you can stay for up to 6 months without any other bureaucracy, hassles or payments.
Living and traveling the last couple of years around Asia, I don’t remember anymore, how much time I spent already at Immigration offices, doing Visa Runs, paying agents or friendly helpers, waiting for your tea money to make their day.
Also I went through 3 passports in the just 6 years living in Asia, due to all the stickers, stamps and visa notices in it – no joke!
When living in Thailand for 8 months; I visited the neighboring countries Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia or flying into Singapore or even Vietnam – all in the sake of renewing your Visa every month. While you will always explore something new in those countries and that wasn’t too unpleasant – the whole idea of being forced to move yourself *right now* to a different country – and be it only for a few hours – is something sooooo uncool.
Living in Bali on a tourist Visa (not the VOA, Visa on Arrival, which will make you to leave the country every 30 days), you are even forced to visit the Immigration Office around 20 times in just 6 months, not counting the countless hours wasted, money spent for forms, copies, passport pictures and all the hassles having to do with bureaucrats who simply enjoy showing you who is in power. But hey!
So I can really appreciate friendly Visa Rules when I see them.
Applying for the straight-forward and cheap Visa for India in Singapore was already a breeze, as even this is outsourced to a travel agent (famous Mustafa Travel in Serangoon Road) – India is simply all about Outsourcing. After 3 days you will simply have a new sticker in your passport -that’s all you will need for the next 6 months. On top of that, you can renew the Visa in most of the surrounding countries of India. In this regard India is exceptionally liberal as well, unlike some other countries, which force you to renew your Visa in the country of your permanent residence.
Still, plenty of Europeans manage to complain a lot about Indian Visa, they wish for a 5 or even 10-year-multiple entry Visa for India.
Okay – that would be really nice – but it’s simply not realistic!
You can’t compare the Schengen treaty for Europeans in Europe with Visa Regulations of other countries around the world and especially Asia. Just think about it how rigid Asians are treated applying for a Schengen Visa and you will see that Double Standards have its limits.
Rich tasty Chicken CurryMany things are good about Goa, so where shall I start? The Food must be somewhere on the top here. If you love Indian food – this is the place to come! Good value for money, great quality and legions of restaurants to choose from. Just make sure you come during the season (October to April) to avoid limited choice which occurs towards the end of the season, just before the...