Goa: the ugly truth



In the last few years Goa has experience huge increase in foreign and mostly domestic Indian tourists. The population of Goa is just 2 million but balloons in the winter months with outside workers and tourists. The result is unchecked development and destruction of the environment. Thousands of bamboo and grass huts are erected for the 'season' that last Oct-April.  By May all the huts must be cleared off the beach by government law, no permanent structure allowed with 100m of the seaside.  This is just as well because rain and surf start coming up onto the beach.  Still many structures are illegal.

  • Pollution is a major problem in India and Goa is not immune. Goa's climate has changed and become warmer over recent years. Simply due to the huge influx of outsiders setting up in Goa, and clear cutting rain forest. The many kerosine cookers and wood fires that becomes part of every household and tourist business creates smogs and heat.
  • Burning rubbish is regular morning activity, including plastics and anything else they care to burn. There is no garbage pick up. Don't expect clean air or grounds in Goa.
  • Water. Sea water and local well water may be contaminated. Guest houses/huts near the beach need to have fresh bathing water brought in by trucks, or use the ground water which is cheaper. The local sewer runs into a side river of the beach and then ends up in the swimming beach.  Huts with attach toilets run right into the sand. Do not support these establishments, beware of what is coming out of your shower.
  • The beach too is polluted with dog, cow and other animal feces. Better wear shoes and socks to protect your feet. Also expect glass or metal bits and other rubbish on the beach. The beaches in Goa as all over India are the toilets and garbage pits for Indians.
  • Noise. Don't expect quiet in Goa. There is always some restaurant trying to attract foreigners to come and drink all night with loud music. There is little privacy in the huts. Expect to be awaken at night by Loud Larry and Drunk Dave.
  • Crowds. With a country of over a billion Goa now attracts the worst of India. Cheap slave labour is hired from every part of the country to come and work at the seasonal tourist circus. Indian domestic tourists can easily squash the peace in few hours. Fights between drunken Europeans and drunken Indians seem to have become more common.
  • Security and Crime.  Anyone can easily reach into a grass hut and open the door or take what ever. You should not leave any valuables in your hut or hotel what so ever.  Some huts will offer a locker inside the hut so you can secure your things if you go out for a swim. Good idea but most hut owners are cheapos and won't supply it.  Especially around Christmas and other holidays many thieves will strike. The sad part is that your hut owner is in one. The colst and competition to run a tourist business in Goa is high. Hut owners may lose money due to all the competition. How do you think they make up their loses? I know a handful of tourist shacks in Goa that are known criminals. In Goa there are many outside workers who are there and no one really knows them, so crimes has increase with the tourist numbers. Drugs and prostitution have arrived on Goa's shores en mass. In short: there is no security in Goa (or India.) The sad story of Scarlett Keeling.
  • Dust from palm weave.  Grass is not really good for a house. The grass is always drying so it is alwasy creating dust. Grass huts are very dusty and may effect your allergies.
  • Hot.  Huts usually have just a plastic roof. During the afternoon huts in the sun will get very hot.
  • Tile roof: You may pay more for a hut with a brick tile, it is cooler. But do you reallize how dangerous this structure is? I do not recommend you stay in this these type of huts. The weight of the tiles are very dangerous, if it colapses, the weight will kill you inside. Notice how this hut the roof is bowing inward already!
  •  Attached Toilets. Many huts now have attached toilets. Amazing for a grass house? In fact the toilet runs right into the beach with no septic tank. These are illegal. Do not support these establishments.  The pit toilet are also perfect for attracting mosquitoes that can carry Malaria, Chikagungaor  or Dengue fever which has increased over the years (some high risk areas are in Goa such Candolin.)  South Goan beach had almost no mosquito 10 years ago.
  • Noisy Restaurants. It is common practice for every guest house to open a restaurant in front of their rooms. This is simply because a restaurant can make more money then huts or rooms. You should be aware that grass huts or ply wood hut offer very little privacy or noise control. Especially when there is a restaurant RIGHT infront of you or beside you. The restaurants also like to blast crappy music to attract drunk people to come and spend money. 
  • Lack of privacy. Greedy land owners slice up their beach front property and rent each slice out for the season, paid in advance (1-2 Lak) This is because when Goa becomes ovewelmed with tourists in season they can keep on packing them in and will make lots of money!  Unfortunately you may have lots of noise in your huts at any time of the night or day.
  • Over Priced. Be warned you'll get a better beach value in Thailand or many other places than in Goa. Christmas and December to February prices can go high and not really worth.
  • Mattress. In Goa the conditions are very wet and moldy so the mattress must be replaced every year or a foam type must be used. Of course the owners do not want to spend the money so you will sleep on a moldy old mattress even for 800Rs per night. Hope your good and drunk!
  • Environmental destruction.  Cutting down of rain forest and coconut trees to build more huts or guest houses. The placing of concrete under the huts for a floor. The lack of septic  tank. Excess of cheap restaurants burning wood, plastic and kerosene cookers. Workers add to the over population. Don't add to this mess!
  • The Party?  Despite all this you expect to go to a good party right? Wrong. There are no parties and when there is it is filled with drunken boys and young men. Parties are banned in Goa. Loud music is not allowed after 11:00pm There is good reason for this. Local people don't want to have to move or have their little ones exposed to reckless parties everynight of the week.
  • Attack of the beach chair. He who has the most beach chairs wins! You didn't want to walk or sit on the beach did you? Now you can pay for what you used to get for free but was nicer.
  • Waterproof?  Every now and again it may rain during the winter season. You should note that the blue tarps do not repel rain sufficiently. You and all your belonging could easily end up soaked. Predicably you get little more than a shrug from the hut manager.


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+12 # James Connolly 2012-09-19 14:19
Being going to Goa North and South for the last 25 years and had no problems at all,More noisy now there is a bigger influx of Russian hooligans who do not know how to behave and they treat the locals with disrespect.Look ing forward to next year for 26 years of joy.
-6 # Ram wagh 2013-01-09 11:02
Hats off to you, for loving and staying in India for such a long.
I am going to goa, in feb, will u tell me secret beaches or isolated beaches of goa for romance ?
your advice will be valuable

0 # Marky 2012-10-24 05:22

what a fake and not up-to-date information!

I am coming to Northern part of Goa for 5 years now and the only truth in this article is burning rubbish and lack of proper sewers.

Just come to Ashwem or Mandrem and enjoy silence, good people and decent accommodation :)
+1 # jake 2013-01-13 03:25
I can back up every info given in this article with precise examples.

I'm replying from Ashwem

Still a beautiful place, epecially in here and Mandrem, but you can see the damage and the probable outcome that will follow.
+5 # Carolyn 2012-12-07 16:13
You stay at a cheapo joint and expect to get quality!!
0 # jazzmanblues 2013-01-08 09:34
Well stated artical.Very informative,to the pont.
+4 # rob 2013-03-13 12:16
its kind of true in parts but it is totally exagerated too . and no parties ... ha maybe you have never been to anjuna vagator or ashvem . party till 6am. plus what do you expect staying in a hut , buy a proper room cheapskate . there are rooms for every budget you cut cornes so end up with crap room . thats the way it works , dont buy on price and do your research . if i read this i might not ever go , its scaremongering .
+5 # Roland 2013-04-23 21:43
True garbage n poor sewage system but dis exist in few areas nobody told u go to these areas n sniff d fumes. Goa still hav 1 of d cleanest atmosphere wit best forest landscapes. No open air parties after 10pm, sound proof disco tech r available for diff genre of music till dawn, u say beaches r toilets n garbage pits 4 Indians.. DO U ABUSE DRUGS? "u get wst u pay 4" r u blind? d owner allows u to c d rooms or beach huts b4 u make up ur cheap mind to select an awful hut n regret later. u need to b alert n aware nt negligent. In Thailand u get robbed in front of ur eyes theives n cops r wel connected. To avoid accommodation disappointment google TRIP ADVISOR save ur soul. Goan people r known 4 hospitality n will help any tourist in difficulty. Every place has its positives n negatives u have pointed out all d possible negatives which r uncommon as well n most not true n u made it look lik its very common in Goa. There is abundance of goodness in Goa be positive n write d gud points.
-1 # dr. nisha 2014-04-21 10:30
Hello,there i want to,talk more about the topic. Please reply.
0 # captain-rachit 2015-11-05 13:11
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+5 # sanna cutter 2015-05-06 15:54
And the Scarlett Keeling case was not an isolated one,as there has been many murdered tourists and there will be more if nothing is done about it. The murder cases of tourists do not get investigated fully and no one is ever prosecuted for these crimes,therefor leaving the killers walking free. The grieving relatives do not receive any support or proper help,not from the police or from the government. I personally know this as I recently lost my nephew Felix Dahl,he was killed in Patnem on the 28th of January 2015.
0 # Reena 2015-12-03 12:35
Hi Sanna, I'd like to know more about this. Could you please share?
+1 # matt bard 2015-07-29 20:39
... mostly true.... India people that are educated and worldly know this too. Progress is difficult. Shame on foreigners that get drunk, use drugs, and use Goa as party toilet- stay home!.
+4 # Chico Suave 2015-07-31 10:37
I agree with the point of this post. I was incredibly disappointed with Goa. We met a lot of travelers who recommended Goa. So when we had a few days downtime on our trip to India we flew down. Not sure if people like it because you get a respite from the madness of the rest of India or if they're delusional. It's a crap hole. The beaches are filthy! We didn't go in the water once. That was dirty too. And, though pictures show that the water is turquoise green, it's not. At least not when we were there. And the town isn't much of anything. If you're looking for something similar to Southeast Asia. Go to Southeast Asia.
+2 # jazzmanblues 2015-08-01 21:44
Not mentioned,many of the hotels on the beach empty raw sewage into the sea directly.
Years ago,a European company tested coke and pepsi throughout the country..It came back that ALL pepsi/coke products had 15x to 70x the safe legal limit of pesticide in the soda.
+1 # Beer drinker 2015-08-05 15:11
I wonder what is the beer that makes hangovers so bad?
+2 # Chrysavgi 2016-07-27 13:38
Well, unfortunately that's exactly how Goa is nowadays the article is totally correct - and not only Goa but many other places as well e.g Thailand - Nepal - Bali and all the rest . I was lucky to have lived there extensively in the late 70's early '80's ... I think that no place on earth will be left intact from now on and this grieves me deeply . Greetings to all..
0 # Amit Sharma 2016-08-01 06:52
I am going to Goa to have great fun. Pls advise the best places for all funs stuffs like party, drinks, some good dances like belly dances and all.
-3 # Amit Sharma 2016-08-01 06:54
I am going goa this month. Pls advise the best places for parties, drinks, dances, sex and best food
0 # the traveller 2016-10-28 15:55
You havent been to other beaches in goa. You must have gone to only one. There are some isolated beaches which the local wouldn't like to share with the tourists. The beaches are clean. You have to go to the rural parts of goa which are clean, quiet and beautiful. You can't post false things without knowing the place and travelling well around the area. I do agree that some parts are true. But hey...I found cleaner grounds and air in goa than any other part of south india. There are certain places permitted to have parties till early morning. About privacy. You have it all in this state. Wanna enjoy a silent atmosphere. Go to a village. Or sit to a quiet beach. No one really cares aboit what you do here.
-1 # Manish 2016-11-20 19:58
Definitely you visited Goa on your unemployment allowance,staye d in a cheapo hut and portray Goa in bad light.
+3 # Egbert Nobacon 2016-12-01 07:50
The "ugly truth" is that its not just outsiders that abuse Goa, Goans beit Hindu Christian or Muslim are reluctant to accept personal responsibility for anything, they live a life of entitlement with the aittitude that because they were born in Goa they are somehow set apart from the rest of India as if they were the chosen people. They frequently dump trash and food waste in the street, nullah, grasslands and beach. They are prejudice toward anyone who is not Goan, some are very upfront about it and some hide behind the cliche of "Goan Hospitality" this old chestnut only extends as far as them receiving handouts from others but giving little in return. Goans are very good at blaming others for their own mistakes, if not outsiders it's foreigners but never them.

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