While exploring Goa’s beaches and visiting its historical churches and heritage sites, do set aside some time to shop in Goa. The flea markets and the shops near the beaches are forever crowded by tourists wanting to shop a zillion items up for grabs. You will run out of cash but not things to shop. Do save that last Rs. 100 note to pay for the rickshaw fare to get back!
Please remember the flea markets do not function all seven days of the week. Depending on the day of the week you are in Goa, you will have to head to the specific flea market location. Wednesdays are earmarked for Anjuna Beach flea market, Friday nights for Goa Collectable Bazaar at Vagator Hilltop, Saturday nights for Arpora and Mackie’s Saturday Night Bazaar near Baga.
Here is our list of things to shop in Goa:
1. Cashew nuts and Kokum
Just as mangoes are synonymous with Konkan, cashew nuts and kokum are with Goa. Salted, with shells, without shells, roasted with masalas- the choice of cashew nuts is yours. Pick the whole cashew to munch as such, but if you want to use them as a thickening agent for curries and gravies, then the broken or ‘tukda’ cashews are the best value for money. Kokum is the dark maroon, tangy fruit used to add sour flavour to dishes just like tamarind in other parts of India. This kokum is used to prepare ‘sol kadi’ an appetizer with coconut milk, kokum sherbet, a great thirst quencher in the summer. Kokum agal or juice is our choice as one can use it to make sol kadi or combine it with stevia or sugar to make a sweet drink or sherbet.
2. Chunky Jewellery
You will find endless types of anklets, jhumkas, chokers, rings in metal, cord, shells to pick and choose from. Sellers roam on the beaches and will cajole you into shopping for these. They make for great accessories that you can team with both Indian and Western wear.
3. Bags and Hats
Since you will be sending a lot of time on the beaches, pick some hats to protect you from the scorching sun. Trendy bags with embroidery, patchwork or block prints in psychedelics colours are a rage. Not only do they make great accessories but help in carrying your beachwear, water and all your shopping collectables.
4. Mario Collectables
For those who grew up on a staple of cartoons by Goan cartoonist Mario Miranda, do visit the Mario Gallery. Mugs, plates, cards, T-shirts, lampshades… the list is endless. They depict the Goan lifestyle and are a great buy not only for yourself but also make great gifting options.
5. Funky Clothes
Whether it is Boho-chic wear, beach and loungewear, or T-shirts with ‘Goa’ printed on them in vibrant colours take your pick. Sarongs in myriad colours, flowing kaftans, shorts or harem pants in batik or block prints and embroidery are good pics. Indo-western fusion styles are top of the lists too.