The Best Night Markets: Goa, India

I’m not sure shopping is a reason to travel anywhere but it certainly adds to a place when you’re a homewares fan like I am. I was curious about what to expect in India but knew that there would be bright colours and patterns galore, so I couldn’t wait.

From the moment we arrived it was evident that you could buy anything you wanted in India, particularly a number of genuine fake (ahem!) items such as watches, bags and perfumes but I was interested in something a little more authentic.

I wanted to find beautiful things that had a traditional Indian feel but that appealed to my bohemian sense of style.
I was mainly drawn to the fabrics and jewellery because, well, they were gorgeous but also because they fit in my suitcase! It’s always the downside of shopping overseas that shipping things back is hideously expensive, so anything that scrunches up and pops conveniently in my case is okay by me.
I would have loved to buy food and spices but alas, I didn’t think the customs officer would be too happy, so I left them behind.
The markets, particularly Mackie’s Night Market in Arpora and the Wednesday afternoon Anjuna Flea Market, afforded the best haggling and shopping options.
Row upon row of brightly coloured fabrics gleam out at you from the tiny stalls. Sellers call to you to try their shop, reaching out to shake your hand and introduce themselves, with wide grins on their faces. The sights, sounds, colours and smells of the market intoxicate you and can feel a little overwhelming but the friendly people and gentle banter reassure you.
You can stop, chat, browse and have a closer look but a polite ‘maybe later’ or no thank you’ is enough to allow you to go on your way and see what else lies in wait, amongst the ramshackle row of stalls that are barely more than a table and a cloth canopy.

When your eye is drawn to something, like gorgeous cashmere scarves in every conceivable colour and pattern, it pays to be prepared. Try one or two stalls for prices early on and then you’ll know where to start your bid.
It’s not uncommon to pay a quarter of the asking price, so start low and work your way up. Don’t be afraid to walk away if it’s a price that you don’t like and often they will come down nearer to a price you are comfortable with.
The thing I loved about the Saturday Night Market is that it’s a real experience. As soon as you walk into the bustling marketplace, swarming with crowds of locals, tourists and hippies, you get a sense of something special.
Far from just shopping, there is music, food, bars and even open air nightclubs to enjoy. The main stage offers rock and 70’s music and huge crowds gather cheering, dancing and singing along. You can grab a drink from one of many cool, open air bars that invite you to pull up a stool and stay a while.
After some more shopping, you might want to treat yourself to a henna tattoo. They work like lightening drawing the most beautiful, intricate designs in five minutes flat.
Feeling peckish you find yourself drawn in by the delicious smells wafting over from the food market and arrive to find practically every world cuisine on offer. Greek, yep, Vietnemese, done. Italian, you betcha.
You grab the morsel of choice or like us, grab a few different things, and find yourself a pew. People gather together around picnic benches, creating a nice, sociable buzz. Strangers chat and friends laugh, bonding over the food in front of them.
Once you’ve filled your boots, head on up to the various levels, browsing as you go, but soon you hear a hypnotic beat that draws you in. At the top you finally stumble across a large bar serving strong vodka cocktails, while a DJ blasts out dance music, enticing people, young and old, locals and travellers, to move their bodies to the beat. It’s a fantastic sight watching so many people united by the music.
At the end of the evening, you do one last sweep of the shops, snapping up that bracelet or scarf that you just cannot live without. You take your treasures, grab your ride and head home, exhausted but content after a great evening out.
I've been enjoying using my lovely spoils at home ever since and am looking forward to showing you more of them soon What are your favourite treasures you've picked up from travelling? Do you love a good market rummage too?
If you want to read about what else we got up to in India, read here, here, and here.

1 comment

  1. Looks like a perfect market - everything is bright! Do you want to be friends with me on bloglovin? If yes, just follow me and I'll follow your blog back ASAP!<3


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