Wednesday, 4 April 2012 1:28 PM
No stay in hotels in north Goa would be complete without a visit to at least one of Anjuna's markets. In fact, as there are several top shopping events held here every week, it'd be a shame not to explore a few of them during your break.
Which market to visit?
There is no right or wrong answer to this question, as which of the markets you choose to discover will depend on when you travel and how long you're spending in the area. One of the most popular daytime options is Anjuna Beach's Wednesday Flea Market, which is held weekly and is an excellent place to do a spot of bargain hunting.
Originally, it was established as a place for foreign residents to buy and sell all manner of items, but it's expanded massively and is now a top spot to pick up local handicrafts, as well as a wide selection of other goods.
Another popular option is to head to one of the Saturday night markets - there are two main ones to choose between: Ingo's and Mackie's. Both promise food stalls where you can sample all manner of tasty dishes and Mackie's also has live music. Regardless of which market you decide to explore, it will be an experience you won't forget.
The key to bargain hunting is to know when you're on to a good deal and to snap it up. However, with so many stalls selling such a vast array of items, it can be hard to know where to start. So, begin by wandering around and asking for the price of anything that catches your interest.
See if you can find more than one stand selling the same products and use that to your advantage to help with your haggling! Simply browsing for a little while is also a great way to get an idea of what's actually on offer. Goa is renowned for its crafts such as lace making, woodworking and bamboo weaving, so products that fall into these categories could be particularly good souvenirs of your holiday.
Don't be afraid to barter
If you've always lived in western society and have never really had the chance to barter for goods, it can be a bit intimidating. The first thing you should know, though, is that the stallholders here expect it and, in some cases, will actually be disappointed if you don't haggle at least a little bit.
Bargain hunting is all about getting the best price possible for the item you want, so make sure you use your negotiating skills to help you bag an amazing deal. Never be concerned that the person you're buying from is losing money on your trade - they won't sell at a loss and you'll always know when you've hit their lowest price.
Think about transportation
If you're in Goa on holiday, chances are you'll have around 23 kg of luggage allowance for your suitcase and not a lot else - unless you're happy to pay the excess. This means buying overly large or heavy things might not be the best plan.
It's easy to get caught up in the moment once you get into your bargain hunting and bartering, but think carefully about how you'll be getting all your purchases home in one piece. It's not just bulky items that you need to consider, as fragile gifts can be equally problematic when it comes to flying home.
Just use a bit of common sense when you're shopping and you should find you not only come away with some great deals, but also with souvenirs you can take back with you to remind you of a wonderful getaway.