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Imagine coconut trees lining a long sandy shoreline, whitewashed churches, stalls selling rainbow coloured goods and a carefree pace of life. With its lovely established beach and eclectic nightlife, the village of Anjuna is a favourite in the Goa region of India. It is popular with backpackers, hippies and ravers as a place to chill out, but with the spread of more middle range accommodation it is now attracting a wider range of visitors. It was historically renowned for its psychedelic parties and this tradition endures today with lazy days by the Arabian Sea and trance and acid music in the evenings, with gatherings sometimes attracting thousands of people.
Its Wednesday flea market on the beach is legendary. It lasts all day (and night!) and you really can buy absolutely anything here from antiques to clothing, haircuts to CDs. Midday can be really hot so evening times are great for having a browse around the bargains. Bartering is expected and is essential to get the best bargains. There is also a Saturday night bazaar, both at Mackies and Ingos, with a range of stalls with a more cosmopolitan flavour. It is hard to miss the plethora of roadside stalls as you will undoubtedly be harangued by the owners asking you to look. If you are good at haggling you could get a good bargain in clothes or textiles, but you are probably better waiting till the markets for choice and price.
Buses to the area are every half hour from the nearby towns of Mapusa or Vagator; they are cheap but can be overcrowded. An alternative is to use a taxi - there are loads of motorcycle taxis and auto rickshaws that congregate on the main crossroads (Starco Junction). Or how about driving yourself - there are stacks of scooters to hire and it's an ideal way to travel round the area. Although hiring your own transport can be a really cost effective way of exploring off the beaten track, giving you flexibility to come and go as you please, it's worth knowing that the roads can be extremely busy (with animals as well as vehicles) and safety is not a high priority, few people even wear helmets. There are several travel agencies in Anjuna to help with your travel arrangements and money changing.
There is a vast choice of bars and restaurants strung out along the beach and village with everything from pizza to local fiery dishes, from international beers to the locally produced Fenny spirit, made from either cashew or coconut fruit. There are delightful little tea houses, built on stilts with great views overlooking the beach. As well as nightclubs such as Paradiso and Woody's the area is well known for its outdoor parties, especially it's 'full moon parties'. Any beach gatherings are irregular, but can be easily spotted by the congregation of lights on the beach, or you can ask at Nine Bar at Vagator for information. The glorious colours of sunset over the beach at Anjuna are spectacular a beautiful prelude to the night ahead.