Goa could just be a backpackers paradise. It’s like the India I never thought existed, only because I was too lazy to come here earlier in life. Even two days before my trip south to North Goa, I was in a hotel in Ahmedabad trying to secure a permit to buy alcohol. Here in Goa, alcohol is everywhere. Beach parties are every night and you get a crazy mix of Indian tourists, Indian local vendors and of course tourists from all over the world.
Some might be surprised that I didn’t visit Goa until I was 35. But it’s a big world to see. I was busy in other places, and suddenly here I was in the village of Vagator in North Goa. First things first – get somewhere good to stay and simply, this place will live long in my memory and I’m sure those of many other travellers who have been and gone from these shores – The Jungle Hostel by the Hostel Crowd. It’s the place to be.
I have to thank one of the readers of my blog though, Liam who told me about Jungle hostel about 10 days before my arrival in Goa. I checked their website and knew this was the place for me. I got time-warped back to my early backpacking days as well and I felt a new sense of freedom here, in what I term personally as “hippy Goa”.
Whether you like that moniker or not, it’s likely you will love Goa. The only issue with Goa is…you might not want to leave. Check your visa dates just in case, once you’ve checked into the Jungle Hostel, the party begins and madness ensues.
“and he’s watching us all with the eye of the tiger” – Survivor
Herer are 5 Easy reasons to stay here for you all!
1.Meeting New People
For some first time backpackers, everything can be daunting. You become shy, you wander aimlessly on your own, not sure how to introduce yourself to others, or to join a crowd. Don’t worry about all that. Get yourself a chilled beer and saunter over to anyone at the hostel, in the common outdoor area. Most of the time they are in the same boat, they want to talk to you. It reminded me of some of my early backpacking days in Los Angeles, Prague and Syndey, notoriously the Chili Blue Hostel (never to be forgotten).
You will make new friends here. Almost everyone I met had arrived here alone, but yet were now travelling with others, new friends they met at the Jungle Hostel.
I met so many cool and crazy people including:
– Wesam – a Syrian dude now living in Norway, backpacks the world, owned and sold his own business, lives a philosophy of life to the full yet chills out in Norway with a coffee by a lake.
– Nora – an interesting young backpacker, born in Norway, grew up in London to a Northern Irish father. Even cooler, her father edits a poetry magazine in Ireland.
– Aiden – an English lad from Bradford, big time traveller like me who also was out in Guatemala for a few months.
– Cristina and Will – quirky worldly couple who grew up in England yet have a really cool family background.
– Ilona Skladzien from Poland – a first time visitor to India and a successful artist with an enchanting mind and manner.
It was cool being here with my friend Katia from Brazil as well – as we had party nights out in Paris and Recife, in days gone by. You’ll meet lots of new people here!
2.Beach and Jungle
A perfect mix is evident here surely. Out my bedroom window is a “jungle”, twenty minutes walk and you’re on Vagator Beach. Stunning!
Anjuna beach is another brilliant local beach and it is a mere 40 minute walk (or hire a scooter).
Think about what you want from a backpacker place? Cool people, cosy rooms, night time activities, day time activities, guess what I even started a yoga class here! It was my first time experiencing yoga. There is a free class once a week.
You also get a free map on arrival, so you are sorted!
4.Tours and Other Hostels: The Hostel Crowd
Jungle Hostel is part of a cool chain of hostels called The Hostel Crowd. They can organise all sorts of tours here for you. Tours to Old Goa, waterfalls, caves, night market (Saturdays), invites to parties.
And there are even transfers to three other hostels in Goa, all run by the Hostel Crowd. Plus they have another hostel in Kerala. This is when travel gets addictive. Remember I only left my hometown 13 years ago, oops…I never returned. The same might happen to you.
Always the budget backpacker recovery session. A cup of coffee, eggs on toast and a bowl of Cornflakes in the morning and you’re ready for another hippy day on the beach.
Here are the details for booking the Jungle Hostel in Vagator, Goa, India:
486(2) Vagator Beach Road, Vagator, Goa
jungle [at] thehostelcrowd.com
+91 832 6518606
Here are some videos from my time at the Jungle Hostel in Vagator, Goa, India:
(to be uploaded when internet is fast enough!)