GETTING AROUND GOA

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» West India
» Goa
Main Means Of Transport: Rail, Road, Water
Local Transport: Motorcycle Taxis , Ferries



Before independence, the many rivers that drain across Goa made getting around a problem. Nowadays, however, thanks to a network of road bridges, life is a lot easier.

For tourists, white Maruti Van Taxis serve as the main means of travelling between resorts. One will find them lined up outside most charter hotels, where a board invariably to destinations in and around the region. The fixed rate fares only apply to peak season, however, and at other times one should be able to negotiate a hefty reduction.

AIR
Dabolim Airport, 30-km from the state capital Panaji, has coach services operating to and from the airport. All the major hotels also arrange transport for the guests. A prepaid taxi service is also available over here. All the major airline services have daily flights to Goa from Bangalore , Delhi , Mumbai and Pune and twice a week from Chennai and Kochi. The International Service of airlines also connects Goa with Kuwait and Sharjah twice a week.

RAIL
The Konkan Railway makes Goa easily accessible by rail from cities such as Delhi , Mumbai , Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Mangalore , Ernakulam and Thiruvanantapuram . The daily New Delhi (Nizamuddin) to Vasco-da-Gama Goa Express has been resumed. Goa is also linked to Bangalore , Chennai , Hyderabad and Pune via Londa.

ROAD
The Goan Transport Corporation, Kadamba, runs long-distance services throughout the state from their main stand at Panjim, Mapusa, Margao and destinations in the adjoining states of Maharashtra and Karnataka . Private buses, serving everywhere else including the coastal resorts, are affordable, frequent, and more relaxed than many in India.

BY FERRY
If auto-rickshaws are the quaint essentially Indian mode of transport, flat-bottomed ferries are their Goan equivalent. Crammed with cars, buses, commuters on scoters, fisherwomen and clumps of bewildered tourists, these rusting blue-painted hulks provide an essential service, crossing the coastal backwaters where bridges have not yet been built. They're also incredibly reasonable, and run from the crack of dawn until late in the evening.

The most frequented river crossings in Goa are Panjim to Betim, across the Mandovi; Old Goa to Divar Island; Siolim to Chopdem, across the Terakol River; and Cavelossim in the far south of Salcete Taluka, to Assolna.

LOCAL TRANSPORT
By Motorcycle Taxi: Goa's unique pillion-passenger motorcycle taxis, known locally as "pilots", are ideal for nipping between beaches or into town from the resorts. Bona fide operators ride black bikes with yellow mudguards and white number plates. Fares, which should be settled in advance, are comparable with auto-rickshaw rates.

By Rented Motorcycle: Renting motorcycle in goa gives a lot of freedom. Officially, one needs an international driver's licence to rent, and ride, anything more powerful than a 25cc moped. Rates vary according to the season, the vehicle, and how long one wants to rent it for most owners also insist on a deposit and passport as security. The range is pretty standard and the reasonable choice is a 50 cc moped. These are fine for buzzing to the beach and back, but to travel further try the stalwart Enfield Bullet 350cc, popular mainly for its pose value; the smaller but more reliable Honda Kinetic 100 cc, which has automatic gears and is a good first-time choice or the best all rounder, the Yamaha RD 100 cc; light, fast enough, reliable, economical and with annual gears.
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