Getting Around in Goa
- By Road – The Kadamba Transport Corporation runs long distance services throughout the state from their main stands at Panjim, Mapusa and Margao and from locations in the adjoining states of Maharashtra and Karnataka. Private buses, serving everywhere else, including the coastal resorts are affordable, frequent and provide a relaxed mode of commuting.
- By Rail – The Konkan Railway makes Goa easily accessible by rail from cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Mangalore, Ernakulam, Thiruvanthapuram. Goa is also liked to Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad and Pune via Londa.
- By Air – Major hotels have coach services to and from Dabolim Airport, 30 km from the state capital Panaji for picking up and dropping off their guests. The airport has a pre-paid taxi counter. 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 airlines also connect Goa with Kuwait and Sharjah twice a week.
- Local Transport – Taxis: For tourists, white taxis serve as the main means of traveling between resorts. One will find them lined up outside most charter hotels, where a board invariably lists the destinations in and around the region. The fixed rate fares only apply to peak season and at other times one should be able to negotiate a hefty reduction from the demanded fare.
- Motorcycle Taxis: – Goa’s unique pillion-passenger motorcycle taxis known locally as “pilots” are ideal for nipping between beaches or into towns from the resorts. Bona fide operators ride black bikes with yellow mudguards and yellow number plates. Fares which should be settled in advance are almost half the auto-rickshaw rates.
- Rented Motorcycles: Renting motorcycles in Goa gives a lot of freedom to tourists. Officially one needs an international driver’s licence to rent or ride anything more powerful than a 25 cc moped. Rates vary according to the season, the vehicle and how long one wants to rent it. Most owners also insist on a deposit and passport as security. The range is pretty standard and the reasonable choice is a 100cc motorbike. These are fine for buzzing to the beach and back, but to travel further the stalwart Enfield ullet 350 cc is popular for tis pose value and its British origins. The smaller Kinetic Honda 100cc which has automatic transmission is a good choice for the novice as well as the all-rounder.
- Ferries: If autorickshaws are the quaint, essentially Indian mode of transport, flat-bottomed ferries are their Goan equivalent. Crammed with cars, buses, commuters and scooters, fisherwomen and clumps of bewildered tourists, these blue painted hulks provide an essential service, crossing the coastal backwaters where bridges have not been built. They are also incredibly reasonable and run from dawn till late in the evening.
The most frequented river crossings in Goa are Panjim to Betim, across River Mandovi, Old Goa to DivarIsland, Siolim to Chopdem across the Tiracol river and Cavelossim in the far south of Salcete taluka to Assolna.