We are traveling to Mangalore, Goa, Mumbai, and Kochi come February and looking for those hidden treasures that might have come your way when you visited. Not looking for the "top ten" things to do that all the guide books know about -- but seeking those moments that took your trip from great to awesome. A wonderful guide, fabulous restaurant, beautiful nature walk.....whatever it might be. Hope to be inspired by you!
We are pretty adventurous 60 somethings who love the special moments of travel.
Goa - Fort Tiracol Heritage Hotel fort on the river that's the border between Goa & Maharashtra. It was a hotel (we've stayed there many years ago) with atmospheric rooms & a fabulous view of the sea, as it's at the river mouth. Check before you go - it seems to be closed at the moment.
1. Sasoon docks early morning, when the fishing boats come in. If you don't mind fish, water, noise.......
2. Walks - we've done a few of these when we lived in Bombay -http://www.bombayheritagewalks.com/
3. Britania - have the berry pulao. It's a famous restaurant in the CBD.
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In Mumbai, there are two restaurants that aren't quite in the tourist areas, but well worth trying if you want some hidden gems. In these places I was fortunate enough to eat two of the best Indian meals of my life.
The first is a hard to find and locally popular Gujarati restaurant called Shree Thakker. The only thing you can eat here is the thali. I wish I could put into words how good this food is. There is a mango curry that is really special. It is near Marine Lines, about here (but I can't remember exactly so might be off by a few metres). It's located on the first floor of a building, in a giant maze of backstreets in an area that to me looked like a street market. Will be hard to find but persist, most people in the area will know about it.
The second place is Cafe Madras - where they serve amazing South Indian breakfast food - dosas, idli, and filter coffee. You can't really go wrong but ask the staff what is popular. Just delicious, and a place filled with locals.
Besides food, for something a bit more off the guide books there is also a walking tour of Bandra's muslim quarter, christian quarter and street art quarter. I only know about this because this was basically the way I use to walk home when I lived in Mumbai. It starts at Bandra station, use the overhead footbridges heading west, then you find Lucky Hotel go through the back streets where there are street vendors, avoid the big roads, and if you keep going far enough you'll first hit the muslim area (lots of goats and a mosque), then at the three-way junction go down Chapel Road to see the street art / christian area. You can stop at Saltwater cafe for a breather. Best time to do this is around dusk when the streets when it's not as hot.
If you want hidden treasures in Goa, I would recommend go to Arambol beach and Candolim beach in North Goa. Here the beaches are so pristine and much less crowded, you cannot miss it. Also, whenever you are staying at Calangute, always and I mean always have breakfast at Infantaria cafe on the Baga Calungute Road and desserts always at Britto's .
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