Ayurvedic Natural Health Centre Goa.

PASSPORTS :
Everyone needs a passport to visit India, which must be valid for at least six months after the planned date of return from your holiday. By order of the Government of India, Indian Nationals are not generally permitted to travel on charter flights to India, except when accompanied by a spouse holding a full British passport.

VISAS :
You will need a tourist visa to visit India. Application is straightforward and the visa is usually issued within a few days of application.For more information, contact the High Commission of India in London or the Embassy of India in your country.

INSURANCE :
It is strongly recommended that you take out comprehensive travel insurance when you book your holiday.

HEALTH :
A number of vaccinations, as well as malaria medication, are recommended. Consult with your doctor at least two weeks before departure.

CLIMATE :
Goa is delightful between October and May (midday temperature: 24C to 32C, evenings 15C to 22C) and humidity is generally low although in April and May it does get a bit warmer and a little more humid. Generally, you will enjoy cool, fresh mornings and evenings and dry sunny days. The monsoon rains occur in the summer months between June and September but it is just possible to get the odd heavy shower in October / November although these are very much the exception rather than the rule. Mosquitoes are not a big problem in Goa but between 6pm and 8pm it's still a good idea to apply 'Autan' or 'Odomos' repellent to ankles and any exposed skin areas.

WHAT TO BRING :
Because of the climate, simple and light clothing is all you will need. There are a number of shops selling very cheap beachwear in Goa, so it is better to take too little rather than too much.Sun glasses, sun-block and insect repellent are recommended.  A torch with spare batteries,  and a camera might also be a good idea.

SEA SWIMMING :
The beaches in Goa are wonderful, the sea looks inviting, but. at certain times of year there is a strong undertow and drownings have occurred. Great care should be taken to stay well within your depth and capacity and never, ever swim (or even frolic in the waves) under the influence of alcohol.

PACKING & BAGGAGE :
Do travel light! You won't need heavy clothing in India. The standard baggage allowance for flights is 20kg for checked baggage plus one small cabin baggage item not exceeding 5kg in weight per person. Infants do not qualify for a separate baggage allowance. Please note that computers, radios and other electronic items must not be packed in checked baggage but carried as part of your hand baggage.

CURRENCY :
At the time of writing 1.00 buys around 74 Indian Rupees (or, put another way, Rs.100/- is approx 1.40), making Goa - and India generally - a particularly low cost destination. Sterling travellers' cheques and bank notes are both welcome and easily exchangeable and, by way of exception to the normal rule, exchange rates offered at hotels are virtually identical to the rates offered by banks. Visa and MasterCard are also amazingly quite widely accepted. Do keep any 'encashment certificates' that you will be given when changing currency and travellers' cheques since these may be needed for exchanging any surplus rupees back into Sterling when you leave India.

LANGUAGE :
The national language of India is Hindi but this is spoken principally around Delhi and in the North. States such as Goa are allowed to choose their own 'official' language within their territory and in the case of Goa, Konkani and Marathi have that status. English is, however, widely spoken throughout Goa and India generally and it is highly unusual for our visitors to incur any sort of language problem!

CONDUCT :
Naturally, you are subject to the laws of India and must respect local culture, customs and dress code. Touching drugs in any shape or form will land you in jail or worse. Also, do remember to bring your swimsuit - and wear it - since nudity on Indian beaches (and elsewhere in public!) is strictly prohibited. If you cause, or appear likely to cause, damage or distress to others or to property, either ourselves or the supplier concerned (air carrier, hotel or ground handler, etc) may terminate their services on the spot without refund or compensation.

WATER & ELECTRICITY :
Problems with water supply, plumbing and drainage can and do happen in Goa and although most hotels have independent generators to cope with power rationing, you need to be prepared for some inconvenience in these areas. Bring a torch with you. Most roads are unlit at night. Electricity operates on 220v AC, 50 cycles (Hz), but an adapter for bayonet cap is recommended and small round 'old-style' 3-pin plugs are used. Electrical safety standards vary from those at home.

LOCAL TRANSPORT :
To hire a car with a driver for the day can be both an economical and convenient way to see Goa. Self-drive car hire by foreigners is neither recommended nor generally possible. Taxis are available from most hotels in Goa and work on either a 'fixed fare per destination' or approximately Rs.8 per km. (base to base) plus Rs.20 per hour 'waiting time'. Taxi drivers are generally honest but you should always agree the cost of a trip in advance to avoid any misunderstanding later. It is generally not recommended you hire motorbikes but if you are determined to do so, bring your international driving licence, helmet, some long trousers and Dutch courage!

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