Goa is India with a hint of Portuguese flavor. They came in the 16th century, made a fortune in the spice trade, and refused to leave until 1961, 14 years after India as a whole obtained independence from Britain. Echoes of their stay still whisper through the swaying palms, carried on soft breezes along the white sands for which Goa is justly famous - evocative but crumbling architecture, richly decorated churches, and the custom of siesta, eagerly embraced by the local population. Head to the surrounding countryside for typical Indian villages, spice plantations, and a wetland sanctuary for an exhilarating bird-watching experience.
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