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Below lists important information useful to the first time visitor. Panaji, Goa's capital is a 30 minute drive or more from the main beaches of Goa, where most of the hotels are located. Trips to confirm airline tickets or visit the foreigners registration officer for visa extension cannot be avoided. However many money exchange counters have sprung up along the coastal belt and most hotels have 'cambio' or money changing facilities. It is important to remember that running a few errands in Goa can take half a day, and nothing 'happens' during lunch break or siesta time.
Visa Extension - Contact foreigners registration officer for long term stay and visa extensions located at Panjim Police station. Open Monday - Friday's.
Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC), Trinora Apartments, Panjim, tel # 226515, 223459. Website URL: http://www.goacom.com/goatourism/
Changing money - You can do so at your hotel or at the airport. Your hotel will give you a government rate that is compatible with the rate anywhere else. There are so far no facilities for receiving cash against an international card at ATM machines and customers must go to the designated banks during office hours. It is advisable to bring in currency in American Express or Thomas Cook travellers' cheques or to draw against your Visa, Amex or Master card. Large numbers of hotels, bars and restaurants, shops and airlines now accept plastic. Diners Club, American Express, Master card/Access and Visa are commonly accepted.
Travel Corporation Of India, located at Citi Centre, Patto Plaza, Panjim.
UVI Holidays - 18th June Road, Panjim.
Located in all starred hotels, these bookshops also carry camera film, maps, postcards, and greeting cards. In Panjim, Varsha Bookstall is very popular. Look out for book exhibitons held frequently at Menezes Braganza Hall, Next to Panaji Police Station. In Mapusa, there are also a number of Bookstores like Other India BookStores and Findoll Publications who sell books and maps of Goa online on a 'secure' transaction server. Book fair - located at Hotel Mandovi, Panjim.
Hotel Fidalgo Bookshop - Panjim.
Shyam, at Baga stores a collection of second hand books in many languages.
Newspapers - there are 3 Goan newspapers or dailies -- The Navhind Times, Gomantaktimes, and Herald. They are worth scanning for a quick roundup of local politics, events and excursions to places of ineterest.
Business India, Business World and Business Today are all good business magazines that carry local and international coverage. Newsweek and Time and other international periodicals are also available at some bookstores.
SIM Card Services
Birla AT&T Communications Limited
Birla AT&T House
Plot No. 6, Altinho, Panaji. 403 001 Goa.
Phone: 91-832-236161/2, 432655/6
Mobile: (0091) 9822120126
BPL Cellular Limited
Citi Centre, 6th Floor,
19, Patto Plaza, Panaji - Goa. 403 001.
Sending Email, Faxes and Internet Browsing.
Hotels charge a steep surcharge for faxes sent from the hotel room through your own modem. There are a number of private individuals who have setup Photocopy, International Phone calling, faxing, sending emails to just plain browsing the Internet in Mapusa, Panjim, Margao and Vasco. There are also a number of cybercafes around.
In Badem-Anjuna, McDonald's are popular among foreign tourists. The rates are reasonable. The good thing about the McDonald's is that their services are open at any time of the day or night. So if you need to send that important message even in the wee hours of the morning, you can surely count on McDonald's ever obliging owner.
Many Hotels do not supply a seperate outlet for plugging your laptop or PC in. The Voltage is unsually high during the day and low at night. Hence you will need an adaptor and plug adaptor for your modem.
10 percent of the pre-tax amount minus a service charge is the acceptable norm.
In Goa, India the PAL system is used.
220 Volts. You will need plug adaptors.
General Post Office, Near patto bridge, Panjim, open 09.30am to 17.30 Monday through Friday. Franking machines for franking letters is available. Do ask for it.
General Post Office, Municipal Garden, Margao.
Colva Post Office, opposite Church, Colva.
24 hrs Drug Stores
They are many drug stores throughout Goa. The ones listed below are open 24 hrs. It is advisable to read one of the local newspapers mentioned above to get a scoop on which Drug stores are open 24 hrs.
Waghle Medical Stores, Neha Chemist and Druggist -- Panjim.
Santosh Medical Stores, Salkar Medicos -- Vasco.
Bardez Bazaar Chenist & druggist, Joao de Menezes -- Mapusa.
Sanita Druggist & Chenist, Holy Spirit Medical Stores, Faleiro Medical Stores -- Margao.
Sai Service Rent-a-car, Porvorim tel # 217063.
HERTZ Dabolim airport tel # 515367 and # 435975/423998/230760 in Panaji, Jeep/Car hire Colva tel # 733453.
RNK Rent-a-car tel # 220629/516286.
Joey's car rentals, Panjim tel # 228989.
Lillia car rentals tel # 227389.
Red Cross tel # 224601.
Esperanca Clinic, Miramar, Panjim tel # 224096, 222413.
GMC (Panjim) tel # 223026.
Mapusa tel # 262372.
Margao Ambulance trust tel # 730953/731749/722722.
GMC Blood bank (Bambolim) tel # 223037.
Margao tel # 722164.
International Airline Offices
AIR INDIA at Hotel Fidalgo, 18th June Road, Panjim, tel # 224081.
BRITISH AIRWAYS, 2 Excelsior Chambers, MG Road, Panjim, tel # 224336.
KLM, 18th June Road, near Titan showroom, Panjim, tel # 226678.
GULF AIR, AIR CANADA, AIR FRANCE, located at the Damania Office, Bernard Guedes Rd, Panjim, tel # 220056, 226154.