Mapusa (pronounced Mapsa) is the regional market town and no trip to Goa is complete without a bus ride there for a shopping extravaganza. The main marketplace is right beside the bus station, and there you will find everything for sale: saris, spices, fresh fruit, pottery, bedclothes, excellent stainless steel kitchenware, and of course bindis for me! (My favourite is blue, by the way).

The best place to eat is the Shantadurga Hotel in the middle of the market, which does a lovely thali for about Rs12.

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