The Anjuna Flea market on Wednesday is the queen of hippie flea markets. Rumor says it was started by the father hippie himself “eight finger Eddie” in 1975. Some will say it traced back further.
Once the hippies had followed the ever famous trail through Eastern Europe and ending in Anjuna, they burned their passports never to go home again… that is, until they started to run out of money.
There were backpackers all over India and Goa. So what was so special about Anjuna? Other than freedom, peace, and happiness… they indulged in the mind-altering options Anjuna’s lack of policemen allowed, along with full moon parties and laying out completely naked.
The words ‘hippies’ and ‘psychedelic’ don’t go together for no reason. Enter: the origins of the flea market. The hippies/free spirits came together and traded their belongings: clothes, jewels, guitars, whatever they had… anything to stay in paradise just a little longer.
The Anjuna Flea market’s vendors now are a nice mix between hippie expats and fun indian stalls. The expats/foreigners usually sell handmade clothing, jewelry, or do something for you like piercings and dreadlocks.
Some have run out of money and need to get home or want to stay longer, others are making a living. Some travel with the tourists, heading north when the tourists leave Goa form Leh during monsoon. In a way the same thing that was happening in the 60’s and 70’s is still happening now.
The clothes that the ‘psychadelic’ girls sell have their own look entirely. “psy goa trance” music and clothing are a very unique, freaky fun type. If you’re looking for girly expensive beach clothes check out Ashvem beach boutiques or wait for the Saturday night market.
You won’t see the old school trading happening, but in my opinion the charm is still there (so are some of the old hippies).
The Indian stalls are what you’ll see in other markets in Goa, or even the rest of India. You might find hammocks, jewelry, buddha or shiva statues. You also might come across a used cell phone, bootlegged DVD’s, or a lonely bicycle.
The customers aren’t all backpackers; Indian tourists and locals alike to come have a beer, hangout, and listen to the local bands. You might hear some rock bands or the “Goa Trance” music that became popular before techno, house, or dub-step ever did. Bands play at Sea Breeze and cafe Looda, like Shayne Ballantyne and Elvis Lobo, or the rockstars behind Electric Pulse.
Grab a beer, a platter of seafood, and enjoy! If you want to shop hardcore, grab something on the go from a food stand, like the Indian corn on the cob- rubbed with a lime and sprinkled with salt.
One of my favorite (and least favorite things) about the market is you can find items from all over India. If you didn’t make it to McLeod Ganj to buy Tibetan jewelry or a singing bowl, don’t worry because there is a Tibetan sales section. Did you miss out of buying a yak wool hoodie in the Himilayas? You can get all the Nepalese winter wear right here in Goa!
You can find these items anywhere in India from the banks of River Varanasi to the edges of Rajasthan- and for much cheaper prices than you’ll ever get during season time in Goa. For that reason, I don’t shop at the market unless it’s unique handmade jewels or head pieces. Although, if you were visiting only Goa on a short vacation with a larger budget, this market would be your heaven.
This photo above is Ixia “La Alkemista” a shop that is always near Sea Breeze at the market. I love love love their jewelry. I can’t walk past without finding new one I want. I got a toe ring for 300 rs, the pendant in the lower right with the blue stone is one of Ben’s Christmas gifts for me. You can get a gold chain extra. The chunky rings are great too. You can contact at email@example.com or from anywhere you can SHOP online at their Etsy shop!! have fun : )
the black skirt above is an example of psy trance clothing
the psy “fannypack”
These great pieces come from an Argentinean/ French team and they have a spot spread out on the ground near the beach side. I bought a twisted wire arm band and a feather earring. They don’t have an Etsy shop yet, but if you are in Goa you can contact at firstname.lastname@example.org to purchase.
sugar cane juice
Sadhu making his way through the crowd
Tibetan section of the market
some vendors might say this marble came from the Taj Mahal itself ;)
deep fried samosas filled with potato
If you want to buy a wall hanging, check out these tips
Above & below are feather earrings and dreamcatcher by Diana Dreadlocks, who does hair art, wraps, feather, and dreads, as well as tarot, reiki healing and teaching. email her at email@example.com
mmm my favorite corn on the cob!
fresh tea is the bomb…
hint: if you don’t want the vendors to bother you, take your dog. Most were very scared of little Huck
and ALWAYS make sure you ask before you take people’s pictures
with a juicer, it takes one whole pineapple to make a glass of juice
when you get hot from shopping just take a break in the sea
The girl above makes the psycadelic punk fashion below. E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org and you MUST check out the incredible photography and clothing on her fb page.
the semi-precious jewels are always a steal but make sure the silver is real
All the Nepalese warm clothes you could never need in Goa :)
lovely shoes for a couple months until they inevitably break
make sure you stay for the seaside live music!
Last minute tips
- The Flea Market is at the far south end of Anjuna beach
- open from 8 AM until usually 7 or so PM
- It’s only on during season, usually late October to March (December will be too crowded!)
- my new home, Anjuna, is known as the “freak capital” of the world
- driving in can be a real b*tch in peak season. Either park out further so you don’t get parked in, ride a scooter, or get dropped off
- if you don’t want “same same but different” check of Ashvem’s boutiques and this shopping guide to Goa.
- remember although goa screams “drugs” they are illegal, and because of recent events police are cracking down
- stay tuned for the upcoming saturday night market… !
- PS: Coming to Goa? I wrote a 170-page ebook the Insider’s Guide to Goa which you can buy with this link. It’s all my secrets to make sure you have the BEST time here, chill in the coolest places, and meet other travelers.
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