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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com 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.
Join my email list and get exclusive updates & news straight to your inbox.
I will never give away, trade or sell your email address. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Wow, cool place! Thanks for the great post and photos – this is definitely on my radar now! Btw, did you drink the sugarcane juice? It’s so delicious – I live in Egypt now, and my husband bought me a juicer machine for the sugarcane I grew. Maybe you’ll like to read about it at http://aishasoasis.wordpress.com/2014/01/02/recipe-wpics-from-sugarcane-to-juice/
yes, i’ve tried it! i find it a little too sweet but my bf loves it!
Way cool. Really want to go shopping here!
it’s so much fun to find jewelry here!
Hi Rachel, you gave out the vibe of the place fully. Loved it.
I have a technical question for you. We just moved in recently in the area and would probably stay here for a longer time. We would like to have a little stall at the market, do you know who we can contact to ask for details maybe??
Any help will be much appreciated.
Love and light
Hi Kinga, shoot me an email so I don’t forget, but you and someone else also asked. I’m waiting on a friend to get back to me on the details.
I would love to have a little shop at the Anjuna market. But I am not sure how to do it because I cant get a business visa. Do you know if the other foreigners have business visas or do they just take “the chance” without?
India is just so amazing… but so difficult to understant how the laws works and I dont want to end up in a indian prison or get kicked out of the country becuase I dont have a business visa! Do you have any good advise?
they definitely DON’t have a business visa ;) hahah Even Indians don’t understand many of the laws, but business visas are from major corporations and wouldn’t work for market place anyways. if you work in restaurant etc you would need work visa. the anjuna “hippie” market is very relaxed.
I’m in north India, making handicraft, and i’m looking for info about the Anjuna flea market. Do you know if i’d need to pay or register if i want to sell my things there? I can only find some (limited) info on the web about the Saturday night market, but nothing about the Wednesday flea market…
You do have to pay and register but I don’t have the details on how to do so. I think you can just go there and ask, but they may have sold all the spots by now.
so nice of you.. love your article
Great article, thanks
Just to advise, I tried to contact Diana Dreadlocks but the email address is invalid. Do you have a current one for her at all please as I would like to ask some advice.
Basically, I lived in Goa for over four years and brought my children up there but now they’ve all pretty much grown up, I’d like to come back in the new capacity of a very small business owner. Nothing too major or serious, I just want to do what I love and if I can make a little money at the same time, it would be great.
I make ( and can install) wool dreadlocks and also I am a body painter. I obviously wouldn’t want to step on anyones toes but I imagine that already there must be quite a few dreadlocks makers in and around Anjuna etc!
I would love a body painting stall in the market and a little corner of a beach shack where I can work from. Here’s hoping for this year.
So much amazing stuff you can buy in the Anjuna market. The problem is how to take all the stuff with you that you buy there. I actually had to buy a separate bag and sent it home with the India Post.
Yes, Indian post is a good option. I always pack only a check bag for these big trips 65L so extra space there, then buy a cute carry on to fill with all my shopping!
Good article you wrote here. Been in Goa, Anjuna 1999-2000. Seems like yesterday.
And the way you describe it, not much have changed. Only now it seems the shops is more commerse. And no one lived in hostels or hotels back then. We came in start of the season and rented a house (or room) for the hole stay. That way we got involved with the locals, wich is very wise, no matter what your up to. ☺️
Yes the hostels are totally new the last 4 years – and hotels are popping up more and more but still those who stay a whole season or full time drive around to find local houses to rent, it’s the best way!