Around a month before leaving for Goa, I took to the web to find somewhere to stay for the first leg of my journey. As it was over the New Year period, hostels and hotels were booking up extremely fast and prices were double/triple what they would usually be.
After scouring through Booking.com to find a bargain, I came across Backpacker Panda, a new hostel, which had been put up on the website only days before. Cheap (£9.50 a night in comparison to £20/30 for other accommodation), in the location I was looking for and with some great reviews already, I booked it straightaway.
On my last couple of trips to India, hostels had been very hard to come by so, I was excited to see how Backpacker Panda had branched out into the backpacking, hostel scene.
Set in a fantastic position around a 2 minute walk from the beach yet, down a peaceful dirt track just off of the main road (I would advise getting a map to show your taxi/tuk tuk driver beforehand as it can be a little tricky to find), this hostel is positioned perfectly for lazy days on the beach as well as, days out and about sightseeing.
When we first arrived from the airport at around 10.30pm, we were greeted by a welcoming open-air reception with a communal seating area, computer, bookshelf and a drum and guitar (for if you fancy getting musical) – the exact set up you hope for from a hostel.
We were swiftly checked in by one of the lovely security men (there is always someone on reception for late check ins) and shown to our six bed dorm. Clean, with an adjoining bathroom (with a very decent, powerful shower), a huge draw to lock our valuables in and squishy mattresses, we passed out before you could say ‘Namaste’.
After sleeping off our jet lag, we had a chance to explore the hostel and the surrounding area a bit more. Decorated in hip graffiti and traveller quotes and offering a kitchen with filtered water, wifi and washing facilities, it was kitted out to the max for travellers and had a desirable chilled out, backpacker vibe.
Also boasting partnerships with a couple of the local beach shacks, which offer guests up to 20% off of their bill, Backpacker Panda has the backpacking scene down to a tee and clearly understands what travellers are after from their accommodation (a bargain and a chance to make some new pals).
With hostels also in the pipe line to be launched in Udaipur, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Agra and Varanasi, I have no doubt that this hostel chain will soon be known amongst backpackers all over and I would recommend it to anyone who is looking for a cheap, friendly and comfortable stay in Candolim.
N.B This is not a sponsored post and all opinions are my own