Saturday, April 16, 2016

Goa Dabolim Airport to Panaji by Bus

A question often asked, as an alternative to taking the taxis from Goa's Dabolim Airport to Panaji, is whether public buses are available. It's an interesting journey, broken into two parts. First, a short trip to Vasco followed by a ride to Panaji. 

Public buses can be seen lined up right in front of the arrival terminal by the Highway that runs by. There is no need to cross the Highway. You only need to exit the arrival terminal building, turn right and walk down past the passenger drop off area towards the old terminal. As you reach the intersection, make a U turn, and you are likely to see the buses right there. Or, a bus should appear shortly. 

The ride to Vasco lasted about 15 to 20 minutes early morning, the fare was Rs 8. The bus was a local bus that made several quick stops along the way. 

Getting off the bus at the last stop, you need to walk about 100 metres past the market to the area from where the buses to Margao and Panaji leave. 

There is a line for tickets, however, the buses are fairly frequent.  

Ths fare from Vasco to Panaji was Rs 37. The express buses do not stop on the way.

The road from Vasco to Panaji winds past several familiar sights. The wide mouth of the River Zuari as it meets the Arabian Sea is home to a series of ship building yards. 

The ride on the Zuari Bridge never fails to say 'Welcome back to Goa'. 

After 35 minutes or so, the bus pulls into Panaji Bus Stop. Interestingly, there are two wheelchairs at the back of the bus, without air in the tyres, the wheel rims almost fused on to the metal floor boards by the rust. How would one ever use these wheelchairs, I wondered, as I got off the bus. 

The travel time from Dabolim Airport to Panaji Bus Station via Vasco during the early hours of the morning was a little over an hour, total fare Rs 45. Bus schedules are not entirely predictable, and buses often get very crowded. This mode of travel is convenient if you are carrying one or two small pieces of luggage and are not in a tearing hurry to get to Panaji.

If you are heading to Anjuna, you may find this useful, a glimpse of food and menus in Anjuna.

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