Getting Oriented

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Getting Oriented

Goa is best described as short (just 105 km [65 miles] long) and sweet (full of friendly locals). The capital city, Panaji, divides the northern beaches from those in the south, and is the regional transportation and cultural center. Although Goa is India's smallest state (in area), its terrain manages to include sandy beaches, lazy backwaters, acres of emerald-green rice paddies, and thick palm forests, as well as steep, jungle-covered mountains. Its immense popularity means that it has much better tourist infrastructure than elsewhere in India, with plenty of hotel rooms, an increasing number of excellent restaurants, decent roads, and reliable cell-phone connectivity and electricity.

Most of the country's development is along its coastline, where visitors will find all the resorts that have made Goa famous, as well as its two major towns—Panaji in the center and Margao in the south.

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