One of the few genuinely positive improvements to the north Goa resort strip over the last fifteen years has been the Saturday Night Market held on a plot inland at Arpora, midway between Baga and Anjuna. Originally the brainchild of an expat German called Ingo, it’s run with great efficiency and a sense of fun that’s palpably lacking these days from the Anjuna flea market. The balmy evening temperatures and pretty lights are also a lot more conducive to relaxed browsing than the broiling heat of mid-afternoon on Anjuna beach. Although far more commercial than its predecessor in Anjuna, many old Goa hands regard this as far truer to the original spirit of the flea market. A significant proportion of the stalls are taken up by foreigners selling their own stuff, from reproduction Indian pop art to antique photos, the latest trance party gear, stunning antique and coconut-shell jewellery and techno DJ demos. There’s also a mouthwatering array of ethnic food and a stage featuring live music from around 7pm until 3am, when the market winds up, as well as a couple of trendy bars with live music or DJs. Admission is free.
The night market from which Ingo’s splintered – Mackie’s – lies nearby, close to the riverside In Baga. Spurned by the expatriate designers and stallholders, it is not quite as lively as its rival, though in recent years has made an effort to close the gap, with better live acts and more foreign stallholders.