Anjuna, the next sizeable village up the coast from Baga, was, until a few years back, the last bastion of alternative chic in Goa – where the state’s legendary full-moon parties were staged each season, and where the Beautiful Set would rent pretty red-tiled houses for six months at a time, make trance mixes and groovy dance clothes, paint the palm trees fluoro colours and spend months lazing on the beach. A small contingent of fashionably attired, middle-aged hippies still turn up, but thanks to a combination of the Y2K music ban and overwhelming growth in popularity of the flea market, Anjuna has seriously fallen out of fashion for the party crowd. As a consequence, the scattered settlement of old Portuguese houses and whitewashed churches, nestled behind a long golden sandy beach, nowadays more closely resembles the place it was before the party scene snowballed than it has for a decade or more. There is, however, a downside to staying here: levels of substance abuse, both among visitors and locals, remain exceptionally high, and the village suffers more than its fair share of dodgy characters.

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