ANJUNA FLEA MARKET, INDIA
This weekly bazaar started in the 1960s as a way for hippie travelers to barter their goods.
Set among the palm trees by the Arabian Sea, the “only-in-Goa” laid-back feel at the Anjuna Flea Market is immediately palpable.
Your first clue is the vast range of interesting and eclectic goods sold at this market. Wares range from linen clothes to Nepali and Tibetan artifacts, spices, incense, semi-precious stones, crystals, and carved knives, alongside stalls offering tattoos, dreadlocks or hair-coloring, and body piercings.
The village of Anjuna first earned its reputation as a popular hippie destination in the 1960s and ’70s, catering to Western travelers interested in Eastern spiritual traditions. The beachside market was an extension of that experience, and remains a must-see bazaar for visitors in North Goa today.
This “bartering bazaar” formed organically around 1960 by travelers who ran short of cash and bartered their goods in the square. In the beginning, locals called it an “open-air hippie goods exchange.” The weekly flea is now a wildly popular attraction for backpackers, tourists, and locals alike.
While prices at the market are very affordable, bargaining is an expectation. Most of the eclectic trinkets and wares sold here are from all over India and neighboring countries, and visitors come here for the experience of bargaining rather than in search of local goods. The market also now offers a vast array of global cuisine, including Indian, Israeli, Indo-Chinese and Western food.
Clancy's comment: I've been to thousands of these markets. They always offer something to surprise you.