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Silent Noise Parties in Palolem Beach, Goa, India

Posted by on April 30, 2014

The party scene in Goa is dead, has been for a long time, or at least that’s what I read as I grew close.

The word “Goa”, like a phantom from a sixties I never knew, has for a long time sung to me, conjuring images of beach parties, free love, wild hedonism…

But as I neared Goa I was hearing increasingly frequent stories of cops pulling the plug on live bands, mid-song, at precisely 10pm, of conservative Indian attitudes towards alcohol, of strictly enforced noise pollution laws.

India is no Thailand, no Agia Napa, no Latin America, but there is hope – It took me a while, but I did track down the party in Goa.

Goa Beaches Nightlife Guide

Beach Description
Palolem Favoured by backpackers, couples and Lonely Planet. Quiet, laid back and clean beach. No noise after 10pm, hence the innovative “silent discos”.
Arambol Probably the most popular beach with people of all nationalities (especially Russians of late) and the historic hippy heart of Goa. Some bars on the beach stay open until around 2am, but without music.
Anjuna Last stand of the (highly illegal) Goan trance party. If you want to drink and rave all through the night, this is pretty much the only place in Goa where you’re likely to be able to do it.

If clubbing is what you’re after, don’t waste your time elsewhere. Head straight for Anjuna.

However, I strongly recommend checking out the silent discos of Palolem beach…if only for the comic value of watching drunk people (of whom you will soon become one) dancing around and singing atrociously in the otherwise eerie silence.

Silent Discos in Palolem, Goa

Silent Disco Where? (Bar) When? (Day of the Week)
Headphone Party Laughing Buddha Tuesday
HeadphoneParty Goa Alpha Bar Thursday
Silent Noise Neptune Point Saturday

There are three regular silent discos in Palolem Beach (as of 2014). These take place on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays during the season, which lasts from November until the end of April – basically until the monsoon season arrives.

Dog on Palolem Beach, Goa

Arrived in Palolem at dawn. Immediately befriended by this beach dog.

Sun beds on Palolem Beach

Taking a stroll along the beach

Palolem beach by day

Palolem Beach by day

Kingfisher beer at sunset, Palolem Beach

Enjoying a Kingfisher at sunset

I hit a bar and got chatting to a couple of regulars (Oli and some Swedish chick) and the entire bar staff. At one point Elsie (the bar dog) and Oli had a dance-off.

Elsie won.

We got wasted, they told me about all the people (locals and backpackers alike) who had died this season (drownings, overdoses…) then we all set off for Laughing Buddha.

Sunset over Palolem Beach, Goa, India

Sunset over Palolem Beach

Laughing Buddha sign silent disco headphone party

The headphone party at Laughing Buddha…you can’t miss it.

Laughing Buddha silent disco, Palolem Beach, Goa, India

The silent disco is round the back of the beach huts. You can’t hear it. Look out for flashing lights.

At Laughing Buddha, headphones cost about 400 rupees (£4) ($7) and have two channels. Two DJs compete for your ears. One usually plays cheese, pop and classic power ballads (think “Eye of the Tiger”) while the other caters to slightly more serious customers. And if that doesn’t hit the spot, you can always just bring your own music like my mate Oliver.

Silent noise party and disco in Palolem, Goa

Oli takes the podium. The beach dogs steal the floor.

The beach dogs and backpackers dance in harmony.

It’s all too easy to get caught up in the mood with the headphones on, but hilarious when you take them off.

14 Responses to Silent Noise Parties in Palolem Beach, Goa, India

  1. Anne

    I visited Goa about 2 years ago (Palolem, Baga and Anjuna). Back then there were no parties in Palolem – for me the place actually seemed more like a family destination. And russians everywhere of course. Baga on the other hand was a tourist trap that I will never hopefully visit again! Anjuna had plenty of parties and governments noise pollution ban didn’t seem to affect there. We also visited one big party in Vagator which was held at this outdoor “club”. The party started in the afternoon and stopped around midnight I guess.

    As the loud music is not very welcome in Goa, silent parties seem like a good option!

    • Roy Duffield

      Yeah, they’re pretty fun. You have to be in the right mood for it, of course.
      Luckily I swung well clear of Baga. Will have to try Vagator on another visit.
      Yep, Palolem draws its fair share of crazies, but is still pretty laid back. For quieter, family friendly beaches, a lot of people are going South now to Gokarna, Karnataka and Varkala, Kerala. Did you go there?

  2. Jim

    I will be in Goa November time,i will give the silent party a go.I cant dance for the life of me lol.Russians are now overtaking the Brits as the main holiday makers in Goa,all the indians i spoke to last year in Goa dont like them.I like a drink but 1litre of vodka for a few rupees and the Russians hammer it big time.I love Goa,i always hire a motor bike and the freedom comes free.

    • Roy Duffield

      Cool, let me know how it goes.

      I’ve heard a lot of views on the whole Russian thing. Personally I’ve got nothing against it. People say “everything’s in Russian” in Nha Trang, Vietnam too, but I think we don’t notice that there’s a hell of a lot more English signage.

      Goa seemed like a cool place to rent a bike. I was tempted to buy an Enfield I saw for sale. I also saw a lot of guys with scabs all down one side of their body though so look after yourself my friend. You read my latest post about motorcycling in Nepal?

  3. Galloping Gourmette

    Man I love Goa, one of the few mainly turd free beach areas in India.
    I just booked again with the dreaded Air Asia [shrink ur butt and cut off your legs to fit the seats] for 2016, couldn’t resist for only A$240 promo fare from Gold Coast airport to Cochin 1 way.
    I prefer Monsoon season, July Aug its so cheap for accom its a steal.
    No party scene then, but I like it that way, but local bars and cheap booze, well stocked bottle stores, and food from around the world are everywhere.
    Oh Yeh!
    All the beaches are manned with lifesavers, and the beaches are mainly clean.
    No thanks to the so called domestic tourists who come in their thousands from Mumbai, Chennai, Gujurat [the prohibition state] etc, who seriously get on the piss legally in Goa, as a local Goan Indian beachfront restaurant owner complained to me that its those dirty Indian tourists who leave the trash on the beach.
    I found that comment interesting!
    Yeh and motor scooter rental at about A$4 a day is the best way to get into the corners and away from any tourists.

  4. Carol

    Dearest Drinking Traveller,

    I am travelling Goa solo for 2 weeks over Xmas & NY and have chosen Arambol for Xmas and Patnem for NY… I can’t help but wonder if I l should choose Palolem over Patnem?? I definitely need to be around good fun people and have to have a bit of partying. At the same time I do like to get away from it and prefer a crowd in their late 20s early 30s and not so keen on commercial stuff.

    What would you recommend based on your experience?? Hope you can help!

    Thanks, Carol :)

  5. Abhi

    Hi Roy! I will be in Goa by 11th of Dec, will be heading to Palolem. Can you suggest me some nearby party area except the silent party?

  6. Sandhya

    Hey Roy ur travel stories are good to read n inspiring too. I visit goa every year but never been to south goa can u highlight some places to explore please. Also eateries n discos I m going April end n may beginning summer time.

    • Lubin

      Palolem is pretty good. Very laid back with loads of shacks. things close by 11 most of the days but the silent parties continue till 4-5am.

      Agonda is my fav beach. Absolutely gorgeous and I must admit that it is one of the best beaches that you can find in India.

  7. Yash

    Hey guys, I visited a silent party back in December ’14. I think it was at Neptune bar.
    But whatever the bar’s name, the scene was pretty killer.
    I just want to know whether there are such parties in June-July also.

  8. Reetika Ghosh

    Hey! I am planning a trip for 15 people to Goa this Christmas which will include one day of sunburn as well! You sure seem to have had your brilliant share of fun there. Suggest some places I could take them and plan a great three-day trip for them?

  9. vinod

    Hi Roy! I will be in Goa by 25, 26 and 27th of Dec, will be heading to Palolem. Can you suggest me some nearby party area except the silent party?

  10. Kristina Mendoza

    I’ve always wanted to go to India for some family vacation! Thanks for this wonderful article regarding your trip. I can’t wait to go their beaches too!

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