To get to Hampi from Goa, you can either take a bus or a train. We settled for a night bus. The bus was due to leave Canacona at 8pm (the nearest stop to Palolem) and arrive in to Hampi at 5am. This cost 900 rupees (approx £10) for a sleeper AC bus. The ‘stop’ at Canacona was actually just a bench under a tree by the side of the road. Dogs, cows, cockroaches and crickets were there to keep you company.
The crazy driving combined with terrible road conditions made for a pretty awful journey. Thankfully sleep eventually took over and we arrived in Hampi. We took a tuk tuk to Gopi Guesthouse. A fan room for 3 people cost us 800 rupees.
Hampi is a total tourist trap and this seems to be the main source of income. Tour guides, tuk tuk drivers, stall owners and restaurant staff will be constantly at you when you are walking down the streets.
The landscape isn’t like anything I have ever seen before. There are massive boulders somehow balanced on top of more boulders as far as the eye can see. This is purely down to erosion, but it is so incredible that I can’t quite believe that only nature has done this.
There are also monuments everywhere. Over 500 in fact. Ruins of temples, palaces, baths, markets and many others surprise you at every turn.
Hampi is a bit of an open air museum. Everything is spread over a small distance which is easy to cover in a tuk tuk. A full day tour cost us 1,500 rupees. If you are feeling a bit more active and can handle the sweltering sun, there are many stalls offering bicycle rental.
A cooking class with a local family is a good alternative activity after a day of temple bashing. We paid 500 rupees each to make 3 different curries, pakoras, naan and chapati. Learning how to make curry the traditional way was really interesting, although I wish I didn’t know how much oil went in one curry (about 3 tablespoons!).
There are many guesthouses and restaurants offering delicious food. Hampi is a vegetarian town. The veggie food is very good here, with so many options. Most places will sell a variety of Asian cuisines as well as a couple of western options.