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Other neighbouring beaches in South Goa include Agonda Beach and Cola Beach.
Palolem beach is largely unspoiled and is inhabited by both local fishermen and by foreign tourists who live in shacks along the shore or in the main village itself. It is about one mile (approximately 1.61 km) long and is crescent-shaped; one can view the entire beach from either end. Both ends of the beach consist of rocks jutting out into the sea. The depth of the sea increases gradually, being shallowest at the northern end of the beach, making it safe for average swimmers, and the currents are not fast.
The beach is featured as the Goan residence of Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) in the film The Bourne Supremacy (2004). The initial footage in the movie gives a good idea of the natural beauty of the beach - the distinctive tree covered rocks at one end (known locally as Green Island - to which tours are run) and beach shacks.
At the top of the island adjoining Palolem beach there is a stone sculpture created by an American conceptual and land artist Jacek Tylicki called "Give if you can – Take if you have to" also called the "Money stone". It became a pilgrimage destination. At the low tide it is a tough jungle walk and a guide is recommended. People can leave or take money at will at the Money stone.
The nearest airport is Dabolim Airport which is about 67 km away. Margao railway station is at a distance of 43 km. There are bus services at a regular interval of 30 mins from the beach to the Kadamba Transport Corporation (KTC) Bus Depot in Margao. The nearest KTC depot is at Canacona.
In the early 1980s, Palolem was not that well known except for the few hippies who began coming to Palolem Island and staying there for months. Palolem is one of the most beautiful beaches in Goa and as a result, it often becomes overcrowded during the holiday season. Palolem is flooded with a mix of nationalities and has a unique culture of beach cottage accommodation. It is becoming more and more popular as a holiday destination. It has gained so much popularity that even people from India have started visiting this place. Many of the cottages are right on the beach, facing the sea. Accommodation is very cheap and basic, and can't be booked online in most cases. Besides Palolem Beach, you will find Colom Beach and Patnem which are hardly at a distance of 1 km from each other. The Thai style beach shacks on the beach front are typically taken down during the monsoon season and re-erected when the dry season starts.
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