If you are a beach/ water person, Andamans is a must visit for you!!! I had been to Andaman islands with my husband in March 2018 for 6 days and 5 nights.. The place is amazing... purely magical. In this article i will share my experiences and review about the place and hotels and resorts that we stayed in.
A perfect vacation for a beach lover, without any doubt, I suggest would be Andaman Islands. The place is so serene and beautiful that one would fall in love with this place instantly.
Andamans is basically a cluster of islands in the Indian Ocean. Hence, there's water all around. Anywhere you wish to go and it has to by a ship to another island.
I would share my trip and experiences below in detail. A little long article but I hope it is of some help to you too when planning yout trip.
Me and my husband planned a trip of 6 days and 5 night to explore the Andaman islands, though i don't think it was enough. We missed out on a few places! It is one of the favorite destinations of newly-weds - the honeymooning couples.
We saw a few family groups and one two groups of elderly people too. The weather was very hot and humid. Be ready to get tanned terribly after a visit to Andaman.
So we started from Bangalore to Port Blair, the capital city of Andaman. We took a direct flight. It just takes 3 hours and you are there!!! We stayed at Hotel Keys in Port Blair. The best part of this hoel is that it is right opposite the airport. So as you land, you just have to cross the road and you will be at the hotel. It is a very neat and clean hotel, we were received with a very warm reception there. The rooms and service are good too. The staff is very friendly and co-operative and do their best to make your stay comfortable.
After reaching the hotel, we had to freshen up quickly and leave for Cellular Jail, since the entry there is only upto 4.30p.m. It was worth the hurry as the jail is beautiful and very well-maintained. The guides there explain well in detail about the history of the jail and how the prisoners were treated there. The architecture of the jail is in the form of spokes of a bicycle, such that the front of one wing would face the back of the other. It was designed in such a way so that the prisoners could not communicate with each other. It is so surprising to know that even at those times there were such well thought architectures. A complete exploration of the jail takes around an hour or so. A light and sound show is also organised there every evening which is quite informative.
After the visit to the Cellular Jail, we headed back to the hotel and spent a quiet evening at the hotel itself.
We traveled to Jolly Buoy Islands via a ferry. It takes about 40 minutes to reach Jollu Buoy from Port Blair. This island is an untouched beauty. One very good thing about this island is that it is for "eco friendly tourists," that is, plastic is completely banned on this island. Even water bottles are provided by the government counters there before you board the ferry by taking a nominal amount as deposit. The botlles have to be returned back to them once you're back from Jolly Buoy and take a refund of the deposit. There is no civilisation on this island at all. So getting something to est there is also very difficult. All you get is some packed potato chips (like Lays,etc) and coconut water. So it is best to carry packed breakfast from the hotel from Port Blair itself.
Jolly Buoy is open only for 6 months in a year and only upto 3pm or so. I must mention here that we found this island to be the most beautiful island in our entire trip. Crystal clear water, the marine is visible easily. Here the ferry guys offer "glass bottom boat ride". They have a boat with the bottom of glass and through this glass we can see the marine life beneath clearly. A little expensive but it is worth it. It was truly breath-taking. We could see so many different kinds and colors of fishes. There were star fishes of various color, red, blue, white .. it was such a sight!! We could even spot a turtle and not to forget an OCTOPUS! Yes, we could see an octopus jus below our boat. The oysters, shells which hold the pearl, are of various kinds, sizes and colors. We got to know that only after doing this boat ride. We could also a lot of corals of different colors and types. The boat operator cum guide gives you a lot information about these corals and other marine life during the boar ride. Everything under water seemed to be simply beautiful.
Jolly Buoy island also has snorkelling. The island is quite small but it has a lot to offer as far as marine life is concerned. It is very clean and not commercialised and probably that is what makes this place so beautiful.
We returned to our hotel at Port Blair after spending some 3 hours at Jolly Buoy.
It was the most hectic and fun-filled day. We left early morning from Port Blair for Havelock islands. It took about one and a half hours to reach Havelock. We chose Virgin Beach Resort for our stay, but it was a terrible experience there. Shabbily painted, smelly stinky room, no water in tpas, the did not have the basic necessities also in the room. Service and food was worst too. No one was paying any heed to our repeated requests and complains. Wouldn't recommend this resort to anyone for stay.
Soon after reaching there, we headed for Scuba Diving. It was truly an amazing experience. The guides and trainers are very friendly and cautious and make sure of your safety. Even if one does not how to swim, they can go for scuba without any fear. After a little training of breathing and gestures under water, the trainers took us inside the water.The under water is simply a bliss to watch. So many fishes, corals, oysters, etc.. So many colors all around.. its all very impressive. Words are not enough to describe the astonishing experience. Scuba Diving is a MUST recommendation for every tourist in Andaman. the guys there even click some pics and videos of you under water and give it to you later in an android phone.
After the unforgettable experience of Scuba diving, we headed for the most famous beach of Havelock - "Radha Nagar Beach". It is huge beach with white sand and crystal clear water. Thronged by tourists for the spectacular view of sunset. It is nice beach to just relax and spend time in water and shores watching the sun set. There are small shops by the beach which sells jewellery and other items made of shells, handicrafts and hats and keychains and such small items which one can buy as momentos.
It was a very tiring day but a memorable one.
The next day we headed for Elephant Beach from Havelock. It is about a 15 minute ride in a speed boat. This beach, as the name suggests, is famous for elephants being there, but now none of them are there.
This beach has a lot of water based activities to offer like Jetski, Banana boat ride, snorkelling, sea walk, etc. We chose to go for snorkelling here. Every experience is one of its kinds. Even though we had seen marine life, seeing it again was as exciting and wonderful as it was first time. It was such a picturesque view down in water that it makes you forget all your worries and helps you relax your mind. Again, here too we got pictures and videos of us snorkeling.
Elephant beach also does not options for food as this island also has no civilization on it. No retaurants or eateries. A few small kiosks are there selling bhel and a few other chat items woch are very different from what we get here, and coconut water. So everytime, taking packed food from the hotel before leaving is advisable.
Evening we checked out of our resort and headed for Neil Island. We first visited the Natural Bridge or "The Howrah Bridge," as it is popularly known as. By the name, one would imagine something like a proper bridge using which we can cross a river, etc. But it is nothing like this. The Howrah Bridge here actually a structure formed in the shape of bridge naturally due to the tides and waves of the ocean. Hence the name "The Natural Bridge". The place is beautiful and during low tides you can see corals and fishes very clearly in low depths of water. it was a pleasant evening there.
At Neil Island, we checked in to Holiday Inn Resort. It was a beautiful and huge resort. Very clean rooms, well-lit, co-operative staff, good service and good food.
We were supposed to visit Laxmanpur Beach, Sitapur Beach, Bharatpur Beach, but since the resort was so beautiful, we chose to stay in the resort itself and spend some quality quiet time relaxing, as this was the last day of our trip. The resort also has a small clean private beach and it was very peaceful to just sit there and relax with a good view and good company.
We left for Port Blair in the evening.
We went out to explore the local markets of Port Blair. It was priced exorbitantly. Anything you want to buy, you should be ready to shell out a lot of money for that. It was not at all worth it. Being a tourist place, the prices are very high here. Food was good enough.
We also visited "Chidiya Tapu". It is a small beach and it is said that there are crocodiles in the water there and so the people are not allowed to go near water.
Finally, our trip came to an end and we flew back to Bangalore. In all it was an amazing and an unforgettable trip. Andaman is a strongly recommended place.
Pros & Cons of Andamans:
- A paradise on earth
- Well maintained and clean beaches
- Helpful people
- Offers a lot to explore
- Quite expensive - all activities and shopping in Port Blair
- No night life
Few Other places in Andaman one may consider to explore:-
- Baratang Island
- Little Andaman Island
- Ross Island
- Viper island
I hope my article is of some help and urges you to visit Andaman atleast once.
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