Just back from Andaman and can’t explain to you guys how much fun I had! Andaman still looks as if it is undiscovered, covered with dense forest and exotic flowers, clear water and virgin islands. An ideal gateway to spend your time by doing nothing and just relaxing. If you’re looking for a disc, gambling or late night parties then it’s not the place for you. People sleep by 9 pm and get up at 4-4.30. But if you love nature and love its natural beauties, then go ahead! Andaman calling.
Only reaching Andaman is expensive, rest everything is pretty reasonable. From food to stay, one can easily cover everything comfortably in the price of their choice.
There are two ways to reach Andaman islands – one is by ship which takes three days (as heard) to reach there which is going to make a common person sea sick only. Another is by flight from Chennai which takes two hours. In total it cost us Rs35,000 (2 ppl, Hyd-Chennai-Portblair) to and fro.
I saw mostly aged people above 50 in my flight so initially I was shocked 😛 but reaching there I realised that it is such a peaceful place that people of all age groups can enjoy there.
After reaching Port Blair and checking into the hotel Â we visited the following:
Corbyn’s Cove It was my first beach and so peaceful.There is a small changing room there which was of no use and little scary so we didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t swim there. In the whole beach, there was just one more couple. No plastic, no cold drink bottles. It is a good beach to visit on the first day. With this, there was no one who was selling anything and no water sports either. You are almost on your own on the beaches.
Chidya Tapu It is some what similar to Corbyns cove but little more beautiful.One can see the sunset here.
It was 6 in the evening and our driver told us that one can travel till 7 only in Andaman as all of them have to report to their owners.It was difficult to believe that people sleep at 9 pm there.
In all hotels be it five stars or three stars, tea or coffee are served by 7 in the morning – if you missed it then sorry 😛 Breakfast is available till 9am.We managed to get ready by 9 am and when we reached for our buffet at 9.05 they refused to serve us. It was incredulous and we thought that we got the worst of a hotel but then afterwards we realised that this is their normal lifestyle.
Day 2- We took a cruise to three islands which were Ross, Viper and North bay though our travel agent(www.travelguru.com) had just made our travel plans for North bay only. I wonder why they didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t do it because all the islands are 10 minutes from each other and it cost just Rs 300 more to visit them.One can cover all these three islands in six hours.Anyways we purchased our own ticket and visited the three islands.They are a must see. Ross Island has a great history.You can see the ruins of church, tennis court, swimming pool and many other things which Britishers did there. One can get a guide in Rs10 so do take them you will enjoy the history of the island.Viper island had nothing much just a house which has a jail that was used by British to imprison convicts.
After this we visited North bay which is a small island and one can see coral reefs and swim there. There is a small changing room and tea stall. For snorkelling we were charged Rs 200 per head for 20 min. and it was an amazing experience. Seeing all the corals , fishes under the water with the glasses and inhaler was an experience on its own.
After this, we went to Cellular jail(the infamous Kala Paani) and watched the sound and light show which too is a must watch. It was moving to see the jail where Vir Savarkar was imprisoned and to grasp how badly prisoners were treated and how they stayed is something beyond imagination.
3rd Day Havelock
We reached Havelock Island (yes this time we were ready by 7 and got used to of getting up at 6:30 am:P) boarded the steamer which cost Rs 650 (included in our plan btw).We reached hotelÂ Symphony palm beach resort which is a sea facing hotel if you stay in their ‘lagoon’ rooms. It has nice sea food too. We went to Radha Nagar beach (beach no.7) and trust me if you love swimming you are going to Love this beach. Just awesome! The water is so clear that even if you go neck deep, you will be able to see your feet and that’s not an exaggeration! DonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t forget to have your food in Barefoot resort on the beach. You can also take massage and do meditation and yoga too. Changing rooms are also clean.
We read on Wiki that hotel white sand is famous for pizzas and pasta so we walked down half a km to have some fresh pizza but unfortunately there cook was not available but later on we were told that restaurant doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t work there.
Our tour organiser had just made one day booking in symphony palm and I wonder what were they thinking. We had to vacate the room by 9 and after wards, we had nothing to do as the ferry for Portblair was to leave at 4 pm in afternoon. Our guide from travel guru told us to just relax for more time on the beach. One can not swim on symphony palm beach because for kms water is just 3 feet.
At 11 am our driver took us to Kala pathar beach. Andaman has around 30Ã¢â‚¬â„¢ of temperature and sun is at its peak between 11 am to 2 pm there. After 3 is the ideal time to relax or swim on the beaches – before that one will just boil himself up .When we reached there we asked the driver to take us to Radha Nagar beach again which was 12km far from that place which he refused. So we were kind of stuck. No hotel to stay and neither a good place to relax.We came back to the hotel and sat on the beach and started reading again and waited for the steamer to take us back to port Blair.
We reached port Blair at 7 and then checked in to the same hotel.
There was nothing major arranged by the travel guru. They neither took us for a city tour or made arrangement for any museums to visits which were near by. Neither had they arranged for the cellular jail which is a must visit. We did all these things by ourself by reading Wiki and asking others.
Only thing which was planned was Mount Harriet which is the highest peak on the southern island. We didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t find anything interesting there especially in the heat.
After coming back we visited khadi store which has some really good small wooden and cane stuff to buy.
We were asked to vacate the hotel by 8 and fly in the sky 😛 Our flight was at 1:40 so had nothing major to do so we roamed around the city and read.
Though we had a great time relaxing on the beach, swimming, visiting the museum, doing snorkelling, jet skiing but all that was done from our side and our on own expense.We could have planned our trip in a much better way with less money if it had relied on ourselves instead of travel gurus.
So I hope guys you had fun reading. Do visit Andaman if you want to spend some quite time in the lap of nature with your loved ones!