When I put my foot on the Port Blair airport, I moved one more step towards achieving my ambition of visiting every state and union territory in India. Each state has given me some unique experience and Andaman is not an exception. Andaman, Goa, Kerala, Diu, Gokarna – yes they all have beaches but each place is different from others. So here are my eleven experiences from Andaman Islands.
- Beaches of Andaman are most exotic I have seen in India so far. Clear blue water which I hadn’t seen in India, is complemented well by greenery around.
- An interesting thing about Andamans is that names of all Islands are non-Indian like Neil, Havelock, Ross but beaches are named like RadhaNagar, Govind, Kala Patthar.
- Its one of the cleanest place in India because of less population and awareness among general public to maintain cleanliness. e.g. coconut water seller instructed me specifically to throw the coconut in the bin kept near his stall after drinking water from it.
- The place is equally appealing for couples, families and group of friends as it offers everyone something.
- There are not many ATMs specially in Havelock so carry enough cash and check with your hotel/resort in advance that they will accept card payments. Payment for rest of the things like boats, water sports etc will have to be paid in cash, so plan accordingly.
- Idea SIM cards don’t work in Andaman, Vodaphone and Airtel have connectivity issues at some places and BSNL works fine as per experience of fellow travelers. I didn’t have phone connectivity for 5 days :).
- WiFi is not that great in most of the hotels/resorts and most of the times it will be available in lobby areas only
- Best way to see Havelock islands is by renting a bike and I thoroughly enjoyed driving on excellent Andaman roads.
- I had only 5 days so only visited Port Blair and Havelock and thus barely scratched the surface. If you have more number of days in hand then there are couple of more islands to visit but with very limited tourist infrastructure available.
- If you can book your flights in advance, you will get quite cheap deals except peak season like new year and thus Andaman can be done in a decent budget.
- For the reason mentioned in point # 10, it’s a better alternative to some islands in south-east Asia from budget perspective. I am not saying it supersedes all but gives a good option for people who don’t want to go through visa hassle and adjustments with a new environment other countries offer.
I hope I was able to give you some insights about Andaman Islands. Before you plan your trip, you need to do some research especially in peak season. Ferry timings and tickets across Islands are limited so need to be booked in advance. Most of the people do it via a package tour and its more convenient for places like Andaman. I was able to travel to these Islands on my own conveniently, so yes its quite doable with some risk analysis done when you are at your home 🙂 . Shoot me questions if you have any about visiting this wonderful island.