It’s been a while since this is pending but finally, I am able to share my favorite experience of last year. The magical Andaman Islands!! The islands have been on my bucket list from a while now. And so when it was the time for our first holiday together I was very excited. I couldn’t wait for that day to arrive, to witness and be enticed by the beauty and magic of the islands.
Truly, the Andaman Islands are India’s best-kept secret. It’s breathtaking sandy beaches, wild nature, clear blue waters, which is full of spectacular aquatic life, makes you fall in love with it almost instantly. The islands are raw and real in many ways, yet beautiful and magical at the same time.
Our trip began from here.
As our flight was making its way to the ground through the sparse and dense layers of clouds, we could see the island glow green in the soft sunlight. It was such a pretty sight!!! And as we stepped out of the aircraft the gentle breeze, the scent of rain and greenery all around us was so refreshing!
Port Blair has lush green forests and has a rugged coastline. I noticed that as you move away from the city the color of the sand gets whiter and whiter.
We stayed at TSG Emerald when we were in the city. It was a comfortable stay with a beautiful view of the ocean and city. What I loved the most here was their yummiest breakfast.
PLACES AROUND PORT BLAIR –
Cellular Jail demands a visit for every Indian tourist to understand the importance the islands have in India’s national memory. It was once a British prison but is a shrine now to great Indian political dissidents it once jailed.
We visited this place twice, once in the evening to attend the Light and Sound Show which narrates the saga of the Indian freedom struggle and the other was in the day to take a walk inside and explore the premise and our history in detail. The grounds, the corridors, the cells, the locks, the stories of cruelty against the prisoners gave me chills. We left the place with double respect for the martyrs.
The visit to the city’s two of the famous museums was quite interesting and informative.
Anthropological Museum beautifully showcases few tribes of both the Andaman and Nicobar islands. The tribal canoes, weapons, baskets, clothes, utensils, jewelry, instruments, houses etc. preserved here were extremely creative and intricately designed by the tribal people.
Samudrika Marine Museum creates awareness on various aspects of oceanic environment and exhibits a vast collection of beautiful shells and corals and also few species of colorful marine life.
Corbyn’s Cove Beach, I think is the only beach in the city which is ideal for swimming and water adventure sports. The coastal road to this small curve of sand looks spectacular and green during rains.
Wandoor Beach is pure scenic. It was quite relaxing sitting on the sand, listening to the sound of the waves and gazing the sunset.
Havelock Island was the one I was extremely eager to visit. Sitting in a ferry doing nothing for 2-3 hours was a task but it was all worth a wait. The island was absolutely mesmerizing! You can call it a traveler’s paradise! And yes, I can still witness the blue skies, clear blue waters, soothing sound of waves, white sand and the palm trees as I write about it.
Munjoh Ocean Resort/Beach No 5
We stayed at Munjoh Ocean Resort. It is one of the best resorts with finest cottages which are built with a great taste. I loved the wooden interiors and the spacious sit out deck outside each cottage. The restaurant at this resort serves some good food too.
The best thing at the resort is the private beach -Beach No. 5. One can laze all day long sitting on the hammock or on the white sand and gaze the shimmering sea or take a long walk along the super white long coastline.
The best ever time of my life was at this beach when we saw a rainbow appear in the sky. It was just both of us at the beach, with the waves, enjoying mild rain showers, witnessing the magical moment of colors shaping up in the blue sky.
Elephant Beach is known for snorkeling as it offers amazing coral reef which starts at a depth less than a meter. The snorkeling session was absolutely beautiful and enticing. I have never been so close to so many different varieties of colorful fish and corals. We loved the session so much that we couldn’t resist taking up another.
I was keen to visit the Radhanagar beach since I had read that it has been rated as one of the best in Asia by Time and yes it was undoubtedly beautiful. The spectacular sunset we witnessed here was just like a fairy tale scene came to life.
Eat & Drink:
The food flavor palette here is mostly influenced from Bengali and South Indian cuisine. Food served at Port Blair was nice but enjoyed the food served at Havelock more. The chicken and vegetarian dishes were full of flavors and tasted really good.
- Best time to travel here is between Dec-Mar, but one can also travel around Oct-Dec or Mar-May.
- There is no direct flight available to Port Blair if you are traveling from anywhere else in India, other than Chennai or Kolkata.
- Bad weather can seriously muck up your itinerary, with a change of schedule/island visit and sometimes with ferry services being canceled if the sea is too rough.
- The day begins around 6 AM and it starts to get darker early by 5 PM.
- Compared to Havelock, Port Blair has better telecom/ internet services. At Havelock the service can be extremely slow or unreliable, so don’t count on it.
- To avoid motion/sea sickness, its ideal to take the ferry to and back from Havelock in the morning as the sea gets quite harsh in the evening.
- It is always good to do some research in advance and plan your trip accordingly than just opting for any tour packages available from the travel agencies. This way you wouldn’t miss out on anything your destination has to offer.