Island & Beach Hopping: A Complete Guide to Andaman & Nicobar Islands! 

Tripoto
28th Apr 2018
Photo of Island & Beach Hopping: A Complete Guide to Andaman & Nicobar Islands! by Priya Saxena

In the past couple of months, I have been asked one same question repeatedly by people: are you a mountain person or a beach person? Chasing back the memory lane of my travels, I would say mountain as I did not see many beaches or rather many good beaches. But my recent trip to Andaman has changed my answer, for better or worse. Now I like them both. I would want to see more of both of them.

My friend and I decided to fly to the untouched paradise that is the Andaman Islands. Andaman and Nicobar Islands, one of the seven union territories of India, are a group of islands at the juncture of the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea.

Day 1

Since my friend and I have already spent so much energy on the task, let me just pen down a rough guide for your travel to the Andaman Islands.

If one plan visits Andaman, plan well in advance of the travel days and set a Google price alert on the flight prices to Port Blair, the capital city. Figure out the floor price and book the tickets whenever prices come within the budget. Do not forget to check the bank debit/credit offers on different travel sites. Next, get set fly!

We reached Port Blair in the afternoon and had already pre-booked our taxi to our B&B Ocean Terrace in Haddo. One needs to prepare oneself to lose the internet connectivity and cell phone network reception if not a BSNL user. Airtel is the second best network in the area that might work. But when you’re on a trip there, that would be the last thing on your mind. You won’t miss the social media.

Photo of Ocean Terrace, DP Street, Number 10, Haddo, Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India by Priya Saxena
Photo of Ocean Terrace, DP Street, Number 10, Haddo, Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India by Priya Saxena
Photo of Ocean Terrace, DP Street, Number 10, Haddo, Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India by Priya Saxena

Port Blair is a small city with the Cellular Jail and several museums as the major tourist attractions. So on the first day, we visited the Cellular Jail in the afternoon. Now about the Cellular Jail, the last entry is at 4 PM and the place is evacuated at 5 PM for re-entry at 6 PM for its famous light and sound show. One can buy the visit only ticket at the counter but for the light and sound show, though I would suggest one book them online and make the payment at the tourist office on the day of the show. The other option is to use the Jail’s WIFI and block the seats at the Counter. The only catch is that the booking window opens between 4:15-4:30 and there comes too much traffic while booking from the tour agents and other tourists. We were not aware of the booking system, so we had our fair share of an adrenaline rush when I managed to be the first person to get through the ticket booking process. Felt more like a victory I would say, beating even the regular tour agents at their own game.

Photo of Cellular Jail, Atlanta Point, Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India by Priya Saxena
Photo of Cellular Jail, Atlanta Point, Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India by Priya Saxena
Photo of Cellular Jail, Atlanta Point, Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India by Priya Saxena
Photo of Cellular Jail, Atlanta Point, Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India by Priya Saxena
Photo of Cellular Jail, Atlanta Point, Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India by Priya Saxena
Photo of Cellular Jail, Atlanta Point, Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India by Priya Saxena
Photo of Cellular Jail, Atlanta Point, Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India by Priya Saxena
Photo of Cellular Jail, Atlanta Point, Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India by Priya Saxena

At Aberdeen Jetty. PC: Shelly Gupta

Photo of Aberdeen Jetty, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India by Priya Saxena

After the amazing light and sound show talking about the history of the Cellular Jail, the British Raj and the fight for independence, we visited the nearby Aberdeen market before heading back to the hotel.

The best part about travel is meeting new people and making friends. Luckily for us, our next-room travelers, a couple from Switzerland and Edinburgh, were friendly. Friends, lovely sea view, food, and wine! What else would one need to relax?

With Iris and Felix from Switzerland.

Photo of Island & Beach Hopping: A Complete Guide to Andaman & Nicobar Islands! by Priya Saxena
Photo of Island & Beach Hopping: A Complete Guide to Andaman & Nicobar Islands! by Priya Saxena
Day 2

The following morning, we took a private ferry Makruzz to Havelock Islands from Phoenix Bay Jetty, which was only 2 km from our hotel. There are few private ferries and government ferries that can be used to hop the islands. Booking for private ferries can be done online but government ferries need to be booked a day before from the counter window. Private ferries charge a higher price than the government ones (almost double), but we chose to try it once. Makruzz was a comfortable, luxurious and enjoyable ride to Havelock (more on the pros of government ferries later).  

Read the entire travelogue here at my blog! :)