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Andaman Islands
20 Dec

Traveler’s Guide to Andaman and Nicobar Islands

A Travel Guide To Andaman and Nicobar in the Bay of Bengal.

Here is everything you need to know for planning a great trip to Andaman– Port Blair, Havelock and Neil Islands.  These islands in the Sea of Bengal are a great getaway spot from India or Thailand.

About the Andaman Islands

Andaman Islands

Flickr by: Ajith Kumar

Andaman and Nicobar Islands have remained silently out of sight to the world, it is hard to spot them on a world map at first glance. It is home to some of the final tribes to inhabit our planet Earth, which makes this a fascinating destination where you can also enjoy the beautiful ocean beaches of the Andaman and Nicobar islands.

Despite the fact that there are 572 islands here altogether, not every island is open for the general public. Some of them are privately owned and restricted. If you will look closely on Google maps, you will see the Andaman islands are closer to Thailand than they are to India. However, these islands are a possession of India. Because of its fascinating position, the islands have experienced many wars over the years.

Andaman Islands

Wikimedia Commons by: Jukka from HELSINKI, Finland

On these islands you will see some serious check posts and the presence of Indian armed forces. The islands are intensely guarded but you can still enjoy the beauty of the islands.  The Andaman Islands are an ideal spot to spend your holidays. The seas are perfectly clear, the shade of the water is dark blue and the place has its own magic.

How To Enter and Exit Andaman Islands – Port Blair

Andaman Island is separated from the area of India. There is no street or train that links with the Island. You can just take a ship or a flight to cross the Bay of Bengal.

Via Air – You can’t go directly to Andaman because there are no direct flights from Delhi to Andaman. You can get direct flights from Kolkata, Bangalore, Mumbai or Chennai however.
By Ship – You can take a ship from Chennai, Kolkata and Vizag. It takes 3 days to reach at Port Blair through the ship. You can take tickets directly from shipping services in these cities. Note that these ships are controlled by the government they are not private cruises.

Step by step instructions to Travel Island-to-Island

Andaman Sea Cruise

Wikimedia Commons by: Joe Tarafdar

Port Blair to Havelock/Swaraj Dweep

The distance between Havelock and Port Blair is 57 km and takes around 2 hours to reach. There are so many private ships that kept running between these ports. You can book the tickets on the web or tickets are accessible on the port too.  However, there are so many people heading out from Port Blair to Havelock. It is smarter to book the tickets in advance in this case.

The ship and cruise from Port Blair to Havelock

We took Makruzz, whose employees and services are exceptionally pleasant and the journey was pleasant too. Some of the other ships/cruises working between the two islands are – Sea Link Cruise, Green Ocean, Express Bhagya, ITT Majestic.

The ship starts to work from 6 AM, 6:30 AM, 8 AM. But in the busy season (October till March) ships are accessible at 1:30 PM and 2:00 PM also.

Havelock/Swaraj Dweep to Neil/Shaheed Dweep

The distance between Neil and Havelock is 18km and takes around an hour to reach. You can book the tickets on the web or tickets are available on the port also. At the time when we made a trip from Havelock to Neil, the ship was mostly empty.

The ship and cruise from Havelock to Neil 

We took Makruzz simply like from Port Blair to Havelock. Some of the other ships/cruises working between the two islands are – Sea Link Cruise, Green Ocean, Express Bhagya, ITT Majestic.

The ship works between 11 AM to 1 PM

Neil/Shaheed Dweep to Port Blair

The distance between Neil and PortBlair is 37km and takes around one and half hour to reach. You can book the tickets on the web or tickets are available on the port too.

The ship and cruise from Neil to Port Blair

We took Makruzz obviously. Some of the other ships/cruises working between the two islands are – Sea Link Cruise, Green Ocean, Express Bhagya, ITT Majestic.

The ship works post 12 PM.

Instructions to Travel Inside the Island

The best and easy way of travelling inside the islands is by leasing a bike. You will discover so many rental shops all over the place. Indeed when you will get down at the dock you will be overwhelmed with local people who might give all of you these rental choices. If not, at that point ask your hotel staff and they will direct you through.

Normally the expense of leasing a bike for each day is INR 400 – 500, petroleum excluded.

The Best Time to Visit Andaman Islands

Andaman is viewed as an evergreen goal. The island’s climate doesn’t change a lot and it stays charmingly consistent. Typically the number of travellers increase during the months of November to May. Further, you should avoid going in monsoon because of high tidal waves.

Summer – April to June, Monsoon– July to September, Winter – October to March

Where to stay in Andaman Islands

Andaman Island Lodge

Wikimedia Commons by: Hartmann Linge

There are so many hotels and resorts you can stay according to your preferences and  your budget.  Note: If you are going in busy season like October to March then it’s better to book your rooms in advance.

Typical costs

Flights Till Port Blair

If you book well ahead of time, a round trip to Delhi will cost you about INR 12,000.

Ship for Island Transfers

A ship ride from Port Blair to Havelock is about INR 1,300 one side. The cost for all the ship rides from Port Blair to Havelock, Havelock to Neil and Neil to Port Blair would be about INR 3,000 to INR 4,000.

Accommodation

I remained in TSG Hotels and Resorts. If you wish to stay here it would cost you INR 7,000 to INR 8,000 every night for two people. However, if you are going on a financial limit, you can pick to remain at budget rooms or homestays that would be of INR 1,000 for two people.

Food

Port Blair, Neil and Havelock have many stalls where you can enjoy a decent dinner. I am a veggie lover so for me the expense was about INR 500 for every dinner (greatest).

Scuba Diving

Scuba diving in Neil is INR 4,000. I did scuba diving in Niel and In this expense everything is included– gears, training, boat ride and 20-30 minutes dive.

Bike Rental

The expense of leasing a bike is INR 400 – 500 every day, petroleum excluded. This is ideal and the easiest and comfortable way to go in Andaman.

Language Spoken

Most people communicate in Bengali language on the islands then  Hindi, Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam. Peoples are also aware of English so language is not a problem here.

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About the Author: Mannat Sharma is a 24-year-old boy, who one day realized how travelling to far off places and going on adventures could change perspective about life. That was the day when he started finding his hobby, passion and profession in it and share his experience with the other traveller on https://spiritbohemian.com/