Continuing our Andaman chronicles where we left off…
Here’s what we did each day.
Day 1: Port Blair
Cellular Jail – A former prison/ torture centre now stands as a testament to the countless sacrifices our forefathers made for our independence.
It was an intense experience to see the reason this beautiful island got the dreaded moniker Kala pani. When you visit, please don’t behave like obnoxious tourists and show some respect for the history of this place.
Tip: There are long, serpentine queues for the light and sound show. To avoid this, get your female companions to buy tickets in the much shorter ‘ladies line’.
Day 2: Baratang Islands (Limestone caves, mangroves and mud volcanoes)
A tiring day in sweltering weather. One way travel involved bus, barge, boat and a 3 km trek. Our day started very early (3.30 am). Unfortunately, we did not catch a glimpse of the Jarawas on this route (some of our friends did, on an earlier trip).
The limestone caves were fascinating, mangroves lush and dense and the mud volcano, kind of a let-down.
Tip: The dal-rice/sambar-rice lunch we had was blearghhh.. Carry something to eat and plenty of water, especially while trekking to the limestone caves.
Day 3: 3 Island tour
The package boat tour covers North Bay Island, Ross Island and Viper Island
North Bay Island: offered activities like glass bottomed boat tours, scuba diving, snorkeling and sea-walking. Yours truly accomplished a little walk on the sea-bed amidst beautiful fishes and corals! 🙂
Ross island has some glorious ruins, delightful sea view and beautiful, friendly deer ambling about. Viper island housed the first jail in the Andamans (before the infamous Cellular jail was built), but now just houses dilapidated gallows atop a hillock.
Tip: Loo facilities are awful at North Bay. Also, do try sea-walking here, but preferably keep snorkeling for the beaches at Neil and Havelock. Glass-bottom boat tours are meh.. try only if you’re too chicken for other activities.
Day 4.1: Mount Harriet
Since our cruise to Neil island was only by noon, we headed out to Mount Harriet in the morning. The view from the park at the top was spectacular. Must visit, even if this is a quick short trip.
Tip: Carry water and food, as there’re no shops around.
Day 4.2: Neil Island
We hopped on to the Macruzz speedboat from Port Blair to Neil Island. In a couple of hours, voila! – sun-kissed shores of Neil island.
Stayed at: The Pearl Park Resort
Visited: Natural Ridge, sunset point (Laxmanpur beach) and Bharatpur beach
- No hot water in hotels. You’ll have to request/buy a bucket
- Clueless hotel staff had to be repeatedly requested for blankets, food, etc.
- Haggle hard at the Bharatpur beach for snorkeling rates
Day 5 & 6: Havelock Island
A quick Macruzz ride again took us to the famous Havelock Island.
Ahh, Bliss! We had the best time doing absolutely nothing, being complete beach bums and feeling like Calvin and Hobbes on vacation.
Stayed at: El Dorado Beach Resort
Visited: Beach no. 5, Radhanagar beach
- We didn’t try water sports at Havelock, but they’re highly recommended
- Don’t miss the yummy desserts at Anju Coco
Day 7: Port Blair
Visited: Samudrika (naval museum), anthropological museum, Chatham saw mill, Joggers’ park, Corbyn’s Cove and Chidiyatapu
- Don’t miss watching planes land & take off from Joggers’ park
- Catch the sunset at Chidiyatapu
Places we missed
These are definitely on our to-do list the next time we visit here:
- Sitanagar beach
- Elephant beach
- Wandoor beach
- Jolly Buoy
- Red Skin Island
- Long Island
- Little Andaman Island
Tattoo this on your brain
Andaman can stay pretty and pristine only if we refrain from littering like pigs. (I almost smacked a family throwing garbage around, I must proudly admit) Do NOT throw wrappers and rubbish on the beaches or forever be cursed with rabies, penury and baldness!