|Overview of the destination|
I had visited the isles sometime in the late 90's and ever since then, this has been my destination of comparison.
I traveled to myriad destination, similar, in India and abroad, but there was always the lingering feeling that nothing compared to the Andamanís.
Plus, I had been quite vociferous in my praise of the calm and serenity and joy in the islands.
Post my marriage, my wife had been at the receiving end of the constant comparisons, and finally had had enough, and we decided on an all out trip last year.
The second you hit the open ocean on the aircraft, and catch first sight of the islands, you will fall in love with the sheer greenery, and simplicity that is evident even from the skies.
Straight, narrow roads, cutting across, the occasional wake of a ferry, the small hutments.
You can never tire yourself out on the islands, even if you trek all day here!
Food, sight-seeing and shopping
Forget your mainland diet here if you are a non-vegetarian.
For vegans, youíll find mostly everything, from Punjabi style paneer, to south Indian munchies.
However, I am a non vegetarian, and I exploited the extravaganza these islands offer.
Forget your mutton and chicken.
They are more expensive here, and the supplies are not that great by way of timelines.
Most times, these will not be available.
But whatís a vacation without sampling the local fare?
SPLURGE on seafood.
There is only one industry in the islands, and that is tourism.
And so we are well catered for here.
Have your fill of Prawns, Crabs, Lobsters, every kind of fish, at the cost of, say, a dal-makhni in Delhi.
Yes, you read that right.
On the island of port Blair, head over to the Rajiv Gandhi water park, and trundle over to the food court on an empty stomach.
I went there for lunch and dinner every day for 3 days, before heading over to Havelock, and I did not feel satiated once!
On Havelock, step over to the tens of hutments built as a cost effective stay for foreigners specifically, and plonk yourself in the dining rooms.
You name it, and they prepare it.
You can have your lobsters and crabs cooked Israeli/oriental or any style!
Sample the breakfast in the 4-5 bigger restaurants on the Havelock Island.
Do not stick to one place, or you will miss a lot!
Activities & things to do
Beaches, and snorkeling/scuba diving.
Almost every beach has these activities.
However, spend some extra, go to a slightly more expensive place, and carry these out.
Because the cheaper rates guarantee a throng of people, and you will not be able to enjoy yourself.
If Scuba diving is not upto the mark, do try out at least the snorkeling.
You will NEVER see clearer waters, or more perfect corrals.
If you are adventurous enough, you can swim down and touch the sea bed, and the corrals, and the fish.
On day two, if you were comfortable with the snorkeling, DO NOT give the scuba diving a miss!
On Havelock island, stay at the dolphin resort.
It has its own stretch of beach.
Try and get one the cottages (in name only. Itís actually a 2 room suite) facing the sea.
At night, lounge around on the balcony with a drink in your hand, and watch the waves wash up, glowing white!!
You will never want to leave.
And you will understand why a lot of foreign tourists have been spending six months every year here for the past, in some cases, 10 years!
Travel tips, How to reach, travel warnings etc.
I suggest hopping on a plane to get here, which i did from Cal.
I think Cochin also operates a flight.
However, if you are the seafaring kind, you could try one way on a ship, but why I did not do that was because I could not wait to get o the islands!!
Locally, hire a full time cab.
It may be expensive, slightly, but it will be the MOST convenient.
Youíll get to stop a hundred spots, for the view, for the food, or just for the serenity!!
Inter Island travel allows your cab to ride up onto ferries, and that is an experience in itself!
Folks are tremendously friendly, and although they will try to jack up prices in some instances, itís a minuscule amount usually that you could ignore it altogether.
Not many instances of that, just 2-3 times in 2 full 10 day trips!