“That’s great, I won’t even have to miss college” I said. “Great then, I’ll just send you a copy of the confirmation email, we’ll see you there then” Said Dad. Great. Another Surprise trip. Everyone in my family has this uncanny lust for travelling. It was the month of October, everyone was enjoying their Dussera break in different ways, and we had packed our bags to go to Andaman Island. I boarded an Air India Flight from Visakhapatnam and was supposed to join my parents in Port Blair.
Flight is not the only option, you can check and tie up with various cruises from various places. I landed at Veer Savarkar International Airport, Port Blair and was greeted by my parents who had arrived from Delhi few hours ago. Our accommodation was booked at Circuit House, South Point. It’s a beautiful accommodation provided by the government. Balcony is the best part of the accommodation. Almost all rooms have a sea facing balcony. It is beautifully built and one can enjoy evening snacks or morning tea with co-travellers sitting there and gazing at the blue waters.
We reached Port Blair at around noon. Post lunch we took the 4 pm ferry to Ross Island. The ferry charges around 100 per person and reaches Ross Island in 15-20 min. Advanced booking is advised especially in the peak season. We reached Ross Island at around 4:40 (ferry was 15 min late). Ross Island has the ruins of a British establishment of pre-independent India. One can have a look at the ruins of the establishment or take a stroll in the garden. A battery car runs throughout the Island to give a quick tour of the island. The Island is a photographer’s paradise.
The breath taking view, the coconut trees, the ruins, the water and the sunset would fetch you some really great pictures. Getting into water and other such activities are prohibited and one will be fined if found indulging in any. Apart from being a serene location, there is a Light and sound show at the Island. This show gives a brief account of the history of Ross Island in around 45 mins and should be a must on your “Things to do in Andaman’s” list. It’s a beautiful combination of Lights, sound, Infrastructure and history. After the show the ferry takes you back to port Blair.
The next day we moved to Havelock Island. The connectivity to this Island is only through water, there are cruises operated by Govt. which charges ₹300-₹400 and private whose price varies from company to company. We reached Havelock Island at around noon in Green Ocean Cruise. It Charges around 900 per person in executive class. The cruise is average. Best part is that you can go on the deck, find yourself a seat and watch the ocean change its colours. Eateries are available on board but it is a little more than the MRP. We had our accommodation at Dolphin Resort in Havelock. It is located 5-6 km from the port area. All the super delux rooms are beautifully built and have a sea view.
The best part about Dolphin is the Private beach. White sand, coconut trees and empty beach right in front of your cottage. What else does one want? The charges of the rooms keep changing from season to season. On our first day we went for Scuba. It was beautiful. The trainers are very good and underwater photography and videography was included in the package so that one can take away all the underwater memories with them. And for the charges, they vary season to season. We were charged ₹2000/- after Resort discount.
We had our lunch at Squid Restaurant which was average and decently priced. By the time we reached our resort it was already 5:15 and around the time of sunset. So we planned to chill around in the Beach and the Bar. Dinner was at their restaurant which is below average. Next day we planned to spend on the beach instead of doing water sports. Post breakfast we reached the beach owned by the resort. It’s a beautiful beach which is usually empty. We chilled at the beach till noon and then moved to this other beach Radhanagar Beach. It’s a typical tourist beach kind of place with food stalls and souvenir shops. Beach is pretty clean. You have changing rooms and place to sit. We had dinner at Anju Coco Restaurant. Food was average but a little pricy. There are many other restaurants one can try.
Next morning we moved back to Port Blair. We reached Port Plair at 1 pm in Makcruize. It’s another private cruise which runs between Port Blair and Havelock Island with a stoppage at Neil Island. We moved into Circuit House South Point. Had lunch in the dining area which was not really good. Post lunch we moved to Rajiv Gandhi Water Sports Complex. All sorts of water sports are available. We did Sofa ride, Speed boat, Water Scooter, Boat Skiing (Water Skiing). There are chances you might get soaked, so do carry an extra pair of cloths or wear the cloths you’ll be comfortable in. After that we just went around port Blair and around the market. Had food at Sea Shells Restaurant. Sea food is really good.
Next day, our last day in Port Blair. We started our journey to Red Skin Island. The Island is 35km away by road and then you need to take a ferry. So in total it takes around 1.5 hours to reach red skin island. It is a part of Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park. MGMNP has many islands under it, but only 2 are open for tourists, Red Skin and Jolly Bouy, they are open alternatively every 6 months. They are famous for the live corals.
So we reached the ferry point, and waited for our turn. To preserve the island, plastic water bottles are not allowed, you can bring water and transfer it into the bottles they provide. The island does not have anything. Food, water, medicines and anything which you may require is supposed to be brought along with you. It’s a nice place for picnic with family.
Activities in Red skin: You can swim, but only till a particular area. You can go snorkelling (facility is available) or you can go in a glass boat if you don’t want to get in water. A glass boat has its floor made of thick glass, so you can watch and record the life under water! And yes, changing room facility is available over there. Prices vary season to season and how far you want to go.
There is a fixed time when the ferries leave and everyone is supposed to be there. The crew of the ferry makes sure that no one is Left behind on the island because there is nothing over there.
We reached back by 3 pm. Went straight to Cellular Jail. Had a tour of the famous historic place where Indians were brutally tortured. We did not watch the laser show as it is similar to the one in Ross island but if you have time and interest in history you must watch.
FOODIE TIP: Try ITC for sea food! Ah, veg should be good too! XD
Drink coconut water. It’s amazing and there is soo much in just one coconut!
Weather tip: Sunscreen (The max SPF you can apply, still you will get tanned), if possible an umbrella or a raincoat if you mind the unexpected rains
Travel Tip: While in port Blair you can go for a pre- hired taxi service or autos (seating capacity 3 per auto).
When in Havelock, taxis might be a little more expensive. If budget is an issue then you can hire Scooty or bikes at around 300-350 per day and explore the island.
Network Tip: Haha. “No networks available” is what you’ll see mostly. We had Vodafone, BSNL and Idea. Idea was the worst. It runs on Vodafone’s network in Port Blair and is 94% times not working in Havelock. Voda will work, not properly but ya, won’t disappoint you and same is for BSNL.
So, all those snapstories and instagram updates might have to wait! There are intercafes which provide you with Wi-Fi hotspot on payment.
General Tip: Take the best of your clothes, click a million pictures, at least profile pictures for 1 year because Andaman’s is beautiful! And you’re gonna miss being there!
That was the entire trip, next morning my family left for Delhi and I left for Visakhapatnam…
This entry was submitted for Holidify’s Travelogue Writing Contest, Wanderlust in association with Mood Indigo, IIT-B. The content and pictures may not be used without prior permission of the author.
Submitted by: Snigdha Bhatia