Andaman: Port Blair and nearby islands

IMG-20191117-WA0002-01Andaman Islands is not a place, it’s a Paradise!

Our much awaited trip for which we had been planning since 2 months, finally took off.

Minutes before landing Port Blair airport, we could see the rising sun, glistering turquoise waters, lush green tiny islands with shimmery white sands, inviting us to explore them!

As much as I enjoy travelling, doing things like, searching hotels, booking tickets, planning itinerary, ordering new clothes, making to-do-lists, packing bags, gives me immense joy!IMG_20191115_161221-01-01

The place we booked for Day 1, was the way we had expected. We had booked a sea facing room, overlooking the Bay of Bengal. Here, we learnt that high and low tides made quite a difference to the views, which occurred twice in the entire day.IMG-20191117-WA0009

Let’s now head over to the important part of the blog, the places to see in and around Port Blair and other details.

How to reach and commute in Andaman:

  1. There are 2 ways to reach Andamans, by air and by ship. Nearest airport is Port Blair – Vir Savarkar airport.
  2. Once you reach Port Blair, you can hire two wheeler’s or book a taxi on per day or trip bases.
  3. You can also book taxis, boats, cruise via a tour agency, like how we did.
  4. We booked our entire package of commute on all the 5 islands in Andaman which came to 7000 INR per person, and it was hassle free. This included all taxi, boat, cruise, entry fees to different islands and monument fares.

Port Blair:

As classy as this name may sound, as simple are the people. There is nothing authentic to this region as the locals here hail from different parts of India: West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala etc. The best thing about this is, there is no language barrier here, most of them speak common languages, viz. Hindi and English.

As Andaman is situated far from our country, most of the food and other products are imported. Commercialization hasn’t reached this place as much as Goa or other tourist locations of India, and so you feel that calmness here. This is what makes Andaman different, it is more peaceful, clean and beautiful.

Must do things in Port Blair:

  1. Visit Cellular jail: (Kaala Pani):
    This place will take you back in time and if you have read the books by Vir Savarkar, you will have a better idea. Nonetheless, hire a guide here. The way he will narrate the stories of the brutal British era you are sure to get goosebumps and feel patriotism even if you are not patriotic. Such was the vibe of this place. You could even attend the sound and light show which occurs 3 times every evening.IMG_20191117_142133-01IMG_20191117_143449-01IMG_20191117_150738-01
  2. Marina Bay / Garden :
    Walk through this garden to see statues dedicated to Netaji, Tsumani survivors, A.P.J., and war heroes of Kargil. You will also find “I ♥ Port Blair” sign along with the beautification works inaugurated by PM Modi recently.IMG_20191122_093118-01
  3. 1943 Flag Hoisting Point: First flag hoisted on the land of Andaman’s by respected Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose. Only a man of his caliber could do this. This area is along side the Bay of Bengal and the tri-color looks breathtakingly beautiful at the shore. You can even see Ross Island on the other side.IMG_20191117_164555_HDR-0120191117_164942
  4. Wandoor Beach: We could visit this beach only because we missed our flights by a day. And boy, what a beautiful beach. Stunning water and island views. No flock of tourists, and no water sports. It was the most peaceful beach we visited. There are crocodiles on this beach, as a result swimming is prohibited.20191122_145345-0120191122_145228
  5. Chidiya Tapu : I couldn’t visit this beach, but I would love to recommend it. They say this beach is serene and you can do bird watching here. This is a picture taken from Reddit, Wow! isn’t it?:chidiya tapoo
  6. Corbyn’s Cove Beach: I would recommend you to enjoy the views along the drive to this beach rather than the actual beach, and stop for a picture or two on the way. The beach resembles any of the West coast beaches of India.20191117_163553

2. Ross Island A.K.A. Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Island:

This was the island British chose to stay when they first arrived here. Although in ruins, you can see the lavish life they lived here, until India was freed from their rule. The view from this Island is breathtaking and it was then called the Paris of the East due to this.

Once the guide showed us all the things, I got busy collecting corals by the beach. A glimpse of the pretty natural glass stones and corals I collected is now my phone wallpaper.

Journey to this Island is by small boats, and its quite an adventure to reach here.

You need to book your tickets at the Marina bay / Rajiv Gandhi Water sports complex and hop onto the respective boats.

The boats which get you here:Ross Island (1)

One of the restored barrack:Ross Island (7)

Dilapidated structures of British colony:Ross Island (6)Ross Island (3)Ross Island (4)

Collecting corals at the Ross Island beach:Ross Island (5)

Wallpaper stuff, isn’t it?Ross Island

One with Smeetal, she was the best company I could ask for:Ross Island (2)

3. North Bay Islands :

This island looks ethereal, when you are about to touch the shore. The waters you cut through are turquoise and the ride again is adventurous! You will spot a pretty lighthouse clad amongst the lush green trees, which also finds its place on the backside of 20 Rupee note.

They have scuba diving, snorkeling, glass bottom boat ride, semi submarine coral watch boat on this island, but I would suggest you to do it on Neil or Havelock islands from my experience.

NORTH BAY ISLAND (1)

NORTH BAY ISLAND (2)

NORTH BAY ISLAND (3)

Way to lighthouse:

NORTH BAY ISLAND (4)

The light house on North Bay island:

NORTH BAY ISLAND (5)

Cutting through turquoise blue water:

NORTH BAY ISLAND (6)

Important details:

Tour agency: Paradise Tours and Holidays, Port Blair. (only for inter-island commute)
Air Tickets: Clear Trip – Indigo Airways – amazing service, and we had missed our return flights, they rescheduled it for us without any issues.
Hotels: Booking.com and GoIbibo.
Number days on tour: 6.
Network: Only BSNL and Airtel works throughout.
Hotels in Port Blair: Salt Life B & B, Sun Ray Homes.
Entire Trip Cost: 37000 INR (including everything).

Now, that’s not all, as I didn’t want to make it too long I am stopping here. BUT, stay tuned for my new blog about the most beautiful islands of Andaman: Neil Island, Havelock Island and Jolly buoy Island!!

Until then, keep sharing and sending in love.

Thank you for reading!

See you guys super soon!

Shradha
@thatgoanblogger

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