A few tips for the Andamans

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#1 May 15th, 2006, 20:37
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#1
I'm gonna do my best here to provide some information about this wonderful destination.......

Permits

Available arrival, valid for 30 days, can be extended by 15 days. So 45 days in total. A friend overstayed by 3 days, and was threatened with deportation!

What to bring

A hammock is essential for the Andamans. So is a mosquito net. A great idea is to get a tailor to sew a zip to your hammock and mosquito net, and then you can have mosqutio-free nights under the stars. Beautiful!!!

A first aid kit is also essential - tropical infections are a major headaches, and easily caught from scratching mosqutio and sand-fly bites, or any open cut or wound.

A stove is handy for those deserted islands where fires are going to draw unwanted attention to yourself.

Getting there

Air Deccan now have cheap flights from Chennia and Calcutta to Port Blair, and the other budget airlines are following suit - but where's the fun in that?

Ferries, still the cheapest way, leave from Chennai around every 9 or 10 days, and from Calcutta every couple of weeks or so. They also leave from Vizag in Andhra Pradesh, but I don't think this is a regular service. It's 1550 RUPEES in bunk class, which is hot, crowded and dirty. Best to take a mat and sleep out on deck. Note - alcohol is not allowed.....so hide it Hammocks are forbidden on deck.

Port Blair

The hangout hotel in Port Blair is Central Lodge - it's dirt cheap, few facilities....it's a real 'old style' travellers guest house, which is why it's so popular - there are better hotels, but none as much fun. Note - This was, I found, the worst place in the Andamans for mosquitos.

The town itself is easy to negotiate, and rickshaws should not cost any more than 20 RUPEES anywhere in town. A good, cheap place to eat is New India Cafe, near Jagganath Guest House.

You take ferries to the northern islands from Phoanix Jetty - it's a good idea to get your tickets the day before, and in some cases, required.

Note - Port Blair is the only place to change money and access internet.

The Andaman Grand Trunk Road

This road runs from Port Blair north through South, Middle and north Andaman Islands. On South and Middle Andaman, it cuts through the Jarawa tribal reserve. It links Port Blair with the towns of Rangat, Mayabunder and Digliapur, all of which are jumping off points for various islands.

The Islands

Havelcok Island - the most popular and developed island. Home to the famous beach no.7 (perhaps the most beautiful beach I'll ever see). The guest houses are strung along the east coast of the island, from beaches no.1 to 5. There are also options at no.7, which is on the other side, and accessible by regular bus service. Motorbikes available for rent. The island is accessible by ferry from Port Blair.

Neil Island - second most developed after Havelock, has 3 guest houses, good beaches. Another 'hangout' of sorts. Accessible from Port Blair.

Long Island - this is for camping. From the jeety, you need to take another boat around to the beaches. Never very many people here, which, of course, is the appeal. Get food, water etc. at jetty. Accessible from Port Blair and Rangat.

Little Andaman - was devastated by the tsunami, thousands dead. Some good beaches, and again, bring your own supplies. This is also the spot for surfing. Accessible from Port Blair.

Some islands are off-limits, or only allow day-trips. There are ways around this, mainly by hiring local fishermen to take you places. These islands include Avis (not very beautiful, but charming nonethless, accessible from Mayabunder) and Smith (extremely beautful, with a beach every bit as good as no.7 on Havelock, accessible from Digliapur).

So that's the Andamans, where white-sand beaches and torquoise waters await.....it's really a worthwhile destination, but get there soon, as it's getting more and more popular.

Conor.
#2 May 15th, 2006, 21:15
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#2
Great post! Thanks for the info.
It's always darkest before it goes completely black.
#3 May 16th, 2006, 21:25
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#3

Thanks for the info!!

thank u so much - i'm going there 10 days in december & am glad to have some fresh infos from someone who has actually been there. even LP and "Loose" (detailed german travel guide - besides, "south india" highly recommended) don't provide too much info about the andamans. well maybe i should just be a little more slack... i tend to plan everything. wait and see what the andamans will bring...
however, can't wait to go there!!!
take nothing but memories
leave nothing but footprints
#4 Jun 26th, 2006, 05:05
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#4
Conor-whilst we stayed at the Central Lodge, my boyfriend (now hubby), had a tropical infection on his foot caused by a scratch. Due to the humidity and coral spores in the sea (apparently) this made it difficult to heal. Well we were at the Central Lodge sitting out with the old boy who owns it and the flies were going for his cut-well he covered his foot loosely with a t shirt. Anyway a while later I looked down and saw......a line of red ants going along the ground...yes you've guessed it, we lifted the t shirt off his foot and lo and behold they were having a gourmet feast on his wound!!!! I've never seen anyone move so fast. He cleaned them out of the cut and do you know-that wound healed after that!! So they did good after all!!
#5 Jun 26th, 2006, 05:14
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#5
Yeah I really liked that Central Lodge, very.....rustic. Really nice owner. That story is so typical. No one I met left the islands un-scathed.
#6 Jun 26th, 2006, 05:19
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#6
I agree about the mozzies too-loads of them and huge too. Is the China Rooms still in Port Blair? AMAZING restaurant.
#7 Jun 26th, 2006, 05:24
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Don't remember that place. I mostly ate in the dhabas across from the bus station. I actually ended up really liking Port Blair, it's a world away from any mainland Indian city.
#8 Jun 26th, 2006, 06:34
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Conor, what do you mean by adding the zip to the net/hammock? And is it expensive to go to the island for 2 or 3 days?

Thanks
#9 Jun 26th, 2006, 16:30
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Well, the zip is so you can attach your net to your hammock, and have nice mosquito-free nights hung up between two trees.

I don't think it would be worth going for 2 or 3 days, consdering the cost of getting there by flying (maybe 3000/4000 Rupees each way), and the length of time in getting there by ferry (at least 3 days).
#10 Jun 26th, 2006, 19:18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Conor M Well, the zip is so you can attach your net to your hammock, and have nice mosquito-free nights hung up between two trees.
I understand that, but I don't understand how, I looked at these but I don't understand how you could have one made although I'm sure it's very simple and I'm missing the obvious, is this a well known common practice that most tailors would readily know? Another link, but this stuffs expensive

I'll google and see if I can find info on this ferry, I often take ferry's in the Pacific Northwest and they even let us set up out tents on the top deck for long trips, really quite enjoyable, but obviously not allowed here, I have no clue about Indian ferries except they occassionaly sink because they're overloaded I guess you're saying the ride is not quite as enjoyable as a BC Ferry's boat which is almost a luxury liner. I keep forgetting to throw away what I know as it probably doen't apply in India
#11 Jun 27th, 2006, 02:31
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#11
You'd be surprised what Indian tailors can do. Basically, you can buy your hammock, mozzy net and zip all seperate, and they sew them together for you, no problem.

If you have the time, I'd recommend the ferry - it's crowded, smelly and noisy, but you meet other travellers, plus many natives, and since you're all in it together, you end up having a better experience than the plane.

The ferries leave from Chennai every 10 days or so, and from Calcutta about every 2 weeks - here's a link I got from Cyberhippie's website with the timetables.....

http://tourism.andaman.nic.in/getticket.htm

Also you should know that December to the end of April is the tourist season for the islands. The rains tend to last from May through to Novemebr, and during this time, the (few) guest houses will be closed, and there'll be virtually no foreign tourists.
#12 Jun 27th, 2006, 04:25
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#12
Thanks for the info, it's also too bad Cyberhippie left :-(
#13 Jul 22nd, 2006, 02:43
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  • vivek.mj is offline
#13

how are deluxe cabins in ships for newly weeded couple

I would like to go to andaman in January with my wife and wanted to know how good is the ship to be travelled on a deluxe cabin. I wanted to know would ship would be a new experience or it would be just like travelling in bus or air. I have not travelled in ship and hence am having this doubt. Also considering I wil be newly wed by january is it advisable to in bunk in the ship as I have heard that is good. I am not worried to travel in deluxe if the ship journey is worth for a lifetime. Need your inputs please.
#14 Jan 22nd, 2007, 00:47
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#14
Nice report, thanks!

vivek.mj, in case you are not yet gone, The deluxe cabins are really good, spacious. Feels like a vip alone on his boat.
#15 Apr 28th, 2008, 06:29
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#15
Hmm, a question related with vivek’s one! Tell me what schedule, or what places would you recommend in this region, for a couple in their honey moon? I want to surprise my future husband, but I need more idea… so, can you help? Thank you!
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