Andaman Trip Report January 2017

#1 Feb 6th, 2017, 17:51
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Day 1: Kolkata - Port Blair

We are a couple from kolkata, west bengal. We started planning for andaman almost 8 months back and did all the trip without any tour operator. On 13th of January we started from Kolkata Airport via AI787 at 5:30am and reached Port blair at 8:30am. On reaching airport we were greeted by our driver kishore and dropped in to our hotel Ripple Resort.





.... to be contd.
#2 Feb 6th, 2017, 17:53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wasim Rahman View Post Day 1: Kolkata - Port Blair

We are a couple from kolkata, west bengal. We started planning for andaman almost 8 months back and did all the trip without any tour operator. On 13th of January we started from Kolkata Airport via AI787 at 5:30am and reached Port blair at 8:30am. On reaching airport we were greeted by our driver kishore and dropped in to our hotel Ripple Resort.





.... to be contd.
Nice start. Dont forget to add photos also
#3 Feb 6th, 2017, 20:21
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Waiting to read your Andaman travelogue.

Ronak.
#4 May 31st, 2017, 00:11
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Resumed Trip Report.

Sorry I was very much busy so was not able to complete what I started but I have came back with a hope this time I will complete it.

We are a couple from Kolkata, West Bengal. We started planning for Andaman almost 8 months back and did all the trip without any tour operator. During the planning phase I got very much confused and sometimes it took enormous effort to arrange hotel, specially govt. accomodation, boat schedule, north andaman part and many more. So , I have decided to give info as much as possible in this trip report which can help others in future.

Here First I am giving a brief itinerary followed by description with photos and reviews of places, restaurant, activities, hotel and lastly I will give all the tour cost with detailed break up and contacts of driver, travel agent, govt. accomodation etc. Please feel free to ask if you want to know anything or to give any suggestion.

Tour Itinerary


D1: Kolkata - Port Blair, Local Sight seeing (Cellular Jail, Samudrika, Chatham Saw Mill, Ross Isand) O/N @ Ripple Resort, PB

D2: Port Blair - Wandoor, Jollybuoy, Mundapahar, Chidiyatapu - Port Blair O/N @ Ripple Resort, PB

D3: Port Blair - Baratang (Lime Stone Cave, Mud Vocano) - Rangat (Amkunj Beach, Morice Dara) - O/N @ Hawks Bill Nest , Rangat

D4: Rangat-Austin Bridge-Diglipur (Ross & Smith Island, Shyamnagar Mud Volcano, Kalipur Beach) - O/N @ Turtle Resort , Kalipur

D5: Diglipur - Saddle Peak Treck - Lamia Bay - Mayabunder - O/N @ Sea n Sand, Myabunder

D6: Mayabunder - Karmatang Beach, Dhani Nalah Walk - Rangat O/N @ Hotel Avis, Rangat

D7: Rangat Jetty - Havelock (Radhanagar Beach, Havelock Bazar) O/N @ Pano Eco Resort, Havelock

D8: Havelock ( Kalapathar Beach, Elephant Beach, Vijay Nagar Beach) O/N @ Dolphin Resort, Havelock

D9: Havelock ( Govind Nagar Beach - SCUBA, Radhanagar Beach , Vijay Nagar Beach) O/N @ Dolphin Resort, Havelock

D10: Havelock (Kalapathar Beach) - Neil (Bharatpur Beach, Haora Bridge, Laxmanpur Beach i, ii) O/N @ Hawa Bill Nest, Neil

D11: Neil (Sitapur Beach, Bharatpur Beach) - Port Blair (Water Sports Complex, Cellular Jail) O/N @ Ambika Residency, PB

D12: PB - Kolkata

Detailed Tour

Day 1: Kolkata - Port Blair & PB Local Sightseeing (13.01.2017)

On 13th of January we started from Kolkata Airport via AI787 at 5:30am and reached Port Blair at 8:30am. On reaching airport we were greeted by our driver Kishore Da (Sent by Mr Kamaraj) and dropped in to our hotel Ripple Resort near Corbyn Cove Beach at around 9 am.
Breakfast was provided at flight. So we just checked in, took a bath (It was hot even in January) and rented an Activa from the resort. First I called Mr. Kamaraj (with whom I booked d Transportation part) for Ross Island Light & Sound Show ticket in the evening and Online Andaman for Next Day Jollybuoy Ticket which I booked online and they assured me.
At around 11am we (me and my wife) started for our 1st Spot in Andaman in Activa. Our first destination was the famous Cellular Jail. From our resort It was almost 7-8 Km but the road was just awesome and we halted 3-4 times in between to enjoy the ocean view from the road. The traffic is also very less in this particular road.


We spent almost 1 hour in Cellular Jail and it was already 12:30 pm. We were hungry and the plan was to go for one of the several restaurants which I shortlisted. But this time I felt the real traffic and complexity of road in Port Blair. From Cellular Jail the main market and all the famous restaurant was hardly 2 Km max but We almost roamed in circles for 1 hour and then finally and luckily we found one of our short listed restaurant , AFC (Andaman Fried Chicken – just like KFC). The host was nice but the quality is way below original KFC. When we finished our lunch it was 1:40 pm.
Just opposite AFC there was Anthropological Museum but it was lunch break there. So we thought we will give it a try later. Then from 1:40 – 3:30 pm we visited Chatham Saw Mill (nothing much to see there),

Samudrika Museum.

Then Mr. Kamaraj called me and told me to reach Water Sports Complex to collect our Evening S & L show ticket for Ross Island. We went to water sports complex and collected ticket, but heard the news that as the water sports complex(Aberdeen) jetty was under renovation our boat will start from Junglihat. Mr. Kamaraj came with our driver Kishore da and they guided us up to Junglihat.
After reaching there we parked our activa. Though the arrival time of the boat was 4 pm but it came around 4:30pm and in the mean time we had already taken our evening snacks and tea. We boarded the Vessel and finally reached in Ross Island around 5:40 pm. We enjoyed the show and returned to jetty at around 8 pm.


Japanese Bunker

Then we went to another short listed restaurant ANANDA for dinner. Finally we reached our hotel at 9:30 pm.
Note:
The Veer Savarkar Airport in Port Blair is very small. There is only one runway , so only one plane can land or take off at a time.
Just before landing in the airport the view is breath taking. Try to sit in d Left side of the Plane.

Review :

AFC – Average

Ananda Restaurant – Average, Overpriced.

Ripple Resort – Very Good location but away from the city, Polite, Helpful management and staff.

Cellular Jail – Overhyped.

Samudrika – Average

Chatham Saw Mill – Nothing Special unless you are a connoisseur of wood and furniture.

Ross Island S & L show – Good.

--- to be contd.
Last edited by Wasim Rahman; Jun 1st, 2017 at 02:41.. Reason: photo
#5 May 31st, 2017, 23:05
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Extra Info


Cellular Jail Ticket Info

Samudrika Ticket Counter
Last edited by Wasim Rahman; Jun 1st, 2017 at 01:44.. Reason: add
#6 Jun 1st, 2017, 02:33
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Day 2 : Jollybuoy, Wandoor & Chidiyatapu (14.01.2017)

It was a very long day for us. We wake up very early went to Corbyn Cove Shrey Sunrise Point (Within 500mtr of our hotel) to enjoy sunrise,

packed our breakfast from hotel and started our journey to Wandoor.

Previous Day I had already collected our booking slip and permit for jollybuoy. In the morning from ripple resort we went through Bhatubasti, Pathergudda, Pahargaon. We needed petrol for our Activa but the petrol pump in pahargaon was just opened and they said it will take atleast half an hour to fill my tank. It was already 6:50 am and we had to reach wandoor within 8 am. So I had to start without filling my tank. It was a very big risk I had taken at that moment as it was the last petrol pump in the Port Blair city limits and no other fuel station was shown in google map. Then we went through Garachamra, at one point we took the straight road and ATR goes to right. There was another crossing where we took left and the straight one goes to Manjery. Finally just few KM before Wandoor we found a village grocery shopkeeper who also sell petrol! Ahh! What a relief!

Finally we reached in wandoor at around 7:40 am. Just parked our bike, bought a water bottle (Plastic not allowed) , drank a cup of tea and our boat was ready to ship. It was just the 2nd boat in the morning. The weather was very good and first 15minutes we enjoyed the ride but as we wake up very early both of us (also most of the co passenger) fall asleep. Almost after 45 minutes of boat journey through narrow passage between several island

we reached our destination – Jollybuoy Island.

Here the boat stops at a temporary plastic jetty, from there small glass bottom boat takes you for free complimentary 10 min rides (Though in the large boat the agent convince you to take one of the premium rides) .

The large boat then goes back to Wandoor to take more tourist. Then it returns almost after 3-4 hours to pick you.

We got almost 3hours to enjoy the Island after our paid glass bottom rides. According to me it’s the 3rd best Beach in Andaman.

We first roamed around the island, then changed our dress and went for swimming in the beach, then ate some snacks and just enjoyed the view. But the place is really very much congested by tourist. If you want privacy, serenity this island is not for you. And this is a plastic free zone. Btw a new cafeteria have just opened in the island where you can get some snacks.


It was almost 12:15 when our boat came to pick us. Again after some 45 mins ride we reached to Wandoor. There we ate Bengali Fish Thali from Road side restaurant, Jollybuoy Hotel. There are 3-4 roadside hotel is there for lunch. Mainly Thali available there. Rate is quite high as per the standard.

Then we entered Mahatma Gandhi Marine Park (Just beside the jetty) and Wandoor Beach (2-3 Km away from the jetty, nothing special just like Digha / Mandarmani, a lot of locals go there and the bus stand is just near the beach where you will get hourly bus for Port Blair). Next thing in our list was to watch sunset from Chidiyatapu which is hardly 10Km from jollybuoy Island by air distance but to reach here I had to drive almost 60 KM. You have to almost return to Port Blair and then take a different hilly road to reach there. There is a short cut from Garchamra but that road is too dangerous specially for Without Gear vehicle like Activa. Though We went there in Activa, but I will suggest to take some Auto / cab to go to chidiyatapu and Mundapahar beach as the road is not very suitable for scooty. We reached at around 3:30 pm in chidiyatapu. In the road we had stopped 3 -4 times to enjoy some unknown beach, a local festival and some breath taking scenery. The whole road from bhatubasti to mundapahar is just beside the ocean which gives you a spectacular view.

From Chidiyatapu we went another 3-4Km in a very hilly road to reach Mundapahar beach.

There we spent almost 1 hour and came back to chidiyatapu, ate samosa and tea. Still it was only 4:30 pm and the sunset was at around 5:15 pm.

We were very much exhausted by that time, also it was not very special and it would have been very difficult to drive through the hilly jungle region in dark, so we decided to return.

We finally returned to our resort at around 5:45 pm. Then we took some rest and called Mr. Kamaraj for next day North Andaman Plan. He told me to contact our first day driver Kishore Da and finalize itinerary. I told him I will go for dinner after some time then I will meet him. Then at around 8:30 pm We went to “Adi Bangali Hotel” (Our Sortlisted Restaurant) as my wife wanted some plain Bengali food though I wanted to go to “The Waves” (Another Sortlisted Restaurant) at Corbyn Cove but due to previous day massacre of my choice of restaurant I had to agree with her. And guess what I laughed the last laugh! This one is one of the worst just reminded me my hostel days.

But the laugh did not last long as when we meet our driver after seeing my itinerary he simply said it can’t be done in such low price which was quoted to me by Mr. Kamaraj. After some one sided heated argument (from my side, Mr. Kamaraj is very happy go like person – He repeatedly told me he made a mistake by not looking my detailed itinerary thus he quoted such low price ) we reached consensus and then our hotel at around 9:30 pm only to wake up very early morning next day (late night basically) for our North Andaman Trip.

Review :


Jollybuoy Hotel – Average , Typical Street Hotel, Veg, Egg or Fish (Seafish) Thali available at Rs 120, 150, 180 respecticely

Adi Bangali Hotel – Poor, Cheap. Just like hostel food.

Corbyn Cove Beach & Shrey Sunrise Point – Average. Though nearest beach from Port Blair.

Wandoor Beach – Okay. Good for Locals and good picnic Spot. Public Transport easily available.

Mahatma Gandhi Marine Museum – Nothing Special unless you are a Zoologist.

Jollybuoy Island – One of the best in Andaman.

Glass Bottom Ride in Jollybuoy – Very Good, should try paid option. Then they show you all part.

Munda Pahar Beach – Below Average

Chidiyatapu – Average, Overhyped.
#7 Jun 1st, 2017, 02:46
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Extra Info






Good Night.
#8 Jun 1st, 2017, 11:32
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Very nice and detailed..bookmarking for preparing my Andaman itinerary
Warm Regards
Soma

My travel blog

http://thetravellerweare.blogspot.in/
#9 Jun 24th, 2017, 22:24
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Day 3: Baratang, Rangat, Cutbert Bay (15.01.2017)

It was around 3:30 am in the morning, a car horn wake me up. It was our driver Kishore Da who was already in front of our Resort. We quickly become ready (Previous night we had already packed our belongings), hotel staff gave us complementary packed breakfast even at this hour and we started for Baratang at around 4:00 am. Initially I thought we will be within the first few travellers who are going to avail 6am Convoy from Jirkatang Check Post. But in the road we crossed many car, sumo and when we reached in Jirkatang Check Post at around 5:15 am we saw already a long queue of car are waiting for 6 am convoy.

Jirkatang Check Post
Jirkatang is almost 50 km from Port Blair and the initial road was the same towards Wandoor then at one place we took right turn. From Jirkatang we had to go through Jarwa Reserve Area which is almost 47 km to reach Middle Straight Jetty , then we had to cross a ferry to reach Nilambar Jetty, Baratang. This area in ATR is protected area and can be accessed only in Convoy. At the start of the convoy goes two armed police vehicle followed by Long Route bus (Diglipur, Rangat , Mayabunder) and then the smaller vehicle. From Jirkatang side there are 3 convoy , timings were 6am, 9am and 12noon.

We waited there, ate our packed breakfast and tea from local stall. In Jirkatang check post a form has to be filled up for further journey which is taken care of by our driver cum guide Kishore Da. Finally after a long wait at around 6:15 am we started our further journey. We were very hopeful but we did not spot any Jarwa people in the road. We reached Middle Staright Jetty at around 8:15 am. We quickly boarded in to a Ferry to cross the river. Our Car will also come but it was behind long queue of cars so it will come at least after 2 hours.

In the mean time we will visit Limestone Cave. When we reach in Nilambar Jetty we met Mr Kamaraj (Our Tour Operator for the Transportation part of North Andaman), He is a very nice person and most of the days he stays in Baratang. In baratang most people knows him. He quickly arranged a Fibre boat for us which we shared with 2 more couple, One from Kolkata another from South India. We went through the river towards south in between 2 island for 45 minutes then we took a detour and entered into a narrow creek to the east and finally we reach a spot from where we have to walk for almost 20minutes to reach lime stone cave.


Narrow Creek

Mangrove Forest before reaching Lime Stone Cave
Just before entering the cave there are some local nimbu-paani (Lemon Water) shop which is run by local villagers, only 5-6 house in this village, the life is very slow here.
Regarding lime stone cave its average. We had previously seen Bora Caves in Araku , in comparison this is very ordinary. After spending half an hour we finally returned to Baratang Jetty at around 11am. The tickets for Lime Stone cave is around 600 per head though as it was in our package of North Andaman we didn’t have to bought the ticket ourselves. When we reached at Baratang Kishore da was already there waiting for us and we entered our vehicle and went to see Mud Volcano which is almost 4-5 Km away from the Baratang jetty. Then we have to ascend some stairs to reach the spot and again it is nothing special though this may be a place of interest for geologist.



It was almost 11:30am when we started again towards Rangat and reached Gandhighat at around 12:15 pm which is almost 25 Km from Nilambar jetty. Here again we had to cross another creek to reach Uttarey jetty and Rangat was around 50Km from Uttarey Jetty. When we reached Gndhighat there was some car and bus before us waiting for vessels to come.




So we had atleast 20 minutes in hand so we (me and my wife) quickly ate our lunch at Gandhighat jetty Canteen and surprisingly our driver Kishore da said he will not eat now. Then we realize though it was very cheap (Rs 80 for egg meal) the quality was very poor just like hostel food. Anyway after fast lunch we boarded our car and finally reach Rangat at around 2:30 PM. I had a plan to collect booking confirmation slip for Long Island from DFO Rangat but unfortunately it was Sunday and the office was closed. So we moved forward towards our destination (Hawksbill Nest, Cutbath Bay, Rangat) which was almost 18-20 KM ahead of Rangat. In the way we stopped thrice –
01. Amkunj Beach – 7 KM from Rangat towards Mayabunder/Diglipur.


02. Morice Dara – Further 5 KM ahead from Amkunj Beach. Actually an ecotourism initiative from govt. to build this place as Picnic Spot.


03. Panchavati Falls – 13 KM from Rangat Bazar towards Mayabunder/ Diglipur. Just a Normal Waterfalls, Those who have visited North Bengal, North East India, Sikkim, Pelling etc. this is very ordinary in comparison. One significant difference was here the waterfall is directly ending in ocean.
If you are in a hurry you can easily skip these place, because though these places are beautiful but in Andaman you will get plenty of this type of places.

Finally we reached in our Hotel Hawksbill Nest at around 03:30 PM.


We checked in and in the evening went to Cutbert Bay but it was very disappointing. In the evening We took early dinner.

Review :

Sightseeing Place

LimeStone Cave, Baratang – Average, Good for first timers who have not seen any other lime stone cave. (Tips – Rate Rs 600 /head, Book through travel agent as the process of getting Boat ticket is chaotic and highly depends on recommendation)

Mud Volcano, Baratang – Average (Good for professionals i.e – Geologist, Geography students)

Amkunj Beach – Good

Morice Dara – Good

Panchavati Falls – Below Average

Cutbert Bay – Below Average (Area need attention, very congested, dirty and road to bay is in between houses of local people)

Fooding & Lodging

Gandhighat Jetty Canteen – Cheap hostel type menu. Egg Meal 80 Rs.

Hawks Bill Nest – Room spacious, amenities good, Staff courteous but little bit sloppy, Food – Very Good and Value for Money.

Good Night
.... to be contd.
Last edited by Wasim Rahman; Jun 24th, 2017 at 22:40.. Reason: Image Not coming
#10 Jun 24th, 2017, 22:45
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Distance from Uttara



Distance from Hawksbill Nest
#11 Jul 2nd, 2017, 12:50
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Sir, Waiting for more. This is very illustrative. I am planning for January 2018.
Less is more and usually more effective. The simpler, the better.
#12 Jul 2nd, 2017, 15:14
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Very nice, the details & the snaps.
#13 Jul 9th, 2017, 21:10
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Thanks Mrinmoy and dcyouth.
#14 Jul 9th, 2017, 21:30
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Very detailed TR , TFS
#15 Sep 18th, 2017, 14:51
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Day 4 : North Andaman D2 –Rangat – Diglipur - Kalipur (16.01.2017)

Today we started early morning at around 5am. We took a pit stop at billyground (15 Km from Hawksbill Nest) at around 5:45 am and our driver went to withdraw cash from a SBI ATM.

BillyGround
Then we crossed Nimbudera (Some good roadside hotel, sweet shop and restaurant is there), Crosses Austin Bridge at around 6:30 am.

View From Austin Bridge
From here we took the left turn for diglipur ( on the right – mayabunder) and finally reach diglipur Bazar at around 8:15 am.
We directly headed for Areal bay jetty (2-3 KM from Bazar) and refreshed there. Our driver enquired about the Fiber boat for Ross and Smith Island and we came to know that it will start from 10 am that day because some maintenance activity was going on. So, we found a local street side eateries and ate Paratha and Sabji, Egg omelet . Most of the people of Diglipur are Bengalis. Though our driver planned to took us to Ross and Smith Island first, but as there was almost 1 and half hour time in our hand we went to check in Kalipur Turtle Resort.

Turtle Resort
As it was very early the room was not fully ready, so we just kept our luggage in the room, freshen up a bit and then returned to areal bay jetty at around 10am.

We had to fill a form and deposit Rs 3000 for a boat. Here an Id proof needed and you have to take permission from Jagannath da the secretary of Local Boat Operator Association. The boat is for 5 person so we share it with another family from Kolkata (3 person). Finally we started from Areal bay jetty at around 10:30am and reached Ross and Smith Island after half an hour. Our boat man gave us time up to 1:00 pm to roam around the island.


Ross and Smith Island
Undoubtedly this is the best attraction in Andaman & Nicober Island. Those 2-3 hours we spent here was the best part of our trip. 2 separate island Ross and Smith are connected only in low tide via a rim of sands.

We took bath, then took a stroll around and reached the other island. The water is much clearer than other beach and island. There are some changing rooms here but there is no food. You have to carry your own food and water. After spending almost two and half hours at around 1:45pm we returned to Areal Bay. Our driver Kishore da was waiting there for us. Then we were taken to Hare Krishna Hotel and restaurant which is one of the most popular in this area. We finished lunch and went to Directorate of Shipping Office in Diglipur from where I bought 2 tickets for Rangat to Havelock via Govt. ferry. ( Actually I had a plan to go to Long Island but as previous day was Sunday, so the DFO office in Rangat was closed so, even after confirming via telephone I could not able to take my confirmation slip from Rangat for Forest Accommodation in Long Island. So I decided to skip long Island and an extra day in Havelock. )

Then we went for Shyamnagar Mud Volcano which is almost 20-25 Km from Diglipur and again mud volcano (just like baratang) frustrated me.

Shyamnagar Mud Volcano


There is nothing much to see there. This part is in extreme North and hardly 200-250 KM away from Burma. Even Burmese lights can be seen from this part.


Diglipur Bazar

We finally returned to Diglipur bazar in the evening and we have to book an extra night in Havelock, so we searched and found a Juice Centre cum Cyber Café from where we tried to book Pan Eco Resort via goibibo but there was no room. Then I called the owner of the resort and he said one booking is just cancelled by someone so I can get a room but for that I have to send money. Now the problem was all my number except BSNL had no signal so OTP from my bank will not come. Finally an idea came to my mind and I went to the nearby ATM and transfer money from my Card to hotels account and send the transaction details via sms to the owner, Voila. It was almost 7:30pm.
It was a very long day , we reached to Turtle Resort, Kalipur (9KM from Diglipur) and then we heard people talking about Turtle Nesting. Turtle Nesting ground was within walking distance from our resort. After dinner we went to the Kalipur beach which is famous for Turtle nesting.

Way to Kalipur turtle Nesting Ground

We were there for almost 2 hour almost upto midnight but luck was not on our side that day.

Review:

Sightseeing Place :

01. Austin Bridge – A ordinary bridge above a narrow creek just near Mayabunder. Average.

02. Ross & Smith Island – According to me this is No 1 spot in Andaman. Have to hire fibre boat for Rs 3000/5 pax. Spend at least 2-3 hours here. It would have been better if we could stay here or nearby areas but that would kill the divineness of the place too. Those who have budget or time constraint and want to avoid North Andaman, I suggest you just include this place. You can take a very early morning bus at around 4AM from PB and it will reach here in the afternoon. Then next day you can enjoy this and return via Overnight Ferry to PB.

03. Shyamnagar Mud Volcano – Average, little better than Baratang Mud Volcano. Go there if you have spare time.

04. Kalipur Turtle Nesting Ground – Good if you are interested in turtle nesting, others can give it a skip.

Lodging and Fooding :

01. Turtle Resort – Best place to stay in Kalipur. Food is also good, price reasonable and at par with other Govt. hotel in Andaman. Just opposite Pristine Beach Resort which in my opinion another good place to stay.

02. Hare Krishna Hotel – Good and cheap hotel, one of the most popular one in Diglipur Bazar.
Last edited by Wasim Rahman; Sep 18th, 2017 at 16:37.. Reason: Picture

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