I made an adventurous and memorable solo trip in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands this monsoon (28 May – 01 June). My main focus was to visit islands and beaches during this trip. It was mainly a 5 days trip in South Andaman from Dhaka, Bangladesh. Though it is much hectic to travel a long way to reach but after visiting I must say it was the worthy one. And surely I’ll revisit. So here are the details of my trip to the Andaman Islands to help you to plan your trip or tour to this dream destination. And yes, this time also I’ve learned and experienced many new things while traveling solo. So you got to read the complete post to know the inside story and many tips as well. 🙂
From The Top of the Cellular Jail
Map of South Andaman
Some Basics About Andaman and Nicobar Islands
Andaman and Nicobar Islands is in East India and Port Blair is the capital. Andaman has gone through many tragic times from the British colonisation to tsunami in 2004 but still standing with the spirit of confidence. Really there are much to inspire you to visit the Andaman Islands. The captivated beauty of Andaman attracts many tourists every year. This destination is best for adventure travel and must-visit for all nature lovers. In fact, who does not love white sandy beaches with blue water? The best part is that all beaches are pristine and naturally beautiful. And scuba diving is the must do activity in the Andaman Islands.
Captivated Beauty of Andaman
English and Hindi are the official languages in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Bengali, Tamil, and Telugu are the major spoken languages. You’ll find many Bengalis are settled here and their origin is Bangladesh. Most tourists are Bengalis and Tamils from West Bengal and Chennai. The tribals are out of the focus. They are completely different and not available in the populated destinations. Tourists are not allowed to talk and visit them unless permitted by the authorities of the Andaman Government.
The temperature and climate of the Andaman Islands are best for traveling in almost every season. Only during monsoon (June – August) rains excessively and this time, you’ll find some destinations closed for safety reasons. So the best season to visit Andaman in between September to April. No winter in the Andaman Islands and in the month of May, it is the beginning of monsoon. Undoubtedly it was amazing to explore the beauty of the Andaman Islands in the offseason too.
Beauty of the Andaman Islands During Monsoon
The Andaman Islands 5 Days Itinerary
A short video on my trip to the Andaman Islands before you going through the 5 days itinerary.
Port Blair, Hotel GB Oceania, Corbyn’s Cove Beach
Get in Port Blair And…
Whether by air or ship you can reach the main city, Port Blair. Presently you can travel to the Andaman Islands only from Kolkata, Bangalore, Chennai, and Visakhapatnam. Government ships operate weekly 3 days and you have to book tickets from those cities or details you can find from Andaman and Nicobar Tourism site. Current airlines those operate to reach Port Blair are Jet Airways, Spice Jet, Go Air, and Air India. And it took 2 hours from Kolkata to reach in the Veer Savarkar International Airport, Port Blair.
Unfortunately, I got a very bad experience and my flights were delayed total 4 hours from Dhaka and Kolkata too. So I’ve reached in Port Blair airport in the afternoon (after 3 pm) though I supposed to be by 1 pm Indian time. And one more thing must pre-order your food while collecting your air ticket if you’re flying by Spice Jet. I didn’t know that and 20% extra I paid for one Chicken Roll as bought from the airplane. To save money it is better to carry dry food and water or eat from the outside before taking off the flight.
After collecting my luggage, I directly went to Hotel GB Oceania by tourist AC car from Andaman Travels. And in my entire Port Blair tour I was guided by Gopi Driver.
Here I made one mistake and came back to the airport again to take the permit paper. So here it is, you got to learn from your mistakes and you’ll definitely remember it. 😉
I wanted to visit the historic Cellular Jail on the first day but couldn’t for the timings. In the evening went to visit Corbyn’s Cove Beach. At 5 pm only it became very dark and nothing but enjoyed walking and the waves sound in the beach. It was drizzling too. I found some local stalls outside of the beach selling many fancy things mainly made out of sea shell and wood.
Corbyn’s Cove Beach
GB Oceania is a 3-star hotel and located in the center of Port Blair. The modern interior design of this hotel is cool and room is well-furnished too. This hotel is just 2.6 km from the airport and all main tourist attractions are nearby only. Breakfast and dinner was complimentary from Hotel GB Oceania restaurant. In every restaurant in the Andaman Islands you’ll find mainly South Indian food. It is because here most tourists are from South India.
Hotel GB Oceania
Here in Port Blair within 9 pm all shops, markets and all activities do close. The city is normally safe to travel and I found locals are helpful and cooperative. All kinds of transport facility are there but two-wheelers are more. There are many hotels and restaurants in many ranges and budgets in the city. Many mobile networks do operate in the Andaman Islands but Internet speed is not faster, much expensive, and not available everywhere.
Expensive Internet Service in the Andaman Islands [Nadav’s Place]
So, it depends on your time, schedule, and interest at the FIRST DAY you can visit Cellular Jail, Light and Sound Show at Cellular Jail, and Corbyn’s Cove Beach. Even you can move around nearby in the city.
- All foreign tourists must collect permit paper from the Immigration section at Port Blair airport. Otherwise, you’ll not be allowed to stay any hotels and visit any places.
- Must carry your Passport, Permit Paper, and Identity Card (for Indians) wherever you visit in the Andaman Islands.
- Go through the permit paper where every necessary detail you’ll find to help you travel safely in the Andaman Islands.
- Must return your permit paper after collecting air ticket while leaving Andaman after your trip.
Makruzz, Havelock Island, Ocean Blue Resort, Vijaynagar Beach, Radhanagar Beach
Get in Havelock Island
Next day after an early breakfast started to leave for Havelock Island, the main attraction in the entire Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
Presently the only way to reach Havelock Island from Port Blair is the ferry. There are some private cruises and government ferries to reach you to the Havelock Island. You can book respective ferry tickets from the ferry office in the Port Blair harbor. In fact in the Andaman Islands, you can visit various islands by the ferry service and this is the best way to hop from one island to another island.
I traveled by Makruzz, private cruise in a deluxe class. There are three classes (Premium, Deluxe, and Royal). It costs me 1150 Rs per ticket. It was a very pleasant experience, very good service, cooperative crews and safe too. You’ll get complimentary meal too during your journey. It took just one and half hours to reach Havelock Ferry Ghat.
How beautiful is Havelock I understood from the ferry ghat itself, it is actually the beach no. 1. There are many beaches in Havelock Island and many water activities are must do things here. At morning within 9:45 am I’ve reached Ocean Blue Resort in Havelock Island by another Tourist Car service. There are many resorts and also budget hotels in Havelock but it is best to stay beside any beach though it’ll be bit expensive.
I completely loved my 2 nights stay in Ocean Blue Resort. This resort is very close to the Vijaynagar beach and so I chose to stay here. Breakfast and dinner was complimentary from this resort. The room is well decorated with all necessary things. What I loved most is the beautiful garden of many colorful flowers of this resort.
Ocean Blue Resort
Ocean Blue Resort
Just before lunch made my first visit to Vijaynagar beach (Beach no. 5). This was an awesome experience and such a picturesque beach it is! I loved the greenish-blue watercolor of this beach and there are many Mahua and Coconut trees. And spending some moments here was blissful.
Vijaynagar BeachVijaynagar Beach
There are some restaurants nearby Ocean Blue Resort. Best to try seafood here. I took plain Paratha and Tuna fish curry for lunch from Nadav’s Place. This restaurant runs by Ocean Blue Resort and Blue Bird Resort. And food is too pricey here though tasty.
Lunch with Sea Fish Curry
And afternoon went to visit Asia’s famous Radhanagar Beach (Beach no. 7). Radhanagar beach is the main attraction among tourists in Havelock Island and became popular worldwide in 2004. It listed as the Asia’s Best Beach by the Time magazine.
Selfie Time at Radhanagar Beach
Now Radhanagar Beach holds the 64 number among the Top 100 beaches in the world by CNN. This beach is just 10 km from Ocean Blue resort. The sandy beach, blue water, and the sunset moments can be your lifetime experience. Here outside the beach, you’ll get many local shops selling local fresh fruits and coconut water but all are pricey comparatively other beaches in Havelock Island.
SECOND DAY you can visit Radhanagar Beach, Vijaynagar beach, and Govindnagar beach (Beach no. 3) also if it is near to your resort. And must try Sea Food at Red Snappers, best in Havelock Island.
Havelock Island, Vijaynagar Beach, Scuba Dive, Kalapathar Beach, Nadav’s Place
I started my second day with a long walk at the Vijaynagar Beach in Havelock Island. The sky was unclear, I wanted to see the sunrise but couldn’t rather enjoyed the calmness and serenity of this beach. I photographed a lot here. I met one Telegu family here who stayed in the same resort and found many came for a morning walk. Just opposite of this beach is the Dolphin Resort and so this beach seems like a private beach.
I supposed to go to visit the Elephant Beach, best for snorkeling and other water activities. But due to bad weather this beach was close for tourists. But by trekking was possible to visit, I didn’t as the road condition was not that good.
Then I decided to go for Scuba Diving at Nemo Reef nearby the Beach no. 2 from Blue Corals Dive. I never thought I can be able to do it but I was super excited and too much happy by the beauty of the underwater world. It was 9.9 meters deep dive for 30 minutes. It costs me 2500 Rs. with photos and videos. How fascinating it was to see many coral reefs, colorful fishes, especially Nemo fish and many unknown sea fishes!
At Nemo Reef To Scuba Dive
Later thought I would never go for scuba diving if Elephant Beach is opened for snorkeling and so it was good for one sense. Those happened happens for good. 😉 No problem in my future Andaman tour I’ll not miss visiting Elephant Beach. Hope for the best. 🙂
In the afternoon, it was pleasant and had a nice time at Kalapathar Beach. It just takes 7 to 10 minutes by car to reach this beach from the resort. I found all beaches here in Havelock well managed by the authorities. All are much aware of cleanliness in the beaches. Here outside the beach, you’ll find many coconut shops and must drink coconut water in less price (just 15 Rs.) per coconut but fresh and sweet water.
Coconut Stall [Coconut Superman]
My last dinner at Nadav’s Place in Havelock Island became a sweet memory with the local sweets (Rasgulla) and it was truly tasty.
THIRD DAY must try scuba diving nearby from the reputed dive school. Elephant beach is the must-visit destination for the whole day. Neither you should miss visiting Kalapathar Beach. It depends on your choices and nature of your trip.
- Havelock Island is pristine, beautiful, and remote land but safe to travel alone or in a group. Here internet speed is too slow than Port Blair.
- After the evening, it is safe not to stay in any beach and sometimes not permitted by the beach authorities unless any activities made by the respective resorts nearby the beach in Havelock Island.
- Must concern about safety while gone for any water activities in the island and beaches. I always listen to my instinct while traveling solo and it works well always.
Port Blair, Cellular Jail, Corbyn’s Cove Beach, Munda Pahar Beach, Hotel GB Oceania
Back to Port Blair
In the fourth day after a breakfast, I checked out from Ocean Blue Resort and came back Port Blair by Makruzz.
Breakfast at Nadav’s Place
I collected the ticket from the ferry ghat office which was already booked. I reached Port Blair before 1 pm and decided to visit Cellular Jail. But before that went shopping at the Sagarekha Emporium. There were many rare collections of artistic sea shell and wood crafts. You can buy for home decorations or as gift items.
Sea Shell Craft [Sagarekha Emporium]
It was worth to visit Kala Pani or Cellular Jail which established between 1896 – 1906. Cellular Jail has been used by the British to deport political prisoners to the remote Andaman Sea. A must-visit destination to know the history behind the Andaman Islands. Here you’ve to collect ticket (30 Rs. per person) before entering and you can take Guide with you from the inside in 200 Rs. I explored alone in every floor and there are many museums to visit.
Cellular Jail is now represented as National Memorial Monument. It was amazing to see the remote view of the Andaman from the Tower of the Cellular Jail. You can even see Ross Island, North Bay Island, and the light house from here.
National Memorial Cellular Jail
After that, I went to explore Corbyn’s Cove Beach. Here you’ll really love the rows of the long coconut trees and it was beautiful in the daytime. I enjoyed Jet Skiing here, for some minutes it cost 350 Rs. There are other adventurous activities too here like speed boat ride, banana ride, and sofa ride. There is one island here, known as Snake Island.
Corbyn’s Cove Beach
Jet Skiing at Corvyn’s Cove Beach
My South Andaman trip over with a visit at Munda Pahar Beach nearby Chidiyatapu. It was thrilling to reach Munda Pahar while saw many long green trees both the side of the road. There are various trees in the Munda Pahar Beach. Many uprooted trees created an extra beauty entire the beach. Just before sunset it was amazing and this place was very windy too.
Munda Pahar Beach
Keep Beach Neat & Clean at Munda Pahar
I wanted to go for Light and Sound show at the Cellular Jail in the evening. But there was a long queue and could not manage the ticket. After the evening, there was one show for 1 hour but didn’t feel to go for it as it will be late and I was too exhausted. Actually, I wanted to go for it on the first day but schedule changed for the delay of the flights and that day this show was close to public due to some VIP guests.
At night, I enjoyed buffet dinner at Hotel GB Oceania restaurant. I slept early as next day will leave Port Blair for Dhaka.
FOURTH DAY you can even visit Ross Island, North Bay Island those is very near from the city. North Bay Island is also best for Scuba Diving, Sea Walk, and Glass Bottom Boat Ride.
Last day in the Andaman Islands…
I checked out from Hotel GB Oceania after breakfast. I was happy to manage a window seat while coming back and enjoyed the extreme beauty of the Andaman Islands from the sky.
Andaman Islands from the Sky
The total Port Blair airport area is No Photography zone. Before taking off I took some photos but later came to know it is better not to put the airport photos online. It is a defense airfield and has strategic importance to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
My whole trip in the Andaman Islands was interesting and enjoyable besides the boring time for the delay flights in Kolkata. Literally I’ve reached Dhaka on 02 June. It was 2 hours late in Biman Airlines. So I had reached home after 12 am. Thankfully I could be able to manage Green Bangla Taxi Cab service from Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport, Dhaka. Their service was really good and it was safe too. It really needs guts while traveling solo but every new experience teaches me new lessons. At the end, I’m the happiest to collect memories not things by traveling. 🙂
In the first visit, you can not explore everything due to time and many circumstances. And I believe every place should be visited many times to explore the best way. So hoping to visit again the magical Andaman Islands!
Stay Tuned for next posts to know more about the Andaman Islands.
Join me in the discussion. Have you visited or planning to visit the Andaman Islands?