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Old 20th March 2014, 14:18   #1
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I was a happy bachelor who used to live happily in the world of cars/bikes and photography. Fast forward to 2009. My class mate with whom i was in school since 1993 officially became my girl friend in 2009. Fast forward to 2013. Our marriage got fixed on 7th March 2014, 9th will be the date of reception. So ideally it should be followed by a honeymoon trip. Well yes till date trip meant road trip for me! I left apart other arrangements and started focusing on the destination where we should go for the honeymoon! This is what i found to be the most interesting! Well we had a very short time for it. We had to complete it in 5 days. Between 10th march to 15th March. As 15 March there was some bong ritual known as astamangala. So i had to be back before 15th evening.

First thought was to drive down to Puri & Vizag or a drive to Darjeeling. I was a happy person! A long drive with my Etios was on the cards. But my mother in law suggested it will be better to avoid a road trip before astamanga is performed. It might be a bit unsafe. This was there belief. So no road trip.

Next destination planned was Maldives. Ideal for a short trip. Inquired about the hotels and everything. I was about to book the trip and news came of some political disturbance. My dad was a bit skeptical as they had some problem with the Indian ambassador and other Indian delegates. So Maldives was dropped down.

Next we considered Phuket. It was a nice option. We kept it as an option if nothing works we will do this trip.

Finally i thought of doing Andaman and talked to my travel agent. The trip itenary was given to me and it sounded perfect to me. So we zeroed on Andaman. Our Plan was to leave on 10th March morning and return by 15th March afternoon.

A teaser pic from our trip.
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Last edited by Samba : 20th March 2014 at 14:51.
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Old 20th March 2014, 14:47   #2
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Day 1

So finally the wait was over and 'THE DAY' came. Our flight was at 11Am. Just after my marriage few relatives were staying in our home. Same day morning my cousin brother along with his two kids were scheduled to board there flight at 12pm. So me, my wife, my cousin brother and his two kids decided to leave together for airport. There were lots of luggage and we needed a driver too. So there were total 6 person with lots of luggage. This is when the Etios came to our rescue. It has got acres of space and the huge boot swallowed all the luggage. By 8-30am we started for our journey. I was happy as our honeymoon stared in my favorite Etios.

Fully loaded Etios boot.
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We reached airport by 9-15am. Flight was on time and we were off to PortBlair. Few pics from the flight before landing at Port Blair.

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After these breathtaking ariel views of the island we landed by 1pm. Kolkata to Andaman is a mere 2 hours flight. At airport arrival lounge this guy was waiting with my name on the board! I clicked his pic with my name and he was surprised as any sane person wont do such an activity!

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This guy received us with two flower bouquets and a white Hyundai accent petrol to drop us to our hotel. We were scheduled to stay at Hotel Haywizz. Its hardly a 10 minutes drive from the airport. The rooms were nice and the location was good too. But its not a sea facing hotel. We checked in and ordered our lunch. Food was good. Soon after lunch by 4pm we got ready and headed to Wandur beach. Its one of the best beach of PortBlair. This beach is located around 20kms from our hotel and its approximately a 45 minutes drive.

This tree was uprooted during the tsunami back in 2004. From then its lying like this on the Wandur beach.

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After the visit to this beach we were scheduled to witness the light and sound show at Cellular jail at 7pm. Our tour coordinator arranged the tickets for us. The show started by 7-15pm. Its a 45 minutes show. Am a guy who is not interested in history but believe me i liked this show. The light works were awesome. I could not click many pictures at night as they do not encourage taking pics during the show. For taking pictures freely one must visit in the day. Sharing few pics which i managed to take.

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After the the show we headed back to our hotel had dinner and retired for the day.

Our plan for the next day was to visit Havelock.

Last edited by Samba : 23rd March 2014 at 00:28.
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Old 21st March 2014, 01:03   #3
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Day 2

Alarm rang at 6am. Got up & got freshened up. Asked our hotel guys to get our break fast packed so we can enjoy it during the cruise. All were set by 7-15am. Our cab dropped us to the PortBlair harbour from where our cruise was scheduled to leave by 8-30am. As it was under Indian Navy checking was strict and we had to check in 30 minutes prior to departure. We had got our ticket in a private cruise. The name of the organization was Makruzz. It was quiet comfortable and its average cruising speed is around 18 nautical miles which is approximately 34kms / hr. The distance from port Blair to Havelock is 57 kms. We reached Havelock by 10-30Am.

This was the cruise on which we traveled.

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At Havelock Jetty one guy from our travel agency was waiting for us. He took us to our resort. We stayed at Wild Orchid Resort. It had few nice and cosy cottages. The location is right beside the Govindnagar beach which is one of the finest beach in Havelock. We checked in and our driver told us he will pick us again at 4pm for the visit to Radhanagar beach to witness the beautiful sunset. We had nothing to do from 11am to 4pm! So i decided to hire a two wheeler and roam around the island of our own till 4pm. Went to a shop right beside our hotel who had one Hero Honda pleasure and a Suzuki access 125 left for the day. Both costed the same. The Access being 125cc was my obvious choice. Inquired about the sight seeing places and i was informed there were two main beaches. One is Kalapathar beach and the other one is Radhanagar. So we decided to spend an hour at our resort beach and head to Kalapathar beach. Few pics from Govindnagar beach Havelock.

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After enjoying this beach for 1 hour we headed towards the Kalapathar beach. The ride from our resort to this beach was beautiful. We had the sea on one side and jungle on the other side. The color of the sea in this beach is simply mind blowing.

Kalapathar Beach.

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Stayed here for 20 minutes. Then we decided to have our lunch and ride to Radhanagar beach. Had our lunch at Fat Martin Cafe. Its one of the finest cafe i have ever been too. There drinks (no hard drinks available here) and ice creams were just awesome.

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After the yummy unconventional lunch we went to Radhanagar beach. It was around 2-30pm and it was hot out there. We had some coconut water and decided to come back to hotel and get freshened up and come to this beach again by car to see the sunset. Every thing happened according to plan. Picked up my camera bag and tripod and headed to Radhanagar beach once again. This time during the sun set the beach really looked wonderful. We walked around 1-1.5kms on the beach where there are few rocks. The view of the sunset from this place is even better. Few pics i took from Radhanagar beach.

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After witnessing this beautiful sunset we were back to our resort around 6pm. Me and wife decided to visit Kalapathar beach again in the evening in the two wheeler so we can enjoy the moonlit sea and the jungle. Inquired about the safety on that road from our hotel guys and we got a thumbs up. Once on the road we realized we were the only person on that road. The surroundings felt amazing. The moonlit sea was looking awesome. No words can describe the beauty. On the other side the dense jungle was a bit scary! I was enjoying but was feeling a bit creepy ! So gave some pressure to the the accelerator and was riding a bit fast. Reached the beach and was relieved to see few locals enjoying there with there family. That gave us some assurance and we enjoyed the serenity for half an hour and returned back to our resort by 8-30pm.

Decided to had dinner. The food was awesome. Had sea fish and prawns. The taste of the food was so delicious am sure i will remember it for a long time. After dinner we went to our resort beach. It was calm and quiet. In the light of the moon it was looking awesome.

Tried my hand on a long exposure shot.

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By 11am we were tired enough so decided to come back to our cottage and retire for the day.

The pic of our room in wild Orchid resort.

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Next day our plan was to wake up by 4-45 am and witness the sunrise from our resort beach which is the Govindnagar beach and then get ready and leave for Neil Island. The beauty of visiting a small island is within a short distance one can see the sunrise in the morning and on the other side sun set in the afternoon!

Last edited by Samba : 23rd March 2014 at 21:28.
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Old 22nd March 2014, 11:48   #4
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Day 3

Last night we instructed our resort guys to wake us up 15 minutes prior to sunrise. Sharp at 4-45 am they knocked the door and woke us up. Got up took my camera and we headed to the beach. The calmness of the sea before sunrise was just beautiful. Every thing was so calm and quiet. I just cherished that empty and calm beach.

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Just after the sun set we could feel the heat so we walked back to our rooms. Got ready had our break fast and by 8-30am we left for the Havelock Jetty as our cruise to Neil Island was scheduled to leave at 9-30am. This time we traveled in Coastal Cruise. While waiting at the jetty we could see coastal cruise coming up from Port Blair.

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We boarded the cruise and it took one hour to reach Neil from Havelock. Once we got down at the Neil jetty we could see corals under the sea right from the jetty.

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As we came out from the jetty one of our trip executive was waiting for us. He received us and was scheduled to take us to our resort. But on the way we decided to visit the natural ridge formation and then visit our resort. To see the ridge one has to walk for around 10 minutes over rough and slippery corals. Once reached i saw many tourists taking pictures of themselves giving nature the second preference! So i decided to take pics of few small creatures which i found on the nook and corners of the corals. Once the tourists were done with there photo session and they left i took the pic of the natural ridge.

These shell creatures were moving under the sea water.

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A green crab.

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Brittle sea star

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Sea mermaid on the sea shore..!!!

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Finally a pic of the natural ridge formation.

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After getting tanned for 30minutes while taking these pic we headed to our resort. Tango resort looked nice but its grossly over priced. There are very few resorts/hotels in Neil and Tango gives one of the best view of the sea. So they enjoy the monopoly.

While walking inside the resort i suddenly jumped aside thinking a big snake was crawling on a tree bark. But soon i realized it was nothing but a cycle tyre!

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Neil is a place where you don't have much things to do. The boat rides were closed as few days back a boat with 30 passengers sank near Port Blair. So the government authority became very strict and they were introducing new safety regulation before restarting the water activities.

So after having our lunch we sat in our resort garden and were enjoying the sea breeze with a glass of mango juice. The result of drinking the mango juice i got was in midnight with severe diarrhea. My wife took a sip and she abandoned it saying it was not good. I was too optimistic drank half glass of it and paid the result! Thank god i carried medicines with me. Neil is a place where one must carry the essential medicines. Here mobile network is too feeble. 90% of the time you wont get signal. Medical facility is also not upto the mark.

After sitting in the resort beach till 4pm we decided to walk for around 2kms on the beach to see the sunset. From Laxmanpur beach sun set can be viewed and to view sunrise you have to visit Sitapur beach which was 7kms away from our hotel. Due to the diarrhea i dropped the plan of seeing the sunrise next day morning. The uprooted trees from the tsunami in 2004 were still lying on the beach. Neil is the wilder version of Havelock. If one want a pleasant stay with nice beach then Havelock is the place. Neil is a paradise for photographers and its wild beauty. While walking on the beach thousands of insects and different types of crabs were accompanying us. Bird lovers, macro photographers and landscape photographers will love this place.

Let me share few pics of our walk to see the sunset.

Dead corals.

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Few pics of the landscape of Laxmanpur beach Neil Island.

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Hermit crabs.

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Two pics of the sunset.

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Last edited by Samba : 23rd March 2014 at 21:32.
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Old 22nd March 2014, 12:13   #5
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After seeing this mesmerizing sunset we walked back to our resort. Had some snacks and we sat at the restaurant and chatted with other tourists and had our dinner by 8pm. After dinner i decided to take few night shots at the sea beach.

A Hermit crab at night.

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Night shot at Neil Island.

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While taking these pics it was already 11pm and we were dog tired. We woke up at 4-45 am to see the sunrise at Havelock and saw the sunset at Neil. I must say what a day...! So came back to our room and retired for the day.

Our next day plan was to visit Bharatpur beach post lunch and take a cruise back to PortBlair.

Day 4

Because of the last night severe diarrhea i skipped the morning break fast and i was on medicine and electral water with biscuits. Was feeling a bit weak and tired so took rest till lunch. I was in no mood to have lunch so skipped the lunch too. But after taking rest for the whole morning i was feeling better. So by 2pm we checked out and headed towards Bharatpur beach. This beach is just beside the jetty. So spend an hour on this beach and boarded our cruise (coastal cruise) ar 4-15pm to reach PortBlair.

Two pics from Bharatpur beach.

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After reaching PortBlair at night the PortBlair Harbour was looking beautiful. First time i saw a ship harbour.

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Got out of the harbour and our trip executive was waiting for us. He took us back to our hotel. The same hotel where we stayed on the first day. Hotel Haywizz. Today we were scheduled to have a beach side candle light dinner at hotel Sinclair's port blair with a bottle of red wine and a honey moon cake. I must say we enjoyed our dinner. The ambiance was great too. One the flip side a cat accompanied us during the dinner but i didn't mind on that, it was a nice cat.

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After the diarrhea the candle light dinner felt good!!! I was a bit skeptical about the dinner but the food was really good and we enjoyed it. So with a happy note came back to hotel and retired for the day.

Next day plan was to visit Jolly Buoy island , seeing corals in a glass bottom boat and come back to Port Blair and have crabs, lobster and a bit of shopping of shell items from the local market and visit joggers park to view the air strip.

Last edited by Aditya : 26th March 2014 at 11:42. Reason: Correcting as per request
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Old 22nd March 2014, 16:10   #6
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Day 5

Well i have hard a lot about the beauty of Jolly Buoy island. So i excluded to give a visit to the jarwa's and included a visit to Jolly Buoy island. I was all excited. Our ferry was supposed to leave from the wandur beach jetty by 8-45 am. It was the first ferry. The second one starts at 2-30pm. We decided to go on the first ferry. From our hotel the jetty takes around 45 minutes drives. So we left our hotel by 7-45 am and reached the jetty by 8-30am. Its one of the most cleanest island i have ever seen. Plus the government is very strict with the visitors to keep the island clean. They wont allow any tourist to carry any kind of plastics. Even plastic water bottles are not allowed. We had to hire water flasks from the entry gate by depositing rs200 which is refundable on return. They charge rs5 for the flask. Our ferry started at 8-45 am. Its a common ferry its no fancy cruise. But wearing life jacket is must and over loading is a strict NO. Government officials are very strict on the safety norms.

It took us an hour to reach Jolly Buoy island. The journey was scenic and once i reached the island oh boy what a color and the water was crystal clear! We were just awestruck with the beauty of the island. Let me not bore you with my poor writing skills. Instead let me share few pics of this island so you can understand the beauty of this place.

While standing at the beach in ankle deep water these fishes will touch your feet and move on.

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To view the corals and under sea habitats glass bottom boats can be hired over here. For a 30 minutes trip they charge rs 300 per person and include 10 people on a boat with life jacket. I asked them for a single boat where only two of us can go for a 30 minutes trip. They agreed for rs 1000. I agreed and hired the boat only for us. Sharing the pics from the glass bottom boat.

A Blue star fish.

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A pink star fish.

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A clam shell. Pearls are found with in these.

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A coral in the sea bed.

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Gold fish which we generally see in aquariums.

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Boulder corals.

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Mushroom corals.

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A sea fish

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Sea Lily.

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Button corals.

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The joy of viewing the under sea habitats from the glass bottom boat was really priceless.

Last edited by Samba : 23rd March 2014 at 21:45.
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Old 22nd March 2014, 16:48   #7
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Took this pic from the roof of our ferry. They generally don't allow to go to the roof but on request when the ferry was not moving the ferry captain gave us the permission to go to the roof for five minutes. Thanks captain.

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After spending 3 hours in this splendid island and witnessing the under water habitat we had to return back to PortBlair as our ferry was scheduled to leave by 12pm. So with a heavy heart we left the island and reached Port Blair jetty by 1pm.

Our plan was to go for lunch but on the way we decided to visit Joggers park from where we can see the PortBlair airport.

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It was already 2pm and we were hungry. So asked our driver to take us to a place where we can have nice crab meat. He took us to a restaurant next to the PortBlair sports complex. Here they showed us few big alive crabs and asked us to choose the one we wanted to have. We choose this one.

Sorry brother we ate you.

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After having this yummy lunch we visited the sports complex had some fun with the water scooter. Then the most important criteria was left to do which i never did being a bachelor. That's shopping in a tourist spot...! So after a few hours of shopping and buying sea shell items we went back to our hotel by 5pm. Just a note while purchasing sea shell items at Andaman always take a proper bill or else while returning airport authority will cease the item and never carry any corals with you which you can collect from the sea beach. That's highly illegal. After reaching the hotel we decided to take some rest and have dinner at our hotel itself as there food was good. So after watching tv for 2-3 hours we had some delicious lobster.

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After dinner we were a bit sad as it was the last day of our trip and we had to return back to Kolkata next day. So to console ourselves we were planing about our Ladakh trip which we are planning to do next year by road from Kolkata. Discussing these we retired for the day.

Day 6

Our flight was at 1-40pm so we woke up lazily at 9am had our break fast and got ready. Left our hotel around 11am did some shopping and reached the airport by 12pm. Flight was on time and we reached Kolkata by 3-40pm. Our driver was waiting with our Alto k10 to pick us from the airport and our memorable journey ended by 4-30pm.

Few pics which i took from our return flight.

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Last edited by Aditya : 26th March 2014 at 11:43. Reason: Correcting as per request
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Old 22nd March 2014, 17:38   #8
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Few small bits from the trip.

Port Blair-

We stayed at hotel Haywizz. The hotel is reasonably priced. Rooms were good. Food was really good, restaurant service was good too. On last day our check out time was 9am but on request they extended it till 11am. Wifi was available.That was nice of them. Room service was not up to the mark. On first day the shower in the room was faulty and Tv not working. On the second visit tv remote was not working and on repeated phone calls to the reception it was not replaced or rectified. While checking out they asked us they can't find a towel in there room. I asked them to search properly and they found it on the room. Total unprofessional behavior from there stuffs. Lift was not working properly too. It had some problem with the door.

Overall the hotel was satisfactory. I will recommend this hotel only for the food and the rooms were comfortable and location was good.


We stayed at Wild Orchid resort. Simply one of the best place in Havelock.
Nice location, cosy and comfortable rooms, excellent food and nice room service. Only negative was no wifi and no telephone in hotel room .A thumbs up for this resort. Highly recommended. Here one can have a candle light dinner on the sea beach. If you book early they will arrange it for you.

Neil Island-

We stayed at Tango beach resort. It grossly over priced. No hot water in bath room, no telephone in room forget about wifi. One cant make a std call from the hotel reception too as they don't have that option. To make a std call you have to come to the market by paying 100rs to the auto which is merely 1-1.5kms. Very basic rooms. For food only buffet is available. You cant have the food of your choice. But the food was okay. I had mango juice over here and had severe diarrhea at night. At night you don't have a proper resort reception too where you can contact a person. The only positive is the location of the resort and the rooms and the wash rooms were clean. Its the best located resort in Neil island. I wont recommend this resort but you don't have a better option either! The check out time was 7-30am and our ferry was at 4-30pm. So to have the room till 3pm i had to pay them an extra of 2,500 inr.

Coming to the cruise service-

Makruzz- Its nice and comfortable. You can choose from 3 classes. All are comfortable and good. Wash rooms are there but it was not that clean.

Coastal cruise- Its nice and comfortable too. Its a bit smaller than the Makruzz. It also has 3 classes from where you can choose from. The wash rooms were surprising cleaner than the Makruzz. But over all the Makruzz was more classy.

These private cruises are more comfortable cleaner and faster than the government cruise.

Few other small bits-

1)The most commonly spoken language is Bengali. People can speak Hindi too. Few speak in Tamil.

2) While purchasing shell item always take a bill or else airport authority will cease the item. Never carry any sea shells or dead/alive corals. Its illegal.

3)Light and sound show in cellular jail is worth a visit.

4) Medical facility is good at Port Blair , average in Havelock and really poor in Neil Island. At Jolly buoy there is no medical help at all. So carry medicines accordingly. Just one tip people try out sea food the most over here. Many people get allergic reaction from sea food so for safety always carry an anti allergic drug prescribed by you physician.

5)Always carry proper ID cards as checking at few places are strict.

6) ATM's are available in Port Blair. Bigger organization's accept cards too. In Havelock always carry cash. Cards are not accepted in most of the places. At Neil there is no ATM and none accept cards.

7) Andaman is one of the most safe place i have ever been to. People are generally nice and honest.

Thanks for reading. For any queries feel free to ask me.

Last edited by Samba : 23rd March 2014 at 21:55.
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Old 23rd March 2014, 22:06   #9
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Thread moved from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 24th March 2014, 07:44   #10
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Really loved the photos, especially the night shots.
Wish you could have visited the Ross and Smith islands as well. Very beautiful and quite place.

When we last visited, we were feeling adventures so we hired a local boat and visited a totally remote part of Havelock. It was very serene and with no one else around. It felt special, like our own private little beach.
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Old 24th March 2014, 10:23   #11
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Super Travelogue Samba !!

First things first, Heartiest Congratulations on getting married & welcome to the club.

Simple narration & Great pictures. I haven't visited Andamans yet. Your pictures are forcing me to visit it at the earliest. Will ask for your help when finalizing the trip.
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Old 24th March 2014, 10:45   #12
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Great pictures & Information for future travelers to the Andamans. Thank you for sharing.
And, wishing you a happy married life!
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Old 24th March 2014, 11:41   #13
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Excellent travelogue Samba and pictures that you have shared is breathtaking. It is indeed India outside of the India sub-continent except that the vistas are superb

How was the weather? I visited Andamans last December and even during that season it was quite hot and sultry

Here is the link to my photoblog of Andamans :-

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...ise-earth.html (Photologue: Andaman & Nicobar Islands. Paradise on Earth!)
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Old 24th March 2014, 11:57   #14
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Net trouble means that I'm among the late repliers. But better late than never. So as they say Heartiest Congratulations and a big to the travelogue. The pictures themselves say a lot about the beauty of the place and the narrative is just mindblowing. Way to go dada. Now will be eagerly waiting for your next travelogue and next quality post.

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Old 24th March 2014, 16:56   #15
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Lovely travelogue. I enjoyed reading it and felt like I was there. It will be on my list of destinations to visit....probably after my marriage
For now my friend is planning to go there after his marriage in June, can you share the cost of the package (hotel, sightseeing & transfers) without flights and shopping ?
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