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Old 15th October 2008, 08:31   #16
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I went for a holiday to havelock with a gang of 25 to a resort called barefoot - had a wonderful time and will upload photographs..
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Old 15th October 2008, 09:16   #17
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Thats an excellent piece of travelogue csentil and rare pics on Tbhp. Quite informative.

But that tragic incident really was sad.
May the sould rest in piece.

Keep the remaining travelogue and pics flowing.

Abhi
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Old 15th October 2008, 09:39   #18
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I stayed in Havelock for a week with in December 2004. Was the bluest sea I ever saw in my life.

I dropped my camera in the sea on the last day, managed to save the CF card and still had beautiful pictures.

5 days after we returned, my wife and I parted ways permanently.

A week later there was a horrible Tsunami and many lives were lost. Some islands disappeared. It was awful.

6 months later my external drive crashed and all my pictures were lost.

A nice travelogue, some nice pictures and I'm very sorry for the accident with your ex-colleague. They do happen.

Last edited by Sam Kapasi : 15th October 2008 at 09:47.
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Old 15th October 2008, 14:59   #19
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Day 3

Woke up pretty late on the day and headed back to the jetty to catch the ferry back to Port Blair. Reached Port Blair around 11.30 am.

Ross Island

Had lunch and then decided to head towards Ross Island. This was the administrative capital of the British in the Andamans. Lot of red bricked buildings which are now overrun by the jungle.

Didn't feel like clicking any snaps of the colonial buildings. Lots of deer and peacock in the islands, remanants of the British Raj.

There's a beautiful small beach on the other side of the island. Its called Ferar's beach. Swimming is strictly prohibited there. So we stuck to what we did best, laze around and click some snaps.

Ferar Beach

Andamans - An unforgettable trip-ross-island-ferars-beach.jpg

Andamans - An unforgettable trip-ferars-beach.jpg

After spending many an hour husking coconuts that we found on the beach and having fresh coconut water we returned back to Port Blair.

Next was to see the Light and Sound show at the Cellular Jail.

Day 3 concluded by visiting the same restaurant and having shoals of fish !!

Day 4

Mahatma Gandhi Marine Park.

We set off for Wandoor near which the Mahatma Gandhi National Marine Park is situated. Permission is a must from the Forest Department to visit this place.

Sun baked beaches, crystal clear waters, amazing coral reefs, colourful fishes, shallow seas and a myriad of colours await you.

There are many islands in the Marine Park. However they alternate between two islands every few months so as to allow the wildlife a better chance to recuperate from the tourism onslaught. They are the Jolly Buoy and the Red Skin Islands. We visited the Red Skin Islands.

The Marine Park starts from approximately this place.

Andamans - An unforgettable trip-mg-national-marine-park.jpg

One of the islands there.

Andamans - An unforgettable trip-beautiful.jpg

This is VIP only island according to the local sources.

A closer look at the "VIP Island"

Andamans - An unforgettable trip-p1020347.jpg

Andamans - An unforgettable trip-vip-island-marine-park.jpg

The waters off RedSkin Island

Andamans - An unforgettable trip-redskin-island.jpg

Andamans - An unforgettable trip-red-skin.jpg

Beautiful Crystal Clear waters off the island where you can laze around and do nothing.

Andamans - An unforgettable trip-crystal-clear-water.jpg

Andamans - An unforgettable trip-p1020371.jpg

Jolly Buoy Beach at the distance

Andamans - An unforgettable trip-jolly-buoy-beach.jpg

Mangroves forests.

Andamans - An unforgettable trip-mangrove-forests.jpg

The beauty is the changing colour of the water. The moment there is cloud cover the green turns a lighter shade, dark blue becomes light blue... Actually it has to be seen.

We spent the whole day there and then visited Wandoor beach before returning back to Port Blair for some more fish and some shopping.

Day 5

Our flight was in the afternoon so we just woke up late packed and left for the airport. The view from the plane was also beautiful to say the least.

Andamans - An unforgettable trip-andaman-sky-2.jpg

Andamans - An unforgettable trip-andaman-sky.jpg

It has been an unforgettable trip in more ways than one. The beauty of the whole place, the omnipresent sea which has given life and taken away lives as well. The islanders who seem to retain a certain amount of old world charm, manners and honesty.

Pack your bag folks. :-)

I've a lot more pictures of the same places but have chosen the ones which looked the best and conveyed the most about Andamans.

Will post some more snaps later and details on how to plan a tour there.
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Old 15th October 2008, 15:39   #20
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Do let us know more about Adndama, like the season to visit, Place to look around and the place to stay in....very nicely written.

WOw Andaman looks amazing! nice travelogue...

Annd very sorry to hear about the unfortunate incident!

Last edited by Rehaan : 16th October 2008 at 11:28. Reason: Posts merged. Please use the EDIT button to add to an existing post within 20 minutes instead of postnig another consecutive post.
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Old 15th October 2008, 16:32   #21
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Lovely travelogue cSentil! I too visited Port Blair for a week way back in Jan, 1996 and saw most of the places you visited, except Havelock and Neil islands which we had to forego as the ferry was cancelled.

I have the best of memories of A&N. I painted the town red as I could borrow a Kinetic Honda from a pal working in the Navy there.

The visit to Jolly Buoy islands was the best in the entire trip. Oh, how can one forget those forlorn beaches and crystal-clear water! I recall that my glasses fell into the sea when my wife's had accidentally hit my head while playing in the sea water. But I could easily dive into the water and retreive them from 5 feet below---a solid testimony to how clear the water was. I shudder to think on what would have happened if my glasses were lost!!

One of the highlights in my trip was standing at the end of the runway with my 6 year old son and watching the East West Boeing take off right over our heads---was kinda scary as the sound was deafening and I had to shield my son's ears. Those days all planes used to take off only in one direction as there was a hillock at the other end of the runway.

The 'sound and light' show in English language at the Cellular jail beats all other shows in India with the same name hollow.

Good to know that you enjoyed your trip, despite the tragedy.
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Old 15th October 2008, 17:22   #22
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@csentil: Lovely travelogue and some amazing pics. Even I've tried searching for information on Andaman online but never found something informative enough. Now your travlogue would certainly help a lot of us, certainly a must visit place.

Sorry to read about the tragic end, it's always a sad moment ... just pray that God grants the bereaved family comfort and strength to pull through.
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Old 2nd December 2008, 17:54   #23
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Hey csenthil. Nice travelogue. And sorry about the sad incident.

As you said, could you post more details - Costs, best time to visit, and any other pointers. I wish to do this trip during the christmas time. Any thoughts on it?

Thanks ...
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Old 2nd December 2008, 18:29   #24
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Csenthil,

It's a good travelogue and crisp photographs. Very sad , Your ex-colleague's brother in law's drowing.

May his soul rest in peace.

Dwarak
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Old 2nd December 2008, 19:46   #25
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Amazing log there mate! Really makes us think of packing our bags and leaving. Our office trip to the Andaman got cancelled last year due to flight availability as we were 30 people and KF did not have enough seats for all of us.

Will try talking to boss again about it and convince him for it I guess.

I'm really sorry about the sad experience that you had. Very tough to handle such things when you are completely in a holiday mood and not bothering about anything else.

PS: One more thing which kind of distracted my office guys from planning the trip completely was the lack of booze on the islands. I'm not sure how much this is true but most of them did research and found that you would not get it there so you can understand how the teenage crowd immediately declined this trip.
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Old 2nd December 2008, 20:08   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iswear View Post
Hey csenthil. Nice travelogue. And sorry about the sad incident.

As you said, could you post more details - Costs, best time to visit, and any other pointers. I wish to do this trip during the christmas time. Any thoughts on it?

Thanks ...
Was in the Andamans for over three weeks last year. Best time to visit would be the cooler months - October - February. Good for snorkelling/diving too. Monsoon months are full of rain - actually the Andamans are at their most beautiful during this time, but diving or even going into the sea much is out of question.
In my mind Port Blair does not deserve more than 2 - 3 days - and that may be stretching it. A trip by bus through the tribal areas to Baratang and ahead is recommended. Havelock is nice, quite laid back & as someone said has shortage of booze (and petrol!).
Christmas is a busy time - even in the Andamans - so book ahead - its certainly a good time to visit climate wise. In terms of accommodation depends on what you're looking for - there's luxury (somewhat) accommodation in the Barefoot Resort, Silver Sands, Wild Orchid etc & there's backpacker accomodation in the various huts/cottages all around. There's also the Government accommodations - but lack character.
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Old 2nd December 2008, 21:45   #27
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Nice travelogue and pics CS except for that incident. Sad to read the story. May his soul RIP.
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Old 3rd December 2008, 00:37   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iswear View Post
Hey csenthil. Nice travelogue. And sorry about the sad incident.

As you said, could you post more details - Costs, best time to visit, and any other pointers. I wish to do this trip during the christmas time. Any thoughts on it?

Thanks ...
AirFare - around 12.5 - 13K return per person. Kingfisher Red and Jet are the ideal options.

Ideal time to visit: September - October - Monsoon is just over and crowds are less. November could see rains due to NE monsoon.

Cost: Depends on the number of days you want to stay and where you want to stay and go. Typical 4-5 day package works out to be around 13-14K. If you want top class accomodation package for a single person can be as high as 30K for 5 days. If you don't take a package then you would have to plan and book all the resorts before you reach there.

Dec - March - Peak season. Lot of crowds. April, May mid is hot. End of may SW Monsoon starts.

Pointers
You can either take a package from A&N tours or KingFisher itself. Or if you want to rough it out yourself its better to go there and do it all by yourself. This is the cheapest and best option.. Since we were a group of 9 we took a package and customized it.

The problem with the package is they try to get you to spend more time in Port Blair which is not worth it. Museum, Zoo are all ok if you have a lot of time to spend. Otherwise don't visit these.

Also point to remember as A&N follow IST it tends to get dark by 5.30 pm. So its ideal to start the day early and end it early.

Must visits: Cellular Jail in Port Blair, Havelock Island and its beaches, Mahatma Gandhi Marine Park, bus drive to Baratang, snorkelling in Wandoor or North Bay.

I've already mentioned the modified schedule we did. Usually MG marine park and North bay doesn't get covered in this. You need to get permission from the Forest department to visit the MG marine park. Can be done in Port Blair itself.

Baratang is better to take government bus. It is cheaper. The hotel/tours wanted 5K+ to go there.

We wanted to go to Ross & Smith Island and to North Andaman. But no time. Will do it sometime again in the future.

Booze: Sorry none of us Booze.. so we didn't bother about it. Havelock Island has a lot of resorts, so booze should be available. The smaller islands don't have them.

Also the localities try to keep the place neat and tidy as its a tourism destination and a lot of foreigners go there... so they do frown up people dirtying the place.

Lonely Planet India has almost all the relevant information on A&N. That and the internet are the best places to collect info b4 heading out.

Ideally take a package for 5 days and the remaining 2 days you can rough it out yourself. You can cover places not present in your package.
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Old 3rd December 2008, 16:36   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amip View Post
...Was in the Andamans for over three weeks last year....
Quote:
Originally Posted by csentil View Post
...AirFare - around 12.5 - 13K return per person. Kingfisher Red and Jet are the ideal options ...
Thanks a lot amip and csentil. That was really detailed csentil. Thanks once again.

I guess I won't be doing this trip aftrall. Just checked the airfares and they are coming out to be 22K per person one way

And if I choose to travel by sea, it is cheap, but 60 hrs one way. So 5 days would just go in traveling. I don't have that much time on hand just for traveling!

Prolly next year, I'd plan well in advance and do this. I would book the air tickets and resort in September, for the christmas vacation
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Old 3rd December 2008, 17:32   #30
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Yes airfares during the Christmas New Year season would skyrocket. Also the hotel rates would also be at an all time high.

Travel during weekdays and non holidays. Fares and accomodation are cheaper.
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