Back in 2012, two young people aged 24 and 26 sought to find each other, they tied the knot and decided this is it, we were meant for each other. That was me and my husband Sumit, after our long 5 day long elaborate, expensive wedding parties we needed to do something for us, something to celebrate our union and that’s when the finger stopped at Andaman Islands for our Honeymoon, the wilderness, the beaches the adventure, it all defines us as a couple and if your like me, here’s a few reasons why you should ditch the typical Bangkok, Mauritius trips for our desi paridise called the Andaman.
If you’re here just for the information, skip right down to the practical information section.
1. It’s not your usual couples destination.
You probably have heard the places like Singapore, Bangkok, ko Islands, from every couple, ugg if you’ve been to these places you will see a lot of bikini clad women in chudda on the beach, flaunting some sanskar. Andaman always gets those eyebrows up, you don’t find many couples out there, you have time for yourself to do pretty much anything, without being flocked by other honeymooners. It’s different and it’s unique.
2. Nature, adventure and yummy food at its best.
You know how you’re worried about losing those extra pounds you bag on your trips, Andaman got your back there, I actually lost weight coming back from the places, I was so active I got back healthier than ever. When you’re at the islands try the local snapper preparations, and have the fresh lime soda at the Dive India restaurant and thank me later.
3. So many stories to tell.
Andaman is probably one of my best vacations. Its not only for the activites we did, scuba diving, swimming in the ocean and snokelling, we also walked in a swamp, with a 50% chance of getting attacked by a crocodile, trekked through a jungle or seeing a fellow kayakers kayak capsize, all stories for an other time to tell, but the place is simply magical in its own right.
4.You can’t actually count the stars
Being a city gal, I have always wondered what’s with questions like can you count the hair one has and the stars you see in the sky, I’ve always said yes, my dad has four and the sky has two, get ready to experience a sight so heavenly that it’ll leave you awestruck. Divine and peaceful you can see all the constellations if you’re into things like that, I just pretend to be. Just beware of the coconuts, you’ll know what I’m talking about, they are so many palm trees they just keep falling.
5. No language barrier
Andaman islands is mostly bengalis that speak Hindi, so if you’re Indian you’ll have absolutely no barrier to converse with the locals.
6. There are so many islands you’ll never get bored
There are 572 islands in Andaman, you’d never get bored there, of course the popular ones are Port Blair, Niel Island, Havlock, Ross Island. I was in Havlock the whole time because our ferry to Neil broke down, but in recent times the ferry stops at Niel Island before it goes to Havelock from Portblair.
7. Activites with your significant other.
When you’re trekking through a jungle, or scuba dive together, when you spot that clown fish together and have a, I found Nemo moment, you realise you’re with the one and it’s amore. There’s more, you can have the famous goa Scooty rides too, as you travel through roads with trees that look like they’re from the prehistoric times on either side of the road.
8. Witness the best beaches you’ll see in India.
The Radha Nagar beach is on the top 10 list of best beaches in the world. Experience one of the best sunsets you’ll ever see.
For more practical information
If you’re travelling from pune or Mumbai you have 2 options, one is a flight via Kolkata or the other via Chennai, we took the one from Chennai, we got to see the Marina beach as well, which by the way is a treat to the eye.
Best time to go
Go off season, that’s in the summer months, I was there in April and November and although it was hot, it’s more fun in the off season times.
Do not stay in port Blair, it’s a boring city, you’ll literally have nothing to do there expect for the cellular jail visit, do not miss the light show, and if you’re Indian and if you know Hindi watch it in Hindi, you’ll feel the patriotism.
Havelock we stayed at the Symphony Palms Beach Resort, I really recommend this place, it has one of the best restaurants on the island.
Islands to visit
1. Ross Island: its a small island off of port Blair.
2. Havelock: Its a must do, do not miss this one.
3. Neil Island: Small and quant, talk to the locals, they’ll take you fishing with them.
4. Baratang Island.
Beaches to visit on Havelock
2. Elephant beach, theres a 2 kms trek to the beach or you can take a boat from the dock to get there. I really recommend the trek.
Activities in Havelock
1. Snorkel near a lighthouse by Barefoot
They’ll take you to a light house on a kayak where you can snorkel, it’s magical, but I did not have the best experience with Barefoot, they have a lot of interesting things to do but choose your guide wisely.
2. Scuba dive with dive india
3. Adventure sports at elephant beach.
The islands are small and can be covered on foot, in havelock you can rent scooties to get around.
What’s the language there
Locals know Hindi and also speak in Tamil and Bengali. Their English is OK.
For foreign nationals
You’ll need a special permit to get to the islands
(Updates: PM Modi has recently renamed Havelock to Swaraj dweep, Niel Island to Shaheed Dweep and Ross Island to Netaji Subhash chandra bose dweep.)