Adding to her list of places visited in India – Sonali Ghosh undertook a 5D/4N trip to Andaman with her family. Booking a tour package through TravelTriangle for Rs.73,000, she secured the accommodation, local transfers and entry tickets/permits for 7 members. Back from Andaman, here, she shares with us her recollections from the trip.
Being an avid traveler, I have reserved two slots in the year for traveling – one around April and the other around October. April, because I work in a bank and get free after the closing of the financial year and October, because that’s when I usually take some time off for Durga Puja. The best part is that during both these times of the year, the weather and crowd remains moderate.
Andaman was on my list for a very long time, since it was one of the few parts of India left to be traversed. Giving all excuses and hurdles a dodge – this time towards the end of the year, I undertook a trip to Andaman with my parents, sisters, aunt and uncle. Having had a successful trip to Ladakh through TravelTraingle in the past, booking an Andaman holiday package through them again was viable and logical.
Day 1: Admiring the scenic extravaganza of Andaman
Witnessing the bird’s eye views of vast seas and islands – we reached Port Blair around 7:30 in the morning. After checking in at the hotel Kavitha Regent and freshening up, we headed for a visit to Ross Island.
Although there was not much to do at the island – deer and peacocks provided a pleasing spectacle, while the dilapidated ruins of the British Era spoke of the country’s history.
From Ross Island, we came back to the hotel via ferry around 3:30 and visited the Cellular Jail for the light and sound show, which lays bare the history and sacrifice of Indian freedom fighters.
Day 2: Touching the bottom of the sea
In the morning, we checked out from the hotel in Port Blair and left for Havelock Island at 8:15, via Makruzz. The luxurious ride took around 1.5 hours and we checked in at the Cross Bill Resort. Considering that Havelock is a place of limited means, our stay at Cross Bill Resort was pleasant, though not very luxurious.
Although we were to go to Radhanagar beach during the day, but since I was pretty keen on indulging in Scuba diving in Andaman — we all went for it first.
On reaching the scuba diving spot, all of us ladies took a dive and engaged with the enthralling marine life, while the men enjoyed lazing around and absorbing the aesthetic aura of the place.
Suggested Read: 11 Thrilling Water Sports In Andaman: No Swimming Required!
It was only after lunch, that we resumed the plan of visiting the mesmerizing Radhanagar Beach — one of the best tourist places in Andaman.
Although we got late because of dedicating most of the time to scuba diving – we luckily managed to reach Radhanagar beach right at the time of the sunset. Witnessing the enchanting sunset, we wished we had made it to the beach earlier and came to regret it to a great extent. After spending a blissful evening at the beach, we returned to our hotel in Havelock.
Day 3: Beneath the shimmering blues
From our hotel to Elephant Beach, Havelock — it took us merely 15 minutes to reach. Boarding the fiercely fast speed boat each time, was an adventure in itself.
The boat accommodated 5 members – so while we had one boat to ourselves, the remaining 2 members were made to share the next boat.
On reaching the beach – we splashed around the still waters and relaxed on its milky sands. The waters were extremely calm and we spent around 3 hours at the beach. We enjoyed the thrill of riding the speed boat once again on our way back to Havelock.
At 4 in the evening, we got back to Havelock and took the lunch at the jetty. Traveling conveniently via the private ferry, Makruzz – we reached Port Blair around 6 and checked back into Kavitha Regent. After relaxing in the hotel, we went for shopping and took home some beautiful corals, pearl ornaments and tribal dolls.
Day 4: Amidst a picturesque paradise
In order to reach the Red Skin Island, passengers board a ferry – which stops 500 meters before the island (to keep the delicate corals from harming) and are then transferred to the island via a glass bottom boat. Our ticket was inclusive of both the ferry ride and the glass bottom boat ride till the island.
On the way to Red Skin, we got to see beautiful inland lakes formed by the Tsunami of 2004. Since the island is part of Mahatma Gandhi Marine National park, it is looked after by the Indian armed forces. Owing to the strict rules and regulations followed at the park, plastic bottles were not allowed and we had to rent Milton water bottles.
Reaching the Red Skin Island is like making your way into a different dimension. The place is idyllic, solitary and uninhabited. As a result, we only came across a handful of people who had boarded the ferry with us. The island offers no particular water-sport activity, but lends its blissful beauty for admiration.
Due to its glass-like water and abundance of corals – Red Skin Island is the best place to indulge in snorkeling in Andaman. Boarding the last ferry at 5:30, we parted from the solitary land and later took a car to Port Blair.
Suggested Read: Top 12 Places To Visit In Andaman
After lunch, we were taken to Chidiya Tapu by road. The one hour ride took us through the beautiful curves of tranquil roads, with dense forests lining its boundaries. Witnessing the setting sun from the sunset-point at Chidiya Tapu was mesmerizing – although the place seemed hyped, otherwise .
Day 5: Departing from Andaman
The next day we took our leave from the beautiful Andaman islands and got transferred to the Veer Savarkar International Airport, from where we boarded our flight back to Kolkata.
High Point: The experience of Scuba diving in Andaman was simply out of the world. In the beginning I panicked, but with the 15 minutes of training and the encouragement of the trainers – I had the best of times in the Scuba diving session.
Low Point: The behavior of the driver who took us to Radhanagar was unpleasant.
Tip to future travelers: For viewing the corals at the Red Skin Island, there are 3 categories of the glass bottom boat ride – ranging from rupees 300, 600 and 900, according to time-span. But I suggest not to take the extended glass bottom boat rides, since looking down at the sea continuously, makes most of the passengers sea-sick. If you want to admire the colorful corals, snorkeling at Red Skin is a must among the list of things to do in Andaman.
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