Saturday, December 26, 2009

Be Warned

The Andamans are a group of 572 islands in literally in the middle of nowhere; around 1200 kilometers from any major port on the east coast of India. It's remoteness is what make it fascinating and preserves it from the regular holiday crowds. But if you are a run-of-the-mill tourist it is not the place for you.

Port Blair, the capital, is a small town compared to most tourist destinations on the mainland. If you are a shop-aholic don't even look in that direction. You go to Andamans to put up your feet and RELAX. The islanders have a laid back attitude to life and time here moves languorously. The day starts early, by 4.30 AM and ends abruptly with darkness descending by a quarter past five in the evening. Night life is almost unheard of and surprisingly our hotel actually downed its shutters at night!!

If you have a queasy constitution then you wouldn't want to be here. Travelling by road takes you nowhere. All important islands can be accessed only by boat and it takes a few hours to reach the most interesting islands. You need to find your sea legs quickly to enjoy the unspoilt beauty of this paradise in the middle of nowhere.

And if you are a fussy eater this may not be the place for you either. Outside Port Blair you have little choice. Havelock has some choice but access isn't easy unless you hire a bicycle or scooter (both readily available). The menu is targeted at the overseas crowd that flock here to enjoy scuba diving and snorkeling in the clear waters.

Menu is limited and most likely will list more than what is really available.If your tongue demands some spice then you will be more than a little unhappy. Unlike regular hotels and eateries, one strange experience I had is that water never comes first on the restaurant table. Not even when the food is served! You need to ASK for water.

If you plan to travel to this exotic destination, go with an open mind. Take each day at it's pace. Look at your watch but not too frequently or intensely. When it becomes time to return, rest assured, your mind will be as placid as the waters you swam in!

More to follow soon..........

1 comment:

  1. Absolutely correct... Ice cremes have to be brought from the main land ie Chennai... However @ Havelock you'll find an Axis Bank Atm, I was wondering if it was functional and withdrew a couple of grands quite easily. Adding one more thing out here, Most Hotels DO NOT accept credit cards or debit cards, however you'll find many SBI ATMs @ Port Blair