The sunset was near spectacular. I realised later that stunning sunsets here is routine.
- Beaches. Lots of wonderful beaches. Some of the beaches at Havelock are world class and are rated by Time magazine it seems among the top 10 beaches in the world. I did not bother to check which one. They are all fabulous. There are quite a few beaches in India that are simply marvellous. And Andamans has quite a few of them. Even a wild island like Havelock has about a dozen beautiful beaches.
- Coconuts are everywhere. They are great for your liver. Drink up!
- Food is not cheap. But seafood is all over the place. And it is not difficult to find a good restaurant/shack cooking up a delicacy. They are all good and hygienic. Over time you would have your favourite haunts.
- 80% of the island is wild and uninhabited. Live at your own risk and peril. That is not a threat. That is a dare! There are no wild animals though.
- There is no network coverage. Or barely any. Hence no internet! So no Facebook.
- Plastic is banned here. If you are caught carrying plastic, you will be arrested. Do not even dare or think about carrying plastic!
- Underwater marine life is absolutely fabulous. If you are travelling to India, this is one of the best places for underwater marine life, especially for the fish.
Fortunate are those who are on a private tour to India. We were on a private custom travel to India with a professional tour operator who are experienced and understand all my needs. Thus all aspects were meticulously planned and taken care of. We did not once have to think about anything once we finalised the programme.
I spent a week in Havelock. I went and inspected hotels, checked out their Food & Beverage, saw their facilities and services. Most are mediocre with not so great services. But when you are next to a beach, you have not much to complain. But I am stickler for quality services. If I am to design a private custom travel to India, I would like to be able to deliver the best.
I came to the Andamans with a some specific purpose in mind. And I was accompanied by a willing travel companion who is also an avid traveller and a serious contributor to this column. You can read about her travels in India, the palaces of Rajasthan, Luxury travel in India, the experience of Luxury in Jaipur, staying at a luxurious medieval Palace in Rajasthan and other travel experiences.
After staying at the Andaman Islands for a week, my travel companion was more than delighted and had this to say:
“Coming to the Andamans is one of the best travel moments in my life and one of the best decisions in recent times. Yes I do like beach destinations. I have been to Goa several times. I have stayed for months at Kerala. But the Andamans is much more than a beach destination. For the first time I am seeing mangrove forests, pneumatophores, waters so crystal transparent that the life underneath is clearly visible to several metres, fish flying out of the water, dense tropical greenery that soothe your senses, excellent seafood everyday, sunsets and sunrises that are stunning to say the least and at night you can pluck the stars right out of the sky!
I can spend a week here doing what I feel like, enjoying the beaches, perfecting my tan, swimming with the fishes, discovering local cuisine, finishing my literature, drinking coconuts, swinging from a tree, meeting other locals and fellow travellers, exchanging experiences about travel to India. A week flies by in complete natural detox before you even realise.
It was interesting to talk to other travellers since I was one of the rare ones who was on a private tour to India. And I was getting the best deal in terms of services and the way our travel planner took care of us. I did not have to go around scouting for a vehicle to go to my destination. My car was always waiting for me. My ferry tickets were ready and handed to me on arrival. Travel was easy and I could relax and enhance my fun factor.”
Such was the joy of my travel companion that she wants to come back. I do not doubt her feelings. Andamans is infectious; the clean air, the good food, the extraordinary greenery, nice people and fantastic beaches. And if you are on an island like this, everything is within walking distance. All of Havelock Island has just two buses and 16 cars, one road that forks into two and no traffic lights.
Andamans is not a cheap destination. I checked out most of the important hotels there. At Havelock there is just one luxury option which is quite good and close to one of the best beaches in India which in fact is even one of the best beaches in the world. My mind is made up. I am coming back here on a regular basis. I am left wondering why I did not come back here earlier and more often.
Some more photos that we took that made our stay worthwhile:
The author, Krishnendu KES is a regular traveller and has often written reviews about hotels around all parts of India.
For more information on Andamans and how to experience the best from the some of the most magnificent beaches in the world, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org
Our travel was designed, organised and executed by www.maavalanindiatravels.com
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Amazing time at the Andaman Island paradise!