Tips for traveling in Andamans

Itinerary:

  • There are a lot of trips that happen with a sudden plan, Andamans isn’t one of them. While traveling to Andamans, one needs a proper itinerary, without which you’d miss on a lot of fun like, unavailability of water sports slots, ferry connectivity to various islands, expensive tickets, expensive accommodations, etc.
  • Consult with a travel agent or check on travel blogs or quora or many other sources.
  • You cannot look for places to visit or contact numbers of agents once you are in Port Blair because of unavailability or improper internet connection.
  • Pre-book all your sports activities through tour operators in Andamans for like, scuba diving, snorkelling, etc and the ferry tickets for traveling to islands like Havelock, North Bay Island, Jolly Buoy, etc. Make advance bookings of hotels to avoid surge prices, especially during peak time.
  • If you are planning to rent a vehicle, make a booking for that too, because of limited vehicles and tour operators.

Permissions:

  • Foreign nationals need to have a permit from immigration authorities to enter the island.
  • As for Indians, permission isn’t required for entering Andamans. Proper permission from the government is required to enter the Nicobar Islands or other tribal areas which is rarely given to tourists.

Baggage Handling:

  • If you are carrying fragile items, do inform the authorities while boarding for Port Blair because the baggage authority at Port Blair airport is reckless in handling your stuff.

Transport:

  • Finding transport is not difficult here. The moment you come out of the airport, you can see a lot of taxis that can provide with rate cards for taxi rentals for your entire trip or on daily basis.
  • You can always bargain a little if you think the prices are skyrocketing.
  • The public transport like auto-rickshaws also run regularly. They can be used too if you are comfortable with the routes.
  • Self-driven two-wheelers are available for rent at reasonable prices through various tour operators in Andamans.

Data Connectivity:

  • Internet connection is a major issue in Andamans. All major telecom networks like Airtel and Vodafone works well for calling purpose.
  • 2G/3G is sluggish, WhatsApp might and might not work at times, uploading and downloading isn’t proper.
  • For safer side, try to carry printed receipts of your hotel bookings and other bookings for smooth travel.
  • Getting a wi-fi connection even in high-end hotels is very difficult. You might get it in Reception, but not in your rooms.

It becomes even difficult if you are away from Port Blair, like in Havelock, North Bat Island, etc.

No going Cashless:

  • Going cashless and flaunting all your pretty cards wouldn’t work in Andamans because of unavailability of internet connection.
  • Payments through credit/debit cards become really difficult even in luxurious places, you might have to walk miles to find a place where you could find internet connection and transfer the money online.
  • Cash sufficient amount of cash in order to avoid such situations.

Foreign nationals especially need to carry Indian currency in order to enjoy the trip smoothly.

Custom Checks:

  • Custom checks might lead to issues while traveling back if you are carrying unbilled sea shells carried from sea beaches. Fully intact and unbroken shells can’t be taken back from the island.
  • If you are willing to carry such stuff, you need to buy it from the market and have a bill for them, which can be shown in case of checks.

Stay tuned for my next post on my blog: “Must go places in Andamans”!

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