Need a break from your day-to-day humdrum life, but you’re not sure where to go? Wondering where to find that perfect blend of panoramic splendor with a serene atmosphere? One that’s miles away from the chaos of travel hotspots?
Let me introduce you to the land of unstained beauty, magnificent scenery, and an unmatched aura of tranquility: The Andaman Islands.
Long before I married the love of my life, I had often pondered over just where I’d go for my honeymoon. And to be honest, the Andaman islands — which are situated in the Bay of Bengal between India and Myanmar — were not my (or my wife Mili’s) first choice. In fact, we’d originally planned to go somewhere else, but due to some unforeseen passport issues, we opted to keep our escapade domestic — and what an amazing decision that turned out to be!
It’s incredibly eye-opening to realize the kind of stunning exotic spots your own homeland has to offer, especially when shelling out to explore foreign lands is a sought-after status symbol. For my wife and me, visiting the Andamans was one such enlightening experience. And that it was at a bargain price didn’t hurt either.
We went the last week of October (in 2015), which is one of the better times to visit. Although the Andamans is an archipelago made up of over 500 islands, most visitors head to just a handful of spots: Havelock Island, Neil Island, and Ross and Smith Islands, as well as the territory capital city of Port Blair on South Andaman Island. The islands are home to some of the most picturesque beaches in the world, with names like Elephant Beach, Kala Patthar Beach, and Laxmanpur Beach.
My wife and I had a plethora of wondrous experiences at the Andamans. The aqua green beaches stretching out into the periphery with silvery sands amazed us every time we stepped out of our hotel. Scuba diving at Havelock Island was an enthralling adventure. In fact, name an ocean activity and we likely tried our hand at it. Snorkeling, jet skiing, speed boating, scuba diving, sea walking — we did it all!
But it was an encounter with some local wildlife that amused us the most. On Havelock Island’s Kala Patthar beach, we were lucky enough to make the acquaintance of a large yellow-bellied snake. The serpent had a grand beauty and harmless demeanor. It was enlivening.
What stays with my wife and me most, when we think back to our trip, is how peaceful it was. Unlike the hurly-burly of your usual beach destinations, “calm” is the most distinguishing quality of the Andamans. The panoramic splendor blends with the serene atmosphere, giving you the opportunity to feel inner peace. A newly-wed couple could not ask for a better place to spend some quality time together.
The aqua green beaches stretching out into the periphery with silvery sands amazed us every time we stepped out of our hotel.
On Havelock Island, we had one of the best candle light dinners of our lives. We dined on a wide range of scrumptious seafood alongside the tranquil evening ocean with a stunning full moon radiating above and the waves adding their mellifluous notes to the atmosphere of heart-warming light music. It was a truly mesmerizing experience. At one point I even thought, “Wow, is this even real?”
I had done the proper research before going to the Andamans, but with every trip there’s always a few things that you only find out when you arrive. For me, the only thing I wish I knew before I visited these islands of exquisite beauty is that I am allergic to prawns. I ended up with a sore throat for the rest of the day.
But if you already know your food allergy status, then my only real other piece of advice is to bring your normal summer clothes and a nice pair of slippers and plan it in advance to get the best prices or packages.
The panoramic splendor blends with the serene atmosphere, giving you the opportunity to feel inner peace. A newly-wed couple could not ask for a better place to spend some quality time together.
Of course, I plan on returning soon, but this time with my entire family — including my newborn daughter and parents. For anyone with a visit to the Andaman Islands on their minds, I would say go for it without any second thought, because you wouldn’t want to miss out on such a place. The word that would most aptly describe it is “hypnotizing.”