Morning was in its fullest charisma, with a draping sunlight, I was enjoying the delight of a dream coming true - I finally reached the Vir Savarkar Airport, Port Blair i.e. Andaman & Nicobar Islands. (obviously this was the best destination which could have acted as an embrocation to my monotonous life).Now, I am going to give an overall idea about the place with a conviction that this is going to be helpful for all of you there!
1. FIRST ENCOUNTER:
The Vir Savarkar Airport located 2 km south of the city is just a stone-a-throw distance from the main road and communication (I mean travelling) won't be a constrain as from here public busses can be flagged down just outside airport and to be frank, a bus ride to Aberdeen Bazaar is not going to cost more than 7 bucks. So it’s not that expensive, is it?. Moreover, taxis and auto rickshaws would be present outside the terminal at flight times.
The Voyage in a regular pax ship service from Chennai to Port Blair takes about 50 to 60 hrs and the ship normally berths at Port Blair for about 2 to 4 days.
2. CONVEYANCE & MOVING AROUND:
Even though walking is always a good option to get around, but here there is always chances of getting lost in between steep hills which look akin. So it’s better to remember some Landmark. To the utter catastrophe there is even a greater chance of being fleeced by auto-rickshaws (drivers) if they any how get to know that you are completely ignorant of where you are going or what you are doing.
Auto rickshaws which are copious within town should cost Rs 20-30.Auto fare from Airport to Aberdeen Bazaar is not going to be more than Rs.40 from where Rajiv Gandhi Water sports complex costs a specific amount of 10 bucks.
3. HAVE YOUR HOME:
The city offers one to choose hotel as per his/her financial statements. Some of the budget hotels include Ashianna Residency inn, which is just 10 mins away from Aberdeen Bazaar and is and is suitable for all kinds of tourists with Non-AC rooms (Rs. 300-600) and AC (Rs.800-1000), Youth hostel, Aberdeen Bazaar where dormitories costs around Rs.50, rooms costs Rs.100.Middling ranged hotels like Holiday Resort located at the heart of the city with very heartfelt staffs may cost around Rs. 1200-1500 per room. There are even spurges like Fortune Resort, Marine Hill, having a bar, swimming pool and a restaurant, costs around US $70-170.
4. TOURIST ENTICEMENT:
The visit to Port Blair would be incomplete without cellular jail. It takes you back to the British epoch when prisoners were subjected to brutal work regime. Closed on Mondays, can be watched from morning 9:30 am to 4 pm. Not only this a light and sound show can in Hindi (5 pm) and English (6 pm) can be availed in the evening hours.
JOLLY BUOY AND SNORKELLING:
To reach out jolly buoy one has to reach Wandour which is around 30 km from Port Blair and one ferry leaving around 9 am takes you from wandour to jolly Buoy. Snorkelling costs around Rs 550 per head. Touching star fish, sea cucumber and watch fishes at arm's distance is such a consummate expeerience to have and one must carry eatables and water along with him/her.
Located at a height of 1200 ft, is situated majestically in north of the harbour, opposite to Chatham Island is a trekking paradise. It’s an eutaxitic picnic spot from where view of the whole port Blair could be enjoyed.
Situated at north of Port Blair city, it was the residence of Chief Commissioner during British aeon. This Island even gives space to a church, swimming pool, tennis court, cemetery; the exotic view of spotted deers and peacocks would just make your day- leaving you completely awestruck and spell bound! This is a good option to visit except on Wednesdays. To reach here one can avail the boat service from Phoenix bay jetty daily at 8:30, 10:30, 12:00. One can buy tickets at the jetty behind the aquarium where the boat leaves from.
BOAT TOURS FROM PORT BLAIR:
May get lured by agents for various tours but as per me, healthier option would be North Bay + Ross Islands for Rs.225.Tour for North Bay + Ross Islands starts at 10:00 am from Rajiv Gandhi water sports complex. Agents even try to sell single tour of Viper Island by the name of Harbour cruise for Rs.90, which starts at 3:00 pm and 5:00 pm.
Aberdeen Bazaar is a better option for a few good restaurants which include:
a. For a Vegetarian, Annapurna cafeteria opposite to police station, serving both south & North Indian food would be the best selection even though it is a bit pricey.
b. Ananda Restaurant, beside Annapurna cafeteria serves both veg and non-veg items.
c. Light house Residency, M A Rd (near Aberdeen bazaar) one of the city's best restaurants with a good Chinese-Thai & North Indian cuisines. The speciality here is fresh sea food and it’s better to check the price & pick your fish and it has one of the most descent bars in Port Blair.
All these were the places where I could visit within a stipulated period of three days. Apart from all these, the beaches were completely bewitching and basking yourself up under the Sun in these beaches are just awesome. The scenic beauty of nature in form of mountains can be enjoyed to a greater extent. Being here I could see heaven in its most pristine form. I am capping down my pen here with all my optimism, buoyancy, and anticipation: next Vacations, You are going to hit Port Blair as your destination; It is truly a hand writing of God.
Good Luck and Bon Voyage!