Andaman islands are one of those islands where people usually know the word ‘Andaman’ and then connect it to Thailand. That’s the catch!
Andaman islands are actually very similar to Thai islands in Andaman sea but they’re in India. Oh, yes. Things just got interesting.
You can only fly there from India and nowhere else. This means it’s a bit more complicated to get there buuuut also a lot less touristy.
You can fly to Andaman islands from Chennai or Kolkata and it’s best to buy tickets couple of months in advance because they get more expensive.
So, you have to avoid Andaman islands in the rainy season which is June to September. That’s when it all gets wet and lots of bars and restaurants close their business for that season.
We visited in the end of April till mid May and it was low season but the weather was still good. If you ask me, the perfect timing.
Yes. You get it quite easily when you arrive on Andaman islands’s airport in Port Blair. It’s very important and you must not loose it. It’s free and it’s valid for 30 day, you can extend it for 15 more days at the police station (even in advance – in those 30 days). It’s better to make copies of it. You will need to show it every time you arrive or leave a certain island.
You must show it when you fly out of Andaman islands, otherwise you can’t board your plane (Indians are very strict about this).
You can buy the fast boat tickets at their office but there is a possibility they will be full couple of days in advance or the boats don’t run on public holidays. There are a lot of holidays on Andman islands 😀
Price: 750 – 1100 INR, 2.5 h
The other option is the public ferry where the only problem is that you can’t book the tickets in advance. You need to be at the office in front of the dock (Phoenix Bay Jetty) at 5 am where you need to queue with the locals. You need to use all of your strength and elbows you have, and forget about personal space. There is a line for women and a line for men (in our case, I was more successful but I lfelt the typography of the lady’s boobs behind me :D). Office opens at 6 am and there are only a certain amount of tickets given. So, get up early!
There are also jetties at 11 am and 14 am but the best way (only way?) to get the ticket is in the morning.
Price: 150-250 INR, 1.5 h
Low season price for a bamboo bungalow with bathroom for 2 costs 500 INR, in high season it can be double or even a triple price. We stayed at Pelicon bungalows on Havelock (the beach is amazing) and Breakwater on Neil island for 450 INR.
You can get a nice fish, good for two for 250 INR and even cheaper curries.
You can buy the tickets for the fast boat up to 4 days in advance, for the public jetty there are the same rules as for how to get on Andaman islands.
Offline on Andaman islands, from our time there last April/May.