Foreigners no longer need RAP to visit Andaman Islands

The Union Home Ministry decided on Tuesday, 7th August 2018 to lift restrictions for Foreigners visiting Andaman and Nicobar Islands, the foreigners will no longer need Restricted Area Permit to visit 29 inhabited Islands as the government intends to boost tourism. 11 other uninhabited islands will also be thrown open to foreigners.
The 29 inhabited islands have been excluded from the RAP notified under Foreignern order, 1963, till December 31, 2022, subject to certain conditions. However, citizens of Afghanistan, China, and Pakistan and foreign nationals having their orign in these countries would continue to require RAP to visit the Union Territory. For visiting Mayabunder and Diglipur, citizens of Myanamar will continue to require RAP, which shall be issued only with the prior approval of the Ministry. Separate approvals of the competent authority would be require for visiting resvered forests, wildlife sanctuaries and tribal reserves.

Safety precuations at Andaman Islands

Andaman and Nicobar Islands have many sandy beaches and coral reefs. Though Andaman waters are generally safe for swimming, snorkelling and diving, the also have few dangerous animals, which may come in conflict due to mistaken identity such as a prey or to defend their territory. Though such incidents are extremely rare, visitors are advised to observe precautions.

The Tourist Safety Enforcement Team (TSET) has been constituted at important Tourist locations for ensuring the safety of tourists especially in activities related to boat rides of Rajeev Gandhi Water Sports Complex (RGWSC), at Port Blair, North bay, Wandoor, Bharatpur Beach, Neil Island, Havelock Jetty , Baratang jetty.

For the safety of tourists, life Guards have been deployed at Rajeev Gandhi Water Sports Complex (RGWSC) at Port Blair, Ross Island, Corbyn’s Cove, Chidiyatapu, Wandoor, Baratang, Havelock, Neil, Diglipur and Hutbay.

SOS Kiosk (Emergency Assistance Booth) has been set up at Rajeev Gandhi water Sports Complex, Port Blair, Corbyn’s Cove, Havelock, Neil and Baratang, for information and guidance.

Beach Safety Tips

  • Find out the safe swimming zone. Always swim where a lifeguard is on patrol and stay inside the area marked. Never swim where a sign not to, or when there is a red flag.
  • Look at the safety advice. Always read and obey the safety advice they will help you to avoid potential danger on the beach, and to identify the safest areas for swimming.
  • Ask a lifeguard for advice. If in doubt, it’s always best to play it safe and ask the experts.
  • Get a friend to swim with you. Make sure there are other people around, because you kever know when help might be needed.
  • Stick you hand and shout for help, if you are in difficulty. And if you see someone else in difficulty, tell somebody, preferably a lifeguard SOS KIOSK in the beach or find the telephone call 100 (Police)/102 (Ambulance).
  • Wear right clothes for swimming.
  • Drink sufficient water to avoid dehydration.
  • Keep an eye on children all the time.

General Precautions

  • Always wear life jacket while boating.
  • Children should not be left unattended.
  • Do not litter. Don’t throw bottles, plastics and garbage into the sea.
  • Do not swim after consuming liquor.
  • Do not dangle your arms and legs during boat rides.
  • Shiny jewellery and bright coloured clothes resemble the fins of small fish and may attract predatory fish. Avoid such accessories and clothing while swimming.
  • Potentially harmful marine animals found in Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
  • Check passenger capacity while boarding the Boat. Ensure that Tourists/crew on board is not more than the prescribed capacity.
  • The Boat operator should be in sound condition, if found under influence of Liquor immediately disembark and inform TSET.

8 things you must know before visiting Andaman Islands

The Andaman and Nicobar Islands form an archipelago in the Bay of Bengal which is between India and Myanmar. Most of the part of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands forms the part of Union Territory of India and a small number of part in the north of the archipelago includes the Coco Islands which is a part of Myanmar.

  1. The climate here is different for the whole year long. From the middle of January to middle of May it is the best time to visit as the days are mostly sunny. And from May end till the end of July, the islands are hit by heavy rains. And from August to November, the climate is a bit rainy like it has occasional showers and slightly rough seas are also possible. From early December to the middle of January, the weather again becomes rough and it rains heavily.
  2. The Language spoken here are vast. It includes languages like Hindi, Bengali, Tamil, Telugu and English. These languages are widely spoken in the Andaman Islands.
  3. For the Non-Indians, there are 30 days Restricted Area Permit (RAP). For Non-Indians the permits are issued at Port Blair Airport on arrival. Without RAP, no hotels in the Andaman Islands will provide accommodation to foreigners. It is very strict at Andamans for getting the Restricted Area Permit (RAP). Indians do not require any permit to visit Andaman islands as it is a part of India.
  4. Eating at Andamans gives you many options from Indian food to any other countries food. The basic Indian food is available in small dhabas and restaurants. The expensive resorts serve few western dishes like Italian, Mexican etc. Sea food, the most popular food is available everywhere. At Havelock and Neil Islands, finding the pure vegetarian restaurant is difficult.
  5. Fresh coconuts are popular and widely available at Andamans. Alcohol is available in some of the restaurants and at ‘English Beer & Wine Shops’ in Port Blair and on Havelock Island. The beers will not be cold when purchasing across the counter. You can get cold beers only at the local bars. There is no pub culture or dance clubs at the Andaman Islands.
  6. The Andamans Islands are a fairly safe destination to travel and live. Tourism is not so common which makes it hassle free. You should keep your wits about you as you would visit anywhere. Saltwater crocodiles (Crocodylus porosus) are present at the Islands which is within the suitable habitat throughout the Andaman & Nicobar Islands. While attacks by these crocodiles on locals do occur every year within the island chain. The only attack on a foreigner within the recent history occurred off the coast of Havelock Island in April of 2010. The saltwater crocodiles generally remain within the rivers and coastal mangrove swamps. They do occasionally travel within the open ocean which was the case in this attack. Attacks on humans in the ocean is very rare and not necessary.
  7. Andaman and Nicobar Islands are malarial. Although generally, it is quite healthy to stay, not more so than mainland India.
    If you want to use ATM and withdraw money you can do so. The followings are the Banks having their ATM services at Andaman & Nicobar Islands are:
    State Bank of India, ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Vijaya Bank, Indian overseas bank, Axis Bank Ltd, Canara Bank, Punjab National Bank, Indian Bank, Union Bank of India, Syndicate Bank, Allahabad Bank, Bank of Baroda, Uco Bank and United Bank of India. There are only 02 ATMs at Havelock islands. Hence it is advised to carry sufficient cash if you are not carrying a debit or a credit card.
  8. Hotels at Andamans do accept credit cards and debit cards but most of the time due to poor internet connectivity the transaction fails. Therefore, it is advisable to carry ample cash with you while travelling to the islands.

With breathtakingly view and beautiful coastline Andamans is a place which is the lushest forested interior. The Andaman Islands are the perfect place to ramble around and enjoy the sun-toasted beaches.

The Andaman Islands, comprising of 572 islands and only you can visit 12-15 for travelling. Very fewer islands are only open to the tourists. Havelock island is by far the most popular for its splendid beaches and diving. The Nicobar Islands are strictly not open and off the limits to the tourists.

8 value for money hotels and resorts in Andaman Islands

#1 Ambika  Residency

Ambika Residency is a budget hotel within a range of Rs. 1200/-per night. Usually for this kind of price you won’t find the hotel neat and clean, but Ambika Residency does maintain neatness. All the rooms in Ambika Residency are very well ventilated and comes with basic amenities like Air Conditioner, European style bathrooms and king size beds. The hotel is located just in a range of 1 km from the main market. If you don’t care about luxury and just want a clean place to stay, then this hotel is for you.

#2 Hotel SL International

Hotel SL International is definitely value for money as it has well rooms with king size beds. The restaurant of Hotel SL International is very famous among locals in Port Blair and is always full. The bar is closed after supreme court’s order, as it is near national highway.  The hotel facilities restaurant, daily breakfast, free wifi, daily newspaper and laundry.  The tariff of SL International is Rs. 2500/- per night. If want a 2 star or 3 star hotel and you don’t have enough budget, then this hotel can surely give you comfort of 3 star hotel.

#3 Guru International

Hotel Guru International  is located near the main market. All the rooms in this small hotel are nicely decorated and include all basic amenities. The rooms of this hotel can be compared with 3 star hotel. The hotel provides wifi but to use wifi you have to come down to the reception area and can be used there. All the staffs in this hotel are well mannered.

#4 Hotel GKM Grand

Another property of Hotel Guru International in 3 star equivalent category range, the GKM Grand offers well decorated rooms with all basic facilities and high quality bath fittings is the new addition to this city. The hotel has a multi cuisine restaurant which may get very famous in time. The hotel is located few 100 meters away from jogger’s park from where you can see top view of the airport.

#5 Divyum Manor

Located just in front of the airport exit gate, the hotel provides facilities similar to 3 star hotels. All the rooms in this hotel are comfortable, well decorated and equipped with modern amenities. The bar and restaurant is also very famous among the locals. The best part of choosing this hotel is that you don’t need a cab for airport pickup and drop.

#6 Sea Princess Beach Resort

Go to the beach in front of Sea Princess Beach Resort in the early morning and you will find yourself alone with the nature. The beautiful beach resort is located 28 kms away from Port Blair at Wandoor Beach where the evenings and mornings are beautiful. The rooms are little expensive than they should be but considering the location, it’s not that much.

#7 Megapode Resort

Megapode Resort is a gem situated at Port Blair, the resort has a beautiful sea view from almost all the rooms. The resort is run and managed by ANIIDCO (Andaman and Nicobar Islands Integrated Development Cooperation). All the rooms are well maintained and equipped with all necessary facilities. The resort has large open space, bar and restaurant.

#8 Kavita Regency

The hotel doesn’t look great from outside but from inside it’s a nice place to stay, the hotel has good rooms and restaurant. All the rooms are equipped with modern amenities and bath fittings.

Choosing a good travel agent for Andaman

Andaman is a wonderful and an adventurous place for the tourist getaway. The hills, seas, forests host immense all the beautiful glimpse of the Island. The diverse wildlife and attracting tourist serve people from all over the world. How to reach the place is one thing and it is wisely important to utilise the time for sightseeing, adventure sports, relaxation and enjoyment. A good travel facility fulfils the travel requirements and provides you with the consultancy.  Travel Agents in Andaman provides the best requisite and support of travel needs. If the travel agents understand the mindset of the customers then they will get the successful opportunity. As being an agent is related to the mindset and understanding of customers only. By understanding and guiding the customers one can become a travel agent and can get an abundance of opportunities. This is the only way to become a travel agent and get more knowledge of the customer and the travel destinations. Many customers have no time to plan a vacation and we live in a time deprived society. The value and importance of a travel agent depend upon the ability and experience to provide a personalised and the best travel experience. The right quality and price are also important for saving time and energy for their customer.

Yes, you can save money by going online and spend hours to find the best deal. But you can save time and let the travel agent does the work who has the insight to match the right and perfect travel product at the right price with the appropriate needs. The value of a travel agent will become more enhanced and important in the future as the world continues to remain time deprived and stressful. Customers will turn to travel experts for their vacation.

Price is important and for leisure travellers are looking for travel agents for best deals. Being knowledgeable about travel, saving time and energy and offering the best options and staying current with safety and security issues is the responsibility of travel agent. Delivering the best value attributes for leisure travellers is the desire of travel agents.

Travel agents who have the right strategies and planning in mind will have the place to address and will achieve greater success in retaining customers and attracting new ones.

Travel packages in Andaman:

  • There are best travel agencies available at Andaman. They undertake, guide and satisfy all the travel needs and requirements which include from booking flight to arranging buses and private vehicles for the tourists. But, choosing a travel agent is an effective way and a smart way of spending time there. As it is important to explore the place rather than being confused about bookings, hotels, sightseeing etc.
  • The Agents organise sightseeing and exploration which covers all the major spots of Andaman. This is planned very well and is efficient enough for a person to visit Andaman.  According to the duration of travel, a number of places to be seen, the number of people, the time and the vehicle to be used the planning is done. Car rentals services are also provided to have a good variety of options of cars like luxury cars or economy cars, AC or Non-AC and much more.
  • There are various travel options available to explore the forest and sea. This includes trekking, bird watching and elephant safaris which tend to be a wonderful and amazing experience for the tourists. The tourists can enjoy the underwater wonders with experience of diving and other water sports. Through a glass bottomed boat, you can also enjoy the blue waters under you. Cruises are also available to give a luxurious and relaxing travel experience. Boats and other needed equipment can also be provided for fishing and other water sports.

The advantages of Getting a Travel Agent:

  • Through a travel agent, the process of booking is instant. The experience and the level of trust of these travel agents are high which saves your time. These travel agents provide the best assistance, guidance and services to the customer. The customers are satisfied, assured and overwhelmed by the service provided by the travel agents.
  • The travel agents are best and important for the travel because they have the knowledge and expertise of the place and they know exactly how to make the travel in Andaman an effective, efficient and a memorable one.
  • There are various combo offers of travel packages. The available packages in Andaman and Nicobar Islands are designed in form so that you can visit the whole islands. To explore the islands, the sea, the forest and the city one must book a proper package which may include the cost of sightseeing, accommodation, transportation and food.
  • The local travel agents are specialists and have good experience and knowledge of the lifestyle at Andamans. The favourable environmental conditions are also very important to know before visiting Andamans for scuba diving, fishing, snorkelling and other adventure activities. It is also required to know the environment for trekking also. The best time to visit a monument or do shopping in the city is also required to be known. As with these timings only you can cherish the moments forever.
  • The Andaman packages are provided with offers, combo city tours and discounts. These packages are very advantageous for the tourists which are for reasonable price and loads of benefits.

For choosing the best travel agent it is required you should search and plan in advance what is your budget, how many days trip and hotel requirements. It seems to be the best part as you would be able to know what exactly the place is all about. The travel agent’s idea of travel will be the best option to spend time perfectly in the beautiful island. So be prepared and choose a good travel agent and experience a delightful stay at Andamans. Pack your bags and explore with the guidance and empower your moments for your stay.

Andaman Tourism Development Corporation

Department of Tourism Andaman and Nicobar Island also known as Andaman Tourism and Andaman Tourism Development Corporation is doing a great job in promoting tourism in Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The Department also regulates and ensures the safety of tourists in Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The website http://www.andamantourism.gov.in and http://www.andamans.gov.in is primary source of information for all tourism relates websites of Andaman and Nicobar Islands and hosts a lot of information and advisories for tourists. Andaman tourism development corporation keeps the website update by posting updated contents whenever it is available. On arrival at Port Blair on can visit office of Department of Tourism of Andaman and Nicobar Islands and can get books and booklets on various topics related to history, geography and tourism. The office also issues advance tickets for Sound and light show and Jollybouy, but it is suggested to take help of local tour operators as directly standing in queue and buying tickets will waste your precious time while on tour.

The department also provides names of enlisted tour operators and service providers of Andaman and Nicobar Islands although it is not mandatory to register for a service provider, but you can check the names of the service provider to check if he belongs to Andaman Islands.

5 things you should add in your Honeymoon tour to Andaman

Andaman and Nicobar Islands has become one of the most famous tourist destinations for Honeymoon in India. Beautiful and less crowded beaches, turquoise waters, beach resorts, stunning landscapes and water sports are few things which make it perfect destination for honeymoon. Beautiful Islands like Havelock and Neil offers you stunningly beautiful mornings and evenings to spend with your soul mate. We recommend you to add these 5 things to your itinerary to make it romantic.

1. Candle Light Dinner at a Beach.

Candle Light Dinner at Havelock Island, Andaman

A romantic candle light dinner on a beach is the most romantic gesture; you could offer your spouse and it’s surprisingly affordable and available in Havelock and Neil Island. Beach Resorts like Seashell, Havelock Holiday Beach Resort, Havelock Island Beach Resort, Silver Sand Beach resort are few resorts which I guess never disappointed their clients. Whether it’s arrangement or quality of food, they were always appreciated. A Candle Light Dinner can cost Rs. 3500.00 + GST at the above hotels; you can also include Wine and Honeymoon Cake at extra cost.

2. Flower Bed Decoration

Flower Bed Decoration

Recreate the moments of your first night with flower bed decoration, it may cost around Rs. 2,500.00 but many of the hotels normally charge very high as they want to avoid it but there are few who do this in a very beautiful way like Havelock Holiday Beach Resort and Seashell.

3. Scuba Diving & Underwater Seawalk

Enjoy the adrenaline rush along with your partner and make some unique memories. Andaman offers Scuba Diving, Underwater Seawalk and Snorkelling. Underwater Seawalk is only available at Northbay and Elephanta Beach and it is the best way to walk into another world holding you partners hand like fairy tales. The difference between Underwater Seawalk and Scuba Diving in addition to Cylinders is that in Scuba you swim and in Underwater seawalk you walk under the sea. Underwater Seawalk and Scuba Diving will cost Rs. 3500/- + GST and Snorkelling and other water sports activities will cost less than Rs. 1000/-.

4. Couple Photography session

Many agencies offer photography tour near portblair and other places. The best places you should go for photography sessions are Kalapather beach, Bharatpur Beach and Wandoor beach and Chidyatapu beach. The coast line from Port Blair to Carbyn’s beach is also very scenic.