Wherever you are from, you must book a flight ticket to Port Blair to reach Andaman and Nicobar group of islands. A flight is the best mode of commute to Neil Island (Shaheed Dweep) as the railway tracks are yet to be laid to reach the archipelago. Apart from taking flights from major cities, by sea is also one option you can consider if you are from Kolkata, Chennai, Bhubaneswar and Visakhapatnam.
Route to Neil Island
From Port Blair, take a direct ferry to Neil Island and witness the magic nature has created around you. Though commute is not a hassle here, if not booked in advance, you may get in trouble. Neil Island jetty has government and private both the ferries coming in but, government ferries are majorly reserved for islanders and booking are opened three days in advance and close the evening before departure. Since the bookings are offline, your chances are zero.
On the other hand, Markuzz and Coastal cruise are two private ferry operators from Port Blair to Neil Island. The bookings for both the cruises open one month in advance and you can book your trip before you reach Neil Island. A bit expensive, but it worths the money as luxury, comfort and great hospitality are available at their best. In case you fail to book a seat in the direct ferry to Neil Island, you can go for an alternative. You can book a ticket to Havelock Island (Swaraj Dweep) and then to Neil Island. Switching ferries immediately gets a little expensive and to avoid this, most of the travellers stay at Havelock Island for a day or two before heading to Neil Island.
Stay in Neil Island
Post sorting your flight or cruise ticket to Port Blair, your next step should be to search for an accommodation that compliments your taste and budget. Though small in area, the island has budget-friendly to luxurious accommodations. All the categories boast resorts as well as hotels as options. This place has nearly 40 popular stays and more which can be trusted on local recommendations. For a tiny island like Neil, the numbers are pretty decent and finding accommodation is not a tough task. Most of the resorts and hotels take bookings online and if you like a property that doesn’t take online bookings, give them a call for reservations. To be on the safe side, make bookings in advance. But, if you make a sudden plan, a little hunt, post reaching the destination can also solve your problem.
In Neil Island, every resort offers Indian and Continental cuisine in its menu and other eateries offer Bengali and South Indian dishes. Since Andaman Island is populated by Bengali, Bangladeshi and Tamilians, vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes are available equally in restaurants. All the tourist destinations, which are mainly beaches, have quite popular and hygienic restaurants offering seafood and vegetarian dishes. This makes your hunt for food less-hectic. If you are somewhere around Neil jetty or at any beach and craving for a yummy South Indian breakfast or lunch, head to the jetty canteen and feel satiated. Neil Kendra, the main market of Neil Island, also is a great spot to indulge in street food.
The hassle-free commute
After you sort your accommodation and food, the first question could be, how do you commute? Well, Neil Island has that sorted for you already. At Neil Island, buses and auto-rickshaws are available for the commute of locals and, if you want to opt for a budget trip then, these two are the best commute options. Apart from public transports, especially for travellers, there are shops in every couple of metres renting bicycles, two-wheelers and cars. You can also connect with your hosts if you want to rent any vehicle. Most of them have the service available at their place, and if not, they can help you with the best deal.
Don’t you take a vacation to relax and forget the stress of regular life? And for this, you need to disconnect from the hustle-bustle of your daily life for a while. Internet and smartphone ― Neil Island mostly lacks both. BSNL is the only available network in Neil Island, apart from Vodafone and Airtel which can be found in some parts of the island. If your concern is the internet, then most accommodations have internet connectivity where you can browse through social media or do your work if on a work-vacation. Not all the hotels and resorts have the best internet, enquire before you book your stay.
Languages & communication
With islanders mostly speaking Hindi, Bengali and Tamil and some also speaking Telugu and Malayalam, tourists coming from any corner of the country do not experience language barrier here. Most people understand and speak English which makes communication for foreign nationals also easier.
Adventure water sports
Bharatpur Beach at Neil Island hosts quite a few numbers of water sports. The adventure sports centres with Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) certified instructors conduct around six water sports that include scuba diving, snorkelling, jet ski, speed boat ride, banana boat ride and glass-bottom ride. Water sports at the beach starts around 8.00 am and you have to book your slot a couple of days in advance. In case you make a sudden plan, do not forget to check prices online.
Places to visit
Andaman and Nicobar group of Islands is famous for its quaint beaches and rustic atmosphere. Spread across 14 sq km, the place can be explored on foot as its real charm can be completely witnessed while one travel slows. However you explore, you should never miss out on sunrise at Sitapur Beach and sunset and Laxmanpur Beach 1. Both the beaches are scenic and quiet but not recommended for swimming because of high tides and rocky shores. If you wish to swim, head to Bharatpur Beach beach post the sunrise in Sitapur Beach. Then, later in the evening head to Natural Rock Formation at Laxmanpur Beach 2. This bridge formed of dead coral reefs is famous for photography and a great place to spot fishes. Post some photoshoot, head to Laxman Beach 1, and catch the sun setting down leaving the sky orange. The sunset at Laxmanpur Beach 1, is considered as the most magical sunset of Andaman Island.
A beautiful end to your day
At Neil Island, you can put a beautiful full stop to a day only by indulging in a candlelight dinner. Resorts like Tango Beach Resort, Summer Sands, Pearl Park, TSG Aura and Sea Shell Neil host candlelight dinner for their guests and customers who visit their in-house restaurant. You can book your table in advance and if you happen to make a sudden plan, give an early morning call to the resort you choose for your special dinner.
If you plan your visit to Neil Island, we at the Andaman Islands Travels Pvt.Ltd. are at your service to help you with bookings.