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Port Blair

2,182 bytes added, 14:39, 29 January 2013
Given the beauty of the rest of the Andamans, Port Blair is an upcoming city no different from any other smaller Indian city, although the seaside has been tarted up a bit. It comprises of people from all over India and one can imagine it as mini India with no conflicts on region and religion. Aside from Cellular Jail, there are quite few places which include Ross Island, Barren Island (known for the only active volcano) and few others known for its historical importance. A week's trip will cover the must see places at the island's. You can however do day trip to other close by places like Wandoor, Ross Island etc.
Important: Monday is a holiday in Andamans. Most places will be closed except North Bay, Ross Island tour and Havelock.
==Get in==
[[Image:CellularJail Wings.JPG|thumb|Cellular Jail]]
* <see name="Cellular Jail" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" url="" hours="closed on Mondays" price="₹20" lat="" long="" email="" fax="">Built by the British to house political prisoners far away from the mainland. All prisoners were kept in isolation cells and subjected to a brutal work regime, with regular whippings and executions. Briefly taken over by the Japanese during WW2, who added outright torture to the palette. Today, however, the jail has been transformed into an immaculately kept national monument complete with a garden that seems very much at odds with the horror of the place.You can watch it from morning 9:30 a.m to 4 p.m. A light-and-sound show in Hindi (5 6 pm) and English (6 7 pm) available in the evenings. Some days the timings are altenated. You have to stand in a long queue from 4.30 pm onwards till the ticket counter opens at 5.20 pm. TIP: Ask your hotel/agent to collect ticket or ask your wife/sis/mother to stand in the ladies' line. </see>
* <see name="Corbyn's Cove" alt="beach" address="" directions="" phone="" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="" email="" fax="">An ok beach, and the closest to Port Blair. Popular with locals for swimming and watching the sunset. However, part of the beach was washed away by the 2004 tsunami and currents can be very strong, so be careful if you decide to swim.</see>
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*'''Boat tours from Port Blair''' You would be lured by agents to do a 3 island packaged tour (Ross + North Bay + Viper) in Port Blair for ₹400. The trip starts at 9am and ends at 5pm. Complimentary lunch and breakfast is provided by the tour operator. Please don’t fall into that trap. Since, Viper Island has now become a landfill for all the garbage and complete waste of time and money. It is much better to do a 2 Island tour, which are North Bay + Ross Island for ₹225 . Tour for North Bay + Ross island starts at 10am from Rajiv Gandhi Water Sports complex. Agents also try to sell single tour of Viper Island by the name of ‘Harbour Cruise’ for ₹90. That tour starts at 3pm. and ends at 5pm. Please avoid it completely.
'''North Bay''' It is the place to do scuba, jet skii, snorkelling , sea walk etc. You don't need to know swimming to do scuba diving. Don't miss it
You can get information about boat tours from A&N tourism, but not book the tour there. Instead, go to the aquarium jetty 1/2 hour before departure and you can buy the tickets from one of the four booths by the entrance.
*'''Snorkeling at Jolly Buoy''' Jolly Buoy is something which is a MUST SEE for everyone and you can watch much better Corals and fishes here snorkeling as compared to Havelock Island. To reach here, first you have to reach Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park at Wandoor. Wandoor is around 30 km from Port Blair. There is only one ferry which takes you from Wandoor to Jolly Buoy and leaves at around 9 am. In peak season (December – January), you might want to book those tickets in advance as they are limited. Tickets cost around ₹50 per head. At Jolly Buoy, everyone should do Snorkeling as it is a wonderful experience (No, you don’t need to know swimming for Snorkeling and it is completely safe). It cost you ₹550 per head for snorkeling. It’s a great experience to actually touch Star fish, Sea Cucumber and watch fishes at arm’s distance. It is a MUST TO CARRY eatables and water as you won’t find anything at all there to eat/drink. It is restricted to carry plastic bags to Jolly buoy, so please make necessary arrangements.
*<do name="Sea walking" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" url="" hours="25 mins" price="₹500 per person" lat="" long="">Sea Walking is a must for those who love to see the corals and fishes deep inside their habitat. You put on a oxygen mask, to which oxygen is supplied from oxygen cylinders on the ship. You move down a ladder into the water, where the sea divers will show you the corals. They also feed fish on your hands and hundreds of fish will gather in front of you. Only discomfort will be some pain in the ears as you move deep into the water. They take you down to around 20-25 feets below surface for approx. 25 minutes.
To do Sea Walking you have to get to North Bay Island. You can buy tickets at Rajiv Gandhi Water Sports complex and get on a ferry to North Bay Island. Its advisable to carry another set of clothes to change. Though clothes may be provided by the company. You can ask your operator to bargain for free to and fro ride from the Island. Also, they charge Rs. 500 per person for under water photography. you can be particular about your photographs and pay only after checking you pics, as sometimes the photographs are not good. They will give you a CD of the photographs, you can check the photos on their computer.</do>
*'''Megapode Camping Resort''' owned by ANIIDCO ( A Govt undertaking) all facilities available in a Dome accomodation, having the mystic sea always in front to enjoy its ever changing beauty at all moments. Located on the way to Corbyn's Cove - an Ideal location for serenity lovers to feel the call of the nature. Best for the Honey Mooners. have Bar & Restaurant but '' Far from the Madding Crowd". tarriff is 2500 INR approx.
* <sleep name="Diviyum Manor" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="₹1200-15002000" lat="" long="" email="" fax="">This hotel is just opposite to the Airport. The rooms are clean. The staff sincere and courteous. There is a restaurant and a bar within the Hotel. Food is okay. Cost of AC room as in January 2013 is Rs. 1932 including breakfast for two.</sleep>
* <sleep name="Holiday Resort" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="₹1200-1500" lat="" long="" email="" fax="">This hotel is in the heart of the city. There are a couple of good grocery stores around & not to forget Uma Bakery House. The bus stop is right opposite. The rooms are awesome. The staff very sincere though a bit lazy.</sleep>
* <sleep name="Hotel Sentinel" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="3500-5000 (for tourist season)" lat="" long="" email="" fax="">The hotel is located in the heart of Portblair city. Its just 2 km from Portblair airport. The facilities in the hotel include swimming pool ,conference room ,games room ,internet,business center etc.</sleep>
<nowiki>'''Sea Princess Beach Resort''' []-The resort is located on a hill top facing the sea in wandoor about 25 kms from Port Blair.The resort has 33 sea facing cottages having beautiful view of the blue sea.The tariff for the season here ranges from ₹6000-10000.The facilities in the resort include swimming pool ,water sports, separate beach bar ,conference room,internet etc</nowiki>
==Get out==
* '''Chidya Tapu''' - a small fishing village with good snorkeling, located at the southern tip of South Andaman. Buses run several times per day from Port Blair and take 1.5 hours. The last bus that leaves the STS Bus Terminal is at 5pm and once it reaches Chiriya Tapu, the same will return to Port Blair. So please plan your trip accordingly. The best snorkeling is at a beach about 2km south. Chiriya Tapu is a very good sunset point. Auto fare for a to-fro journey plus waiting time is ₹500-600.
*[[Havelock Island]] Government ferry - Port Blair to Havelock at 6 Am . 11.30am and 2 PM. Ferry tickets ₹500 ₹150 and ₹600 ₹250 per person 1 way. Havelock to Port Blair 9.30 AM, 2 PM and 4 PM. Travel time 150 minutes.
Recently a private operator has started a fast catamaran day ferry M.V.Makruzz. 09.00 AM departure from Port Blair to Havelock. Departure from Havelock to Port Blair - 4:00 PM . Takes 90 minutes. Tickets ₹750, ₹850 and ₹1,100 per person 1 way. Here you can get tickets on the same day. Of course, it's always better to book the ticket a day ahead. During peak season, you need to book tickets atleast 2-3 days in advance. The inside is really good and clean. To get a window seat you must reach the ticket counter early. Always book the return ticket or chances are you may be stranded on the island. You can plan to stay on the Havelock Island, there are many hotels there, but plan in advance including hotel booking and ferry tickets.
* '''[[Ross Island]]''' - It was British administrative capital and it is beautiful to watch ruins of that set up. You’ll find lots and lots of deers on this island. There is a small canteen for some snacks and lunch. You need to walk a lot to see to cover entire place. A great 1/2 day side trip from Port Blair. Ferries daily at 8.30, 10.30, 12.00, 14.00. Buy tickets at the jetty behind the aquarium where the boat leaves from.
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