An Insiders View on Andaman Islands

By Sherly Jerusha

White sandy beaches separate crystal clear azure waters from lush curtains of rain-forest green: this is nature at its best. With breathtakingly gorgeous coastline, lush forested interior, fantastic diving spots and a boundless location, the Andaman Islands are a perfect place to wander around or simply chill out at the beach side.

Q] One little-known fact that everyone should know when travelling to Andaman’s ?
Andaman has the most fascinating ecosystem – the coral reefs are spectacularly diverse with big crabs, large turtles, vibrant fish and extremely colorful species of butterflies, You will get to see it all.

Q] What is a must buy when in Andaman’s ?
Locally made cane handicrafts, wooden decorative items and accessories made from seashells or pearls are a must buy when in Andaman.

Q] What should one carry when travelling to Andaman’s ?
Loose fitting, light pastel color clothes, and suitable for wearing on the beach. Carry a pair of slipper too.

Q] Where should anyone, definitely get their picture taken when in Andaman’s ?
White sand & rain forest trees lend a tropical vibe to Radhanagar Beach which makes it a perfect spot for taking pictures. It is also one of the best beaches in Andaman.

Q] One thing to definitely pack when travelling to Andaman’s ? Pack a DSLR Camera to capture your memories as Andaman is filled with unexplored places.

Q] One activity anyone travelling to this region should not miss.
Diving and Snorkeling! Havelock Island is one of the most famous places for scuba diving and snorkeling in Andaman.

Q] Which are the restaurants to have local food?
All the seafood restaurant have their own specialty, so I would suggest you to explore and try out for yourself.

Q] Your favorite local dish and drink that you would recommend.
Try the local seafood like fish curries, chilly curry and different types of fish fry.

Q] One place only the locals would know.
Kalapathar beach which is situated on one corner of Havelock Island. The beach gets its name from the surrounding village, which is Kalapathar Village and the black rocks (known as Kalapathar in Hindi) that adorn the coastline here.

Q] A local festival you feel more travelers should come and see
Dashera & Deepawali are the festivals one must experience when in Andaman.

Q] The things guidebooks will not tell anyone about Andaman’s ?
Andaman is beautiful even when it rains. The monsoon paints a very different picture of nature’s beauty – one that needs to be seen to be experienced.

Q] In one sentence, Andaman’s is ..?
Andaman is a Gift of Heaven, and a bliss to all its visitors.

By Sherly Jerusha

Day at Ile Aux Coco in Mauritius

By Anand Pandit

Mine goes like this. Rise up in the morning, go to a largely secluded island, laze on pristine white sand, go for a swim, have a wonderful meal, and take in some wonderful flora and fauna. Normally it’s pretty difficult to get all of this on one excursion. There’s always been something missing from my Wishlist above, wherever I have been to.

Farah, who so wonderfully planned my honeymoon vacation, had recommended that we spend a day at Ile Aux Coco during our stay in Mauritius.  When I look back, the trip to the island was the best part of a already great vacation. Fish around Ile Aux Coco –sights that need to be seen, cannot be described.

We were whisked off to Ile Aux Coco on a speedboat in the morning. As you approach the island, the sight of the clear blue sea and the mangroves already fills you with a sense of delight. We were greeted by an amazingly courteous and friendly bunch of staff at the island. While the standards of hospitality are really high in Mauritius, wait till you get to Ile Aux Coco. The staff is extremely high on service quality, and go to that extra mile to make you feel comfortable (such as getting a curry dish especially made for us, once they got to know we were from India, though we didn’t have to ask for it at all!)

Ile Aux Coco as we approach it, notice the white sand

If you want to laze on the beach, Ile Aux Coco is the place to be. Wonderful white sand, and just the right temperature and breeze, to lie on the beach while sipping a relaxing drink. If you are the active sorts, Ile Aux Coco gives you the option to go snorkeling and/or a glass boat ride. This is highly recommended, as the vibrancy of sea life that you see here is unparalleled.

After your snorkeling getaway, when you want to sit down for a nice meal, there’s a wonderful barbeque waiting for you. You might think the natural beauty of the island and the water life around it is unmatched by any experience, but the lunch spread does come pretty close!

All in all, it was an experience to savour and something me and my wife would remember throughout our life. If you’re going to Mauritius, you just can’t give Ile Aux Coco a miss.