And we are back with the another story from our 7-day trip to Andaman. In our previous two blogs, we shared our travel experience in Port Blair and Havelock. Now, in this one, we will be giving you all the necessary details about Neill Island now known as Shaheed Dweep. Although we assume that many of the readers on Woovly already know, we would still give a little background. We are Travelories – a couple who lives for travel and adventure. We have been contributing to Woovly blog to share our experience in Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
Continuing from our last 2-Day trip to Havelock, we were now all set to make our move towards the beautiful Neill Island. One thing about Andaman is that when you look up for places to visit while making the travel plans, Neill always comes in the top spots. Travellers always talk about the non-commercial and peace-enduring vibe of the island. And we were all excited to witness the same.
A Little Detour Before Heading to Neill Island
We left for Neill Island from Havelock on a Ferry that we boarded at 2:45 PM. It took us around 2.5 hours to finally reach our destination. Oh, this reminds us of a little detour that we made in Havelock before boarding the ferry to Neill. Chandana and I found this massive tree in Havelock, and it looked like a part of some fairytale. Among us two, Chandana is the more adventurous one and game for climbing trees. Without wasting a minute, she climbed the tree that was a lot different than any other tree we saw in our life. This tree had a long branch going horizontally and moderately above the water level. We spent a good amount of time on the tree, relaxing, looking at the views from it and chatting up about our travel experience in the past three days. Check out our pictures below to get an idea about what a vivid experience we had on a tree!
Reaching Neill Island
Coming back to our journey to Neill Island, we finally boarded the ferry at 2:45 pm and reached our heavenly destination at 4:30 pm. The journey got us a little tired, which is why we directly headed to our hotel in Neill Island as soon as we got off the ferry. We reached our hotel, Neill Banjara. After checking-in, we freshened up quickly and made our way to explore heaven called Neill Island.
We rented a bicycle from the hotel, costing us INR 150. The motorbike was not available; that’s why we had to opt for a bike. And thank god, we did that! Trust us, if you want to explore Neill Island in its purest form then rent a bike, go on your own pace and discover the best of nature. Neill Island is the home to some of the serene and secluded beaches, all named after popular characters from Ramayana – Ramnagar, Bharatpur, Sitapur and Laxmanpur.
As soon as we got our bike, we made our way to Lakshmanpur beach. It was just 2 km away from our hotel, and the bike ride was easy breezy for us. Our agenda was to reach the beach before sunset so that we can soak in the beauty of the surroundings and also witness the sun setting down on the tropical island.
Sunset at Lakshmanpur Beach & Pros of Renting a Bicycle
Envision a scene on sea-green oceans along a brilliant sandy seashore, and soaking in the light of sunbeams. You at that point head to witness the sunset, magnificent dusk against the background. Such tropical surroundings and beauty, we were at the Lakshmanpur beach. An ideal vacation spot for travellers who want to bask in nothing but peace and happiness.
The water was so clear that if you drop a coin, you can see it on the seabed! We were in complete awe of what we were looking at. The sunset at the beach, as expected, was nothing less than magical. We clicked a hell lot of pictures and drenched in the beauty of nature at the beach. It is in moments like this when you think of god as an artist who created such heaven pockets on Earth.
Talking about the cleanliness and maintenance of the beaches in Andaman, we think the credit goes to locals. They take care of the Island as the true custodians of its nature and beauty. Also, when the tourists from other parts of India or outside come to the place, they find themselves adhering to the protocols set by the law and the locals. And we think it is for the greater good of everyone and we hope that Andaman remains to be this clean and untouched even though it keeps climbing the popularity ladder as a tourist place.
We had a swell time at Lakshmanpur beach, and when it started getting dark, we made our way back to the hotel on our bicycle. We can’t implore the readers enough to take our advice and choose a bicycle as their mode of transportation around Neill Island. Trust us; the experience is beyond explanation. You can just feel it, leisurely paddling through the island and soaking in the natural vibe of it, and sensing the cool breeze touching your face and blowing your hair. It is an experience that will carve its memory for a lifetime.
Paddling through the island, we reached our hotel. We had dinner and called it a day. We slept a little early as we were geared up to wake up early in the morning to witness the magnificent sunrise at Sitapur beach.
Catching the Sunrise at Sitapur Beach
Sitapur beach is pretty famous for its heavenly sunrise. It is located on the other end of the Island. We woke up early in the morning to meet our friends – a couple we met on the journey – to go and catch the sunrise at Sitapur beach. We were supposed to go on our bike to our friends’ hotel and then head to the beach on a rickshaw together.
We reached the Sitapur beach at 5:30 am. The sun was yet to rise, and we could see people doing Yoga at the beach. The peace and tranquillity of the place are so soothing that we could get why people would love to start their mornings by doing Yoga at a beautiful beach. Something that we urban dwellers could only get once in a year, away from our concrete jungles.
The Sitapur beach has a curved shoreline dotted with tropical trees and hilly rocks. The trees at the beach reminded us of the trees in Madagascar. We witnessed the sunrise at the beach, and it was worth all the accolades and rave reviews online. The next step was to indulge in some activity at the Bharatpur beach, so we bid adieu to the Sitapur beach.
Glass Boat Ride & Snorkelling at Bharatpur Beach
Bharatpur beach came as a recommendation from our friends. They did their research beforehand and found about the famous Glass Bottom Boat ride and snorkelling at the Bharatpur beach. We headed to the beach with them.
The Glass Bottom Boat ride at the Bharatpur beach was terrific. There was also a guide aboard who was telling us about the history of Neill island. Here’s a pro tip, if you are a history buff or just a traveller with a curious mind, do ask the guide to speak more. You see, since most of the travellers these days are busy with recording videos and taking photos, they do not indulge in what a guide would want to enlighten them about, which is why guides often resort to doing the bare minimum. However, when asked for more, they will happily pump you with all the knowledge they have.
Along with getting some cool history lessons, we were knocked over by the beauty we were witnessing below us! Yes, the Glass Bottom Boat gives you a clear underwater view. The clear water shows you the marine life in all its glory. The entire experience was surreal!
After finishing Glass Bottom Boat ride, the next step was to do Snorkelling. Again, the experience was beyond explanation; we got to witness the marine life up close. It is different from Scuba diving that we did in Havelock (click here to read about it). Our recommendation, Glass Bottom Boat ride and Snorkelling are often packages together by the vendors, go for it! You will have a memorable experience.
Witnessing the Wonderful Natural Bridge aka Howrah Bridge
After a superb experience of Snorkelling and Glass Bottom Boat ride at Bharatpur beach, we made our way to have some lunch with friends. The next stop from thereon was the Natural Bridge aka Howrah Bridge (fondly called by the Bengalis residing on the Island).
The Natural rock bridge is yet another wonder that Neill Island holds for you. It is situated near the Laxmanpur village. During the low tide, you can find the marine life out in the open below the natural bridge. The rock is slippery there so ensure that your footwear is sturdy enough not to let you slip. You can literally see fishes and crabs doing rounds in the little rock pools here. You will find varied marine species like urchins, molluscs, sea cucumbers, and others here. It is an experience! We took a lot many pictures of the marine life in the rocky surroundings here. We spent a good amount of time exploring the area.
A point to note for the readers, there are two natural bridges. The way to the second one is paved with slippery rocks. Both the bridges are equally beautiful and nearby. However, be careful, nature brings plenty of dangerous animals too. Some tourists even come in contact with sea snakes on the rocks, so do not even think of exploring this area when the sunshine gets scarce.
After exploring the natural bridges, it was time for us to get back to our hotel and board a ferry back to Port Blair. We quickly packed our bags and left for the Jetty to get on the ferry. This was the end of our Neill Island adventures.
In our next blog, we will be taking you through our experiences in Ross Island, Baratang and Mount Harriet! So, stay tuned with us! If you have any questions, then please leave a comment below, and we will get back to you with answers. For more information on Neill Island and other travel destinations for unique experiences and making your wishlist, head to Woovly app right away! Wish it > Do it > Woovly!
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