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Voted one of the best in Asia, the beaches of the Andaman and Nicobar islands offer relaxation as well as time to bond with nature.

May 07, 2013 12:00 pm | Updated 01:44 pm IST

A tourist walking on the sandbar that connects the Ross and Smith Islands at the northern tip of the Andaman Islands. Photo: Anand Sankar

A tourist walking on the sandbar that connects the Ross and Smith Islands at the northern tip of the Andaman Islands. Photo: Anand Sankar

The Andaman and Nicobar Islands is not just about beaches. Although it has the some of the best beaches in the world, there’s so much more to it, be it its historical significance (Cellular Jail), volatile topography (mud volcano and the tsunami), tribes (you’ll be lucky if you spot the Jarawas and luckier if you’re not struck by arrows for venturing into their territory), among other things.

Anyhow, the Andamans stands out as one of the best destinations in the Indian subcontinent for its lovely beaches. The Radha Nagar beach, which is spectacularly clean was voted the best beach in Asia by TIME in 2004.

So, if you are a beach person and are craving to take a dip in clear waters but have a limited but flexible budget, then the Andamans is the right place to visit.

Boat rides and more

There are a host of other beaches which are worth a visit such as the Coral Islands. Take a boat ride on your way out. With the glass bottom there is no better way to view the corals. There are a host of sporting activities including snorkelling and scuba diving.

If you are on a package trip, make sure that your itinerary is not too busy. There are some places that are ‘must-see’ and try to avoid long hours of travel and be prepared for rides in stuffy boats. For example, you’ll have to travel almost half a day to watch the mud volcano and all you’ll get to see is boiling grey mud. You could visit such places at a more convenient time, like if your father gets a posting there! So, tell your tour operator what you want. Whether you want boat rides or not and so on. Since you’ll be paying quite a bit of money on your trip, plan it well.

The Andamans is known for its wide range of sea food. It is also interesting to see the fishermen with their catch. I was delighted when I saw the red snapper the first time. Much of the fish is exported to the South East Asian nations because of its excellent quality.

The topography with its abundance of coconut trees and the terrain is similar to Kerala.

It’s worth staying in a resort if you can afford it. This means you get to occupy one single wood panelled house and it’s private! You could also imagine coming back to this place after 15 years with your spouse.

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