Thursday, November 13, 2008

IMPRESSIONS OF A SHORT HOLIDAY TO NEIL ISLAND


1. Neil Island is approx 30 nautical miles by sea from Port Blair (actual ship route). Other statistics are: -

(a) Area - 1890 Hectares (approx)

(b) Population - 4500 (approx excluding dogs and other wild life).

2. To travel to Neil Island, a tourist must purchase the tickets for self and family from the Counters of DSS Reservation Office at Phoenix Bay Jetty. Reservation forms are akin to Rail Reservation Forms and a Certificate needs to be appended as proof of eligibility for concessional tickets for self and dependents in case of Islanders and Govt Servants. This entitles one to purchase ship tickets at rates laid down for Islanders, i.e., Rs 23/- for Bunk Class and Rs 18/- for the cabin class. Only onward journey tickets are issued at Port Blair. Return journey ticketing is done in the returning ship itself.

3. For accomodation, do get your reservations done at IP & T office Reception at Port Blair. A double bed AC Room at Hawabill Nest Resort costs Rs 800/- per day excluding meals. You need to pay Rs 200/- per day as advance (25%) while making reservations. Balance is to be paid at Neil Island.

4. For traveling within Neil Island, autorickshaws are ideal. Book an autorickshaw for Rs 300/- a day for sightseeing. The standard format is as follows: -

(a) 0900 h - Arrival of boat

(b) 0915 h - Reach Hawabill Resort (500m from Jetty)

(c) 0930 h - Depart for Sitapur Beach after taking over room and
placing order for lunch

(d) 0945 h - Arrive at Beach. See cave formation.

(e) 1015 h - Depart for Bharatpur Beach (Near Jetty)

(f) 1035 h - Arrive Bharatpur Beach

(g) 1250 h - Depart for Hawabill Resort

(h) 1300 h - Arrive Hawabill Resort

(j) 1300 h - Lunch
1400 h

(k) 1500 h - Depart for Laxmanpur II to see Coral & Fishes Carry camera along

(l) 1615 h - Depart for Laxmanpur I Beach to see sunset.

(m) 1715 h - Depart back for Hawabill.

5. Next morning checkout by 0830 h and reach the Jetty. It is observed that ships arrive and depart 15-20 minutes BEFORE schedule. Carry old ticket and a copy of earlier mentioned Certificate. Tickets will be issued inside the ship. One can purchase local sweetmeats at the Jetty. These are peculiar to Neil Island.

6. Hawabill resort is located at ‘Neil Kendra’ where the BSNL tower, Police Outpost, Hospital and other Govt presence is co-located within walking distance. This portion is on high ground and was unaffected by Tsunami. Another resort is Pearl at ‘Laxmanpur - I’. Some advisable actions for a trip to Neil Island are: -

(a) Be at the jetty minimum 30 minutes before scheduled departure. The boat can leave prior to schedule.

(b) Carry own drinking water for entire trip. Else purchase Bottled Water. Hawabill resort does NOT have an Aquaguard, filter or fridge.

(c) Carry Odomos as protection against sand flies.

(d) Carry Sun Block of SPF 30 above.

(e) Carry your BSNL mobile - it works.

(f) Carry your Floaters. Footwear is necessary to protect feet from sharp coral when in water.

(g) Carry ‘Good Knight’ kit for a comfortable sleep.

(h) Carry Sunglasses.

(j) Carry own drinks & snacks.

(k) Carry essential medicines for headache/sea sickness/tummy trouble.

7. For further information one can contact the Manager of ‘Hawabill Nest’, Mr Siva Prasad at 282630 (Office) or at 9434291002 (Mobile). Wishing you all an enjoyable trip to one of the better islands in Andamans.

1 comment:

suri said...

Thanx for the niece piece of information. It's really very well put in place to assist the occasional visitors.