You’ve all heard of Radhanagar Beach, Elephant Beach and the numerous other beaches that Havelock is oh-so-famous for. And why not. It’s easy to get distracted by the pristine sands and azure waters. But there’s also a few lesser known things to do on this fine island. So here’s our pick of offbeat and also necessary things to do when you’re living the island life. Don’t blame us if you never want to come back. We’re already dreaming of moving there.
50 Shades Of Blue And Volcanic Islands: 5 Things You CANNOT Miss When In Havelock, Andamans
Just north of the wonderful Radhanagar Beach, this is everything you dreamed of and saw in Leonardo DiCaprio’s The Beach. Neil’s Cove has little inlets and lagoons for you to float about in, go diving (though very shallow), and snorkel at. Better still, do it all, and then just lie on the beach, living the good life. You can even see colourful fish from the outside, so for all you non-water babies (why, though), this one is for you too. If you swim further into the inlets, there will be warning signs for crocodiles. Pay attention to those. They’re true.
Scuba Diving At Night
One of the most popular spots for diving, The Lighthouse is a treasure trove of fish, corals and it’s all made better at night. You’ll need to be a licensed diver to do this at night, but it’s worth it. Magical as it is, flashlights and the moonlight work in tandem to make the Lionfish, octopus, lobsters, Humpback Parrotfish and even those adorable clown fish, look like a film. If you’re keen on diving but not at night, check this place out in the morning. To get up close and personal with dugons (yup, those adorable whale-meets-elephant-meets-seal mammals), hit up Mac Point, but that’s during the day. This is one experience you will never regret. Trust me, I speak from experience.
Eat Red Snapper At Red Snapper
Just off Beach No. 5, Red Snapper is exactly what you want of a beachside restaurant, at the Wild Orchid Resort. A thatched roof, chill vibes, cane furniture you can just pass out in, and seafood make the backbone of this eatery, though like most island restaurants, you cannot rush service. They’re truly so chilled out, you’ll take a while to get used to the slow pace. But when the food arrives, make sure it’s lobster, tiger prawn and of course, red snapper. I highly recommend you get the red snapper in an Indian marinade. The plus point to this restaurant is that it’s got a bar attached, so you can enjoy a drink too, unlike most other places on the island. It’s a tad expensive, but the food is worth it.
#LBBTip: The resort is a lovely option to stay at too. The cottages, made from bamboo, cane and coconut shells, are cosy and come with AC and TV for you city slickers.
Kayak Through The Mangroves
Sure the beaches are great, but if you’re in The Andamans, it’ll be folly to skip exploring the mangrove forests. All the rivers lead to the ocean, so you’ll essentially be kayaking upstream to begin with. No prior training required, but you’ll need some muscle power to row. The mangroves are vast, and the guided tours take about three hours from the Havelock port jetty, and back. This too can be a magical experience if done post-sunset as there are plenty of bioluminescent bacteria in the waters. This means, when your paddles touch the waters, these creatures light up and leave a trail of magnificent blue on the surface of the water. It’s quite the romantic experience too.
Check Out A Volcano Island
OK, we cheated with this a little bit because it’s not on Havelock, but you can access it from Havelock. The only active volcano in India, or rather South Asia, Barren Island a sight to behold. Smouldering mountains set against the gorgeous blue Indian Ocean, the main part of the island, like its name is Barren but the facade is green. Photographs come out stunning no matter how badly you take them because, let’s face it, smoke spiralling from a green volcanic mountain with nothing but 50 shades of blue behind you, is all kinds of perfect.