Thursday, May 04, 2006

Maldives or Lakshadweep or Andamans

Two long years have passed since my last real vacation. I had traveled so much in the hills of Uttaranchal that I want the next vacation to be far away from hills --- in the beaches --may be in the sea. The first choice obviously is Maldives. The photographs of Maldives entices you with a picture perfect holiday. A holiday in a water hut in an island resort in Maldives would have been a dream holiday. But then a little enquiry put me aback. One night in a water hut costs USD 950, that is nearly Rs.34000/- Phew! We are not that filthy rich for indulging in such kind of luxury. The cheapest all inclusive offer I got from makemytrip.com is Rs.48,000/- per person for 5 days at Brandos Resort. That is for 3 people that include my 4 yr kid, will make me pooper by at least Rs.1.3 lakh. So the thought of Maldives has gone out of window. But I will like you to have a look at a resort that offers water hut accommodation. I bet you will all long to be there at least once in your lifetime.

Next choice is obviously the Lakshadweep, which is actually a geographical extension of the Maldives Islands group. The only difference is that this is in India and so we will be paying in INR than in USD. But Lakshadweep being a restricted area, organized tourism is fairly new concept. Tourist facilities and circuits are not that well developed. It is not the kind of place where you just land and then find an accommodation. You need to have prior confirmation of accommodation which is very limited. As I have understood, one has to take package tours offered by an agency called SPORTS (Society for Promotion of Nature Tourism and Sports). Bangaram Island packages are an exception. This is the only place where there is no prohibition on liquor and is mainly meant for foreign tourist. A standard double hut in the Bangaram Island Resort would cost about Rs.8000/- during the low season from May to Sept (Moonsoon season). Add Rs.3200/- per head for transportation by helicopter. Packages by SPORTS are affordable, but looks to have fixed route and schedule. I am exploring possibilities of a customized tour across 2 / 3 islands. Any opinion / experience in this regard will be highly solicited.

If I can not make it to Lakshadweep, then it will obviously be Andamans. I have found that it is a place where you do not require any package tour. There are plenty of hotels, and resorts which you can book before leaving mainland. You can check about Accommodation in Andamans on this excellent link put up by Andaman administration. So go ahead, plan a trip. I see myself in Lakshadweep by this year end or early next year.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

If goverment of India was keen on opening up Andaman to foreign travelers, it could become the next Thailand.

India Travel Guide

Sanjay said...

Hi,

I had traveled to Lakshadweep this February. It is absolutely beautiful. A good option to stay is the Agatti Island Beach Resort - significantly cheaper than Bangaram, great food and service, but no liquor. But you do get coconut toddy ;-)

Sudhir said...

Andamans is a great tourist destination. Nicobar is out-of-bound for tourists. We should look for Quality tourism & not Quantity. We can learn from Thailand in this regard.

Please check, http://www.holidayiq.com/states/Andaman-Nicobar-Overview.html

sushilsingh said...

Dear,Friend
Lakshadweep is one of the worlds most spectacular tropical island

systems. Thirty- two sq. km of land spread over 36 islands surrounded by

4200 sq. km of lagoon rich in marine wealth. The precious heritage of

ecology and culture is supported by an extremely fragile ecosystem.
Please visit for more detail
http://desidirectory.com/india-travel-guide/

travelbug said...

So well, first out... I shall answer your question at the top of the page with, me TOO!!!! I've traveled the entire length and breadth of the country and spent years doing that!

As for choices.. Lakshadweep is the number 1 choice. I would say better than Maldives as well if you are an Indian, because that means no restrictions on which islands you can visit, which means, you get the virgin beauty of the white sands with no tourist spoilage or crowd.

Of the islands... most people go to Agatti as it is easily accessible. Go via Sports and stay couple of days at Minicoy and then a few at Kalpeni... and get back.
Minicoy has the BEST quality white sand I have seen across the world, from Egypt to Malaysia, to US. It's the RIN shade of white!

Hope you enjoy yourself

PS said...

Hi travelbug, is Lakshdweep open for tourism? how will it be as a honeymoon destination for 7 or 8 nights?