Now back in Kolkata after 4 days in the Islands with no wi-fi at the Taj Resort. Got out just in time. The Thailand cyclone is supposed to hit the islands tomorrow. (cyclones also followed us in Japan last summer).
Andaman & Nicobar islands are a northern extension of Sumatra (Banda Ache). The southern island is 40 miles north of the epicenter of the 9.2 earthquake in 2004 which triggered the massive Asian tsunami. Needless to say, the Andamans were devastated, many thousands died. All is now back to normal.
The Andamans comprise over 300 islands the majority uninhabited. Only 3 islands are tourist oriented, (Port Blair, Neil, Havelock) with lodging. A few are still inhabited by the original aboriginal people called Sentinelese, who are the last uncontacted people on earth. The American evangelical missionary, Mr. Chau, was killed by bow and arrow on Sentinel Island three weeks ago. He was bringing Jesus to the natives but the natives sent him back to Jesus. Sentinel Island is only 31 miles from the Port Blair airport.
We stayed on Havelock Island, reached by a 1.5 hour catamaran ferry from the Port Blair jetty. The Taj Exotica Resort opened in February, 2018. Each room is a 1,580 sq. ft. free standing building. The resort is beach front on Radahanagar Beach, one of the world’s top 10 beaches and definitely what draws us. The salt water crocs avoid the beach (people) but the north and southern ends of the beach have those signs. The biggest draw here is the world class scuba diving and snorkeling. We did neither. Enjoy the following pics.
I would say 95% of all tourists are Indians. India has a huge growing middle class (think China). The Taj was full of Indian families. There are 3 discount airlines (think Southwest) each with hundreds of new Airbus A320s and Boeing 737-800s. The flights are all full, on a few we were the only Anglos. The world is traveling.
To the east of the Andamans is the Andaman Sea which borders Myanmar, Malaysia and Thailand. To the west of the islands is the Bay of Bengal.
Tomorrow morning begins a long travel day. Flights #10,11,12. Kolkata-New Delhi-Bangkok-Chiang Mai. Worth it all for the Rachamankha, Celeste’s fav.