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Things To Do In Neil Island
Neil Island is a scenic paradise of pristine white beaches, clear turquoise waters and endless stretches of untouched coral reefs. Situated in the Andaman islands in the Bay of Bengal, this small island is known for its quiet, tranquil beaches; an untouched land that is still not hounded by hoards of tourists like the nearby Havelock Island.
There are a lot of great things to do in Neil Island, from chasing sunsets on Laxmanpur beach to rising with yoga to the sunrise on Sitapur beach, snorkelling to diving to swimming. The water babies and beach babies will be spoilt for choice.
Scuba Diving is renowned in Andaman And Nicobar Islands, so much so that many people come here to only get certified in Scuba Diving. At Neil Island, the crystal clarity of waters and a cool, bearable temperature all year round make for some great scuba diving opportunities. You can also become certified in PADI/SSI Open Water Diving. This is a sport that rewards with some great quiet experience underwater, with only the stillness of the sea and movement of marine life to keep you company.
There are certain rules to be followed while diving as well as swimming. Like one must not dive wearing shiny clothes or jewellery as they look like colourful fishes to bigger sharks and predators. Make sure you read all the rules of the area you are diving in.
Bharatpur beach, with its crystal waters and a plethora of corals and colourful marine creatures, is known for underwater sports. Snorkelling is one of the best exploration sports, a meditative experience where you get to enjoy the best of underwater life without going into the deep sea.
For tourists on budget, Bharatpur beach is the best. For those who want to go on a higher level of snorkelling and are ready to spend, the Indian Scuba Explorers is a company that takes you on snorkelling trips. You can rent snorkelling gear from nearby shops or resorts
Other Water Sports
Bharatpur beach also boasts of other water sports for those who don’t want to go underwater. You must try the Glass Bottom Boat rides there for a 100 rupees per person. It lasts for around 10 minutes and make for great fun. Jet skiing is also another great sport, adrenaline filled, high speed and thrilling.
No Prior bookings are done for these sports and they are available from 9 to 4 in the day.
Neil Island is quite a small island, close knit; spread over only 17 square km. Many tourists like to explore the place on foot, and finish circling the whole island in less than 2 hours. However, one of the better ways of exploring Neil Island is on a bicycle. Cycles are used for getting around as well as for recreational purposes. While beach explorations and water sports have their own attraction, cycling down the roads of Neil Island as farms, rolls of greens and sweet breeze pass you by is a charming experience.
You can rent bicycles at most resorts.
Neil Island 3 Point Tour
Neil Island is renowned for its beaches, and there is a must-see 3 point tour here that travellers of a day make sure not to miss. It starts with the Howrah Bridge or the Natural Rock Formation, then to Bharatpur beach, where most underwater and water sport activities are done, ending at Laxmanpur beach where the sun dips for the day. The sunsets of Bharatpur beach are one of the most coveted in all of Andaman.
Lazing on the Beach
Neil as a town is very slow, quiet and quaint. Life here seems to ride on a slow, wet breeze. If you want to rest, take a book and stretch out on sand with no disturbance in sight then head to Ramnagar beach here. Laze in the sands, bathe in the sun, listen to waves crashing ashore and see the sun transform to moon in front of your eyes. Time will seem precious in every breath you take here.
Restaurants in Neil Island are peculiar, in that, you have to order your food almost 2-3 hours in advance. Because the chef goes out, shops for fresh ingredients (from vegetables to sea food catch) returns and prepares your meal. If this cannot make your taste buds tingle and mind refresh, then what can?
Most restaurants here are renowned for Indian and Chinese fare and have a home-made touch to them. Italian and French cuisine also influences the local delicacies. Try the Blue Sea Restaurant, one of the few eateries that remains open until after midnight. The Bengali couple who owns this place are some of the warmest people who welcome you with open arms.