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About Long Island

Lalaji Bay Beach

Lalaji Bay Beach

Long Island, quite contrary to its western counterpart, is a small, sparsely populated, remote island towards the North of Andaman Islands, India.

About  35 km from Port Blair, this island with no roads (just cement walking paths), no cars, and one private travel-friendly resort is ideal if you want to escape to a  place full of natural beauty, friendly people, and lots of solitude.

Highlights about Long Island

  • Long Island is located about 35 km from Port Blair and only accessible by government ferry (The closest jetty is Rangat)
  • Only one private resort (Blue Planet) operates here. It can accommodate about 25 people in total.
  • The forest and tourism guest houses exist but have to be booked in advance and are generally reserved for government officials.
  • Beach activities are most popular here! One can swim, snorkel, and sunbathe. There are two main beaches to visit. Lalaji Bay and Blue Planet Beach.
  • There are no restaurants or cafes around. Blue planet resort has its own kitchen. Some snacks (pakodas, vada, and idli) are available near the jetty area.

Travel to Long Island – Ferries & Other Transport

Long Island can be reached only by a government ferry. The closest jetty is Rangat and daily direct ferries charter passengers to and fro. One can also take a ferry from Port Blair, Havelock, and Neil, which ply with multiple stops en-route and take several hours to reach.

Check availability of tickets and dates here – https://www.andaman.gov.in/mainland-shipping-schedule1 

Ferries to Long Island generally follow this route: Port Blair – Neil Island –  Havelock Island – Straight Island – Rangat – Long Island. So the number of stops depends on where you board the ferry. 

Reaching Long Island could take almost your entire day and thus, this location may not be ideal for people visiting the island for less than 10 days. However,  repeat visitors and people on an extended journey must consider Long Island as an option for travel. 

You can also charter a boat to Long Island, but the regulations and permissions around this keep changing.

To know of availability during your time of travel,  please mail us at info@go2andaman.com

Top Things to Do in Long Island

Lalaji Bay Beach

Snorkel ay Lalaji Bay

Swim at Lalaji Bay

Long Island is for those who like to unwind and experience slow village life.  Activities are few here and limited to water sports.  

You can relax at the beach, snorkel, swim, sunbathe and trek (to the beach or an around the village). 

1.Relax at the Beach

3 main beaches exist in Long Island: 

  • Blue planet beach: This is a fairly large beach about 700 metres from Blue planet resort. A path through the jungle marked by yellow painted arrows will guide you here from the blue planet. It has a nice snorkelling reef, a  few swimming spots and at most times, no one around. Guitar island can be seen from here. If you go early morning/late evening you may spot some fisherman with their boats. 

 

  • Lalaji Bay beach: Known as the perfect swimming beach on Long Island,  Lalaji bay is a spot to behold. On days with a clear sky, what shines blue like emeralds. It has few snorkelling options but is great for a picnic.  What makes it all the more adventurous is the long trek to get here but of course you can also hire a boat to take and bring you back from there (your  accommodation will help book it for you)

 

  • Merk Bay: This pristine beach is at North Passage island, a few. Minutes away from Long island and needs to be gotten to by boat with permission from the forest department. The island is half covered by mangroves and the rest by Merk Bay Beach. If you are a snorkelling enthusiast, do carry your snorkelling gear along, the reefs here are gorgeous.

2.Snorkel at Merk Bay or Lalaji Bay

As mentioned above, snorkelling spots in Long Island are plenty and easily accessible. Just carry your gear along, as there may not be guided tours and rentals available at your time of visit. Merk Bay and Lalaji Bay beach are most recommended. Expect to see colourful coral reefs brimming with fish.  

3.Swim in Long Island

Clear blue water, lots of trees around and some gorgeous beaches – All beaches in Long Island provide swimming options. We suggest you always take a partner along and do not swim alone.  

4.Trekking in Long Island

Treks are long (Lalaji Bay and Merk Bay), through jungle paths and not very difficult. If in Long Island, we suggest you try trekking at least on one of the days. Carry water and snacks along. Ask your accommodation for a guide if you think you need one.  

5.Scuba Diving

Blue Planet has a dive centre, but it isn’t always operational. This depends on the demand and availability of instructors. You can con contact the resort and find out about diving options. If you are a pro-diver, you can carry gear, rent a boat and go to some breathtaking dive sites nearby.  

6.Bird Watching

While Long Island has no birding guide to take you around, you can trek and do some bird watching on your own here.

Local Transport on Long Island

Long Island has few tarred roads, no vehicles (except one pickup truck and one tuk-tuk), two scooters, and a few bicycles. Donkeys used to be the form of transport earlier but they have all been retired now. People generally walk around everywhere.

The small village is connected mostly via cemented paths covered with fallen leaves and painted arrows. These different colored arrows guide you from Blue planet resort to the jetty and the beaches. When you reach the Long Island jetty, you can either walk your way to your accommodation or call for the only tuk-tuk by informing the resort in advance. 

Lalaji Bay beach is a 2-hour walk from Blue planet/Jetty. Alternatively, you can hire a private boat (costs about 5k/boat) to get there and back. This can accommodate about 8 people.

Hotels & Resorts on Long Island

Blue Planet Resort

Long island’s charm is its solitude and the main reason for this is the number of tourist accommodations here. Only four stays are available, the most popular one being “Blue planet resort”. 

This sustainable, eco-friendly, colorful, private resort is built around an ancient padauk tree with waste plastic/glass bottles and old tires. This earthquake-proof resort can only accommodate 25 people max at a time. Since most people coming here stay for at least a few days, they all become like family. The rooms here are basic and a little old. One can choose between rooms with attached baths and without. Prices range from 300/night to 1500/ night. 

The other three accommodation options on long island are government-run.  Surmai Reef resort at Lalaji bay, Tapovan rest house at Bakultala, and the older and more popular Vanashree forest rest house near the jetty. Like most other government stays, these are well located, nicely built, AC accommodations that are economically priced. Booking them however needs a little time, planning, and patience.

To book, you can email the forest divisional officer in Rangat via this link http://andssw1.and.nic.in/forestma/assets/page/room.html In general, the Blue planet is a property ideal for backpackers and solo travelers. If traveling with a family that requires a more comfortable stay option, consider government-run Rest houses.

Restaurant & Food Scene in Long Island

 There are no restaurants on Long Island. Blue planet has a  restaurant with a small menu and “dish of the day”. All government-run resorts have their respective kitchens too that serve simple Indian meals and snacks.  There is a small joint at the market (near the jetty) that serves idli, vada, and bhaji in the morning and in the evenings. 

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