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About Mayabunder Island
Mayabunder is situated in the Northern part of Middle Andaman, around 242 km away from Port Blair, It is a low-key destination with lesser tourist spots compared to other neighboring islands. It is known for its cultural eccentricity due to the presence of Bangladesh and east Pakistani settlers, ex-convicts, and a Burmese hill tribe – Karen – who were relocated here during the British colonial period. Even though Mayabunder is the administrative headquarters of North and Middle Andaman territory, the town is small with almost no tourist infrastructure. Locals do not readily speak English, so if you do not know Hindi or Bengali, information can mostly be sought only by asking the staff at the hotel you’re staying in. The shore is fringed with mangroves and the beaches are not as popular as the ones on other islands. Karmatang beach is beautiful, with its long stretch of grey volcanic sand and shallow waters. If you plan to stay here long, the secluded islands nearby could be worth a look as they offer some jungle experiences and amazing snorkeling opportunities. All in all, Mayabunder is not a general tourist pick. It will appeal to travelers looking for an experience close to nature and away from the crowds.
Mayabunder is linked by daily buses from Port Blair heading on Andaman Trunk Road via Baratang and Rangat. The buses leave Port Blair early in the morning (at around 4 am) and are available till 11 am. It’s an exhausting nine to ten hours’ bumpy ride through parts of dense jungle and with ferries linking the islands.
Please Note: You may also spot the Jarawa tribe on the ATR. Make sure you do not click their photographs, give gifts/food, or communicate with them. Any such behavior is legally punishable.
Another and definitely more comfortable option is taking a ferry from Phoenix Bay Jetty in Port Blair to Diglipur (via Mayabunder). The journey takes about eight to nine hours, depending on the weather conditions. There are two weekly ferries, one on Monday and another one on Friday, but do check the timetables online or at the ticket counter as they do often change.
Don’t forget the photocopies of your permit, visa, and passport before getting into the queue. Mayabunder is the only place apart from Port Blair that has the facility of harboring passenger ships from the mainland.
The best time to visit between October and March, when the temperature is comparatively cool.
Speed boat ride and snorkeling are two top must things to do in Mayabunder Island. Apart from it visiting different beaches like Karmatang and Rampur and islands like Avis and Interview can prove to be a good experience.