North Bay island, Andaman and Nicobar islands

3 Reasons Why North Bay Island is Not Worth Visiting (2024)

Let me clarify: the Andaman and Nicobar Islands boast approximately 38 inhabited islands, and tourists can explore a few. Having personally visited many of these islands, including North Bay Island, I appreciate the unique charm each one holds. However, my experience with North Bay Island was somewhat brief during my recent visit to the Andaman Islands.

Are you visiting Andaman and Nicobar Islands for the first time? Then read the one week itinerary in Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

Honestly, it didn’t stand out as my top choice when comparing North Bay Island to the other captivating destinations I explored in the region. While my time there was enjoyable, I couldn’t help but feel that there were alternative options that offered a more fulfilling and engaging day. The Andaman and Nicobar Islands present many enticing choices; in my opinion, other islands provided a more rewarding experience during my stay.

It’s essential to note that personal preferences play a significant role in such assessments, and what might not have resonated with me as much could be an ideal destination for others. Exploring the diverse offerings of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands allows travellers to find the perfect match for their tastes and preferences.

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Where is North Bay Island?

The North Bay island is one of the islands in the South Andaman district. It is closer to Port Blair, the capital city, and it can easily be visited as part of a one-day trip from Port Blair. Famous for its coral reefs around the island and the warm blue waters, it is a popular destination for many water sport activities such as sea walk, scuba diving and glass bottom boat rides.

The North Bay island is trendy for tourism also because one, it is easily accessible from Port Blair and two, most tourists who visit Port Blair want to explore the islands as a one-day trip. And three, as mentioned earlier, the island provides tourists with many water sports activities that do not require any experience to participate.

A few of the activities that one can do on the North Bay island are:

  • The sea walk is conducted at a depth of 7 metres, where one can walk on the sea bed. The participants wear helmets that are, in turn, connected to the air for breathing. The cost for the sea walk is around INR 4500 per person. The sea walk is also conducted at Elephant Beach on Havelock Island, and I advise doing this activity when you arrive.
  • Many scuba dive centres conduct scuba diving for beginners, especially for people who are trying for the first time. A shore dive lasts about 15 to 20 minutes, costing INR 3500 per person for introductory dives. Since I am a certified diver, the recreational dive cost me INR 2500. For scuba diving, I highly recommend scuba diving in Neil Island.
  • The glass bottom boat is an excellent way of seeing the underwater world without falling into the water and getting wet. Visitors are taken in a boat with a glass bottom floor, and they can see the fish and other marine life while the boat goes around the island. A glass bottom boat with lunch costs around INR 800 per person. Jolly Buoy Island is the better alternative to take the glass-bottom boat ride.

3 Reasons Why North Bay Island is Not Worth Visiting

Note: Just because I am listing the reasons as to why I feel that the North Bay island is not visiting, does not mean that I did not enjoy the scuba dive on the island. The island and the water are undoubtedly appealing.

The Island is Overcrowded with Tourists

Due to its immense popularity among tour agencies and tourists, North Bay Island tends to be excessively crowded. The influx of visitors saturates the island, leaving virtually no space untouched by the constant presence of people. Regrettably, finding a peaceful enclave to relish the tranquillity of the island and connect with nature becomes a challenging endeavour.

The overwhelming crowds create an atmosphere where even capturing a single picture becomes a competitive feat, requiring navigation through masses of people. This aspect, unfortunately, detracted from the overall enjoyment of my visit, as the serenity I sought was overshadowed by the bustling crowds vying for their moments on this popular island destination.

The Underwater World was Very Crowded

The underwater realm at North Bay Island is bustling with activity, primarily dominated by divers and sea bed walkers. The island’s popularity for water sports results in a significant influx of enthusiasts, particularly in activities like scuba diving. Unfortunately, the sheer volume of participants, many of whom are novices attempting their first dives, creates challenges in safeguarding the underwater environment.

The presence of beginner scuba divers, unfamiliar with reef protection practices, adds an element of concern. Witnessing unintentional harm to the corals and marine life becomes disheartening. The underwater space is not only crowded but also lacks sufficient room for unrestricted movement, diminishing the overall experience.

Despite these challenges, the warmth and divine quality of the water contribute to a positive diving experience, especially when venturing beyond the areas populated by newer divers. Exploring slightly off the beaten path reveals a stunning marine world, adorned with captivating sights such as lionfish and colonies of clownfish. The encounter with these vibrant marine species serves as a testament to the beauty that lies beneath the surface, even in the midst of the complexities posed by overcrowded underwater activities.

And the Island was Dirty

The detrimental impact of over-tourism becomes evident as the once pristine location succumbs to extensive littering. Despite the presence of dedicated bins strategically placed around the island, a regrettable sight unfolds as visitors disregard proper disposal methods, resulting in scattered garbage and a visibly soiled environment. Witnessing one of the most beautiful islands tarnished by human negligence is undeniably disheartening.

A sincere plea extends to all tourists and travellers: exercise responsible waste disposal practices. Refrain from indiscriminately discarding garbage in the surroundings. Instead, kindly carry your rubbish with you until a suitable disposal bin is reached. By adhering to responsible waste management, we collectively contribute to preserving the natural beauty of these destinations, ensuring they remain unspoiled for generations to come.

How Can You Get to North Bay Island?

Situated approximately 40 kilometres from Port Blair, North Bay Island is often paired with a visit to Ross Island. Ross Island is an ideal intermediary stop before proceeding to North Bay Island. The ferry journey connecting these two destinations is a brief 30-minute ride.

For those planning to embark on this day trip, the ferry conveniently departs from Aberdeen Jetty in Port Blair. Tickets for the journey can be acquired at the Aberdeen Jetty ticket centre. The cost for the round-trip ferry ride was approximately INR 850 per person, providing an accessible means to explore the captivating offerings of both Ross and North Bay Islands in a single excursion.

Closing Notes

The Andaman Islands boast numerous serene and less-crowded gems where nature is cherished by the local communities. Havelock and Neil Islands stand out as particularly worthwhile destinations, offering a peaceful and environmentally conscious atmosphere. I highly recommend including these islands in your travel itinerary for an enriching experience.

On the other hand, North Bay Island, while an option, might be worth skipping unless you have surplus days and a desire to explore as many islands as possible. In my opinion, prioritizing the tranquillity and mindful conservation efforts found on Havelock and Neil Islands can contribute to a more fulfilling and responsible travel experience in the Andaman archipelago.

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3 Reasons Why North Bay Island is Not Worth Visiting (2024)
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    PIN for later reference – Reasons Why North Bay Island is Not Worth Visiting

    PIN for later reference - 3 reasons why North Bay island is not worth visiting
    PIN for later reference – Reasons Why North Bay Island is Not Worth Visiting