As soon as you arrive on Long Island you will know it is different from any other island you have visited. At first, it seems a pretty workaday sort of place. People will be going about their business at the jetty and there are no rickshaws lining up to pick up tourists! Just step away from the jetty, though, and the special quality of the island will become immediately apparent. No traffic noise! There are 2 rickshaw trucks and about 5 motorbikes and no other motor vehicles on the whole island. So everybody walks, and as they pass they will smile and greet you with a “Namaste”. Local children know at least 2 words in English: “One Photo”. But no-one will try to sell you anything.
The island has an electoral roll of about 2000 inhabitants, probably only about 750 live on Long Island full-time, and they survive by fishing, growing vegetables and doing casual work where they can.
The island has a school, police station, health centre and a bazaar with a number of shops selling basic essentials. There are 3 restaurants serving basic thalis, snacks and chai, and the place comes to life in the early evening.
Long Island is a beautiful, unspoilt island, with varied walks around the beaches, village and forests, and one of the loveliest beaches in the Andaman Islands, Lalaji Bay. You can reach Lalaji by walking through the forest (1.5 – 2 hours), going along the shore at low tide, or by boat. Apart from local fishermen, you will find the beach pretty well deserted most of the time. There is good snorkelling from Lalaji or from the beach close to Blue Planet.