It was for the first time, I was looking at the Atolls from the plane. Is what am seeing a real thing!! I was Awestruck!!!
An hour flight journey from kochi to Male is above the Azure waters of the Indian Ocean. The coral island nation of Maldives covers an area about 90k square km in the Indian Ocean, 99% of which is just sea leaving only 1% of the land. There are over 1000 islands ringed by reefs forming complex Atolls. One of the best nature’s wonder.
It’s a place to relax and rejuvenate. A place to find joy in small things. Maldives lo choodaniki pedda checklist em vundadu, oka roju Male (capital city) choodochu, into roju island hopping petukochu, rest of the days just laze around and do whatever you want to do.
Like I used to do coral, shell picking on the shore. Just stare at the sunsets loose time and cleanse my thoughts, used to take dips in the ocean, sit on the pier and watch hundreds of sea animals come and go or relax on a swing by the ocean as the waves swayed my legs. The color of the water mesmerized me…. It is crystal blue when the sun shines, pale blue during the sunset, vivid blue in the middle, turquoise blue near the shore and so many other shades in between. I’d never seen so many shades of blue.
Inkasta adventure kavali ante there is deep sea diving, snorkeling and many other water sports to choose from.
So let’s talk about planning Maldives vacation:
Probably This is the only place I’d take a ‘’vacation’’ or a ‘’Holiday’’ which is very unlike me.
So mundu oka icebreaker toh start cheddam. Maldives can be surprisingly cheap than what you expected, it can also be damn expensive and lavishly luxurious than what you ever imagined.
Na uddesam, mana budget prakaram plan cheskovachu ani. I know of places where rentals starting from 2k per night ranging up to 1.5 lakh per night. So manakuna options enante:
Resorts Maldives lo chala common and popular. ikkada okko island ni okko resort laga develop chesaru. As on today 120 island resorts vunnay.
So if you ask me what are the top 10 resorts in the Maldives, it’s difficult to say. Chala websites lo e list vundi Kani parthi website lo veru veru lists vunaty.
And nenu choosina 4-5 resorts mostly kasta atu itu ga okela vunnay so the best way is, go on any booking site of your choice, mi budget and requirements filter chesi choose one.
The price doubles from 7k – 70k (more or less)
Live in the sails boats, Go deep water scuba diving and water adventures! let the sea wind hit your hard as you sail.
The prices average between 10-30k Per night depending on the boat.
Living in Male:
Anandanga gadapadaniki kavaloka Divi. Kada?? Male – E Chinna capital island city lo anni dagara dagara lone vuntay. The total city is spread across 9 km. So typically if you are staying in the center of Male, you have supermarkets, hospitals, shopping centers, mosques and universities at a stone throw distance. The presidents house might be just a block away.
You can choose to stay at a hotel, Airbnb or a guest house in Male and do Island hopping and other activities, with a male as the base location.
Things to do in male:
The Hukuru Miskiy also called as the Friday mosque dates back to the 17th century. The Maldivians are very proud of its Minaret that stands as a testament to their skills The cemetery is just across the road. Muliaage- an old president building which is still functional.
Visit Local Markets.
The local fish market is on the northern end of Male and is a bustling place. The fishing boats painted in vibrant colors are lined up unloading their day’s catch.
Near the fish market itself, there is a local market where the locals sell fresh produce. We can Buy seasonal fruits like mangoes, coconuts, watermelons and Banana are there throughout the year. As there is not much land for agriculture, they import vegetables from Sri Lanka and India. One can also buy imported vegetables from this market.
Snacking and Shopping.
Near the marine drive of Male, there are so many roadside stalls run by locals and they offer Maldives delicacies, savory treats and desserts.
In the sub-lanes there are so many boutiques and diviner stores for shopping. Maldives lo shopping pasta costly. Maldives Economy tourism mida chala depend ayivundi and ikkadiki vachevallu kuda mostly westerners so prices kuda alane vuntay mari.
No wonder all the local markets accept Dollars for purchases.
My most memorable experience in was shopping ingredients from the local market learning to cook Maldivian cuisine at a local’s house.
The best part is sampling what we made.
Maldives travel tips and Essentials:
India lo anni cities nundi Maldives ki direct or connecting flights vunnay. The connecting flights are usually Via Kochin.
Usually ga resorts Kani the Live aboards Kani airports pick up and drop arrange chestaru but daniki separate charge chestaru. Please remember its a tourist country and the transfer charges can be a bomb. Also if you staying in Male or any Local island then these private ferries can take a toll on your wallet.
There are public ferries and speed boats, but nobody publicizes them.
Note that there is no public ferry service on Friday. But there are small private boats which give service on Friday as well.
The public ferry boats are termed as Doni or Dhoni. They are one of the oldest known sea vessels. They are mechanized after the industrial revolution but a typical Dhoni is built using coconut palm timber.
For a more time efficient mode of transport, you can opt a speed boat.
You can check the time table of the ferry schedules – CLICK HERE
Maldives is a tropical country and is warm and Sunny throughout the year. The monsoon is also throughout the year. During May to October its high monsoon season with heavy rains, rough sea, strong winds and high humidity. From December to April is the low monsoon season with little rainfall, calm sea, bright sunshine and less humidity.
This Beautiful Tourist country offers a friendly visa policy to most of the countries. Indians ki Visa on Arrival so Yay!!
Though the currency in the Maldives is Rufiyaa, all the resorts and local stores accept dollars. I highly recommend carrying dollars before leaving for the Maldives, as the currency exchange is a little difficult after landing. Nenu Maldives lo exchange cheddam le ani Indian cash teskelte no one was ready to exchange money in INR. Only dollars annaru.
Kontamandi exchange cheskuna almost half price chepparu. Edo card vundi kabbati ATM nundi withdraw cheskuna but the markup was still high.
How to dress:
Swimwear is allowed in the resort, but if you wish to visit the capital city or any islands inhabited by locals, dress modestly. Try to go in fully covered clothes as a token of respect to their local culture. Carry kinds of cotton considering the tropical climate.
Native language is Dhivehi but English is widely spoken. A few locals also speak Tamil and Sinhalese.
Safety & Medical:
Just like another country keep out an eye and stay safe. Go for swimming and snorkeling only in the permitted areas.
Note that Alcohol is not allowed in public places, anywhere on the local islands even inside the guest house. It’s restricted only within the resorts that too only for foreigners. Never offer drinks to locals as they might get offended.
Try taking a local sim if you are staying for long and though taking medical insurance is not part of the arrival process, I recommend buying it. The prices of travel insurances can be as low as INR 300-500.
Keep the below emergency contacts handle along with the front desk of your resorts/hotel/host.
Coast guard: 191
Got some tips/recommendations?? Do let us know in the comments below.
Hakuna Matata 🙂
You can follow Bhavya @flamingo_diaries
Some of the images are taken from Google
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