Maldives is one of those dream destinations, which is so stunning that all the hype about it is totally worth it. After getting supremely obsessed with the Maldives a year ago, I finally visited this dream destination. Here are 10 things which you may not know about the place though, so let me enlighten you:
10.) All the resorts are on separate islands: Maldives is made up of several tiny islands which are known as atolls, with resorts built on each of them. When you fly into Maldives, you will coming to Male (the main city) but you’re most probably not going to be staying in the city. You’ll be staying on one of the resort islands, for which you’ll need to take a speedboat or seaplane transfer from Male.
9.) Transfers are expensive: Seaplane / speedboat transfers tend to be very expensive, so do factor that in when you are booking your trip. The closer islands will be 20-30 minutes away, but the farther ones can be 2 hours away. In some case, you may even need to take another domestic flight once you land in Male. Remember to account for the distance and cost when you choose a resort.
8.) The water is actually blue-green: I still can’t get over the stunning clear waters of Maldives! I always used to think the pictures looked like that on Instagram but it wouldn’t be like that in real life. Turns out it is, and there’s a reason for it too. It’s because of the phyto-plankton present there.
7.) The water is only shallow near the islands: It’s true that you can go swimming in the shallow waters near the islands. That’s where the reefs are. But, be warned that right beyond the reefs there are huge drops. So, when you do go swimming, be careful and stay near the reefs. You can go to the edge of the reefs but beyond that it is very risky, as the level drops drastically.
6. Marine life is amazing: Yes, Maldives does have amazing marine life. Its a dream for those who love snorkeling / diving. I managed to see sharks, a needle-fish, a sting-ray and a variety of colorful fish. This is because the reefs are full of marine life. But, make sure to always be careful and never touch any sea creature, and not even the reefs.
5.) Water villas are not over-rated: Yes, water-villas are super expensive, but in my opinion they’re not over-rated. Going to Maldives and not experiencing the water-villas is kind of futile. It’s amazing to stay in those villas and wake up to the sound of the ocean. Especially, if you happen to witness a storm (which we did!), and you see the oceans turn rough right in front of you.
4.) Resorts will be expensive: Since, you will usually just be in one resort on one island, food and services will be expensive, as the resorts know you don’t have much of an option. Always go for breakfast and dinner inclusive packages. In case, that’s not available, then do remember to factor in the cost of meals.
3.) You are not allowed to carry alcohol into the country: Yup, Maldives is a strict Muslim country, and alcohol is not allowed to be carried in. However, you’ll obviously get it at all the resorts, but just make sure to shell out some money for that.
2.) You need to carry dollars, not the local currency: Prices at all the resorts will be quoted in dollars, so make sure you carry some US dollars. You can use your card for all payments, but have some cash for tipping / emergency purposes. Tipping isn’t really mandatory, but it is sort of expected at the resorts.
1.) How long you stay in Maldives depends on your preferences: You must have heard all sorts of opinions on how long you can stay in Maldives. The truth is this totally depends on your preferences. If you love water activities, you can spend days just immersed in the pristine waters. If you’re the type who can laze for days, you can once again spend time sunbathing, enjoying the ocean and sunsets. However, if you get bored easily and you don’t do much water activities, 4-5 days may be ideal for you.
Oops, seems like 10 items is too short a list for Maldives. There is one other thing you should know! Maldives is located very close to the equator, and the sun’s rays can be harmful! So, do carry lots of sunscreen and slather yourself with it, as you’re going to be out in the sun all day, even when you’re in the water.
And, yes visit the place soon before it gets submerged due to global warming!