First visit to Maldives, what you should know

Total Budget : Less than $1000 from Dubai.

Activities : Cruising, Swimming, Diving, Scuba Diving, Snorkeling…and other water sports

Rating : 8/10

 

This time I stopped at the pearl of the Indian ocean, Maldives. Booked via holiday factory . As advertised, they fulfilled their promises. Their team in the Maldives was great.

Maldives consists of many coral Islands – if you never heard of it, please do yourself a favor and google it, its worth it 😉 -. A lot of them provides more exotic experience than the one I had. For me, the purpose of visiting Maldives was also to know the people there and the culture. And when I travel backpacking alone I look for solitude. It was also fun beyond my expectation. So let’s start the things you should know when you go there :

1- Use USD $$$, don’t convert to the local currency. Converting the remaining local currency back to dollars will make you pull your hair. Just use USD they accept everywhere even in the small local islands.

2- Get a good sunscreen. it’s all about sun and sand (if you are lucky).

3- Be a swimmer , it’s fun.

4- Bargain a lot. Usually, the souvenir shops will give you high price. as per my experience in south Asia, Bargaining is a culture. But also be sensible , it’s their only source of income.

5- If you decided to go for resorts only. Do yourself a favor and don’t book  a flight directly to the resort ( if you prefer just to go to the resorts ). Resort flights from the airport are expensive. You can easily save $1000 . Just book a night or so in Hulhumale (it’s cheap and I am not saying its 5 star hotels they are good enough). And book a local flight from the airport to the place you want to go.

6- Just seafood. It’s amazing, fresh, so yummy . If you are visiting islands and ordering beef or chicken, then I feel sorry for you.

7- Be patient , time passes very slow there. So if you order food . expect a delay ….. long delay. but its worth it. It’s not fast food or frozen. Especially the seafood.

8- Weather is unpredictable it can be sunny in some islands and raining in the other. Just hope for the best!

9- Spices means spices. Like for real! so if you can’t handle it just don’t. Order normal

 

Now back to my trip: 

First Day: 

20161014_080255We arrived by flydubai. The hotel Lonuveli-Hulhumale bus was waiting for us and the holiday factory team. They took us to the hotel early morning. Then in the afternoon we took a tour to Male (the capital). If you plan to visit some local islands, better to leave the souvenir buying to that part (in the next day). Male is very crowded and expensive compared to other places in Maldives. At the evening we had dinner. The spicy tuna was a dream like thing. And sorry I forgot the name of the restaurant :p . But I think most of the restaurants provide such flavors. Cause I tried many. this tour is separate, booking it costs me $10 dollars. But, you are still free to go alone there without any guide. Just get the ferry ticket and go. You won’t get lost I promise.

Second Day:

This day was remarkable. You had the option in this day to do whatever you want. So, the holiday factory team there provided an option, either to go for a cruise or a resort. I chose the cruise. We went with this team moodhuclub . Believe me , it’s worth every penny paid. These guys were so funny and friendly. they made the trip better with their presence. Activities we did :

  • cruising to nearby islands
  • Swimming (in this case we jumped from the top of the ship )
  • Snorkeling ( the most amazing part )
  • Lunch ( was not fancy, but good )
  • Visiting Humafushi island ( here you can do good souvenir shopping…cheap prices)
  • Watching the dolphins
  • Watching the sunset.

This trip cost was $80

We went back to the hotel. I personally went for dinner outside. tried some local restaurants. I ordered full course meal and paid $13.

Third day (last):

Also here you have your options . So I picked going to Cinnamon island. It’s a resort

Cinnamon Island

Cinnamon Island

sort of island. the ferry to it was free by Holiday factory ( if you want to go of course ). The entry fee for the resort was $45 . You can have sunbath, swimming, snorkeling. whatever you want to do. Access to the beach and facilities plus buffet lunch was included in the $45. the rest you need to pay for if you want to do (water sports / SPA … etc ). For me , swimming and walking around the resort . enjoying the scenes was all that I need. And ,of course, the lunch was superb. It just blows your senses away.

The water was crystal clear and you really enjoy swimming there. At evening we went back to the hotel. it was a full moon night. and it was a charming night. The full moon was so bright. I personally didn’t see such clarity before.

 

 

Maldives at full moon night

Maldives at full moon night

 

 

Photos and videos available on my Instagram and facebook pages. I will keep uploading them subsequently (if you are reading this post early. if it’s a week later you need to check the albums or the timeline of October 2016) . Like the facebook page to keep receiving the updates.

Maldives Album


Also published on Medium.