June 08, 2017
I remember the moment that I ordered my flight to paradise. Full of excitement, there I was, on my way to Maldives islands. The Maldives are some of the most attractive places in the world to visit and are featured on many bucket lists. I booked all of the hotels in advance and I have to say, it was cheaper than I thought it would be. During my one week visit, I stayed in three different hotels. The first hotel was on Hulhumale, the biggest island of the Maldives (big meaning you can drive around the whole island in 10 minutes). The hotel was about $45/night – a great price for a room with air conditioning, hot water and you can’t forget about the complimentary breakfast! Hulhumale is a worth a visit, but in general, as long as you go north or south of the main islands, like Mal’e and Hulhumale, you will get to the real beauty.
Of course, like anything in life, there’s a catch. The ferry service does not go to those islands, so keep in mind that you have to take a private water taxi or water-airplane to your lovely vacation.
There are so many things to explore and try in the Maldives. Not only do they have all the water-sports you can imagine, but also the most beautiful white sand beaches and the clear blue Indian Ocean. Every day consisted of meeting new people, exploring the beaches and the nature as well as trying out their water-sports like surfing, diving and jet-skiing.
During my one week visit, I chose to spend one day diving. The organization (Dive Club Maldives) I went with took us on 3 separate dives in 3 different locations throughout the islands. The dives were amazing because it was my first time diving in such blue and clear water. What’s special about the diving in the Maldives is the slope of the ground from the waterfront to the ocean. It starts out shallow for about 20 meters (60 ft) and then in a second it becomes so deep that you can’t even see the ocean floor. They call this the “wall” and this is where the majority of our diving took place. The “wall” is covered with many different types of fish and ocean life and as you go deeper, the animals and plants change. During one of the dives I found a sea turtle swimming with me and I took a picture with my new diving mate.
For those who are looking for less extreme sports, the snorkeling is also amazing – the variety of sea life is incredible; just so many fish, clams and starfishes to see right below of surface. It’s also likely that you will stumble upon a manta ray or a wild dolphin swimming right next to you.
Going to Male – a mistake and a surprise
After 3 days of fun, it was the time to go to the next hotel in the main city of Male. Male is nice and it has a cool fish market on the north side of the island however I don’t recommend only visiting there; it’s important to see the other beautiful places that the Maldives has to offer.
5 hours after arriving, I found myself in a bad hotel in the middle of a rushed Muslim city. Religious Muslims do not drink so there wasn’t much supply or night life in general. My thoughts on the Maldives was becoming worse and I was beginning to think that I made a huge mistake by coming there. However, to my surprise, I found out that my friend whom I had met in Sri Lanka was visiting the Maldives for the weekend. I called him as soon as possible and luckily he had a spare bed in his room that he let me sleep in. It felt so good to back in business and back to paradise!
Going to Guraidhoo:
In the morning, I took a ferry to Asaf (my friend) who was staying on another island. The ferry costs around 30 Rufiya (4$) and view from the ferry is great. You pass all the islands and resorts and I even remember smelling the Maldives once again, it’s the smell of freedom.
When I got there, I started to search for Raabol Inn . I asked one of the locals where I can find it and I remember him making a face and saying: “Oh it’s far away, on the other side of the island.” I was a bit nervous and thought that it might take me awhile to get there. However after five minutes of walking, I discovered that I was already at the other side of the island, so it must have been there somewhere. The locals have no awareness of the outside world; for them, small islands and sea life are the whole world.
After arriving to Asaf’s place, I felt the magic again. The hosts of the hotel were really kind and welcoming. We were on the waterfront and had a small private beach to ourselves.
Morning came and we had plans to go fishing and snorkeling. We filled our boat with coconuts, watermelon and bananas and went to the big blue ocean. We arrived to an sand dune that peaks out of the water so you can walk on it. We snorkeled there and after couple minutes, I heard my new friends calling me and I saw this amazing squid they had just caught! It was my first time seeing this incredible animal in person. The local took my hand and pointed to the squid’s arm so I could feel his suction cups, an unforgettable moment.
Evening came and for dinner we grilled the fish we caught. As we light up our bonfire, I remember the moon being so big in the sky, surrounded by billions of shining stars. Nights like these are what I call paradise; for me simple is better and less is more.
My tip for Maldives:
Thank you Maldives. Niv
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