A couple of years ago, my sister and I made a trip out to Maldives to see the beautiful beaches and fell in love with the dreamy landscape. The incredibly soft sand between your toes, crystal clear water, blue skies, amazing friends we made and unforgettable experiences… need I say more?
This beautiful destination, off the coast of the Indian Ocean wasn’t an easy place to get to, neither is it the most affordable, but was 100% worth it. Life is too short to say no to great things and fabulous experiences.
Eek! Showing my bare-face so early on my blog >.<
I started off pretty pasty though, huh?
My sister and I lounged on the beach, took in the sun and went on a couple of excursions to other islands/resorts. We met some amazing travellers on this trip and to this day, we still stay in touch.
One afternoon, while visiting a nearby island, our guide noticed dolphins swimming by. He quickly ushered us all back onto the yacht and drove ahead of them at a safe distance. About 10-15 dolphins then swam side to side with us for a few minutes and went their way. It was really special.
I once took my snorkelling set on one of those excursions to one of the small deserted islands. The guide recommended that we walk into the water, but cautioned to avoid touching or stepping on the coral reefs. The reefs were so close to shore and the water was so still, you didn’t need to be a strong swimmer to see a ton of fish. You’d walk waist deep to be surrounded by billions of fish. The water in Maldives is so shallow and still. On every island we visited, the Indian ocean was warm enough to step in and not feel chills travel up your spine.
I’ve been to the second largest dive site in the world, have snorkelled in various spots in Thailand, Bali, Dominican Republic and Cuba. Maldives has so far been the most beautiful spot for snorkelling by far. Not just because at some of the islands you’ll many different species of schools of fish swimming around you before you’re even chest-deep, but because the water is so clear and the corals are so beautiful.
The local food was actually tastier than any American or Chinese food they’d try to whip up, especially something as simple as tuna salad. On one evening, our friends from Singapore went out night fishing with one of the local guides. They caught 9 fish in total. When they returned, our chef ended up cooking all the fresh fish and made a feast for a small group of us.
The following 2 pictures are by a friend that I met there from Singapore. He loves photography and shared these beautiful images of the Maldivian night sky.
If you ever get a chance to go, make friends with the locals and ask questions. Maldives is more than just one island. It’s an incredible experience. Go island hopping, snorkelling, diving and ask about night fishing.
At that time, I was just dating my now husband. He didn’t join us on this trip, but we plan on going together in the near future. Maybe after we visit Bora Bora and Fiji though.
To this day, my sister and I reminisce of Maldives. I love to travel, either alone or with friends. (I’m extroverted and pretty much start talking to everyone. I credit that to all the team sports I played as a kid.)
Travel Goals – Visit Bora Bora and Fiji over the next couple of years. What is the best beach or travel experience you’ve ever had? What are your own travel tips?
Tips for Travelling to Maldives
- Beware of buying or accepting water at the airport. It’s incredibly expensive and can cost as much as $10 for a bottle of water. If you drink water like a fish are going through the capital city Male, you can buy a few bottles and try to take it with you. It’s about $1-2 per bottle there. Much more affordable than $5-10 per bottle when you’re drinking water all week on a desserted island.
- Do your research before you go. Most islands require you to take chartered flights to the resorts or take private speed boat rides, which could set you back another $250-$500 roundtrip. There are no ferries to small luxury resorts because they’re private, so there are no other options.
- If you do not do full-board or all-inclusive, bottled water can be as expensive $10 a bottle, drinks can be very pricey. Some resorts don’t let you leave the dining room with it, so they can price gauge you. The food isn’t always great, and some luxury resort will charge $50-100 for just a main course, and doesn’t mean it’ll actually be very satisfying.
- When you choose to take speed boat to your resort, there can be some room to haggle if you get more people to ride with you. It’s hard when you’re arriving and you can get lucky if you find others getting off the place and are taking speed boat, but easier when you’re leaving to go home. What initially costs $160-$200 for a speed boat to a resort, can sometimes be reduced to something as low as $15-$20 if you meet others on resort and split the cost by heading back to the airport the same day. Trying to find people to do this with in advanced is hard, even in travel forums, but much easier when you’re there. Sometimes front desk can coordinate this, or if you’re extroverted like I am, you can ask as you meet people. I had a flight within an hour of a girl I met in a group of 10 people, so I joined them and left an hour earlier than planned. It saved me $150. That’s money in the pocket I got to spend on a nice dress or some accessories.
- If you’re on a luxury resort, the prices of excursions are not easily negotiable. If you try to go with a group of people, definitely try. Some of the other islands are quite different (sand, snorkel, more desserted, etc.), so ask around if possible.
- If you don’t have a Go-Pro or a XiaoYiMi, get one. It’s so beautiful, you’ll wish you captured everything you’d seen and done. However, some resorts and excursions let you rent these cameras for a fee. If you like to travel though, best to get your own and save in the long run.
If you enjoyed this post or have any additional tips for when I visit again, I’d love to hear from you – please comment below!