Made up of 1,190 islands, 26 natural atolls, 99% water and 1% land (according to their ads). Tonette, Zari, Pats and I journeyed over the Indian Ocean to take a dip and spend our long-vacation on the beaches of Maldives – well, just one of the many.
Pats initiated the trip 2 or 3 months ago – immediately booking a flight days after seeing the seat sale in a newspaper ad. Wanting to celebrate her birthday out of the grasps of ate and outside of the country, we booked our flight without any idea how bum we will be after. Click here to Donate money. Hehe. :p
We boarded our flight to this beautiful paradise at around 8:00 in the evening on the 19th of September – Saturday, and arrived at the Male International Airport at 9:00 PM. It was a four hour flight, but I didn’t felt it as I was dozing off – only waking up when dinner was served. Unfortunately, curry was the only thing in the menu. So, I ended up eating the bread and dozing off again.
We’ve waited for some time in the arrival hall of Male International Airport. Why? We didn’t have any accommodation for that night. The initial plan was to sleep-slash-lounge the night off at the airport benches. Watched The Terminal, starring Tom Hanks? Sorta’ like that… But since the arrival hall was small and didn’t have freaking benches past the Immigration desks, we ended up staying at a hotel in Male City, which is a Dhoni ride away from the airport.
The airport is actually separated from the city – in an island called Hulhule, and takes around 10-15 minutes of sea-sickness. Their traditional boat is called Dhoni. It is used for transporting a number of people to various islands and is the cheapest way to get to places in Maldives, unless you opt to wear those floaters and swim the Indian Ocean. One-way costs 10 Rufiyaa (approx .8 USD), which really is the smallest USD amount I’ve spent during my stay there.
When we arrived at the scooter-infested city of Male, we immediately looked for a cheap hotel where we could spend the night off. At USD93, the four of us dozed the night off at the Kam Hotel, where Tonette was able to barter for a cheaper rate to accommodate us. The receptionist was really, really, really kind. Props to you man! You saved four hungry mammals from the cold, unbathed night.
The picture above is the view from our hotel room. It looks like a back-alley – which I somewhat liked, but that’s how wide their streets are. Their main streets are only a bit wider, but still look like back-alleys. This probably is the reason why majority of the population are on scoots. The city itself is not that big, I think you can roam it in a day or less…on foot, which we didn’t bother to try as it was a bit humid – we spent our last day in the city again for some walking, quick dinner, and of course, shopping.
We woke up early the next morning to catch our seaplane to Chaaya Reef, Ellaidho. We rode the Dhoni back to the airport, only to know…
…that we missed our 6:30 am seaplane to the island. Oh crap…
To be continued…