In the HongKong cartoon movie McMug Story My Life as McDull, one of dreams of the little pig McDull is to visit Maldives – A paradise in Indian Ocean, where there are vast blue sky, adorable white clouds, green coconuts trees, transparent clear seawater and soft white sands.Actually visiting Maldives is not just a dream for McDull, but also for many of us. Maldives is a destination that we must go in our lifetime! So, what makes Maldives so attractive even though the travel expenses will be much more expensive as compared to other islands? Well, I got the answers after my short but memorable 3-day trip to Meeru Island – Maldives. This blog is about our pre-trip preparation. In our next blog, we will write about Meeru Island Resort & Spa and our travel experiences.
Composed of 1,192 coral islands grouped into 26 coral atolls among which there are 200 inhabited islands and 80 islands with tourist resorts, Maldives lies south-southwest of India in the Indian Ocean. Dispersed along the Equator like brilliant pearls, Maldives is sunny all year long with tropical maritime climate. Except for May to November when there are plenty of rains, it is a perfect destination for a holiday.
The capital of Maldives is Male. The official language in Maldives is Dhivehi, but they also frequently use English for the benefit of tourists. As it’s an Islamic country, eating pork is not allowed.
You can use both Rufiya and USD in Maldives.
What is Special about Maldives
With limited rooms in most villas, each island will never be over-packed. This ensures guest can enjoy sufficient private time and space.
Most people are first attracted by Maldives due to its beautiful water villas which are villas built on top of the water. Looking up, it’s the lovely sun smiling on the blue sky; looking down, it’s the joyful fish swimming in a transparent sea. During the night, you can even share your balcony with the soldier crab which secretly climbs up under the soft moonlight.
The water in Maldives demonstrates in different colours. It’s deep blue around the deep ocean area while it change into tiffany blue before it finally becomes a light blue when near the shore. Look into the water, you can clearly see various species of fishes (including baby sharks) happily swimming, as well as corals in different shapes and colours. And thus Maldives is a great place for snorkelling.
Sea Plane Transfer
One thing that differentiates Maldives from many other islands is that tourists may need to take sea plane to the resort. Regardless of the price, the seaplane transfer itself is really a good experience to have a unique view of Maldives. Looking down from hundreds of meters high, you will be astonished by the vastness, pureness and transparent blue.
Fishing in the Sea
You may have gone fishing in the river, in the lake and by the sea, but have you ever imagine fishing in the centre of the deep blue ocean? Besides, with the abundance of species and amazing scenery, the sea fishing experience will be the ever best one.
In Maldives, there is only one hotel/resort on each island. To plan a trip in Maldives is actually to choose a particular hotel. The per night booking fee averages around 600 USD. There are many luxury hotels characterised by different strengths in terms of scenery, service, facilities, diving and so on. Depending on your budget and preferences, below are factors you should consider when choosing a hotel:
- The class of the hotel. (e.g. 4* or 5*)
- Whether there are water villas.
- Is a seaplane transfer required.
- The interior design and ambience of the hotel.
- Quality of diving.
- Quality of spa.
- Half board (breakfast & lunch), Full board(breakfast & lunch & dinner) or All inclusive (breakfast & lunch & dinner & beverages)
You can refer to the previous post on hotel recommendation list in different categories.
Book Land Transfer
Some islands are quite near to the capital Male, thus speedboat may be sufficient to transfer from the airport to hotel. For islands located farther away, seaplane transfer is required. The seaplane ticket ranges from 350 USD to 450 USD for a return trip per person compared to the speedboat which only costs from 5o USD to 200 USD for a return trip per person. Do contact the hotel in advance and discuss about the timing and pricing.
For us, as we are on a tight budget, we decided to take the speedboat. This is also one of the reasons why we choose to stay in Meeru Island.
Book Air Ticket
There is direct flight from Singapore to Maldives which will take almost 4 hours.
The airfare can changes a lot with time. So, do stay tuned on the regular promotion of various airlines. Unfortunately, we missed the airfare promotion from Singapore Airlines so we had to buy a transiting flight – Air Asia to Maldives via Kuala Lumpur.