By Samantha Quee
The Maldives have always been at the top of my bucket list for travelling, so when my husband (then my fiancé) asked me where my ideal honeymoon destination was, I answered “Maldives!” without much hesitation at all. Southwest of Sri Lanka in the Indian Ocean, the tropical nation of Maldives is made up of 26 ring-shaped atolls, themselves composed of more than 1,000 coral islands.
We embarked on our honeymoon trip last November right after our wedding banquet, which was the perfect timing to visit the beautiful country. The dry season for Maldives lasts from November to April. The days are warm and sunny and average from 77-84 degrees Fahrenheit.
Since we had our wedding in Singapore, it was just a mere 4 hours flight time to reaching Maldives’s one and only international airport – Ibrahim Nasir International Airport. After we cleared customs, we hopped onto our hotel’s speedboat. The short 10-minute ride to our hotel was mostly a breeze. The sea was a little choppy that day, which made me nauseous. For people who tend to get seasick like me, it is always better to prepare ahead of time and bring the right candy or medicine along for the ride. Some resorts offer a seaplane ride instead of a speedboat ride, as some resorts can be more than one hour away by boat. The seaplane rides can be more expensive, with prices starting at $150 USD each way.
The view that greeted us upon arrival at our hotel was absolutely gorgeous. I immediately understood why Maldives is one of the most popular honeymoon destinations. Once I stepped onto the jetty of our hotel, the brilliant white sands, clear turquoise water, and vibrant coral reefs took my breath away. We could even see different fish and marine animals in the water.
Though I was eager to start the various water activities offered by our resort, I remembered that it was time for lunch. We opted for the all-inclusive package, which meant that our resort stay included access to buffet meals throughout the day. We also enjoyed cocktails and various beverages at the bars located throughout the island during non-meal times. There were different themes to the cuisines each day, which meant that we experienced a myriad of flavors during our stay.
We opted for the beach villa accommodation, which meant that our room was located right on the water with access to our own private beach. Some people prefer to stay in the water villas, situated on stilts over the turquoise waters of the lagoon. These villas are connected by a wooden boardwalk to the main beach or sometimes require access by speedboat from the beach area.
We spent the next four days either at the beach, snorkeling, or feasting at the restaurants. Even though WIFI is readily available everywhere within the resort, we unplugged for this vacation. We also took part in other water activities such as night fishing, dolphin watching, and a delicious lunch on the sandbank.
After tourism, the fishing industry in the Maldives is the island’s next major industry. We had the chance to go island hopping and the fishermen we met were returning from a fishing trip. We saw the largest fresh tuna we had ever encountered!
We had a wonderful time in the Maldives, and even though the trip was pricey, I felt that the magnificent view of the sea, the soft sand beaches, and the marine life we saw more than made up for it. We cannot wait to be back in the Maldives again.
Where are the Maldives?
Maldives is officially known as the Republic of Maldives and is a South Asian island country, located in the Indian Ocean. It lies southwest of India and Sri Lanka.
The Maldives consists of 1,192 coral islands grouped in a double chain of 26 atolls, along the north-south direction, spread over roughly 90,000 km (35,000 square miles), making this one of the world’s most dispersed countries.
What currency do they use?
The local currency is Maldivian Rufiya (MRF), $1 USD = 15.4 MRF. In the resorts, US dollars are the most common currency and most used for tipping and paying the bill. Euros and Pounds are also widely accepted.
How long should a visit be?
A vacation of 5–7 days is perfect. There is only a single resort on every island and travelling to other islands is time-consuming and expensive.
What else is special about the Maldives?
Maldives is the lowest country in the world, with average elevation of only 5 ft. 5 in. above sea level.
The UN’s environmental panel has warned that, at current rates, sea level rise would be high enough to make the Maldives uninhabitable by 2100.