Maldives /ˈmɔːlˈdiːvz/ ; a paradise made of shades of blue.
I thought that it’s only fair to let the pictures do the talking for the spectacular Maldives.
Of the 1,190 islands, I only managed to set foot on 5 islands in my short 5 days 4 nights wanderlust. Maldives is, without an iota of doubt, a paradise on earth. A blessing from God to humankind. A paradise I know assuredly that I will be visiting again soon.
1st Island and the most I spent time at:
The floating dark blue square float is a spot where the Maldivian kids learn swimming at.
On our stroll back to our room, we were lucky to witness a Maldivian beach wedding. I thought that it had all the lovely elements any bride would cherish!
Many locals reside in Hulhumalé in flat blocks built by their government.
A stroll along the Hulhumalé beach will bring you to plenty of shops, restaurants and of course the killer beach view.
The 2nd Island that I went to:
It’s easy to get in and leave Malé, the capital of Maldives, as there are quite a number of ferry operators operating till late hours at night every day. Malé is overly populated and the stretch of buildings with more development for the future is pushing a growing number of locals to shift to other islands like Hulhumalé.
This is at the jetty where various ferry and speed boat operates to bring passengers to the different nearby islands . Here you can see bikers waiting patiently in line to get into the ferry leaving Malé.
Stretch of fruit stalls at a busy road nearby the Malé market. It takes great patience to drive in Malé. Roads are narrow and vehicles are in plenty.
Many locals and foreigners rest around the city park located at the center of the island enjoying the sea view. The park is surrounded by buildings around it such as this beautiful mosque.
Another such building is Male’s police station.
This is the artificial beach in Malé, yes you read it right, an artificial beach! I was actually left wondering why would Maldivians need an artificial beach when they are blessed with thousands all around them! A visit around Malé made me realize slowly that it does make sense! It actually gives the Maldivian city dwellers an option for a quick trip to the beach without having to travel to any other nearby island.
On our second day, we took an adventure tour to visit Himmafushi, an island with local residents. Snorkeling, sandbank visit and Dolphin watching was also in the package. The trip to Himmafushi was a good choice as it gives you a glimpse of the daily lives of the Maldivians. I enjoyed Dolphin cruising the most as we were fortunate to see lots of Dolphins.
Some breathtaking views along the way to Himmafushi:
Bright coloured houses around the island. Apparently the locals tend to spend on painting their houses every year before big festivals.
Beautiful shops with colorful drawings makes the island a wonderful sight. Maldivians are really creative.
This cool creation acts as many things. Place where you can sit and chill, a place to dry your clothes and even as a place to dry kitchen utensils and food items.
A Maldivian woman happily preparing food for the day. Notice how the ‘chair’ is now a swing?
A Maldivian dish made mainly from coconut. Looks spicy and yummy!
Our lunch for the day provided by the tour operator. Bit of a disappointment as it wasn’t really the local dish we were anticipating for. It was mostly bland but we ate without any complaint as we were grateful to be fed.
Abundance of coconut trees everywhere. Made our way to the beach finally!
Himmafushi’s own beach. No filter needed.
Islands in Maldives are not just paradise on earth but its also heaven for divers and snorkeling enthusiast.
The moment my heart skipped a bit. These two decided to swim by to say hello to us. Indeed a special moment. I’ve never seen as much of Dolphins at one place as I’ve seen here. New Zealand was the first I encountered Dolphin at its natural habitat but not as much as here. A whole school of Dolphins!
A disappointing moment… To go all the way to see a sandbank and this is all we got! Wasn’t lucky enough to experience the scintillating sandbank as the place was still covered under lots of water.
A selfie at least to remember the bluest water!
My next stop the next day was at Cinnamon Dhonveli Island. This was the island I enjoyed Maldives in its truest sense. Gorgeous beach against the splendid sea view surrounded by the amazing water villas. In short, a paradise. A paradise made of shades of blue.
Just look at the clear blue water…
The gorgeous water villas in Dhonvelli
Some delish food available at the buffet lunch provided by the resort
Final Island – Huraa
On the second last day, an exciting island exploring tour materialized. I was so glad to have contacted Secret Paradise Tour as they really made the day an interesting one. The tour guide for the day was Kokko and I couldn’t have asked for a better guide.
On arriving at Huraa…
Souvenir shops and many other shops can be found around the island. One such unique shop…
While walking around the island, you can pick these tiny fruits off the trees. They seem to be everywhere & tastes really sweet.
Our first major stop for the day was at the boatyard where we will be given the opportunity to see and learn how boats are made in Maldives. It was rather an eye opener for me as I learnt many things on boat making that I was completely unaware of previously.
A big boat on its way to be a magnificent voyager of the sea!
We then walked further in to be awed by the intriguing tuna-paste making process.
First, whatever remaining flesh left on the tuna fish is chopped and sliced off expertly.
Then the flesh are pounded…
After 7 days of boiling in extreme heat, the volume of the pounded tuna fish turns into a thick brownish paste. The paste is then bottled, ready to be sold. I was invited to try the paste and despite its’ pungent smell I thought it wasn’t insipid.
Having been completely astonished by the whole tuna-paste making process, we then took a stroll to get to the mangrove lake on the island. I was left speechless as I walked nearer to the lake.
An amazing sight as if a ‘red-carpet’ is laid out to always welcome each and everyone walking in to this gorgoues place.
As we walk to the bridge to cross over, this lil’fella came by and made me as excited as a little girl.
We then walked to the Bikini Beach where tourists and visitors are allowed to wear their bikinis. There are many tourists staying on this island as well as there are a few lodges open for tourists. So I saw quite a number of tourists enjoying their day by the beach here.
Of course there is also the public beach for the locals and wearing bikini is strictly prohibited here. I saw local ladies enjoying their swimming classes here and some learning diving as well. I was about to take some shots when Kokko advised me against it as apparently some local ladies might have reservations on being photographed.
I didn’t stop. I clicked more of this instead…
I then took a moment to soak all of the beauty that Mother Nature has blessed us with. I was wonderfully lost…
Then it was Hedhikaa time! Hedhikaa is basically traditional Maldivian snacks. Most roadside stalls only serve tea and assortments of Hedhikaa during tea time everywhere in Maldives. It is definitely a not to be missed experience while in Maldives.
Here is how its brought to the table. Choose away …
Spoilt for choices. We choose a few & it was ALL simply delicious. I think I would do Hedhikaa everyday if I’m in Maldives, it’s just too good with all the mixtures of spices and burst of flavors and it goes extremely well with a cup of hot tea. Blissful!
Malaysians and Singaporeans would have recognized curry-puff from the picture above but its known as Patties in Maldives.
After savoring Hedhikaa, we slowly made our way back to the jetty and we past by some wonderful views.
This is one of the oldest Banyan tree in Maldives. It’s interesting to learn how a new tree can grow from the aerial roots of another Banyan tree.
Just opposite Huraa is the Four Seasons resort located at an Island called Kuda Huraa which actually simply means ‘small’ Huraa. It’s great to learn how these resorts create work opportunities to the locals.
The close-by Kuda Huraa is seen here. An amazing sight. This was just before sunset.
By the time we reached the jetty and waited for our speed boat, it was sunset and I took a moment to sit and cherish the glorious mother nature.
Here are some food not to be missed in Maldives (also some that I tried while I was there even though it was not a local delicacy)…
I shall now leave you with this final picture; ariel view of Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Island.
Adieu for now Maldives. Your pull is too strong for anyone to stay away for long.
Keep wanderlustering & stay safe peeps.