Thursday, December 10, 2009

The heavenly Maldives

I know I mostly talk about Japan and it makes sense that I do just that since Japan is where I live and spend most of my time. After all, even after the two years I spent here I still see so many things that catch me off guard. However, today I will talk about a place that could not be any more different than Japan – a place where everyone is laid back and you are surrounded by an amazing tint of blue and green… Maldives

 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         OK, let’s start with getting there. Maldives consists of many, many little islands as well as Malé, the main island. Most, if not all, of the touristic resorts are on those little islands but the airport is on Malé. Finding a flight to there is not a big problem but expect layovers unless you are flying in from certain parts of Asia. I know for a fact that Dubai and Kuala Lumpur have direct flights (through Emirates and Air Malaysia respectively) since I took those routes on my way there and back. Oh, one thing to keep in mind – Maldives is a Muslim country and they are pretty strict about it. What this means is that you are not allowed to bring in pork products or alcohol. The resorts carry both, mind you, it’s just you are not allowed to bring these into the country yourself. If you do, I am told, they just confiscate them, give you a tag, and when you are leaving the country they return them to you.


The real “challenge” is getting from the main island to the island where your resort is. Depending on how far away, this would be by boat or seaplane. If you are like me though, ahem, a little sensitive to motion, the boat ride maybe slightly problematic. My hotel was on an island about 30 minutes by boat and let me tell you, the small speed boat jumping over the waves is not an experience I want to remember. This is what the boat looks like. Notice the big white cylindrical thing in the front? That’s basically there just because it is heavy. Your luggage gets loaded safely under the cabin and you get to sit in the back, about 20 or so people per boat. I am told if you pick the season when it is “officially summer” (the islands are pretty hot, or hot enough to swim, pretty much throughout the year though you might want to check online for the temperature ranges in each month) the boat ride is more pleasant. If you are really unlucky though it will be raining and crazy windy, making up for one bumpy ride.

OK, on Saturday I will continue and this time it will be about the resort, the beautiful Ananthara Dhigu.

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