Written by Wan Anis Ilyani bt Wan Mohammad Azhar
If you are the type of person who likes beaches, Maldives definitely will be the place.
Called it as a tropical paradise, the beauty of Maldives is none like other. There are more than 1,190 islands in Maldives, all of them are surrounded by white sandy beaches. Not only that all the islands are filled with more than five thousand coral reefs, corals, plenty of reef fishes and so many other marine lives.
With all these beauties, Maldives is truly a great place to go, which offer you wonderful experience to visit.
I had the chance to visit Maldives last few weeks for six days, and all I can say is the place is totally amazing! It such a place where all the dreams are made of; transparent blue lagoons, bright sun, white sand beaches and fresh air.
Well if you are considering to visit Maldives soon, and looking for general tips and advice, this is the place to start.
- 100% Islamic Country
Other than Saudi Arabia, Maldives was also known as Muslim country. Of course, you do not have to worry about the foods because there are all halal. Unlike Malaysia, many shops and services including on resort islands are closed during a certain time for prayers.
- Bikini Beach
As it is a Muslim country, they forbid alcohol and pork from entering the country or being consumed in local islands. Women must cover up their shoulders and legs, which means is no bikini-at-all. You are allowed to wear the bikini only at bikini beach (a place where the tourist are allowed to dress so, but it is forbidden for local people to go in). And you only can drink wine or eat non-halal foods at private resorts.
- Getting around for cheap
Without taking a ferry or additional domestic flight, you are not able to go anywhere. To take a ferry to and from Male, the station located at the right near the airport exit. The ferry to Male leaves every 15 minutes for 20-minutes ride and costs you about USD1.
Once you reach Male, you can tale taxi to the main ferry station to access other islands, and it will costs you around USD5.
While public ferry are accessible around the islands and the price range is from USD3 to USD20. But make sure to check the timetable as the ferry are not available at certain time and days.
- Artificial Island
Hulhumale, which the Velana Airport, or now known as Ibrahim Nasir International Airport located is a reclaimed or artificial island.
Hulhumale which was created in 2004 by dumping loads of sands and concrete, is now developing with many facilities, houses, and buildings.
Maldives consist of 1,200 coral islands that clustered into atolls and distributed around 90,000 kilometers. All the Maldivian atolls were formed by volcanoes in the Indian Ocean.
- USD and Ruffiya
For your information, Maldives’s currency can only be changed when you are in the country. USD is the main currency in Maldives and it is used in all transactions, unlike Ruffiya.
If you want to save more, you can choose Cafe instead of Restaurant. In Maldives, restaurant means an exclusive and luxury place. Avoid confusion by checking the signboard before entering cafe or restaurant.
You can plan and do many activities while you are in Maldives. You can do snorkeling where beaches are so beautiful and transparent when you can even see and play with the fishes and touch the corals. You also get the chance to see the turtle if you go snorkeling at Guraidhoo Island. You can play along with wild dolphins. You’ll enjoy night fishing and scuba diving in Maldives. There’s a lot of activities you can plan and do, but it depends on your budget.