The True Blue Male and The Appreciation3:18 PM
The True Blue Maldives and The Appreciation
Thanks for the overwhelming response on Maldives.After reading my posts and going through the true blue pictures of Maldives,many of my friends have planned Maldives as their honeymoon destination.Many of my friends who are privileged to be single are considering Maldives as their next excursion.It feels so good to know,that I am helpful in some way or the other.
For all previous posts on Maldives : All About Maldives
A Little About Male,Maldives
Male was never in our to do list but it was as if we were destined to be in Male.And you ask me why?The reason was simple.Ferries do not ply to Maafushi on Fridays.Friday is the prayer day in Male,and everything opens after the prayers are over,that is after the lunch hours or 2 pm.Until then the roads bear a near about deserted look.Initially reading the reviews online,we thought it would be a waste,as on Internet its been told that Male in Maldives is just good enough for a half a day stopover.Not true.Male is a beautiful walk able town,and if you know where to go and what to see,you will love Male for its originality and of course food.Male also has several islands around which can be reached in 15 Rufiyaa by local ferries,perfect to escape the hustle and bustle of the main Male town.
Here are few facts you should know about Male,Maldives:
1)Male,Maldives is a conservative city.
Definitely not the bikini wearing destination.In fact the whole city has kept their tradition and religion alive in modest dressing sense.
As a traveler in Male : It's best to avoid revealing clothes when in the main town.Though it wouldn't grab eyeballs,it would certainly make you feel out of place or slightly uncomfortable.Shorts,short skirts,and everything else is acceptable yet very few people wear them in Male main town.Bikinis are prohibited and sheer transparent clothes should be avoided.However that shouldn't stop you from basking in the sun.Most of the resorts have private beach islands as an excursion where bikinis are normal.In Maafushi,you can wear shorts and your frilly vacation dresses.
2)Ferries do not ply on most sectors on Friday in Maldives
As a traveler in Male : Please keep in mind that the airport ferry would be available all time all days.However the ferries that connect islands do not run on Fridays.So no Male-Maafushi(3pm) island transfer on Fridays.The ferries for islands are available from Villingly Ferry Terminal which is at the opposite end from the airport ferry terminal.
3)People are friendly but be aware of over friendliness at main commercial street near the fish market in Male,Maldives
As a traveler in Male : Maldives survives on tourism and the locals are very well aware of the fact.The people of Maldives are very simple,helpful and sweet.You can ask for help,and you wouldn't be cheated.But keep in mind at the stretch of fish market or the commercial hub there would be folks who would genuinely show fake interests in your country and you and would direct you to their choice of shops or restaurants and will get commission in exchange.So yes,if you can make out the difference between over friendliness and friendliness you will be game.It's not that difficult to identify the friendships for gain.
4)Everything in Maldives would have an extra 10% service charge,6% GST and $ 8 per person per night as Bed Tax.
As a traveler in Male : For the first timer,its very important to note that your stay will have an extra 10% + 6% + $8 ppn over the base rate.Any food and activity will also have an extra of 10% + 6% over the base rate.
5)Every place in Male,Maldives is walk-able
As a traveler in Male : Taxis are easily available and you will be charged Rufiyaa 20 for each trip, no matter where you go in Male’. You could always take the easier option and walk: anywhere in Male’ is reachable in 10 minutes.Male’ is most famous for its scooties and mopeds, the fastest way to get around for locals.Right at the tourist jetty is the Male map,you can easily identify the places and start walking.
6)Maldives for tan
As a traveler in Male : It's best to apply and reapply your sunscreen as many times as possible in Maldives.The sun is sharp,and makes you tan considerably even if you are out for just 10-15 minutes in the sun.
Here are a few cut down cost tips you should follow before planning a trip to Maldives
1)Accumulate loyalty points/Fly by cheapest Air : Look out for deals and more flight deals.The newly launched Spicejet is going to start from Nov 29 to Male with the starting fare of 5k. This could be your cheapest bet.Another could be,if you have had availed Srilankan airlines for your decent priced trip to
Colombo,you can redeem your miles..You can also look for Srilankan Airlines offers for your trip to Maldives.For us it costed us 16k per person return.Sadly there were no offers on our dates.But as I said,Maldives is going to be the hottest destination in next 1 year with raining cheapest fares on all airlines.So watch out for best deals.
2)Identify a resort or an agent : A resort price might look cheap and tempting at first glance,but its best to know the total fare(including base fares + taxes) before you book the accommodation. Do not be overwhelmed with the base fare price.Remember you might have an extra $8ppn + 10% + 6% to add on.Sometimes,the packages online are cheaper,look for makemytrip.com or expedia.com or yatra.com or air asia packages for special offers and deals.
3)Transfer cost from Airport to Resort : Suppose you booked the resort,but it charges you for airport transfers,you would soon find out that the charges are generally expensive(150$ or 50$ pp for a speedboat transfer).In that case it is best to book your resort in the island which has local ferry service and would cost as little as $1-$2 pp.
4)Volunteer In Maldives:Another great way to experience the 'Real' Maldives is to participate in a volunteer program. Volunteer Maldives is a well established pay to volunteer company registered in the Maldives and organises volunteer placements around the country, which are on the local Maldivian islands. The company is very well connected, and often can arrange visits to tourist islands for their volunteers at just a fraction of the price normally paid!Watch Neha Dixit From NDTV as she volunteers in Maldives for her stay Neha Dixit Resort Hopping in Maldives
5)Be in Male for at least 2 days : Most of the packages have a direct transfer from airport to the resort island.However,it is best to spend at least 2 days in the capital city Male which is well worth a place for different cuisines.It is also one of the best places to walk around.
6)If possible,bring your own snorkel gear/dive gear : If you have it,get it to avoid unnecessary expenditure.
7)Plan in low season : July - Nov is considered low season,its best to plan your trip during that time.The rates would be less,and you would be able to see more.
Language And Religion in Maldives
Dhivehi is the official language of the country (it has its own script) and Islam is the official religion. The Maldives restrict religious freedom: open practice of any other religion than Islam is forbidden and liable to prosecution (although if you’re going to spend time on a resort island, that shouldn’t be a concern). English is widely spoken.Hindi is well understood.In Dhivehi,
Magu = Market
Gaoli = Gali or a Narrow Street
Here's how to learn Dhivehi : Learn Dhivehi
Kaani Lodge Male Maldives : Our Stay
When we reached the other side of the Male tourist Jetty,we were unsure where to go next to reach Kaani Lodge.So we inquired the guard at the sea house cafe and he very sweetly said to us "let me take you there".That's the best part about being in Maldives,people are friendly,helpful and honest. Kaani lodge is
a walk to the Kaani Gaoli,just 5-10 minutes walk from the main Jetty.The lodge is very basic,we were a little unfortunate to have our rooms at the 4th floor.With no lift in the building it was an exercise of 2 days.The breakfast is served at the top floor.It's best to book your rooms in the first floor,but then you would have to climb 4 floors for the breakfast.There were many foreigners in Kaani Lodge,the receptionist was from Bangladesh and a very humble person to talk to.Really not recommended in case luxury is in your mind.We did a short survey around Male and every other place was costlier than Kaani lodge.Do let us know in case you find anything more cheaper.
It costed us $78 all inclusive for 2 days 1 night double bedroom,including taxes & breakfast in total for 2 people.So per person cost $78/2 = $39
We did an early check out the next day but we kept the luggage with the gentlemen at Kaani Lodge,as our ferry timing was 3 pm.
Where To Eat In Male
Traditional meal in the Maldives consists of rice and garudhiya (fish soup), with fish, chilli, lemon and onion. Curries are also used instead of garudhiya.Fish paste known as rihaakuru is also a fine side dish. Alternately, roshi (chapati) and mas huni (made of grated coconut, fish, lemon and onions) are a popular dish. Fried yams are also widely eaten. Sweet dishes include custard,bodibaiy (rice mixed with sugar) and fruits such as bananas, mangoes and papayas.
Alcoholic beverages and pork are prohibited by Law and only found in tourist resorts and liveaboards for tourist consumption.
Sea House Cafe , Male - Maldives : One of the best restaurants in town,very affordable and beautifully set.The menus contains pizza to sandwiches to full meals. Very popular and a great place to meet friends.Our best pick in Male.We simply loved the young feel and the food.
Seagull Café , Male - Maldives :One of the most pleasant and popular places, the Seagull boasts a delightfully shaded outdoor eating area and a delicious American-style menu with a kicking club sandwich. There’s also a rightly popular gelataria attached,serving up the city’s best ice cream.
Lemon Grass Cafe, Male - Maldives :The best and affordable chicken salad and biryanis.
Illy , Male - Maldives: The best Maldivian breakfast.I loved the specially made chilly pickle ans the chatni to go with the breakfast.The noodles were also great to have.
Symphony , Male - Maldives : The menu is comprehensive and the Indian cuisine is especially good. This has one of the best vegetarian selections in town.
Shell Beans, Male - Maldives: Expensive Italian coffee house serving wide variety of coffee and desserts.One cup of Cappuccino costs US $1.5 (18 Maldivian Ruffiya).
Movenpick , Male - Maldives : Movenpick in Maale offers swiss premium ice creams, specialty coffee and desserts. Ice cream is a bit expensive costing around 25 Ruffiya ( $2 appox) per scoop.
Down Town Cafe, Male - Maldives: Down Town Cafe is located in a narrow street inside commercial area. Their menu is huge. Local, Thai, Chinese, Indian, Continental, Italian, Mexican and other international cusine is available. You may come here for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, desserts or short eats. Many young people and business men come to Down Town cafe to enjoy their delicious food. Banana shake- 15 Ruffiya (Appox $1) , fresh pineapple -12 Ruffiya ( $ 1). Nasi Gorang (traditional Indonesian / Malaysian dish) - 30 Ruffiya ( $ 2.5) Chinese fried chicken noodles - 20 Ruffiya ( $ 1.5 appox)
Marriyad Restaurant, Male - Maldives :This is the only restaurant at the airport. expect to pay from $7 upwards. We had fried rice here $7 and fried noodles at $9.. taste wise, quite good. Most of the people waiting for their flight will be sitting here to watch the tv. You can just sit and watch tv without buying anything.
Aqua , Male - Maldives: In case the Marriyad Restaurant is closed at the Airport,you can try Maldivian breakfast at Aqua which is right outside the Airport.The food is a little expensive as per Maldivian food cost $11 for breakfast.
Dawn Cafe , Male - Maldives:This is one of the bigger teashops in the area, and it’s near the fish market. You can get a brilliant meal here. Try it on Friday afternoon when people come in after going to the mosque.
South Beach , Male - Maldives :Another popular place convenient for the airport ferry, this friendly hangout serves up delicious ‘short eats’ from dawn until well into the night.
Raanbaa , Male - Maldives:The huge menus encompass everything from tasty red cuttlefish curry to chicken chimichangas and it certainly is one of the biggest restaurents in Male with a tree house like structure.However,I found the food to be little oily than the regular hotel food.Saffron Café & Kitchen:Best for international food such as beef fajitas, nasi goreng and fish curry and for a quick lunch, and the set breakfast (Rf30-40).
Irudhashu Hotaa , Male - Maldives Short eat place nearby Henveiru football field. The spicy fish curries and selection of hedhikaa are delicious.
Royal garden café, Male - Maldives: The menu is a combination of Italian, Indonesian, American and Indian cuisines.
Sala Thai,, Male - Maldives : The menu is equally enticing, with a huge choice of soups, noodles and curries
Thai Wok, Male - Maldives:The Thai food is excellent and authentic