1) Always book a hotel/resort with airport transfer. Taxis are few and far in between, more so after dark. So better get your transport pre-arranged.
2) If your flight arrives at night, spend the night in the city and go the resort the next morning. Why? Because you can save a lot of money by avoiding an additional night stay at the resort. Just so you know, the price per night at a resort is easily 3 times higher than a hotel in city.
3) To get from the airport to any island resort, you need to ride a boat or a seaplane. Islands closer to Airport Island are reachable by boat and the fare is reasonable (about RM 300 return per person). Islands further away require a seaplane and the fare is super expensive (about RM 1,000 return per person). So even though you get a cheap resort, consider the kind of transport you require to reach there. You might end up paying more for the transport than the room itself.
4) Most resorts offer two popular types of accommodation - water bungalow and beach bungalow.
- Water bungalow: Very beautiful yet very expensive too. You’ll go to bed hearing ocean waves from underneath. Some people love it. Some people have trouble sleeping.
- Beach bungalow: Relatively cheaper. Nice for those who enjoy the sand. Still can hear the waves when you sleep, but not as loud.
5) Snorkeling is a must. Maldives has one of the world’s most wonderful underwater sights. Beautiful corals, colorful fishes, simply breathtaking. Don’t know how to swim? Don’t worry, you can wear a live jacket. But if you can swim, it’s a lot better.
6) Seafood lovers, rejoice! In Maldives, any meal made with seafood is usually cheaper than chicken or beef. Why? Because all kinds of meat in the country are imported as they do not have enough land for agriculture. Thus, no locally bred cows and chickens.
7) Avoid buying souvenirs in Malé City. The price is really expensive. Go to islands where locals live (i.e. Himmafushi Island), either by joining an island hopping excursion or renting a small boat. A fridge magnet that costs USD 8 in the city is only USD 1 at the island.
8) Maldives is not a shopping destination. Goods are mostly imported from India and China. Not much else to see other than superb waters. Those who love the sea will find it heavenly. Those who don’t will find it boring. Four to five days stay should be enough to experience everything.
A postcard to myself...
...with a pic of where I stayed :-)