I stayed on Kuramathi Island and experienced no problems with insects or mosquitoes during my stay. If you are only staying on a resort island, you will find that mosquitoes and bugs are not a problem as the resort islands tend to be sprayed during the night.
Fondest memory: However, if you are undertaking an island hopping tour or visiting a local island during your stay, you might just want to be sure to make use of a bug spray like Jungle Fever. During an island hopping tour (where you visit a local inhabited island, another resort island and an uninhabited island) I was bitten within moments of getting off the boat at the first (inhabited) island and again at the uninhabited island. If you're a tasty morsel for biting insects, spray up before you leave and again after each swim/snorkel.
You are also going to get some dead coral pieces on the sea bed.
At Taj Exotica there was hardly any, as it's the only clear sand lagoon in the Maldives, however, we still wore aqua/water shoes to be on the safe side - of sharp objects and anything that might be lurking under the surface and could sting. (Which it didn't by the way, but better safe than sorry).
Here is my husband modelling a snazzy fashionable pair of bright blue aqua shoes lol! I had a matching pair so we really were the envy of all the other guests.
Jokes aside, they cost about £6 a pair from ebay or any good watersports retailer.
The pool here is great, it's infinity style, surrounded by wooden decking one side, and overlooking the sand/sea the other side. There are several sunbeds available. There is also a ledge around the edge of the pool in the deeper section, which is great for sitting on while reading a book .
Once you get to the pool, within seconds one of the poolside attendants, (in our case it was nearly always a lovely man called Shamil) would be on hand to help you lay your towel out (!) and place 2 bottles of cold water on your table. Before you even finish the last drop, he was back with fresh bottles.
The pool was never too crowded, although on one or two days we got there a bit later and so had to settle for a sunbed in the shade, and when one became available in the sun we moved to that.
So, if you are a sun bunny, get to the pool a little earlier - but naturally in a resort such as this you'll look a very sad person sunbed reserving one person did !!?? (as you would in any hotel)
Once you lie by the pool, within a short time you are presented with a complimentary platter of delicious exotic fruit.
The first day we arrived and received this, it was such a lovely surprise, and refreshing snack throughuot the day.
A short while later, they came round with dishes of home made sorbets, green apple flavour, raspberry and sesame, orange flavour, again all complimentary.
Here is a picture of the fruit platter.
The name Malé (pronounced: "Maa-lay") is derived from Sanskrit and means ‘big house’ usually indicating the palace of a king. It is one of the largest island in the Maldives, but is only 0.68 sq mi / 1.77 sq km in size! And to make it worse, there are at least 82,000 people living there (just look at my aerial pictures). If you add in 20,000 -30,000 tourists on the island at any one time the densities are around 130-160,000 per square mile (50-55,000 per sq km)! Incredible. The length of the island is 1.05 miles (1.7km) and width of .62 miles (1km). The city taking up virtually the entire landmass and is the world's most densely populated city. Fully 1/3 of the population of the country lives here. It is also the most densely un-bridged island in the world.
Malé is also the political and economic capital of the country. It was originally founded by Portuguese traders in the 1500’s. In order to increase its size, several land reclamation projects have been undertaken to expand the harbour. The airport was re-sited years ago to the adjacent Hulhule Island. Both international flights and seaplane operations for domestic transport now operate here. Just to make matters worse, it is the only official entry point to the whole country, so many foreign and domestic worlers find themselves here on at least a temporary basis. Once you see other islands by air, you fully understand the importance of Malé.
Malé International Airport is on adjacent Hulhule Island which includes a seaplane base for internal transportation. Several have expanded the harbour.
You can find more information here:
Our tour rep suggested $10 a week per person as a tip for our waiter and the guy who looked after our room. Double it, no treble it.
If you can afford $10 for a cocktail at the resort, you can afford to give these good folk $30 for looking after you for a week. The staff we met spent months away from their families. No doubt they get a good wage by Maldivian standards, but it is a pittance compared to what you earn.
Give your favourite barman a few dollars and the smiley grounds man - be generous!
This is called wealth re-distribution and if we all did more of it the world would be a better (and safer) place.
I almost did not book the Seaplane Transfer to my resort because I wanted to save some money. Glad the travel agent talked me into it. The beauty of the Maldives can only fully be seen by air. The highest point is about 15 feet high, so the many islands, coral reefs and just plain rocks are surrounded by the most incredible range of blue water in the world. You get some idea from your beach and the bar in your resort, but only from up high can you see the vast waterscape that is the Maldives.
It is a shame that ‘your favourite thing’ of any page is called a ‘General Tip’. Hope you enjoy the pictures.
Would you like some information on Seaplane Transfers?
Please look here:
DAO’s Seaplane Tip
This is a "still" picture from our camcorder footage, hence the quality not being as good.
Being able to record our snorkelling experience on film with a big plus, so waterpacks are recommended.
Also, my fins were grey, and my husbands were blue.
We guessed they were fascinated by the blue as he had several fish swarming around him, whereas I had very few....... or maybe they just didn't like me. Hmmm
With most water around your resort being very shallow and relatively calm, you can observe a lot of sea life you have never seen in your adventures in other places in the world. Both fish and plants can be seen close up. Take a look at my pictures. It is sometimes hard to believe that they really are underneath the water. Watch your step!
Favorite thing: You can easily use US Dollars everywhere but if you decide to change some Rufiyaas then make sure you keep the receipt. The bank at Male' Airport wants to see it when you change Rufiyaa back to US dollars. This is what the receptionist at the hotel told me but when I got to the airport, this bank already closed and I had to change the money at a shop instead which was easy as well.
Favorite thing: Mobile phones work brilliantly at the resort and at 1 pound 69p a minute ($3) from UK Vodafone this was considerably cheaper than the $7 the resort charges for IDD. (TOP TIP - make sure your phone is unbarred for roaming AND that you have a nice big credit limit)
Probably like just about everyone in the world – I hate waiting for transport. Bus shelters on a rainy day, delayed trains in winter, someone picking me up in a car that has gotten lost. Not fun. Waiting for my Seaplane Taxi – now that was a unique experience! The seaplanes operate on the other side of the island from the main runway at Male Airport. I watched these graceful planes landing, taking off and moving around in the water. A great experience in waiting.
(Please see my transportation tips for more information on the Seaplane Taxi Service).
Favorite thing: Most resort islands are dominated by a certaian nationality. In Fun Island's case this was German, followed by British, then Italians, then a few French. Socalising wise each nationality tends to stick to itself, so it's nice to have guests from lots of different countries on the island, so there is no predominant group!
When I was flying over the Maldives, I kept noticing huge sand bars, right in the middle of the Indian Ocean. If you could just get a flat boat to one of these places, you would have an absolutely perfect beach. Sun, scenery, nature and tranquillity. Miles and miles from an inhabited island. Take a look at each picture on this tip and relax.
If you are at work, please come back to this tip as many times as you need.
The Maldives are a singular country... it's all made of islands, tiny islands that can accommodate very few people. In the Maldives there are 26 major atolls which comprehend 1190 coral islands - they are all to be found in an area 820 by 120 kilometres.
Of these islands, 202 are inhabited, 87 turned into holiday resorts and the others... well, they are just empty. You can only visit Male, the capital, independently... for all the others you either need to be part of a day trip or else you need to ask for permission beforehand.
Fondest memory: I like the remotedness of the islands - and the fact that the governent is trying to protect the Maldivian "traditional " way of life from the impact of tourism. SOmehow I wish it did more: friends returning from a trip to a fishermen's islands tell horror tales of fisherman fighting over the handful of tourists to sell them something.
More Regions in Maldives