The Undholi is a traditional swing in Maldives. It is usually a large wooden bench (picture 1) or even netting. It’s a great way to beat the heat and just stare at the natural beauty right in front of you. It’s romantic as there is always room for 2 on an Undholi. They also make a static version of this called a ‘Joli’.
If you are ever in the fortunate position to be invited to a private home in the Maldives – lose the shoes! Yep, you must remove your shoes outside to show respect to your host(s) and their home.
The Maldives is an Islamic country and they do fast during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. It is the 9th month of a lunar calendar, which means it changes every year. If your tour organised has not let you know, please check the link below. Staff will fast during the day, so please be considerate. If you don’t have to; do not drink or eat in front of the nice folks who work in your resort. At the very least is shows respect.
When is the best time to come here? Well, it all depends. If you want it to be hot – it’s hot. Every day of the year. In fact the Maldives sits on the equator. Then you have seasons. The dry season is always fully booked and expensive. The wet season is cheaper and you can get some ‘bargains’. The dry season is between December and April with February and March the driest months of the year. Not to hard to guess that this the ‘High’ tourist season. The wet season runs between April and October and also gets high winds. The best months for diving are in November and April.
Having said that – this is the tropics. You could get drenched in the middle of the dry season and have sunny weeks during the wet. Expect perfection and you just wasted an expensive journey here. I always recommend going in the first or last month of the wet season. Its cheaper and you still get loads of good days.
For the record I went the first week of June and had one washed out day.
The Maldives were originally settled by Buddhists from Ceylon (Sri Lanka) around the year 400 AD. Later they began to trade with Arab traders who left a lasting influence. The last Buddhist king of the Maldives converted to Islam in the year 1153. Portuguese Capt. Lourenço de Almeida arrived in 1507 and began the Portuguese colonisation of the islands. From 1645 – 1796 it became a Dutch protectorate. From 1796 – 1965 it then became a British protectorate. On 26 Jul 1965 it finally gained Independence, but as a Sultanate. In March 1968 a national referendum was held and the Sultanate was abolished and the Maldives became a republic.
In my travels across the world I have found that the ‘Thumbs Up’ sign is the only universally optimistic and non-insulting hand gesture there is. Unfortunately in diving – it means GOING UP! And some divers may think you want them to surface. Start practicing the ‘OK’ hand symbol. Except in Brazil. They will hurt you if you do that.
One of the excursion during stay in Maldives is a visit to the local village. The local villages are islands where only local people live and usually there's no resorts on them.
It is a nice visit, as you can see how they live and you may meet also their children that are so cute! Also you can shop for souvenirs in their local stores where souvenirs cost a lot less then on your resort!
During our stay in Vilu Reef resort we have gone for a visit of a village on the island called Meedoo.
The Geckos are small reptiles, who are everywhere on the island.
They are named Hoanu, in the local speech.
If you have not a room with climate installation, you can see on the ceiling and on the walls, many Geckos that try to find insects.
The more Geckos are in rooms, the fewer insects there are.
Every day about 10 pm, the sharks are fed.
The young sharks get their lining from the keepers and from the tourists.
It is like a small spectacle for the curious gazes.
The tourists have the possibility to support this activity, in which they help the keepers.
This happens every evening, by the terrace of Thai restaurant Sun Star.
There are two types of jolis - those sitting on the ground (like the one the boy is sitting in) and those hanging from trees. Very comfortable indeed - my favorite thing to do when it comes to jolis is to sit on one sheltered by a palm tree during noon prayers. Island life is relaxing!
We did not actually had to take shoes with us in these holidays (except for the travel there itself).
On Helengeli it is possible to stay the whole 2 weeks -and longer without any shoes. The island is covered in sand. The floor of the restaurant is sanded as well and you are not required to put on shoes when eating, either.
It is however a good idea to take some water shoes with you, because when you go into the water, there are corals that can hardly be avoided, even if you take the marked paths in.
It is a very funny feeling, after two weeks going barefeet, to have to wear shoes again. That is when you know, that your holidays are over :-(
on the maldives they use these 3 pointsockets and plugs (as in the picture).
Electricity is 220-40V, 50 Hz
Our room already had an adapter on the socket, so we could use our equipment without problems. If that is not the case, I am pretty sure you can ask at the reception for an adaptor.
As I already mentioned, the Maldives are a muslimic country and as such, alcohol is forbidden.
You can not import it or bring it with you through the customs. Try it and it is not only taken away, you will also get fined.
On the touristic islands you will not have to stay abstinent, though. You can get any kind of alcohol you want on the bar, the restaurant or your bungalow fridge. Just that it has its price, of course.
Of course you can have almost everything to drink that you want. I was not surprised because of the prices, because they have to import a lot of their products of course. Water and coke are produced on the Maldives itself, though. Have a look at the expiry date - I was astonished to see that my coke has been produced only two weeks before. Fresh, huh?
It is very hot on the Maldives so you have to drink a lot. If you are not in a resort that has "all inclusive" that also includes the drinks, you will have to pay for them - or rather: they go on your bill that you have to pay at checkout. That can be quite a surprise. Just look at one day what you drink.
Water (in bottles) is the cheapest, but still costs about 2.50$ for a liter. You should drink at least 2 litres a day per person, so that is 5$ per day if you stick with the water. If you go for a week, that is a minimum of 35$, most probably more.
I knew this and since I had not yet reached the maximum weight of the luggage, I brought water with me (then it was still allowed, now you better check, whether you can take that much liquid with you, the airlines got quite paranoid).
You are going on holidays and can't think about being on an island for a week or two, without connection to the "outer world"?
Well, on the maldives you don't have to.
Take your Natel or Handy with you, it seems most islands are connected.
On Helengeli we had the possibility to use their internet cafe (well, one computer), supposedly WLAN, but still pretty slow. And very pricey. 5 US$ for 15 minutes, 10 for 30.
You could take your laptop I heard and ask at the reception for the connection.
I am just not sure how much one does see in the bright sun on the beach on your desktop.
This is what I found on the net:
Up to date technology and international satellite links allow Maldives to have a sophisticated communications system. IDD facilities are available on all resorts, and card phone facilities are available on all islands. Dhiraagu, the Maldives telecommunications company, an affiliate of the British Cable and Wireless Company, provides mobile telephones for rental on a daily basis. Dhiraagu is also the Internet service provider.
The question "what will the weather be" is often asked also for the Maldives.
Truth is, you can have rain in the dry time and sunny days without end in the wet season.
If you are looking for a few extra hours of sunshine, then you should visit the Maldives between December and April, which is the dry season. This is also the high season and resorts can be fully booked and prices are higher than the rest of the year. The Christmas-New Year period is the busiest and most expensive part of the high season. Between May and November it's still warm, but the skies can be cloudy, humidity is higher and rain is more likely. This is the low season, and there are fewer tourists and prices are lower. The months between November and April are said to have increased water clarity and better visibility for divers.
When we were there, we got a good deal because it was the wet time. (In October)
I had a look at the weather report for the area (see link) in the week before and was a little taken aback, because it showed "100% chance of precipitation" and "thunderstorms" during the whole week.
When we arrived we had quite some rain on the first day ... and then two weeks of blue sky and sun with only occassionally clouds and rain on the horizon.
So you can be lucky ... or not. No need to worry about.
For those who can't do without an outlook, have a look at the website below.
More Regions in Maldives