Everyones bags are checked at customs physically, if you are carrying any alcohol,pork, religious articles of other faiths, souveniurs of other faiths, many tourist from sri lanka had Budha souvenirs, all these would be taken from you at the airport, however you will be able to collect them on leaving the Maldives
The local agencies offered speedboat transfer to Club Med as much as 300 US dollars per person. They did not bother to answer if this is one way or return. Club Med charges about 50 Euro per person return.
I gave this as an example to what happens if you try to make a deal with local Maldive tour agents or resorts. This is not a place to try to organize a custom trip. From the airport resorts come and pick up their own guests. Very riski try to find your own way to go to an island.
I contacted with all Tourism Offices and Tourism Ministry in Maldives to get their recommendations. Made no difference. Make sure you have a good legal back up before you make any payment.
The Maldives is blessed with beautiful coral reefs. Unfortunately its beaches are plagued with broken bits of coral that you can step on. Watch you step and/or wear some footwear if you can. These nasty bits of nature can ruin your holiday with a gashed foot or cut toes. It’s a shame really. Just be careful and you should be fine.
NEVER GO BY "TROPICAL CRUISE".
I've just back from a Maldives surfary with the boat "TROPICAL CRUISE". Don't go TROPICAL CRUISE!!! The boat is a little old, slow and dirty trick. Our cabins were full of big black beatles. They were everywhere. Bathroom were little bad smelling, third-world style boxes. The boat was the last to leave in the morning and the first to go away from the spots. Everymorning the battery was out of charge and we could not move to go surf. We had to stop for 3 whole days in south Malè where flat, cause we had to waiting for the new captain, and while our friends on the other boats were surfing perfect waves in th north, we had to wait 3 days in a little port where maldivians used to burn trash all the day.
A lot of time lost because the vessel sail no more than 3 knots (not 9 knots as thei site says). The boat at 5:00 pm must stop in a port and this is not specified on contract or internet site: I was the first to leave the spots, while my friends were still surfing.
Interiors are falling down, beds are dirty flat prison styling put on some old and wet woods and we could not sleep anymore in cabins cause the big beatles in the beds; they were as big as a mobile telephone. Always raining in the cabins with the beds all wet and so our clothes. Fans do not work, lockers were broken.
generators are so noisy you get soon crazy. The internet site talks about silent generators, But I can simply say it is a true false thing. Imagine to have a crazy noise all the day. Around the upper generator, (an old motor from the 60's), all the gasoline tanks: just a little firing and the boat will be a bomb.
The owner of this tricky boat has many internet sites: ATTENTION! These site are just different copies of the same site and all them has the same owner, just to make runs this bad boat surfari on line. Examples:
NEVER GO TO MALDIVES BY "TROPICAL CRUISE"!!!!
I read about these bad tempered fish before I went to Kuredu, they can be particularly viscious during the nesting season. There are plenty of trigger fish around the Island, I swam into (without realising) a few nests near the jetty around the shipwreck, one gave chase but luckily I realised and swam away quickly!!!!!
No boozing is allowed in the capital Male, so don't even think about taking any booze in there. The penalties are severe. If you want have a drink the resorts are all yours, the regulations don't apply to the resorts.
Because the Maldives are an Islamic state, there are strong clothing conventions for the women.
The guest ladies have the obligation, to heed these regulate, and, to have a decent clothing.
The kerchief and the tall gown are the outfit only for the women on the island.
However, the guests must be careful to not carry to short skirts and sleeveless shirts on the street and in restaurant.
Numerous corals are on the sea ground.
Be careful, with the touch of the ocean earth!
If you are without shoes, the split ends of the corals can you wound, and with shoe, you can shatter them.
Avoid as much as possible the contact with the underwater ground!
The strict laws of Customs on the Maldives prohibit the importation of pornographic material (that does also mean nude or semi nude pictures on magazines such as cosmopolitan), firearms, alcohol and illegal drugs (also marijuana) into the country.
Exports of coral, shells and other object removed from the marine environment is also prohibited. (see my tip on tourist traps)
The Maldives are a muslimic country and as such they do not drink alcohol - nor are you allowed to bring alcohol with you, when you enter.
If you do and they catch you, they will at least take it away from you (I saw that happen). They can also send you to jail for this, so don't try it. You will find enough alcohol in the touristic resorts - although for a high price.
Helengeli is located at the outer reef, which is one of the reasons it is such a good place to snorkel and dive and see some of the big animals you can find iin the sea. It is a lso the reason why there is a current here that has to be considered when going into the water.
The current is not the same on all times of the day. It is a good thing never to go snorkeling alone and know from where to where the current goes. That is easily determined, you can feel it when you go into the water, often you can also see it on the surface. If unsure, ask the staff.
The picture was taken while we were out snorkeling. Looks like we were out very far, but the current was going towards the island in that case, so no problem.
There are lots of things in the sea that can be dangerous, but next to the obvious ones (shark, stingray, stone fish), here is one I did not know about befor coming to the Maldives: the Trigger Fish.
We were warned during our first meeting on the island about him. The giant trigger fish gets 30-40cm big, has a distinct coloration (see picture, it looks like it is wearing a mask) and is very aggressive, especially, if you come too close to its nest. It attacks without a warning first, and it attacks not only to shy you away, but to bite you! If you are unlucky you loose a bite of flesh (their teeth are made to bite corals, so very strong). If you are very unlucky you could have your achilles tendom separated.
So better keep your distance when you happen to see them.
An advice we followed of course. We often saw them, then making a detour around the place it swam. Never had a problem until one of our last days there.
We were snorkeling over not too deep water. Coming over a coral block, I suddenly discovered a trigger fish directly behind it. I just had time to shove my husband next to me as a warning and swim away as fast as I could. My hubby was not so fast, but managed to get his finns between him and the fish ... that promptly attacked and bit inot them - several times, until he managed to get far enough away.
Gladly he was not bitten himself, but we have the marks on the finns to prove how aggressive this fish can be.
First night waking up many times because of strange roar! I thouht that I sleep near airport. But it was a voice of coral reef waves which are not far from island. Just add the sound of coconuts falling on the roof - and next morning I woke up happy because I felt I'm in really exotic island)))) You can't hear the noice during the day, but be ready to the night "music".
In the Maldives while in the sea you have to be very careful they have invisiable fish that look like sand and if stood on can be very visous, the jelly fish are very strange looking fab too watch but not if you go too close!!!!
seen diffent types of sharks but are harmless so wouldnt worry too much.
the crabs are huge never seen crabs that size before easily chop your hand off but they only seem to come out at nite when the weather is cooler so if walking on the sand at nite just watch for these they are fast too!!!
The Maldives is right on the Equator so it has the strongest sun in the world. Unless you have naturally very dark skin, you need to cover up. Sun screens and blocks are not all. If you go snorkelling put a t-shirt on! I didn’t and I now have permanent skin damage on my back. I thought I would be protected by the water. I wasn’t. A good hat would also be useful. Keep it covered and enjoy the Maldives!
This is an rare accident and thankfully no one got killed BUT do not forget travel insurance. Many travellers forget about it but it can happen anywhere. Since there had been 2 previous similar incidents with Gulf Craft speedboats I would be rather scared of getting in one myself to be honest.
Speedboat exploded due to short circuit
21 October 2006
Sunset-12, the Gulf Craft launch that exploded into flames while on its way to Male International Airport from Olhuveli resort, caught fire and exploded due to an electrical short, the Maldives Police Service has said. A Police official said on Thursday that the investigation was still ongoing but that all evidence currently pointed to an electrical short as the reason for the speedboat's explosion.
We have determined that the explosion did not take place as a result of a fault within the speedboat's engine,â€? said the Police official. We are still investigating the cause of the explosion.
The official said that the 37-metre Gulf Craft Sunset -12? had caught fire after the explosion and that most of the speedboat, including the hull had been burned very badly. Olhuveli resort is operated by Sun Travels.
15 passengers were injured in the explosion and the resulting fire, and are currently being treated in ADK Hospital for injuries of various degrees.
The speedboat had exploded shortly after it had departed from Olhuveli and was in the vicinity of Fun Island Resort. The explosion threw all of the passengers into the sea, and a fire engulfed the speedboat immediately. The passengers were rescued by a seaplane.
Although there was no loss of life, three of the speedboat's passengers had to be treated for severe burns and other injuries in ADK Hospital.
The Gulf Craft speedboat is not even a year old and two similar accidents have occurred with Gulf Craft speedboats previously.
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