Our much awaited trip to Maldives
the paradise on earth.
Maldives an exotic island nation in the Indian Ocean is renowned for its turquoise blue waters, soft sandy beaches and tropical weather. Ever since I watched the videos/pictures of over water bungalows in Maldives through forward emails and Youtube, I knew that’s where I wanted to go for my honeymoon (even before meeting Aj :P). Thankfully, he is a travel fanatic and had same idea of Maldives too! Yayy!
Though its in Asia, it is unlike any of the other destinations in cost. The amount we spent on a 5 day trip to Maldives could have easily taken us on a Europe tour.
Prior to the trip as any other traveler, we did our research on Maldives and were amazed to discover the tiny islands with thousand’s of resorts, we visited various travel fairs and hotel websites for a deal that wouldn’t burn our pockets. One thing we knew for sure was we need a wonderful time together without worrying about food, water, bills or anything in the world. Finally we landed on Adaaran group of resorts. We took an all inclusive package from a local travel group in Singapore which included a return-flight to Male by SriLankan airlines with a small transit at colombo, 5D4N accommodation, speed boat transfer and all meals. Its best to take an all inclusive package as food and drinks are very expensive at resorts, speed boat transfer can cost up to 500 USD per person. A 500ml bottle of water cost about $2 USD. Widely used currency is USD in Maldives (tip: convert your currency to usd before your trip!).
Ayubowan! Maldives is at a 4 hour 30 min flight from Singapore. We boarded a morning Srilankan Airlines from Changi Airport Terminal 3, which was ideal because the resort check-in was at 2 pm. I’ve heard lot of good reviews about their service and truly the service was excellent. Srilankan Airlines travel via Colombo which is at a 3hr flight from Singapore . After a short transit of an hour we boarded the flight to Male arriving at the destination 50 mins later from Bandaranaike International Airport. The airport is pretty small and crowded but there were few shops and cafeteria to keep us energized.
Male International Airport is comparatively small and is crowded at times when many flights land at around the same time.Even then we could come out of the immigration within no time. Indian passport holders have a visa free entry and can stay for 30 days. We are required to know the details of the resort that we were staying and for how many days. Maldives being a Muslim country, bringing in liquor is strictly forbidden. All bags are scanned as you depart the airport and any alcohol found is confiscated. This includes any duty free you have purchased whilst in the airport or on the Plane.
After luggage collection we came to the arrival hall which is filled with resort groups waiting to welcome their guests. You will hardly miss them as each group has a station in the hall. In case they don’t find you, you can find them easily. There is thai express, swensens and a small food court outside the Airport. After a short wait we boarded the speedboat to our resort Adaaran Club, Rannalhi. The speedboat has capacity of about 12 – 18 pax, doesn’t have any luggage restrictions and waits for all arriving passengers of that day before they leave the airport, so you might endup waiting at the airport until they have enough people for the boat, i guess that is the case with sea planes as well. It took us about 40 minutes to the resort.