By His Excellency Mr. Mohamed Jinah, Ambassador of the Republic of Maldives to the Kingdom of Thailand
The Maldives is an archipelago with more than a thousand coral islands scattered in the middle of the Indian Ocean. These coral islands with their white sandy beaches are encircled by its crystalclear waters, turquoise blue lagoons and vibrant reefs surrounded by the magnificent ocean
Here, sun, sea and sand with spectacular underwater life stretching out miles position across the equator. Maldives is popularly known to travelers as paradise on earth.
STAYING IN THE MALDIVES
The Maldives offers different options and standards of stay catering to the specific needs and wants of travelers. Be it an exclusive high-end private island, a luxury resort island, a familyfriendly resort, a mid-range hotel, a simple guesthouse on a local island or an array of liveaboards from luxury safari yachts to diving or surfing safari boats.
Almost all the resort islands vaunt the tropical scenery with the lush green vegetation, and the attention given to the tiniest details adding to the ambience and the experience of the guests. One island – one resort; each resort hotel is on a separate individual island; with luxury facilities and caring staff attentive to guest requests throughout their stay, mindful of their privacy. For an exclusive stay, stay at a private island resort, most of these hideaways accessible only by private yachts. Romantic pool residencies, ultra-private residencies above the lagoons have some of their own private chefs and butlers.
With currently more than 500 guesthouses scattered across the island, a Maldivian guesthouse is an underrated blessing allowing you to experience the beauty of Maldives on a low-budget. Maldivians are friendly people with their own traditions and culture. The local island guesthouses provide the opportunity to share the simple lives of the local Maldivians without the frills. The stay options are great with stunning views of the seaside, try local dishes and enjoy a number of water sports options while observing the local culture up close on a modest budget. Serenity will surround you on the secluded sandbanks, excursions to nearby islands, and the fishing trips will provide a homely feel.
The liveaboard cruises the stunning Maldivian waters, offering desirable itineraries especially to divers enthusiastic to dive alongside popular pelagic like mantas. These liveaboards come with complimentary bars, hot tubs and even spa packages. Be mesmerized by the shades of the sky and the seas all day long.
EXPERIENCES AND ACTIVITIES IN THE MALDIVES
Numerous activities can be enjoyed in the country depending upon your requirements:
FOR THE ROMANTICS
Seclusion and privacy being a priority, a resort can cater as a private ‘love nest’. Elegant over-water villas are sought after by couples, especially honeymooners, due to its secluded location. The villas are secluded surrounding lush vegetations or even above an isolated lagoon, some even come with glass-bottomed floors through which you can view marine life. The veranda provides a panoramic view of the beauty of nature; waves lapping the beach with coconut palms just waving in the breeze. Most villas come with opento-the-stars bathrooms, private plunge pools and steps directly down into the lagoon. This is ideal for those in love, celebrating an anniversary or merely just spending some quality time together away from the humdrum of daily life with may be a candlelit dinner under the starry skies.
FOR THE FAMILY
Maldives have a number of accommodation options catering to families. Exclusive kids’ clubs cater to children’s entertainment offering age appropriate activities such as sand-filled playgrounds and shallow swimming pools. There are cooking classes, painting and even reading time to keep the younger ones entertained. The older kids will love jumping off the deck straight to the ocean and go scuba diving. Onsite marine biologists in a number of islands provide educational activities such as learning about the fragile environment through a coral-planting session or planting a commemorative coconut palm tree.
FOR THE ADVENTURE SEEKERS
Secluded in the ocean is rewarding for the country by being one of the world’s leading water sports hubs with almost a minimal effect on the environment. It could be paddling in a canoe around the lagoons to just gliding high above on a parachute. Almost every resort and even the inhabited islands with guest houses have a fully-equipped sports centre to enjoy various waterbased adventures.
Maldives is the seventh largest coral reef in the world. The unique coral formations with a diverse marine life make it one of the most famous diving locations here. The southern atolls are renowned for spotting sharks and barracudas while the northern atolls house amazing coral formations. Famous points include the Manta Point for the manta enthusiasts, Furana Thila for caves frequented by sharks and Colosseum is the home to schools of eagle ray, whitetip reef shark, leopard shark, batfish and an occasional Whale shark can be spotted.
The spas in Maldives are achieving global recognition for their impeccable services. The design of the spa matches the luxurious standards of the resorts. Built over lagoons, surrounded by lush vegetations or even on the beach, the ambience reflects on peacefulness of both body and mind. More spas are now catering to adults and children alike, providing unforgettable memories to the whole family through creativity and organic spa treatments.
FLIGHTS TO THE MALDIVES
Maldives is easily accessible since numerous scheduled and chartered flights fly to the Maldives every day. The airport near the capital Male’ is the Velana International Airport which has become an international hub in recent years.
There are a number of flight connections available from different parts of the world; including many alliances and non-alliance airlines. Major scheduled flights operate directly from Dubai, Singapore, Istanbul and Doha.
Notably, Singapore Airlines, Bangkok Airways and Sri Lankan operate direct daily flights and many other flights connect from Middle East and Europe daily. For a more luxurious experience, a chartered flight would be desirable.
The ability to land on smaller airports scattered along the atolls would reduce the need for local transfers. Along with this flexibility, private flights fly at a much faster speed.