I recently spent a few nights on Malé, the capital of the Maldives. The views as you near the airport are simply breath taking, tiny islands with luminous white sands dotted as far as the eye can see. Even though I have been there a few times now, the novelty of jumping on a boat across to Malé from the airport island will not I don’t think ever wear off! I really love staying on Malé as I feel I can experience the best of everything that the Maldives has to offer. Being in the hustle and bustle of this very different culture, it is such a fascinating island to explore with a fish market, fruit markets and mosques. Then, having the opportunity to leave the chaos behind and spend a day on an uninhabited island is just paradise! Malé itself is not what you would expect when you conjure up images of the Maldives in your mind, it is densely populated and covered in high rise buildings. Malé is a strictly Muslim island compared to the all-inclusive islands that are very westernised. This means that you cannot purchase alcohol, great for a detox! Of course if you really need a drink you can jump back on a boat over to the hotel at the airport island or you can visit one of the all-inclusive islands nearby. Malé is one of my favourite places to eat, and so cheap. For $8 you can get a curry with rice and naan bread from a great local restaurant called Aioli.
I spent a day on the small uninhabited island of Kuda Bandos, it is so small in fact that you can walk around it in about 10 minutes. It’s such a great place to chill out with nothing but sunbathing and snorkelling to do, the snorkelling by the way is fantastic! A short swim out over the reef brings you to the edge where the coral disappears into deep blue nothing. Swimming along the edge of the reef you can see it is full of life, parrot fish, angel fish, stingray, turtles, there is such a beautiful array of marine life.
I can’t wait to go back again, I want to surf next time I’m out there, the airport is always full of surfers so there must be some half descent breaks somewhere nearby….