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Things to do in Maldives

Discussion in 'Maldives' started by GirharSahila, Oct 2, 2016.

  1. GirharSahila

    GirharSahila New Member

    I am taking my future wife to Maldives for our honeymoon in November. I have decided to create an itinerary so that we can get the enjoy Maldives better and see and do all the things there.

    I need some help from the members to provide me with some information about the things to do in Maldives. I want everything to be perfect and not miss out on anything. It would also help me decide on the time which we would go to Maldives for.
     
  2. briannagodess

    briannagodess Well-Known Member

    Hello there, welcome to the forum!

    Overview

    Shores having so fine, powdery sands that you would want to go barefoot all the time on them... Coral atolls found elsewhere in Asia... Clear blue waters, sparkling in daylight, competing with the hues of the sky... A place so pristine, you can call it a paradise right on Earth... This is the Maldives. The Maldives, a group of interspersed islands amidst the Indian ocean, is a premier destination that is every honeymoon couple's dream. It is remote, serene, pristine, virgin, so what more can you ask for? In this little guide, we will highlight the things that you can do around the islands of Maldives.

    Sightseeing in Maldives

    Religious
    • Hukuru Miskiy - This mosque is also known as the Old Friday Mosque. It is located in Male, the capital of the country, and is regarded as the oldest mosque in Maldives as well. Originally, there was a mosque built here by Sultan Mohamed Bin Abdullah during the 11th century. This old mosque was replaced by the present structure we see today, which was built by Sultan Ibrahim Iskandhar I during the middle of the 16th century. The walls of the mosque were built using coral stones, a local material used in plenty of structures around the islands. The coral stones give the mosque its exquisite appearance. The roofs were once thatched but was replaced with iron sheets during the 19th century. The interiors, from the doorways, to the windows, were all made using different kinds of woods. They are also designed with intricate carvings that add beauty to the interiors. Outside of the mosque, you can also visit the graveyard where the tombs of influential rulers and their families were laid upon. The headstones of these tombs were also made using coral stones.
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    Old Friday Mosque at Male (Image Courtesy of Pinterest)
    • Grand Friday Mosque - With its pure white facade, the Grand Friday Mosque is impossible to miss in the capital as well. In contrast to its white facade, is its pure gold dome, although it's not really made of gold but aluminium. Its simplicity makes it stand out but its sheer size is a bit overwhelming. It is known as the largest mosque in Male and can easily accommodate up to 5,000 devotees. Its architecture is that of Islamic and since it was just built in the end of the 19th century, it is a bit modern as compared to the Hukuru Miskiy. It does have intricate carvings as well when you look at it closely from the inside, much like the former temple.
    • Hulhumale Mosque - The Hulhumale Mosque resembles the structure of the Grand Friday Mosque. It also has a tower on its side along with a golden dome on the main building. It also has a pure white facade and is very simple in design. There are separate areas inside for praying for men and women. The real draw of the mosque though is its garden, which stands in contrast to the pure white beauty of the building. It's a must visit place to enjoy some serenity and lush greenery while in Hulhumale.
    Historical
    • National Museum - Also located in Male, the National Museum of Maldives is another important attraction in the city. It highlights the rich heritage of the country. The museum is housed in the Old Sultan Palace, just close to the Sultan Park. The museum is large, housed over two floors although the exhibits aren't that plenty, that you can finish touring the entire place in an hour or so. The ground floor of the museum has some exhibits about stamps, the Maldivian police force and some of the personal items of the past monarchs of Maldives. The first floor is a mixture of everything else, from traditional handicrafts, marine displays of Maldives, pre-colonial boats, manuscripts and different Qurans in cases. The collection is not that extensive but it provides you with some overview of the past of the country.
    • Sultan Park - Just outside the National Museum is the Sultan Park, an oasis of greenery in the bustling city of Male. It is a fairly small park, with just a few trees and a laid pathway. Much like the former, the Sultan Park is a part of the what was then the Sultan Palace. It's a nice place to take a breather after exploring the whole of the city.
    • Mulee Aage - The Mulee Aage, also located in Male, was the official residence of the supreme leader of Maldives. It was built by Sultan Shamsuddeen III and it became his home before he was overthrown from presidency. Later, the palace became the official residence of succeeding presidents although now it is merely an office for important conferences by the government. As a presidential home, it looks quite quaint, especially with its blue gate and pastel coloured walls. The building itself has a bright red roof, along with accents of blue. The presidential palace can be easily visited from the Hukuru Miskiy.
    • Tomb of Mohammed Thakurufaanu - Mohammed Thakurufaanu is an important part of the independence of Maldives from the Portuguese rule. He lead the uprising which would then become the reason for the freedom that the country now has from the Portuguese. His tomb is located in the capital in Male. It is a very simple tomb, almost looking like a small bungalow. A must visit for the history lovers as the liberator had an important role in Maldivian history.
    • Utheemu Ganduvaru - In relation to the above attraction is the Utheemu Ganduvaru, the home of Thakurufaanu. It is located in Haa Alif Atoll, in the Utheemu Island. Even after the sultan's death, the Utheemu dynasty flourished for many more years in the Maldives. This home showcases the unique architectural style back then. It has a pure white facade, with simple sloping roofs. Elaborate wooden carvings are the main show stoppers in the house though. You can also view personal items used by the dynasty during their reign in the region, like beds, furnitures and housewares.
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    Utheemu Ganduvaru (Image Courtesy of The Maldives Travel)
    • Gan Island Buddhist Ruins - Although Maldives has a predominant Sunni Muslim population, it was, once upon a time, home to many Buddhist devotees. The Gan Island Buddhist Ruins are an example of that. Unfortunately, most of the ruins here have not been preserved and there is very little to see. There's Gamu Haiytheli, believed to be the last Buddhist temple to be built in the country. In Kuruhinna, some stupas and viharas were excavated but most of them are in ruins now and sadly, vandalised too.
    • Thoddoo Buddhist Ruins - Another fascinating place to visit, as this place was home to an excavated 800-year old statue of Buddha. According to local legends, these excavated Buddhist artefacts in the region were buried by Buddhist devotees. Before the region was converted into an Islamic nation, they wanted to preserve their religious beliefs and so they buried the statues, ceremonial items and other important items to hide them from the rulers. These mounds have preserved the relics for a long, long time, before they were excavated again in the 19th century.
    Beaches/Islands
    • Male Artificial Beach - Male doesn't have its own beach, quite ironic for a country of beaches really. The creation of the Male Artificial Beach is the perfect solution though so both locals and tourists can enjoy swimming or lazing in the beach while in Male. It's a pretty small beach and you cannot wear your swim wear here, you must be dressed from head to toe when swimming in the beach. There's a small playground too beside the beach that children can play in. Overall, it's a nice play to just interact with the locals or maybe enjoy the views. There's a myriad of restaurants around too that can satisfy your hunger.
    • Fulidhoo Island - Fulidhoo is easily accessible by a two-hour boat ride from Maafushi. But boat timings are sparse, about three times a week only, so make sure you plan accordingly. Regardless, Fulidhoo is a paradise on Earth, yet easy on the pocket. It was just recently opened to tourists and so everything here is pristine and virgin. Unlike the other islands in Maldives, there are no luxury resorts here, only two guest houses exist in the island and they can provide you with everything you need, bed, food and what nots. The beauty of Fulidhoo is its serenity, you might be the only ones in the island so you can enjoy your vacation truly. There's also a Bikini Beach within the island, set aside for the use of foreign tourists only so you can enjoy swimming while looking pretty in your newly bought swim suit. The beach is beautiful too, soft white sands, water with different shades of blue and occasionally, a heron looking out for a meal into the sea.
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    Fulidhoo Island (Image Courtesy of Booking)
    • Maafushi Island - Maafushi is a good budget island to stay in the Maldives. It has an assortment of guest houses, over 30, that you can stay in. It is a two-hour boat ride away from Male and fare is very minimal too. Just like the former beach, Maafushi also has its own Bikini Beach so you can enjoy swimming while in your favourite bikini or swimming trunks. As a budget island, everything here is as pristine still, with turquoise waters and white sands. Unlike the former island, you have plenty of dining options here so if you're picky with food, this is a good island to choose.
    • Hulhumale Island - The Hulhumale Island is an artificial island built close to Male in order to accommodate the growing population of the country. Despite this, the island barely feels artificial, with unending coast lines and lots of greenery to compensate for the myriad of buildings. Much like Male, Hulhumale is very progressive and you can find plenty of hotels and restaurants around. Do keep in mind that the beaches here do not allow tourists swimming in bikinis.
    • Gulhi Island - This is yet another pristine island to stay in, but only six guest houses are available in the island. It is part of the Southern Male Atoll so you can reach it via Male or even via Maafushi. Unlike the former islands though, tourist facilities here are very limited. You won't find much sun loungers, restaurants or even public toilets. However, the beauty of the island has been well-preserved and you can definitely have it all to yourself.
    • Thinadhoo Island - Thinadhoo Island is a sparsely populated island about 410 kilometres away from Male. There are just about 30 residents here making the island very pristine and quiet. No tourist facilities except for a few guest houses exist. But if you like interacting with the locals, knowing more about their culture, the Thinadhoo Island is a must visit. It has pristine beaches too perfect for snorkelling and diving.
    • Nalaguraidhoo Island - This island is accessible by a ferry ride from Maamigili Island. It is more of a mid-range to high end island as it is mainly owned by the Sun Island Resort. The island has teeming wildlife, perfect for snorkelling, bird watching and also diving. Since the resort is of the higher end kind, you need to spend more to stay here. With such resorts though, all-in packages are very much worth it, as you are provided with meals, sightseeing and activities already.
    • Biyadhoo Island - Biyadhoo is easily accessible by a short ferry ride from Maafushi. It can even be visited on a day trip although there are also some guest houses you can stay in here. It is fairly uncrowded and has pristine beaches, good for snorkelling although marine life here is not as diverse as in the other islands.
    • Angaga Island - This island is located in the South Ari Atoll of the Maldives. If you would like to experience a luxury vacation, this is one of the best places for that. The Angaga Island Resort and Spa is exquisite, with about 50 bungalows and 20 over the water bungalows. The island is teeming with both land wildlife and underwater marine life. The resort can arrange for excursions and even activities that you might like to do.
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    Angaga Island (Image Courtesy of Morsicosico)
    • Reethi Island - This is yet another luxury island resort in the Maldives. Spreads of white sand beaches, turquoise blue waters and rich underwater marine life, what more can you ask for? Oh, a four-star hotel as well by the name of Reethi Beach Resort is there to provide for all your needs as a tourist. The only downside in this island is that the coral reefs aren't that beautiful but you can still find tons of fishes and other marine life flocking to them underwater.
    Other Things to Do in Maldives

    1. Snorkelling - With such a colourful and rich marine life, it's a sin not to try snorkelling when in Maldives. Almost all the beaches here are suitable for snorkelling, barring the Artificial Beach in Male. If you have your own equipment, you can try out snorkelling for free, but you do have to pay for the boat that would transfer you to the deeper parts of the water. Most resorts have snorkelling equipments that you can rent too. And if you're staying in a guest house, they can rent the equipment for you, just request for it in advance.
    • Where - Any island in Maldives but best rated ones are Angaga, Biyadhoo, Filitheyo, Six Senses Laamu and Vilamendhoo.
    2. Scuba Diving - Scuba diving takes you closer to the rich marine life of the Maldives. You might be able to spot underwater animals like sting rays, grey reef sharks, manta rays and if you're lucky, the scalloped hammerhead shark. But even if not, the colourful species of butterfly fishes, hawk fishes, angel fishes, parrot fishes, surgeon fishes and trigger fishes can keep you company. Different types of corals are also abundant in the different diving spots of Maldives, like mushroom corals, sea fan corals, sun corals and table corals. Resorts can usually arrange for scuba diving trips but even guest houses can help you arrange for it.
    • Where - Ari Atoll for Ocean Fishes (Warren Thila or Himandhoo Thila), North Male Atoll for Marine Formations (Banana Reef), Vaavu Atoll for Mantas (Fotteyo Kandu) and Addu Atoll for Sharks (Maaya Thila).
    3. Fishing - Fishing is another enjoyable activity in the Maldives. Some resorts organise deep sea fishing trips for guests and you can also request for this when staying in a guest house. Fishing is permitted in the different islands of the country, as long as the area you're fishing in is not a reserve or protected area. But to be on the safe side, just acquire permission beforehand. Tunas and barracudas are the commonly angled fishes from the seas of Maldives.
    • Where - Madoogali, Vilamendhoo and Huvadhoo.
    4. Surfing - There are some surfing spots as well in the Maldives but they are not easily accessible by land. You need to hire a boat or request for your resort to take you to these surfing spots. Surfing season begins from April to October but even the months of November to January are good months to try your hand, or feet, at surfing.
    • Where - Villingilimathi Huraa, Thaburudhoo, Hirilandhoo and Huvadhoo.
    5. Other Water Sports - Other water sports such as jet skiing, parasailing, banana boat riding, water scootering and many more are available in most resorts in the islands. Islands such as Maafushi and Hulhumale, those with plenty of guest houses, also have such water sport activities.
    • Where - Resort islands around Maldives and even guest houses.
    6. Interact with Locals - It's a must to learn more about the local culture and tradition when in Maldives. It helps you understand the rich heritage of the country. The best places to interact with the locals are usually the more remote ones like Gulhi Island and Thinadhoo Island. But even the city of Male, as bustling as it is, can offer you an insight of the modern day Maldives.
    • Where - Gulhi Island, Thinadhoo Island and Male.
    Conclusion

    I hope this little guide helps you. Overall, Maldives is an idyllic destination and although there's lots that you can do here, it's also all right to just lay around and soak in the beauty of the place. Enjoy your trip to Maldives.

    :)
     

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