Male City – Maldives
The beautiful sunny isle of life do not require Jamaicans to have a tourist visa for visiting.
The Maldives, officially the Republic of Maldives, is a South Asian sovereign state, located in the Indian Ocean, situated in the Arabian Sea. It lies southwest of Sri Lanka and India.
I have always seen breathtaking images online, on Cable TV and in Magazines about this beautiful country. So when the opportunity finally presented itself and I realized Jamaicans didn’t need a visa to travel there, I was thrilled. What you do need is a travel certificate if you desire to travel by speed boat or sea plane to the fancy resort islands. This is quick and easy and will be sent to you by your resort in order for them to prepare for your arrival on whichever island you choose to visit. Just follow the instructions and make the payment for the option you want to use when travelling from Male City to the Islands. It’s as easy as 123.
For me, getting to Maldives from Japan was really a simple and inexpensive hassle free experience.
There were deals on various travel sites for flights and hotels which includes
Since, there was a round-trip deal from Malaysia to Maldives for only 109US dollars I bought that and then purchased another ticket round-trip ticket from Japan to Malaysia. Both of these countries do not required a visa, but be sure to stay aware of the fact; double checking the requirements because immigrations at these countries rarely handles Jamaican passports and you will hear them asking other immigration officers if Jamaicans need a visa before checking the system. So it’s better to be aware to avoid being flustered.
That being said, where to say should be your next interest.
Stay with the locals
Stay with the local first. Which is what I did. Then you can experience both sides of this island. The city is small and getting round will be by ferry, bikes and taxis. I suggest going around the city by bike to avoid getting stuck in heavy traffic. The streets are always busy and if you want to explore a lot during the day bike are the best way to get around Male City.
I stayed at The VINORVA; a hotel located 1.5 km from Velana International Airport (MLE) .
I took a 3 – 5 minute taxi to Villi-Male ferry terminal and from there another 7 – 10 minutes ferry to Villi-Male. I stayed at VINORVA for 3 days and two nights. Here I was welcomed by very cheerful staff and a comfortable cozy newly opened and inexpensive hotel. I was able to relax and enjoy entertainment from my mobile devices using WIFI.
Also the panoramic view from the balcony on the roof is amazing.
Breakfast was great. I had local Maldivian food and it was the greatest. I was surprise when I asked for coconut water and since there wasn’t any at the bar, the staff went to a local shop to get some. It was truly a friendly, peaceful and amazing experience.
There are few little corner shops in the area so you could always buy fruits, special toiletries, and anything you think you might need.
After making friends with locals, I went to visit the City of Male by ferry and bike.
It was great. I visited the national museum of Maldives. The entry fee was dirt cheap and I was amazed by the history preserved there. A diverse collection of artifacts are displayed in the museum, including relics from the foregone pre-Islamic period era, thrones, royal sunshades and furniture, costumes and shoes, coins, ornaments, arms and armor and so much more.
Then I visited the Presidential Jetty.
After that The Shaheed Hhussain Adam Building and then rode pass the tomb of Abul Barakaat Al Yoosuf Al Barbaree, The name of this tomb is ‘Medhuziyaarai’ and it is respected by Maldivians and remembered as a symbol of enlightenment of Islam in the Maldives.
The fish Market is a must see so I stopped there too.
It should not be missed. This is the soul of Male city. It’s great watching the day’s catch being brought in from the adjacent fishing harbour. Look out for some truly vast tuna, octopus and grouper. Maldivian women don’t usually venture into these areas, although for me, being a foreigner no one was raising eyebrows.
Shop in town
Buy some souvenirs at a cheaper rate when you shop with locals. I was really lucky to have a friend around while I shopped. The benefit is obvious. I got to pay the price locals would pay when they shop. I was excited!!!!!! Besides that, the stop owner was very cool and friendly.
Part 2 will include the most romantic resort ever.