When one thinks about the word "LOVE" in conjunction with the word "TRAVEL", a place that immediately comes to the mind is MALDIVES. A serene, calm place with pristine clear waters - that's what MALDIVES depict.
Our journey to MALDIVES started from Bangalore via Thiruvananthapuram which was of overall 4 hours duration. We planned to stay in Maldives for 4 days and 3 nights and had pre-booked the island resort via online website. MALDIVES comprises of many small island resorts in both North and South Atoll. We chose to stay at the Centara Grand Island Resort & Spa in the South Atoll. Once we reached the MALE airport, we were shifted to the sea- plane lounge (Since we opted for sea-plane as the mode of transfer to our resort. NOTE: There are many other modes of transfer like speed boat to the resort and it depends on your budget as to which one you would prefer. These mode will be available via online booking sites).
Sea-plane as the mode of transfer to the resort
Our sea-plane journey was for 45 mins post which we reached the resort and were welcomed in a very grand way with Thai food served in front of us along with cinnamon and earl tea welcome drink. Our luggage was transferred to our rooms by the hotel staff and we were taken to our beach suite. It was a spectacular room with 2 storeys and in front of our room we had a view of the beach. The turquoise-green waters with a tinge of dark blue and the exquisite change of colours of the water made it look resplendent. We were awestruck with the lovely world outside our villa.
View outside our room
After the Thai lunch, we got ready for the cocktail party at the Coral Bar in the resort. Unlimited food and drinks were served with a rocking EDM music being played in the background. At the same time, fishes were being fed with fish food where we could see multiple variety of fishes and plankton like sting ray, baby sharks etc. The party continued for some more time post which we went to the REEF restaurant for an international buffet dinner spread. There was a Live Grill counter for Thai food at the Restaurant. Food served was sumptuous and the ambiance had an option of outdoor as well as indoor seating. As we were grabbing our dinner, we could hear the splash of waters on the island thereby enhancing the vacation spirit within us.
After spending a relaxing Day 1, it was time for us to indulge in the adventurous spirit of MALDIVES. Today our schedule included the Local Island discovery followed by Snorkeling and ending the day with a rejuvenating spa. Our guide took us at 9:00 AM in the morning post breakfast for the local island tour on a cruise boat. We landed on the nearby island DHANGETHI at around 11:00 AM and could visualize the local Maldivian culture. On the island was situated a market, schools, houses and mosque. The locals of the island were very jovial in nature and tourist-friendly. We spent some time on the island knowing more about the Maldivian rituals.
After this splendid time around the place, we went back to our resort and post-lunch got ready for the upcoming snorkeling adventure. In this resort people need to snorkel on their own and hence a bit of training is given by the experts over there. We had our training session for 20-30 mins after which we were excited to swim with the fishes. We could see various type of fishes and the colors under the ocean. The corals looked vibrant and the fishes swimming near us gave us an exotic feeling which is indescribable. Post this, we were a bit tired and hence, headed for the very famous Thai spa. It rejuvenated and relaxed our mind and body. When in Maldives, it is always advisable to go for snorkeling or scuba-diving or Spa if not all. When we came out of the Spa, our bodies were energized and we headed to the beach again to take a stroll. Dinner for the night was under the stars in the open air and the shine of the moonlight made it all the way more romantic.
Day 3 in Maldives was planned with some more snorkeling (as it gives you the best feeling), going for kayaking and motor paddling followed by Sunset Cruise and Fishing. Kayaking and Motor Paddling was something new for me and it was an amazing experience. In the evening, we went for the sunset cruise along with fishing. Though the fishes were very hard to catch but it was altogether a great experience. We had our sunset cruise in a boat crafted out of wood entirely. It was a breath-taking experience to see how the hue of magnificent saffron and yellow colors fill the entire sky and their subsequent reflection on the blue water change the color of the ocean to saffron and yellow tinge. It feels like the best time of the day when the horizon meet and the birds are on their way to home. One can also find dolphins jumping around at this time of the day.
We were disappointed when the guide told us that the cruise is over and the boat had to be turned back to the resort. But our gloomy faces were soon lit when we came to know that there was a Maldivian cultural night planned further during dinner. We headed to the Coral Bar again for the lovely night ahead and were enthralled by the beauty of the Maldivian culture and the folk dance associated with it.
Today was our last day here and we had to board our flight in the afternoon. Hence, we thought of spending our day eating the vast buffet spread and strolling around the resort. All resorts in Maldives have beach suite and water villas and either can be chosen as per the budget. Both are great to stay and have their own aura. Our resort was also surrounded with water villas around and as we were walking past those we could see the beautiful shoal of fish around the emerald-blue waters of the ocean. Gradually the time came for us to depart and as our luggage was being taken to the sea-plane to drop off us at the Male airport, a feeling of parting away from this magical place flashed across our minds. In short, Maldives is truly a divine destination for anyone who wants to be surrounded with nature and melancholy and is a must-visit place for all the beach-lovers.