Is it worth to go to the Maldives: the pros and cons of rest on the islands
To date, the Maldives is probably the most popular destination for tourist recreation. Everyone dreams to be on these islands. Many associate this place with paradise on earth. Holidays here are prestigious and quite expensive.
What is the Republic of Maldives?
This is a very small country in South Asia. The Republic of Maldives is located in the Indian Ocean on a group of coral islands. Here is a very hot tropical climate, which persists regardless of the changing seasons. Holidays in the Maldives can be year-round. However, it is best not to plan a holiday from June to August, as at this time there is a rainy season. This is really a very small country. The capital city of Maldives is Male . It is the only city in the whole country. Lovers of excursions and long walks will get bored here quickly. The country is very exotic and peculiar, many people are attracted to the Maldives rich fauna.
The plusses of rest in the Maldives
The advantages of a vacation in this exotic country are a lot. Let us dwell on the most pleasant positive moments.
- Unmatched beauty and purity of nature. Not for nothing the Maldives is called a paradise – the nature here is simply fascinating. The beaches here are very clean and well-groomed, and the sand is white and incredibly pleasant to the touch. The color of the water and the brightness of the sky is unsurpassed. It is not for nothing that the Maldives is considered the best beaches in the world.
- Very strange infrastructure . The island is so small that there is no need for asphalt roads, and the paths and streets are entirely covered with sand. There are few cars, no noise and clamor, and the air and nature are not polluted by industrial waste. You can walk here just barefoot. Holidays in the Maldives – it’s good for health and regeneration of the body.
- People are very simple, friendly and nice. They welcome any tourist, regardless of nationality or the size of the purse. Slanting glances and smirks in their direction from the local population is not expected.
- Despite the small size of the island, as well as the simplicity and dimension of life of the local population, service is at a very high level. There is a large variety of hotels. You can find a budget option, as well as fabulously expensive. And everywhere the service will be on a decent level.
- A lot of beach attractions. Here you can ride a scooter or a boat, go scuba diving or windsurfing. On the beach are often arranged water games and competitions.
- A picturesque underwater world . For those who love diving there is something to see, the underwater world of the Maldives will not leave anyone indifferent.
- Exotic cuisine: Here you can try dishes you’ve never even heard of before. In restaurants and cafes you can enjoy a variety of seafood, and exotic fruits. By the way, you can buy fruits just on the street in the nearby store.
- Beautiful sunrises and sunsets . Especially incredible colors in the sky can be seen in the rainy season or in the eve of the rainy season. In the Maldives, you can watch both sunrise and sunset. And all because the islands here are very small. In the morning, you can go out to the eastern shore of the island and see the sunrise. In the evening, you can go to the west coast of the island and watch the beautiful picture of the sun going down into the sea. Many tourists love to watch this phenomenon of nature.
The disadvantages of vacationing in the Maldives
Holiday in the Maldives has, in addition to the advantages, and a few disadvantages, which should be taken into account before going on a trip. Consider in detail the disadvantages of rest in the Maldives.
- There is very little space on the islands. Lovers of long walks and excursions the rest in the Maldives can seem boring and monotonous. Except the beach and the beautiful nature to see there is nothing else. Such a holiday suits fans of the beach and the sea.
- Sea residents can be quite dangerous. There are even sharks. Locals say that they almost never attack people. But still be careful. This is especially true for people who like diving.
- Very expensive flights. Not everyone can afford a trip to the Maldives. Russian with average income will have to save up for such a trip is not one month.
- Difficulties with internal transportation. There are very few cars, the most common and the most affordable transport – the ferry. The ferry schedule is very complicated and inconvenient. You can get to the neighboring island only on certain days of the week (most ships leave only 2-3 times a week). The departure time is also quite inconvenient, most often you have to get to the right island with transfers. These trips take a lot of time, energy and nerves.
- Prices for many guest houses and hotel rooms are very overpriced. It is always clean, comfortable and cozy. There are no really bad conditions in the Maldives, but for a similar price in other exotic countries, you can claim to a more luxurious accommodation.
- Meals in inexpensive hotels are rather poor. Chic table, where “all inclusive” is found only in the most expensive and luxurious hotels. Ordinary water on the island is very expensive. The food here is often very spicy and quite unusual. This can be a plus and minus – not everyone will appreciate the many exotic dishes of the Maldives.
- Lovers of active nightlife rest in the Maldives will not have to taste, because there are no discos and nightclubs. Bars are very small, and most of them close at midnight. There is almost nowhere to go out at night.
Conclusions and recommendations
Holidays in the Maldives will appeal to romantic people who appreciate the comfort, convenience and beauty around him. Nature lovers will be charmed by these paradise islands. This is a quiet place where you can forget about all the problems and lie on the beach with his second half. Small children and fans of extreme and adventure here will not be interesting, but fans of “passive” recreation will be just delighted. Do not forget that the Maldives – is not a cheap pleasure, but here you can spend the most unforgettable moments of his life.
Paradise is cancelled: 10 minuses of rest in the Maldives
What is wrong with the fabulous Maldives? Isn’t it heaven on earth? From personal experience, I was convinced that it is not quite so, and now I want to show the reality to you. Learn about all the disadvantages of vacationing in the Maldives!
Most of the disadvantages that I will list below, will not affect those who go to vacation in the Maldives in expensive resorts: there is no need to contact with the locals, to deal with the search for food, to solve household problems. But all these disadvantages will greatly spoil the rest of the economy tourists who have $ 1000 – the budget is not for a day, but for the entire vacation. Such travelers are coming to the Maldives in increasing numbers, so I decided to warn fellow travelers. In general, if you want a cheap holiday in the Maldives (and it’s real!), prepare to dance a lot with tambourine, and also to undergo some hardships. However, in fairness I note that all these inconveniences do not cancel the pluses of rest in the Maldives.
Well now let’s find out what awaits us!
1. Unreasonably expensive hotels.
Cheaper than $ 50 hotels in the Maldives, and for that price should still try to find – most prices start at $ 70-80 dollars a day. Living conditions are quite good, but they are still not worth it. The red price for a double in budget Maldivian guesthouses – $15-20. At least in all neighboring countries (Sri Lanka, India, Thailand, Malaysia) these prices, and they are fair.
Our Sunrise Inn is $50. In Vietnam, we stayed in similar hotels for only $10.
2. Bad Food.
The food is the saddest thing waiting for you in the Maldives. I have never had worse food anywhere! The food is disgusting and often the meal will cause digestive problems. Very few restaurants on local islands, and institutions for the locals on most islands are absent at all. Well and the prices, as is usual, in the Maldives are shamelessly overcharged. For 10$ per person you can take only one modest dish which will hardly satisfy your hunger and certainly will not make you happy in taste. Also, the Maldivians are very long cook – you can wait for an hour and a half. At the grocery store do not count on – the range is meager, there’s nothing to buy. Many of our tourists who love to vacation in the Maldives, and know the situation with food, fly to the island with a suitcase of their own food: stewed meat, buckwheat, rice, and so on. Now you understand how bad it is?
It’s most profitable to order lunches and dinners in your guesthouse. Read the reviews on Bookings about the food at this hotel to see if the food there is decent.
Our dinner at the guesthouse looked like this: grilled tuna and reef fish, rice, veggies and a drink – $20 for two. It was the only good food in the Maldives! Well the tuna salad for breakfast is still good, but everything else.
3. no fruit.
Well what paradise without fresh delicious tropical fruits? None at all! In Maldives, fruit is in greater shortage than in Russia: only papaya is grown on the islands, the rest is brought from the mainland. But even imports do not save – the choice is small, on sale are rare and cost quite high. Coconuts even sell for $ 5 per unit! Can you imagine? In neighboring Sri Lanka, we bought the same for $0.3 – the difference of 15 times.
Now about the people! Maldivians are very strange. Yes, they lack natural resources and have very limited land area which makes it very difficult to develop economy under such conditions. But it’s possible! Examples of many small countries prove it convincingly. Our people prefer to ignore everything. Maldivians are lazy, they don’t want to work, they don’t want to develop, they don’t want to make their lives better.
Be prepared for the fact that the word Maldivian worth nothing: they are dragging their feet with the answer and the case, the promise here is truly a three-year wait. Even the answer to a simple question about the ferry schedule from the hotel owner can wait for days.
And the Maldivians are completely inhospitable, surly and unfriendly people. It is felt that they are not at all happy guests and put up with them only for the money. This mood is in the air and can be picked up perfectly. Children and teenagers are especially unfriendly. Eh, if you knew how uncomfortable it was to be in the Maldives, arriving there just after Sri Lanka, the country of the most smiling people in the world! At first we were like idiots good-naturedly smiled at all the Maldivians in the street, but not getting a single smile in response, began to wean ourselves from this habit.
Local resident cuts the fish on the shore.
5. Bad logistics
There is absolutely no developed network of flights to neighboring countries, which greatly complicates the life of travelers. For tickets to Male from Colombo (hour and a half flight) we paid 18000 rubles for two people. That’s just awful! In Europe and Southeast Asia, a flight of that distance between countries costs only $10-40. To fly from Maldives to Malaysia, we also had to pay as much.
Things are no better with domestic transport. The ferry schedule, which is the most budget-friendly transport, is complicated and inconvenient. Ships to many islands go only 2-3 times a week, on Fridays there is nowhere to go. Departure and arrival time is often inconvenient, to get sometimes have to change, and the road can take a daylight. In general, right off the plane on the beach paradise you will not get. Get ready to run, look for the right transport and spend a lot of time. And yes, state ferries are often cancelled – so you either have to spend money on speedboats, or lose the money paid for the hotel, or both, if there are no private boats that day.
Read my story of how we sailed from island to island at night on a fruit vendors boat.
Quiet hour on the local ferry – the locals sleep and we take pictures of them and the ocean.
6. Money guard.
The local tugriks are not very popular, hotels and tourism agencies do not readily accept them. Even dollars are in demand here but even with them there are difficulties, for example if you pay at the stores or on the ferries then the prices are estimated at an unfavorable rate and the change is either not given or will be given in the local currency anyway. You can not withdraw money from an ATM without commission, at least take $ 10 for any transaction, plus, judging by reviews, convert at an unfavorable rate. When you withdraw money people lose about 10% – it’s just a robbery.
I have puzzled over all these nuances, in the end, had to withdraw money from the card in Sri Lanka, buy dollars there (double conversion + Commission of 1%) and they came here, exchanging some of the local currency. So you should go to the Maldives with cash dollars, not with a bank card like in other countries.
But the financial jokes don’t stop there: you can’t exchange ruffias back to dollars before leaving the Maldives unless you have a bank reference on the initial exchange of currencies. So you have to calculate how much money you will spend during the vacation or you risk to take home unused tugriks without possibility to return your dollars.
But even that is not all!
Get ready to become a generous contributor to the Maldivian treasury! For this the government has created all conditions – there are so many taxes and fees that it makes your head spin: 12% VAT, 10% service charge, and more recently have thought up to take another $3 per person per day Green Tax, plus do not forget about the bank charges and losses on currency exchange. Now calculate how much of your vacation budget will take their state.
Where to rest inexpensively in the Maldives:
– The most popular island for an economy vacation. – Few tourists and a huge wide beach. ) is a popular island with Russian tourists.
Island Ukulas with a very long and wide beach.
Yes, there are mosquitoes in this paradise, and in abundance! Brace yourselves, they will gnaw on you mercilessly, both during the day, next to the thickets on the beach, and everywhere after dark. As a mosquito lover and allergy sufferer, I had a hard time.
There is also a lot of trash in paradise. Tourist beaches, of course, cleaned, but the rest of the beach will be covered with bags, bottles, glass and other human and natural junk. Such a picture in advertising booklets you will not show, but the truth is that this landscape is common in the Maldives. Plus contribute to the incinerators on some islands, which can severely damage the atmosphere on vacation.
Trash on the beach. Trash on the streets.
And finally the main reason why the Maldives can not be considered a paradise – it is very boring. The first two or three days you’ll be delighted with the snow-white beaches, azure waters and interesting snorkeling, but then you want something else, and nothing else on these tiny islands simply not there. No cultural and natural attractions, no trails for walks, no educational and exciting things to do. Boredom! However, perhaps this is exactly how many people imagine paradise: only sea, sun and complete idleness. But for me, it’s more like hell.
Is it worth to go to the Maldives?
Despite all my lamentations above, I confidently say that it is worth it. At least once you need to come here: it is a wonderful place! Just imagine: you’ll be on tiny islands in the middle of the blue ocean and walk through it on small boats from island to island, to admire the underwater inhabitants and beauties, to swim in the clearest azure water, to lie in the sun, to relax – it’s all a damn pleasant experience. Read why I love the Maldives.
Just be prepared to face a number of problems and inconveniences, especially if you do not go to a resort, but to a local island for an inexpensive vacation. You will have to try to organize your own program of rest and not to overpay. Well also keep in mind that after two or three days in this paradise is pretty boring.
Read our tips for holidays in the Maldives – they will help you avoid most of the problems.
For the sake of such beauty you should go to the Maldives at least once! Beautiful Maldives night shark! I was lucky enough to meet one on Uqulas Island and admire it while hunting. Photo: fishx6 / commons.wikimedia.org.