10. Malé, Maldives
Why Malé, Maldives
I’m sure the Maldives is on your bucket list; if not you know someone who wants to go. It’s a place with beautiful beaches, hotels, food and people. But there are two sides to the Maldives, the fancy gorgeous hotels and then there’s Malé, (pronounced “Malay”), the island that houses most of the people who live and work in the Maldives.
Malé is the capital of The Maldives. It is actually an island by itself, just across from the airport island. At 115.8 square miles, the entire Maldives is one of the smallest countries in the world. Malé itself is only 2.239 square miles. And yes you can walk around the island in a few hours and I did. During your walk, you will certainly get a rich taste of its culture and its people. Also, the island is very densely populated so be prepared for that. In 2012, the census stated that population was just over 116,000 to give you an idea.
How To Get Here
It is first necessary to fly into the Malé International Airport (MLE), then take a local ferry to the capital island. Local ferries ply between select islands. Otherwise, the resorts have their own ferries, which can be pricey. The local ferries are quite cheap. Plus there are also seaplanes to select islands. The seaplanes leave from the seaplane port next to the airport; but I’m digressing from Male, the subject of this post.
You can get to Malé (MLE) from most of the European and Asian airline hubs, plus the Middle East hubs of Emirates (EK), Etihad (EY) and Qatar (QR). Transiting India is also very doable as its just across the way. As an example, you can get to Sri Lanka’s Colombo Airport (CMB) and then take SriLankan Airlines or Korean Airlines (KE) and make the journey to Malé.
Airlines serving the Male International Airport, The Maldives (MLE) are:
Aeroflot (SU), Air Asia (AK), Air Asia X (D7), Air France (AF), Air India (AI), Alitalia (AZ), Austrian Airlines (OS), Bangkok Airways (PG), Beijing Capital Airlines (JD), British Airways (BA), Cathay Pacific Airways (CX), China Eastern Airlines (MU), China Southern Airlines (CZ), Condor (DE), Eidelweiss Air (WK), Emirates (EK), Etihad Airways (EY), FlyDubai (FZ), Flyme (VP), Hong Kong Airlines (HX), Korean Airlines (KE), Lufthansa German Airlines (LH), Maldivian (Q2), Neos Air (NO), Qatar Airways (QR), Saudi Arabian Airlines (SV), SilkAir (MI), Singapore Airlines (SQ), Spicejet (SG), SriLankan (UL), Thai Asia Airways (FD), Tiger Airways (TR) and Turkish Airlines (TK).
Where To Stay
When I visited The Maldives, I had no idea where I wanted to stay, I figured I’d figure it out when I arrive as this is how I normally travel. There are places to stay on both Malé at reasonable prices. I ended up staying at the Hotel UI Inn on Hulumale.
==>>You can find a list of hotels in Malé from TripAdvisor here.
Where To Eat
I love this part. On Male, you have a lot more choices and flavors. There are several immigrant communities in The Maldives so you’ll get a good mix of different foods, mostly Indian based.
And my favorite part is that Male has a huge market that looks like its always open. It is a fresh produce market (I have no idea where the food is grown) and a fish market. As there are many islands, fishing is a way of life and plays a big part in the community.
The ferries not only carry people, it also carries food between the islands.
It’s pretty amazing to see and get yourself some great food.
==>>Here are some restaurant recommendations from Trip Advisor.
What To Do
The Maldives is a Muslim country and as such some of the things to do surrounds this religion. Please respect the religion by following the instructions before entering the places of worship. There are a few mosques that are worth visiting.
And you must check out the local market which is pretty close to the main ferry station just across from the airport. Just follow the smell of the fish as its right across from the Fish Market.
Something I found interesting as I walked the island. They have a place where drivers take their test. You can actually watch and its quite entertaining. You will mostly see motorcycles as this is the primary means of transportation on the island.
If you continue walking around the edge of the island, you will run into it in the northeastern corner of the island near the ferry port on that end of the island.
==>>Here is a list of things to do from Trip Advisor.
==>>Viator also has a few tours in this region as well.
Here is some information from fellow blogger, Behan at Sailing Totem entitled Malé, Maldives: the biggest little city.