6 Practical Things to Know About The Maldives

6 things you did not know about Maldives 3

Maldives is a tiny country that consists of paradise-looking islands spread all over the Indian Ocean just south of India and Sri Lanka. That is pretty much everything I knew about the Maldives before visiting.

If you are thinking of a vacation in the Maldives, or you are just curious, then read on!

Here are some things that I wish I knew before visiting the country along with some interesting statistical facts about the Maldives:

1. Don’t wait for your honeymoon to visit!

3 Amazing Resorts in the Maldives Bandos 4

You do not need to wait for your honeymoon and you don’t even need a girlfriend of a boyfriend to enjoy the Maldives!

Believe it or not, Maldives is a destination not only for honeymooners but for everyone, really. You will find there an endless list of activities that you can try regardless of age and interests and, most importantly, you will never get bored!

In fact, I have written a post about 7 best excursions you have to do in the Maldives.

I have traveled the Maldives with a group of friends and we had a blast!!

3 Amazing Resorts In The Maldives Kandima friends

Along the tourists, we have seen there maaaaany families, people celebrating their bachelorette parties and more. But heck, you can even go in the Maldives by yourself!

If you go to the right place, you should expect to meet a lot of new people. You can find my recommendations for the right resorts here:

2. Maldives is not only for the rich and famous

3 Amazing Resorts In The Maldives Kandima pool 3

Me, and maybe you too, when we think of Maldives, we imagine something so luxurious that is absolutely unreachable to a normal person. A dream that will never come true, a place you will probably never visit in this life.

Did I guess it right? Well, at least this is how I imagined the Maldives before I visited…

It is partially true though, I won’t deny that you will not find a 5$ per night accommodation there, like in Thailand or Bali, but it is definitely way more affordable than you might think!

Starting at $200 – $250 US a night you can treat yourself with a very nice bungalow in a luxury resort on a private island. Be sure to book in advance though!

Kanuhura Resort in the Maldives Your Private Escape private pool

A minimum price for an all-famous water villa will start at about $450 US for 2 people with breakfast included. Not thousands, right?

For an average European or a North American, this can be done once in a lifetime, can’t it? And believe me – this is an experience that’s worth every penny!!

If this is still a bit too expensive for you then no worries, there is a solution! It may not be a water villa, but you can stay on a local island in a guesthouse. But hey, you know what? The sea has the same blue color everywhere in the Maldives!

Guesthouses on local islands start from around $50 to $100 US per night.

This is also not that budget-ish, I agree, but think about this: at your regular hotel in, let’s say, the middle of nowhere in USA or Australia, a simple room will cost you about $200 US.

Can this be compared to the beauty of the Maldives? I doubt so.

3. Alcohol is only allowed on resort islands

Kanuhura Resort in the Maldives Your Private Escape cocktail

It might come as a surprise to some travelers, but alcohol is banned on all local islands.

Maldives is a Muslim country, so the locals do not drink, nor sell alcohol.

If you are staying on a local island, not a resort, you can just enjoy this holiday sober.

However, there is a walk around to this rule on some local islands. For example, Maafushi has a genius solution to this problem – they have an offshore stationed boat with a complimentary transfer. There, you can drink alcohol with no problems! That is not land, so, technically, it’s perfectly okay! 🙂

3 Amazing Resorts in the Maldives Bandos 3

Similar restrictions apply to your bikini and other open clothes if you are staying on a local island. Try to dress modestly and respect the local traditions. You will usually find special “bikini zones”, where you can swim in an open swimming suit, but you should be dressed in a conservative way (long dress and a scarf to cover your shoulders) when passing through the village to get there.

This, of course, does not apply to those staying in a resort island; you can wear whatever you want there!

4. You can travel to the Maldives on a budget

3 Amazing Resorts In The Maldives 2

With tourism gaining traction in the Maldives, accommodation options are becoming more affordable. I am not talking about those overwater private island villas, as those properties will probably always be expensive.

What I’m talking about are the local guest houses.

A flight to Maldives can be dirt-cheap if you are already in Asia (check prices from Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Colombo) and it’s becoming more and more affordable to fly there from Europe and North America too, especially if you catch some crazy promos!

3 Amazing Resorts In The Maldives Kandima beach

So many people tell me how lucky I am when they see my colorful Maldives pictures on Instagram, and I mean, do not get me wrong, I love what I am doing, but not many people know that my way to travel blogging success was far from a bed of roses.

Anyway, what I am saying is – You can travel to the Maldives on a budget too! The sea has the same turquoise blue color both in a luxury resort and on a local island, and the underwater life is just as breathtaking!

Plus, if you cannot afford to spend your whole vacation in an overwater bungalow and sip amazing cocktails on a private island, then guess what, you can still do that for a fraction of the price of actually staying there!

How? Read the next point:

5. You do not need to stay in a posh resort to enjoy all its facilities

3 Amazing Resorts In The Maldives Kandima pool 5

How about enjoying everything the best resort has to offer not for $1000+ US a night, but $100+ US a day?

The trick is that it’s possible to visit those islands for a fee (it really depends on the island and conditions, but the prices start from $100 US) and enjoy all the best they have to offer – swimming pools, alcohol bars, delicious food, amazing views over water bungalows etc.

The catch? You won’t be staying there overnight, so you do not pay for the actual accommodation.

You will still get to take amazing pictures like this:

What you need to do is to take a speedboat from a local island that will take you to the closest luxury resort and then it will pick you up in the evening. How about this deal?

By the way, the day tours are also cheaper on the local islands, the prices usually start from $40 – $50 US.

Check out this video to see which were my 7 favorite excursions in the Maldives:

Which local islands can you go to?

Maafushi, Fulidhoo and Male/Hulhumale are the most popular local island and all of them have the necessary infrastructure to host tourists.

Kanuhura Resort in the Maldives Your Private Escape island above

Here are some fast tips to travel on a budget to the Maldives:

  • Change your money to MVR. Opposed to the private islands where you can only pay in USD, if you stay with the locals you should pay in Maldivian rufiyaa
  • Travel in a group, as this will help you save a lot of money on shared accommodation and transfers to places
  • Go to the Maldives during off-season, as prices for villas in luxury resorts can drop 2 or even 3 times (April to September)

6. The price you see is almost always not the price you will actually pay

Kanuhura Resort in the Maldives Your Private Escape private dinner island

You should know that there is also a 12% tax and 10% service charge. This applies to everything in the resort – from your restaurant bill to a sandwich in a Deli, or a sun cream that you buy from a shop.

So expect to pay 22% more for everything you see on the price list. There is also no need to leave any tips at the restaurants in your resort – you have already paid the service charge for that.

As you probably won’t deal with any cash at all during your stay on the island, this information is useful so that it doesn’t come as an unpleasant surprise at your check out.

BONUS: Some more facts about the Maldives
6 things you did not know about the Maldives 1

  • Maldives is the flattest country in the world
  • Maldives has the highest GDP per capital in South East Asia
  • Literacy rate in the Maldives is one of the highest in the world – 98%. The textbooks in schools are booth in Dhivehi (local language) and English, so the majority of the locals speak at least basic English
  • Male, the capital city of Maldives, is just a 2-hours flight away from Colombo or Sri Lanka
  • 60% of Maldivian GDP comes from tourism
  • It is also one of the most disparate countries in the world – their 1 190 islands are spread on over 90 000 m2.
  • There are 3 undersea restaurants in the Maldives at the moment – Ithaa Undersea Restaurant, Kuredu Resort and Hurawalhi Island Resort
  • Maldives has the world’s largest population of manta rays
    3 Amazing Resorts In The Maldives diving 3
  • Maldives actually has a very rich history and there are some ancient ruins that you can visit if you are interested
  • If you are staying in a Maldivian resort, you do not even need to bother withdrawing money in the local currency (Maldivian Rufiyaa), as all the prices are in USD. You will only need it if you’ll be staying on local islands
  • Some of the seaplanes have a luggage allowance of 25kg and you will have to pay an extra fee if your bag is heavier
  • Male, the capital, is an island. As the number of people increases and the land (obviously) doesn’t, the rent can reach crazy $1500 US per month there!
  • Not all of the islands are natural – some of them are actually man-made
  • Maldives’ population is 100% Islamic – the only other country in the world that has the same stats is Saudi Arabia
  • Every resort is basically its own private island – there are no islands at the moment with 2 different resorts on it
  • If you want to dive in the Maldives, but you do not hold a diving certificate, you still can do it, but at maximum 12 meters deep. Just ask at your local diving school!

Bonus – Where to Stay in the Maldives

where to stay in the Maldives

Luxury ($160 USD and up): I can definitely recommend three gorgeous and different resorts in the Maldives because I have stayed in each one – Kanuhura, Kandima, and Bandos! All of them have world-class facilities, amazing staff and everything you could wish for during your luxury vacation! You can read more about each of them and my experience in this post. Another great option is Milaidhoo Island Maldives – a 5-star luxury resort on the beach; you can choose to stay in water bungalows there as well!

Middle-priced (from $60 USD to $160 USD): Dhiguveli Maldives is a great 3-star accommodation on the beachfront. They have a very good on-site restaurant, a tour desk, air-conditioned rooms, and a delicious breakfast is served each morning. White Sand Dhigurah is another great 3-star resort with a sun terrace, an on-site restaurant, free Wi-Fi, water sports facilities and more!

Budget (up to $60 USD): Don’t worry, there are so many great budget accommodations in the Maldives as well! For example, Keyla Inn, which is located in Thulusdhoo, is a very nice Bed and Breakfast that awaits you with a fully equipped kitchenette, a private bathroom, and delicious breakfast! On the other hand, Thoddoo Beach Holiday Inn has many awesome facilities such as free bike rental, private beach area, shared lounge and, of course, the rooms are very cozy and clean!

Practical info about the Maldives

How to get to the Maldives

6 things you did not know about the Maldives map 2

Maldives requires a 12-15 hours flight with a connection from Europe (I flew with Qatar airways, which has a service that never disappoints), and about 20 hours from USA or Canada.

Good news for people from Asia or traveling in Asia – you can fly to Male International Airport with AirAsia now – this is one of the cheapest low costs in the world and it’s very well interconnected in Asia. Try checking the flights from Colombo, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore or Bangkok for some great deals.

Best time of the year for the Maldives

3 Amazing Resorts In The Maldives Kandima plane

December and January are considered to be the best months to go to the Maldives, but also the most expensive. The season goes from December to April – when it is warm and you’ll get no rain. May (esp. from July on) to November – this is when storms and rains are likely to happen because that’s when the monsoon season is.

I have visited Maldives in the second half of September, and even if they said it was supposed to be a monsoon season, it only rained once for 20 minutes; for the rest of the time the weather was shiny and perfect. But you can never know, as the weather is unpredictable with our current environmental situation.

The temperature doesn’t really ever drop below 23 C.

Transportation inside the Maldives

6 things you did not know about the Maldives seaplane

The currently available domestic flight operators are FlyMe and Maldivian Air. Speed boats and sea planes are to be booked by your hotel for you.

What to pack for Maldives

Here is a detailed post about 15 Things You Should Take To Your Maldives Trip (And 5 You Should Not), but let me name the most important things here:

Internet in the Maldives

I am not sure if having a stable Internet connection is important to you, but for me, as I am a travel blogger, it was. The internet was working fine in all the resorts, even though it was not very fast.

I bought a 4G sim card that had fantastic coverage and fast internet everywhere I went. It is called Dhirragu and the price was $15 US for 15 GB.

Future of tourism in the Maldives

3 Amazing Resorts In The Maldives 3

I have had a chance to speak with some representatives of the tourism board of Maldives and they are very much interested in enlarging the image of the Maldives from not only a luxury destination but also as a place where you can stay in affordable guesthouses too.

Until 2009, it was actually illegal for locals to open guesthouses, but now the government has opened the doors of independent tourism and there are already over 200 guesthouses, Airbnbs and holiday apartments opened! This is just the beginning; we can expect a big change in the country’s tourism industry in the following couple of years already.


Conclusion

3 Amazing Resorts In The Maldives Kandima water bungalow

Maldives is truly an amazing country – it is the “Sunny Side of life”, as the locals like to call their own country.

There are quite a lot of things that I’ve learned about the Maldives during my stay there and I wish I knew them before.

I hope this post has armed you with some useful knowledge on the Maldives and that if you decide to go there, you will go prepared.

6 things you did not know about the maldives 2

What was the most useful/surprising fact about the Maldives?

Share it with me in the comments below!

Yulia


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By |2020-02-20T18:22:19+04:00March 26th, 2018|Maldives, Asia, Popular|40 Comments
About the Author:
Yulia is originally Russian but truly is a world citizen in heart. She was traveling around the world for over 4 years now. Her blog MissTourist.com is created with the purpose to inspire people to travel more and to share her advice of how to travel "smart".

40 Comments

  1. Ivan 06.04.2018 at 01:06 - Reply

    Great article! Definitely would like to go there!

  2. Robert 06.04.2018 at 18:23 - Reply

    Wow a wonderful post for those like me, wanting desperately to experience the Maldives. Will definitely bookmark this page for future reference. Had no idea it was a Muslim country and that you can fly easily from Singapore! Thanks for sharing this excellent post and photos. Rob 🙂

    • Yulia 09.04.2018 at 13:25 - Reply

      Hi Rob,
      happy it was useful!
      I hope you will visit Maldives as soon as you have a chance, it is such a wonderful couuntry and I cant wait to go back in fact!

  3. sarah 21.06.2018 at 14:36 - Reply

    Hey, I am currently researching and planning our trip from the uk to the maldives. I have not yet decided which island to go to but it will be one of the resort islands. We are looking to book all inclusive (2 weeks dec 2019 in a water bungalow) and I wondered about the service charge and any other fees that may be payable? If we are all inclusive and everything is paid for in advance will we still receive a bill at the end of our stay? Thank you

  4. VK 02.08.2018 at 11:29 - Reply

    Brilliant and Informative blogging on Maldives… Likewise has helped my family & friends with excitement and getting to know!!!

    Cheers
    VK

  5. Jade 10.10.2018 at 10:40 - Reply

    These azure blue waters have been calling out my name for the longest time! Thanks for the informative article – I plan to make a trip in early 2019!

  6. Edna 14.11.2018 at 17:47 - Reply

    I love your resort… It looks so amazing…Nice pictures

  7. Jet-lag-trips 18.11.2018 at 13:02 - Reply

    Hope to go there soon

  8. Angela Lok 08.01.2019 at 19:51 - Reply

    this article brings back so many memories from my 2018 trip to the Maldives, one of my favourites ever! the waters, the beaches, the weather, the locals – ah! the Maldives are truly a gem in this world

  9. Manas Agarwal 12.03.2019 at 12:05 - Reply

    Hi Yulia,
    I was looking for content on the Maldives today when I stumbled your very good article.
    Good stuff! I enjoyed the whole article.

  10. Eric Wilson 15.03.2019 at 18:47 - Reply

    Great information have look on ours ELITETRAVELS.CO.UK

  11. jennefer aispuro 29.03.2019 at 08:26 - Reply

    Hi Julia, question!
    What year did you go in September? I want to go in Sep but worried weather will be bad.

  12. Dawn 04.05.2019 at 11:58 - Reply

    Hi thank you thank you for your most informative blog. I’ve booked a surprise trip for my partners 50th to the Maldives, we leave the UK on the 30th of may 19 so the information you have shared has helped me no end. Looking forward to 10 nights of our idea of heaven I’m not rich so I’ve saved like mad for a year to pay for this trip cant wait to see his face when I tell him its gonna blow his mind. He will find out about it 2 weeks before we go excited

  13. Elizabeth 17.05.2019 at 20:35 - Reply

    Dear Yulia, Thanks for all the great information on Maldives. We are goig there for the first time June 2019 and I am trying to arrange accommodation. There are soooo many options and I was holing to get some tips on the most reasonably priced atoll (in terms of accommodation as well as transportation) I dont think we can afford private plane and were hoping to find some great nearby islands with a ferry option. Do you have any recommendations please?
    Thanks so much 🙂

    • Yulia 17.05.2019 at 20:37 - Reply

      Hi, Elizabeth!

      Going to the Maldives on a budget is definitely possible! For example, you can stay on Maafushi or Fulidhoo, for example. Both of them can be reached with a public ferry that leaves every day except Fridays. Below I will recommend two great budget accommodations for each of them:

      – Maafushi: Stingray Beach Inn (they have a restaurant, common hot tub and nice rooms) or Kurumba Villa (a nice guesthouse with colorful rooms)

      – Fulidhoo: Thundi Guest House (air-conditioned rooms, free Wi-Fi, in-house restaurant) or Kinan Retreat (rooms with terrace or balcony, barbecue area and private beach).

      I hope this helps!

  14. Player1 20.05.2019 at 15:44 - Reply

    Good article. One note about the no need to tip. Tip if you want to. Don’t tip if you don’t want to. Your service charge is not a top. If you feel like someone went over the top for you, at least write them a positive review. If you do an activity like scuba diving or jetski ride with one instructor, your service charge does not go directly to them. So if you pay $200 to try scuba diving, and the service charge is $20, this is not a tip. This is usually split between 15-30 people.

    • Yulia 21.05.2019 at 11:48 - Reply

      Hi Player1,
      thanks for the comment!
      Yes, thanks for clarifying for the others, I meant restaurants only in that case

  15. gloria 22.06.2019 at 20:53 - Reply

    nice and helpfull web yulia. well done!
    do we have a choice with service charge… we intend to do diving courses so with 10% service charge and than 12% goverment tax this amounts to 23.5% wich is fair amount of money. can we refuse to pay a service charge at the resort? thanks gloria

    • Yulia 24.06.2019 at 19:38 - Reply

      Hi, Gloria, thank you so much, glad I could help! 🙂 As far as I know, service charges are a standard and cannot be avoided in the Maldives 🙁

  16. ashish 01.07.2019 at 15:15 - Reply

    hey…thnx a lot for your article… its a great help

    • Yulia 01.07.2019 at 16:32 - Reply

      Thank you, I’m glad I could help!

  17. MATHEW 26.07.2019 at 10:14 - Reply

    Awesome pics with perfect explanation. Hope to receive more blogs from you!!!

    • Yulia 29.07.2019 at 18:16 - Reply

      Thank you, I’m so glad you enjoyed the article!

  18. Ulia 14.08.2019 at 12:12 - Reply

    Heya Great blog…..but just wanna inform you that you can even explore Darjeeling which is in the north east part of the India.
    And if you are looking for a reasonable prices so you can even explore the given link……..
    https://www.flyingroups.com/queen-of-hills-darjeeling

  19. Was 08.09.2019 at 19:46 - Reply

    Hey yulia. I just wanted to tell you that I am a Maldivian and reading this blog makes me so happy and I am so glad that you loved our country. I love my country so much. I love to see that other people keep liking and visiting our country. Like you said in the blog, that you love the country very much. Thankyou so much for your inspiration and what you think about the maldives. Please visit us soon
    Love your Maldivian friend _Ziva _

    • Yulia 09.09.2019 at 11:30 - Reply

      Thank you for your nice comment, Ziva! It is indeed a beautiful country, I was truly amazed by it!

  20. Sue 01.10.2019 at 03:58 - Reply

    Hi Yulia
    Determined to go in November to Maldive. you had provided plenty of info to make my trip. I will keep you posted about my plans and trip.

    • Yulia 02.10.2019 at 11:13 - Reply

      Great, have fun on your travels!

  21. Travel in pictures 09.11.2019 at 12:21 - Reply

    Hi, thanks for sharing. Maldives is a wonderful place for couples and families!
    Our kids enjoyed everything, and we took amazing pictures!

  22. Ann 11.11.2019 at 09:41 - Reply

    Great read thank you. In our late 50’s, do u think we would feel out of place ?

    • Yulia 12.11.2019 at 01:45 - Reply

      Hello,

      Thank you! No, not at all! It’s a wonderful place to enjoy at every age and there are people of all ages coming there to spend a nice holiday!

  23. gemmy george 01.02.2020 at 11:14 - Reply

    Great article.Its useful tips for me.Thanks for sharing

    • Yulia 03.02.2020 at 11:15 - Reply

      Thank you, I’m really happy it’s useful!

  24. Betty 04.02.2020 at 10:40 - Reply

    Loved this article! Planning by trip to go this late fall! Where can I get more information about visiting those resorts on a day trip? Thanks yulia!

    • Yulia 05.02.2020 at 15:52 - Reply

      Hey Betty,

      Thank you!

      I haven’t personally tried this, I just know it exists, so I can’t give you the full details, but there are websites like this one where they offer rides for resorts and you can contact them to find out more! (Again, I haven’t personally used this, so I couldn’t tell you how it goes!).

  25. MVpatriotX 26.02.2020 at 21:51 - Reply

    Hi my name is Muhammad Zidhaan and im from Maldives: Thoddoo
    I just wanted to say thank you for your Amazing Blog on our country!
    I believe it will help our economy to go beyond the boundaries!
    THANK YOU!

    • Yulia 28.02.2020 at 17:07 - Reply

      Thank you!

      I trully love the Maldives, so I do my best to share a bit of its beauty with others!

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