Here are 19 things to know before going to the Maldives! This will be the ultimate Maldives travel guide to get you acquainted with the Maldives in the shortest amount of time possible.
Read all the 19 things as there are some particularly interesting ones you don’t want to miss!
1_The Island Composure.
The Maldives is not one big island. Instead, it’s spread out with 1200 small islands that make up the Maldives. However, only 200 are inhabited with 80 around for resorts. The main island of the capital is called Male and it is fairly small too. Total population is around 500,000 over the whole islands.
2_ Visa For All
That’s the only country I know so far where all nationalities are granted a tourist visa on arrival. Oh! In case you know of other countries that allow all nationalities a tourist visa upon arrival, do comment down below and we’d love to hear that.
There’s no need to have a vaccination but yellow fever vaccination certificate might be applicable if you are from a country which is at risk.
Currency used is the Maldivian rufiyaa but USD is widely accepted. For us, we did not even change any money into Maldivian rufiyaa. We paid in USD and people gave us back in Maldivian rufiyaa. Take note that there are no ATMs on many islands. However you are sure to find ATMs in the Male island and as such make sure you have money from there or from whichever island you are landing at, that is international airports.
The official language in the Maldives is Dhihevi but English is widely spoken there. Fun fact to say hello in Dhihevi is Assalaamu Alaikum, which is derived from Arabic and many words are derived from Arabic too.
The Maldives is a 100% Islamic country by state and all citizens are required to be Muslims. No other religions are being practised there.
7_ Forbidden Items
Subsequently, Islamic laws are applied you are strictly forbidden to bring pork and alcohol when entering the Maldives. Alcohols are permitted only on tourist resorts. No displays of affection in public and also no bikinis. But something is interesting about bikinis which we’ll get back to you soon.
The airport itself is on an island of its own and there are two islands next to it Aale and Hulmumale. You have to take ferries to get to these and it takes only around five minutes. There are also routes linking the islands so no issue on that but since these islands are so close to the airport drone flying is not allowed there. You can do so on the other islands.
9_ SIM card
The airport will be the place where you can grab your SIM card as well. For SIM cards there are two main companies; Dhiraagu and Ooredoo out of which the former is the most common.
10_ Electric Socket
The Maldives the standard socket is the UK style 3 pin although there are some variations where they use type D. As such, do bring your universal adapter for more flexibility.
11_ Local Vs Resort
There are two types of islands. Local Islands and resort islands. Local islands are where locals live and definitely, these will be much cheaper than the expensive resort islands. Both have the same seas but resorts will naturally have a nicer and luxurious environment.
Your pick where you choose to go for the local vibe in Omadhoo island to save more money and you might hear this word quite often in the Maldives or when you are doing your research and this word is ‘Atoll”.
I did not know what was that but an atoll is a ring-shaped coral reef including a coral rim that encircles the lagoon partially or completely.
Transportation in the Maldives is like nowhere else you have to move across the ocean getting from one island to another is either by ferries speedboats or seaplanes. Public ferries for example from the Velana airport to Male city is less than 1 USD. For other places that would depend on the time taken. Speedboat transfers from male to Omadhoo island where we stayed was 25 USD per pax one way. Seaplanes can range from 150 USD upwards.
14_ Green Tax
It’s important to note that there’s also a green tax which tourists have to pay when they stay at guests house or resorts. for the latter is 6 USD per night per person while for guesthouse it’s 3 USD. This is a tax that encourages people not to harm the environment or to help pay for things that are good for the environment. Other than that it’s very common to pay 22% taxes 10% for service charge and 12% normal tax.
15_ Being On An Island
Don’t be surprised if you are on an island and you walk only 5 minutes to cover the whole island from end to end. This is typical there and there aren’t a lot of shops activities and nightlife around on the islands. Main activities would be mainly sea activities, swim, relaxed by the beach, go on excursions snorkelling and diving.
As for food, since the Maldives doesn’t have much land, many food items are imported and this is the reason why food could get slightly expensive especially at resorts. Local islands you can get away with a meal between 7 to 13 USD, which might be a bit expensive as well.
The Maldives has an all year round hot sunny tropical climate. High season is between December and March and that’s where prices will soar. The rainy season is from May to October. November to April would be the best time to visit this unique group of islands.
18_ Bikinis Beach
As we mentioned before bikinis are not allowed on Islands except for resort islands. For local islands, it’s banned but with the influx of many tourists, the government has declared a special enclosed area on each Island where tourists can wear their bikinis there. That said, nudism and topless sunbathing are a big no-no everywhere.
19_ World’s Lowest
The Maldives owns the title for the lowest country on the whole earth with an average of 1.5 meters above sea level.
There’s this everlasting concern though about sinking, especially with the climate changes and this is the reason why you should visit this country as soon as possible.
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