Bone-whites and, deserted beaches, stunning reefs, underwater nightclubs, snorkelling in crystal clear waters, and a plethora of drool-worthy luxury resorts – the breathtaking beauty of the Maldives is simply remarkable. So when Sushila Bokadia– along with her husband, Ronak Bokadia, and friends – revelled in the sensuality of the island recently, she couldn’t wait to share her unforgettable experience with us.
The Maldives. For my husband and me, the very name stirs feelings of luxury and adventure, and conjures up visions of a place filled with exotic sights, sounds and smells. And we were not disappointed when we finally arrived on this stunning chain of islands in the Indian Ocean. Historically and geographically, theMaldives have had cultural and economic ties with its neighbours India and Sri Lanka, but they’re a world apart in atmosphere. Consisting of 26 natural atolls, the Maldives comprises 1,192 islands and is a low-lying nation that is largely about communing with the ebbing tides.
Warnings aside, North Male Atoll is a great vacation site. Upon arrival, we had booked a personal car to reach our resort – which is the best way to travel the island. And like all the resorts that have their own beaches in this tropical nation, Paradise Island Resort & Spa had its own sparkling azure pool, wrap-around veranda and bedrooms with king-size beds. On our first day, we relaxed and enjoyed the surroundings, and walked the beaches in the evening.One thing we noticed – and also a reason why we love travelling – is how the staff and locals are always delighted to help the tourists. Several times they even guided us to their favourite places. As Maldivians follow Islamic traditions in food, dining at Paradise was a pleasure. The cuisine was fresh and innovative, and the wine list was carefully handpicked.
The island has various programmes, outstanding displays and great souvenir shopping. Many areas host activities every day — like the crab race — and the people there make sure you and your friends have a great time. So after eating, we started exploring the town and participated in various water sports like scuba diving, jet skiing and paragliding. Since it’s not just a single island to explore, most of the time we would cruise out on a tour boat and hop from one island to other. Many cultural activities are conducted on the roadside; we saw people playing musical instruments, dancing and performing mimicry. Later on, we experience the island from a different perspective when we visited Tsunami Monument and Hulhumale Mosque.
On our last day in the low-lying nation, we decided to visit the capital city of Male, which also happens to be a one-stop-shop destination for shopping. We also visited Majeedee Magu, a small but upscale market where shops line the main streets and are easily accessible by trolley. This major shopping area is a pedestrian area, and therefore a charming place for a stroll. Other than that, they also sell souvenirs such as miniatures of mats and boats, wooden flower vases, slippers and brooms that are made out of coconut and palm leaves. At the end of a tiresome day, we opted for a spa treatment, which made our experience in the Maldives all the more special. We departed, invigorated by the tropical atmosphere, and wondering whether the rest of the world was even necessary! –as told to Anisha