New Year Trip to Maldives

Had a wonderful time at Maldives recently. Uma, Gautham, Mekha and me went there for the New Year, and it was one of the best beach vacations I’ve had. Maldives is probably the closest best beach and coral destination to Kerala—it’s just one hour away by flight from Trivandrum.

It’s a huge island country in terms of total land and sea area, but the proportion of land to sea is skewed a truckload: most islands are less than a kilometre long, and far from each other. We stayed in Maafushi, which is touristy, but also affordable, and visited Guraidhoo and Gulhi. To just to give you an idea about how that looks on the big Maldives map, here’s some map porn:

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Yes, that’s pretty much the entirety of Maldives that we saw.

This also means that Maldives is a destination you can go to many, many times. Next time I want to go to the south. Fun facts and observations:

  • The language spoken is Divehi, which is an Indo-Aryan dialect, much like how Sri Lanka has Sinhalese. I would love to understand which seafaring aryan tribe (from India?) first spread this language to these countries, and why they don’t have Dravidian roots instead.
  • The English word atoll is from Divehi atoḷu. Very appropriate!
  • Snorkeling in the Maldives is just divine. The first time I put my head under water, I had a mindgasm. We snorkelled along the shore, the coral reefs, and the deep sea.  There’s so many places near to Maafushi that you can snorkel and see everything from turtles to octopuses to fishes, and dolphins in all their spectral colours. It’s just wonderful.
  • We did a Discover Scuba dive, and it was good, but not as great as the snorkelling. I missed the fact that I wasn’t in control, and there was just too much gear in the way. Should do this again though!
  • Maldives is a dry country without alcohol, but if you stay at Maafushi, it’s pretty easy (and expensive) to get bottles. We got whiskey and vodka for around ₹8K a bottle.

And as usual, took some pictures with my Leica. It was hard to get the camera out with so  much water (& fun in the water) in the way.

This was a wonderful place. By the sea, under the shade, on a swing.
These kinds of chairs (I call them a mini hammock), were everywhere. Not so good for my back though.
The streets were all unpaved. Good enough for an island just a kilometre long.
We did do some water-sports: kayaking (ok), jet-ski (fun, but hell on my back), catamaran ride (awesome, especially how the wind drives the boat), and fun boat (Uma loved this).

In short: great trip with fun people. Should do this again.

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