Single Lady: Maldives

I’m a single 28 year old American chick. I’m independent and strong-willed. I have no problem traveling alone, but I’ve noticed there’s a serious lacking of information about women who travel alone in foreign countries. I’m not saying I always have the greatest trips, but I can share my experiences and try to give insight to the ladies in the world who choose to travel independently.

In October 2012, I went to the Maldives by myself. I didn’t know where to stay or what to do, but I had found a ticket from Thailand that was cheap, so I grabbed it. I flew from Bangkok to Colombo (Sri lanka – smelliest and most boring airport I have ever been in). When you fly into any tropical location, get yourself a window seat. IMG_0960  It is GORGEOUS.

You can’t just show up to a country that’s made up of sinking atolls without a place to stay – so, I used the fantastic site, http://www.couchsurfing.org, to crash on a couch for two nights in Male. Luke is a seaplane pilot there from Canada. While I crashed his couch, he helped me to find an atoll to stay on that wasn’t going to break the bank and wasn’t a complete couple resort.

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I took a ferry to get there and enjoyed the sun for a good few hours. The atoll was Ma’afushi. It was a local atoll that still had Muslim customs..so there was no alcohol and I couldn’t walk around in a bikini. There was a particular strip of beach that was “allowing” of women in bathing suits, but the weather wasn’t great for it.

The place I stayed was fantastic: Dhonveli View.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  From the outsideOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  The welcome deskOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  The small loungeOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA simple breakfast nook

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I got a large and clean room with a queen size bed (two singles pushed together) and a clean bathroom with hot water.

 

For around $50USD a night, meals were included and were fantastic. They served me dinner on the roof overlooking the ocean and the night sky.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA There was so much food that I could barely eat it all. The main source of food there is fish (obviously), so I had quite a variety of tuna and rice during my stay.

The family that owned it were very sweet and accommodating. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

When I wanted to go diving, they recommended a guide for me to go with and I had an amazing dive buddy, a Dutch lady who was also visiting the island. The weather wasn’t great (as mentioned) so a couple of the dive spots were rough, but the dive master helped me with everything. We saw a shipwreck and did a drift dive after viewing 100+ black and white tipped reef sharks.

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The next day I asked to go to a resort island so that I may have a few drinks and enjoy the beach and water in a bikini on my holiday. I wish I could remember the name of the resort, so I could warn you. (For those who aren’t aware, a resort will typically be on it’s own atoll so that it can regulate the drinking laws and cater to the guests. Like many resorts, if you want to visit it for a day, there will be an entry fee.) This resort was beautiful. It had sand paths and so many trees.
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The sand was clean and the beaches had chairs and towels provided. I asked to go snorkeling and the concierge pointed me in the direction of the scuba/snorkel shack. The man in charge of the scuba/snorkel shack was the BIGGEST ASSHOLE! I was paying to use the masks and he would not allow me to rent one. He said it was because I was not a resort guest. I went back and asked the concierge about it, and they called him up and sent me back to him. He still did not permit to rent a snorkel mask, depriving me of one of the main reasons I had come to the island. Literally, he ruined the majority of my resort visit. So I went to the bar and luckily it started raining (this made it better because i didn’t feel as bad about missing the beach). I had the most expensive gin + tonic ever. Then I went and got a 90 minute massage…because why not? The massage wasn’t bad, but the spa was gorgeous. It was so what I expected when I walked in – beautiful flowers and wood and art. It was peaceful just to walk in. After the massage I went back to the beach and sun bathed until just before sunset. I met the boat that took me back to Maafushi. I don’t know why I was so upset, but I was really not in a good mood. I walked into my room and there was a beautiful bouquet of my favorite flowers: Plumeria. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
The staff had left me this gorgeous gift in my nicely tidied room. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

They gave me a great dinner OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA and I sat in the main area with the girls who work there and we all chatted for a few hours. They were really sweet. I highly recommend it as a place to stay.

I took a ferry back to Male and went to a resort near the airport to wait for my flight back to Thailand. Of course, it was super sunny out. I met a great group of people who told me about how they had done a dive excursion. They stayed on a boat for a week and did 3 dives a day (and some at night). Those lucky bastards saw whale sharks – – – the only thing on my diving bucket list.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA There is no joke about the water being crystal clear. 50 shades of blue to be seen here. The ground is hard but the sand is soft and fine, like sugar.

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At the end of the beach that allows bathing suits is a gorgeous house that I believe was a school at one point. I can’t remember exactly but it had some kind of damage done (obviously) and it is now abandoned.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Colorful sand bags for when a storm comes and the waves get a bit rough.

 

In the end, I would recommend a trip to the Maldives at some point in your life. However, maybe go with friends or a significant other – and get yourselves a water bungalow!

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