Tuesday, February 11, 2014

From Singapore to Maldives

early birdies who woke up at 6+am on 大年初一 to catch a flight

 empty street at 7am....so in the end, we had a call for cab... =S 

ticket (S$800 each) to clear blue sky, clear blue sea and white sandy beach

Had breakfast at Wang's cafe before our 4 hours 45 minutes flight via Tigerair

paid $30 each for this extra leg space.... =) 

Happi Angs onboard 

Happi Mr Ang bought the $5 combo of straits time with coffee to keep himself entertained 

As it was the first day of Chinese New Year, there was a surprise lucky draw on flight.... 3 lucky winners were picked to receive a gift (dun know what gift though, i assumed it was free air ticket) 

one of the 3 lucky winners

Smoking is prohibited on the aircraft. 
Outside food is also not allowed.
So what if we 'smoke' outside food in the aircraft leh???? wahahahahaha.... 

(first photo of Maldives upon touched down)

after a 4 hr and 15 min flight, we arrived at Maldives at approx 11.30am local time (3 hours behind Singapore) and was greeted with a very simple airport that looks like batam ferry terminal... oops... 

met with some obstacles during custom clearance as it is a must to have a booking with a hotel or resort... i had booked an apartment via airbnb that dosen't have an official name... luckily, i had the host, Annett's number and the custom officer gave her a call to check on some details before giving us the passport chop that allowed us to continue with our trip... =) 

happy to meet friendly customs officers who chatted with us in perfect English while clearing our custom checks... =) 

as we had US$ and euro with us, we din patronise the 2 money changers at the airport... turn out to be a great move as our host gave us amazing rufiyaa (Rf, maldivian currency) rates for our euros... =D.... 

anyway, was surprised to see international restaurants at the airport...

which i dissuaded mr ang to have lunch at thinking that we should check out the capital, Malé (pronounced as Ma-Lay), to try their local food instead.... and also because we would be having our lunch at the airport on departure day anyway....

turned out that it was the first regret on the trip.... more about that later... ='(

the view outside the airport... luv luv.... 

met a third friendly maldivian who showed us the way to the public ferry terminal.... ticket price was Rf$10 ($0.80) each but as we paid in US$, we weren't given any change...  by right, they supposed to give us change in RF according to the tourist guide de lo... =S 

the first ferry out of many many we took on this trip

surprise surprise when we reached  Malé after the 8 minute ferry ride.... the first sight was definitely nowhere near the pretty pretty picturesque view of white sandy beaches, clear blue water, swaying coconut trees and attap huts.... 

but all i saw was run-down buildings and shops along the way with rubbish littered everywhere.... =S .... and remember the first regret i mentioned earlier???? ALL restaurants/cafes/convenient stores were CLOSED for prayers and would only be open after 1.30pm (Singapore time 4.30pm).... we were starving lo, had breakfast at 9am Singapore time and only snacked on some love letters on the plane... =S 

lorry on lorry ....hmmmm.... weird but interesting way of transporting smaller vehicles around the tiny island... 

 we walked for a good 30 minutes under the hot sun and in lousy slippers which gave me blisters before reaching Villingilli ferry terminal which was at the other end of the island... =S 

hot and sticky and shocked to find out that even the ferry terminal was closed for prayer till 1.30pm... =S ...basically the whole country comes to a standstill during this holy hour from 12.30 - 1.30pm every Friday... 

(3.25 MVR = S$0.30) for the ferry from Malé to Villingilli 
wait wait wait and finally boarded the ferry and in less than 10 minutes, we reached Villingilli and Annett was at the terminal with her baby girl to receive us.... =) 

couldn't help but felt disappointed that this little island where our apartment was, was also nowhere near the picturesque view of white sandy beaches, clear blue water, swaying coconut trees and attap huts that had dominated our mind the moment we think of the country 'Maldives'... =S .... 

Annett was friendly and shared with us about the way of life of the maldivians on this little local island, where to get food and she was kind enough to exchange the euros we brought to RF at a very good rate... (PS: we brought euros along cos Mr Ang insisted that they can be used according to his friend's past experience.... guess his friends must had stayed at the high-end resort) 

our apartment is on the second floor of this 4 storey building... here we have the landlord registering mr ang's thumbprint for building access.... was surprised that technology is so advanced for such a laid back island... 

anyway, immediately rushed down to one of the local cafe to have our lunch

For Mr Ang 

For Mrs Ang 

food were prepared before hand and not heated upon order so were alittle too cold for my liking... =S.... but as we were starving, we cleared the plates... 

price were really low though, together with 2 bottles of coke, the meal cost us Rf$71 = S$5.85

took a walk after lunch and within 30 minutes, we cleared one round around the whole island... that's how small the island is

this island really impressed me, they housed an international school 

One of the the '3' beaches surrounding this tiny island

 despite having fine white sand with crystal clear water, the beach was way too small to feel invited... =S ...and there isn't any house reef around this island and hence not possible to do any great snorkelling at this island itself

found this piece of 'rubbish' on the beach....  

look like our english worksheet lo.... but guess it was part of the maldivian curriculum as their is also taught in English and their literacy rate for age 10 - 45yrs old is at 98.2% (according to the tourist guide)... impressive max for a country that is 100% muslim and nearest countries around are India and Sri Lanka  

anyway, first day experience at Maldives was totally different from what i had expected... i had expected to see one full stretch of white sand with crystal clear water EVERYWHERE..... 真的是希望越大,失望就越大.... =S

i should have done more research instead of rushing into booking this apartment on this island...though the host was great and that it gave us an opportunity to experience the local maldivian way of life, it really set me into panic mode that day as i was worried that mr ang and I would be stuck on this tiny island for all 3 days of our trip without doing any thing that i had expected to do in maldives, one of the most romantic place for beach holiday ... =S 

and i wasn't really happy with the apartment too.... 
heater was not functioning, tv wasn't working on the first day, toilet gave off a rotten egg smell whenever it was flushed, the internet was slow and unstable, which was super frustrating as it slowed down my process of trying to find more info about free & easy travel in maldives

the roof top photo which had attracted me to book this apartment cheated my feelings too... =S 

Yes, i could see the sunrise and sunset from the roof top if i wanted to 

but why would i want to when the condition of the roof top was like this???? 

and this was the entrance to the roof top.... really is !@&^%$#@*

it din help when Mr Ang decided to just sleep and sleep and sleep and even slept through dinner time.... guess he was just too tired and disappointed to wake up from his nap... =S


myhiddenparis said...

Maldives a small beautiful paradise with god gifted beauty.

ibnu marzuki al firdaus said...

Now airasia AK very cheap. I only spend sgd50 return nett. N sleep free at airport long chair :D