Much is known about Maldives as a beautiful tourist resort, the scorching sun, the sandy beaches, the clear waters and the heavenly experience. We have been privileged to be invited as a guest to Vilu Reef and had the chance to learn more about Maldives and experience life like a local.
Getting to Male, the capital city of Maldives
Maldives has a big cluster of sea and land that has over 1,190 islands. The capital city is known as Male (pronounced as Ma-Lay). You fly direct into Ibrahim Nasir International Airport (named after the previous president).
Loading up the boat which will bring us from the airport to the city. Check out how clear the water is, even at night!
The small city has a population of 350,000 people with one-third of the people living in the small town of 2km2. The small city is self-sufficient and well supplied and you see many international brand names here including banks and water heater systems.
We managed to catch a glimpse of the crowded fish market. These fishes are fresh from the fishing boats, delivering tuna fishes that contains loads of protein and omega for the people.
The President’s Office is situated right in front of the harbour. The harbour must have been of great importance to the country.
To my amazement, the people here are extremely literate and most of them speak English well. At least 90% of them are literate in this language and most of the people work in tourism related jobs. The origins of Maldives trace back to Arabic origins and it is an Islamic country. The people here are Muslims. You would be impressed by the number of smart phone users here, even the housewife that sends her children to and fro school carries a smartphone!
The Maldivian breakfast signature – Mashuni
The food here is a mix of Malay and Indian cuisine, with curries and pratas. Due to the proximity to the sea, tuna is a predominant dish for meals. Yes, you are loading up on omega and protein here! My favourite food of the trip is Mashuni. This is a dish that is commonly served for breakfast. It is like a tuna spread that is very refreshing and light. It is made with grated coconut, curry leaves, chilli padi, onions and lime, of course not forgetting tuna. The spread goes well with Roshi (something like Chappati).
Getting to Vilu Reef – The Seaplane experience
To get to Vilu Reef, we took a 5-minute bus ride from Male International Airport to the Seaplane Terminal to board a seaplane. The island is approximately 147 km away and took us a 50-minute ride. It was an eye opener but not a comfortable experience as it was so small and ventilated by the air breeze. The rewarding part is the good view of islands and different shades of blue sea bed as you fly by.
Waiting at the VIP Lounge for time to board the seaplane. VIP Lounge with gorgeous view exclusive to guests of few resorts, Vilu Reef is one of the few exclusive resorts.
Nicely parked seaplanes, taken from the balcony of the VIP Lounge.
We alighted at a floating platform some distance away from the resort and took a 5-minute boat ride to the resort. Long journey but trust me, it is all worth it as you see the villas and bright green sea bed from a distance!
An overview of the islands of Maldives from the plane’s magazine.
At long last – Vilu Reef Resort and Spa
Vilu Reef Resort and Spa was officially opened in 1998. Its clientele are mainly European. We were warmly welcomed with scented cooling towels from the journey. During our stay, we were pleasantly surprised to meet a Singaporean couple there on honeymoon and a Singaporean diving instructor!
Finally stepped on the resort! Look at the clear green waters!
The welcome plaque. Oops, pardon my crooked angle.
Our welcome drink at the bar, nicely prepared and laid out on the table.
I can’t help but snap some random pictures of the resort before we go into the room. Here’s the pool view at the resort restaurant.
The water villas. Yes, you can go down from your villa for a swim and snorkel! More pricey than beach villas but worth an investment ‘cos that’s what you are here for!
Of course there were lots of greens as well.
To view my stay at the gorgeous Beach Villa and Presidential Suite, please read Villa Paradise Getaway At Vilu Reef Resort In Maldives Part 2
About The Guest Blogger
Hui Ping is an adventurous gal who enjoys beach holidays, not a fan of the sun but loves the sea and marine life. An aspiring diver.