Top 10 places to visit: Maldives - Sail away from smog

Top 10 places to visit: Maldives - Sail away from smog

One of the best places in the world to see the sea is the Maldives. If you’re looking for a laid-back, no pressure, dreamy holiday, this is the place for you

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Take a break from the skyscraping city of Hong Kong.

Why Maldives?

The Maldives has a very different vibe from Hong Kong, or any other city. The pace of live is slower, and people actually lift their heads and take a look around them instead of staring at their phones all day.

The islands are famous for biodiversity. If you love nature, you’ll love the Maldives, where more than 2,000 species of fish await you in the oceans. Don’t worry if you can’t swim, because tourists can take glass-bottomed boats to the reefs where you can find everything from moray eels to whale sharks.

You’ll be quite sure to see an endangered turtles, like the hawksbill and the green turtles, which aren’t actually green.

The gentle, giant whale sharks are also at risk of extinction, but tourists to the islands can snorkel up close to them. Don’t worry, they don’t bite, they just suck plankton from the sea, but their mouths are huge!


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Things to do

  • You have to just chill in the ocean and watch the turtles swimming by.
  • Besides the rare whale sharks, you could also get to see other cetaceans like spinner dolphins, and possibly even the rarest species of whale, the bottlenose.
  • Not many people can say they’ ve swum with a mana rays. These relatives of sharks can grow to seven metres wide, and glide around the oceans like enormous kites.
  • This group of islands is in the tropics, which make the reef fish here... tropical fish. The coral itself also adds to the colourful spectacle, and if you don’t have an underwater camera you’ll wish you did.
  • Some tours even give customers some food to attract the fish towards them. This isn’t really a good thing to do as they need to find their own, but it makes sure you get to see a lot of different fish.
    The sea around the Maldives can be your playground - you practically become a dolphin!
  • Obviously, water sports are a big part of a holiday here. You can spend your time learning how to surf or windsurf. Conditions for windsurfing are very good, especially for beginners because the winds and waves are not crazy wild.

  • Ever wanted to know what a bird feels like? You can if you go parasailing. The view from up there is unforgettable. If you can take your camera it will make an amazing selfie.

  • When you’ve got used to living naturally you can try fishing too. You can learn the traditional Maldivian way to fish with a pole and line. But, you’ve seen it in the movies, and you’ve saved up all your lai see, you can blow it all on a game fishing trip. There are sailfish, barracuda, wahoo and jackfish for the hunting. Wahoo indeed.

  • If water isn’t really your thing, then don’t go to the Maldives, jk. But sometimes you just want to get away from all the sun and surf so take a walk around the National History museum in Male. It’s open from 9am to 5pm from Sunday to Thursday.

  • Not for those with a weak stomach, be warned, but the Male fish market is a great place to buy some seafood for your dinner. You can choose from tuna, grouper, octopus and a whole lot more.

Lucky divers will spot turtles like this Hawksbill

The downside

Things aren’t always perfect. Sadly, this applies to the Maldives as well. The prices of everything in Maldives is pretty expensive. Just the plane ticket HK$4,000 return. On top of that you have to cover accommodation and food. You can rein in the spending by choosing to eat at local places.

All things considered, Maldives remains as one of the most popular destinations for international travel. If you have money to spare, I would recommend staying at the Maldives for a couple of days to experience what you can’t here in Hong Kong.

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
Sail away from smog

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