Now that the Maldives is reopening its borders and commencing tourism for international tourists, are you tempted to visit? If you’ve never been to this beautiful archipelago in the middle of the Indian Ocean, there’s so much to discover. Whether you’re planning a trip here for the first time or simply daydreaming about overwater resorts and underwater restaurants, here’s some key things to know about the Maldives…
Things to Know About the Maldives
1. Maldives is a Muslim country
The religion is often overlooked by first-timers but it is important to know this beforehand and pay attention to adhering to the norms. While bikinis and bathing suits are okay in resorts, they are not acceptable whilst staying in local islands, unless there is a specific “Bikini Beach” for the purpose. Public display of affection is also a serious matter – it’s best if you keep it to a minimum in the local islands.
2. Maldives has its own language
The official language here is Dhivehi, but the good news is that the country also has one of the highest literacy rates in the world. This means that the majority of the people have a good command of English which makes it easier for communication.
3. It has its own currency
Maldives uses the Maldivian Rufiyaa (MVR). Other forms of currency such as US dollars and Euros are accepted in most places and you can also pay using your card. There are card machines and ATMs available in most islands and resorts but it is advisable to carry cash if you are on a local island, just to be on the safe side.
4. You will find alcohol – and pork – at resorts and liveaboards
For resorts and liveaboard boats, the rules are a bit more relaxed and there will be plenty of ‘Western’ items to choose from. However, due to the fact that Maldives is a Muslim country, alcohol and pork are prohibited on local islands.
5. It is possible to enjoy the Maldives on a budget!
You can still get to live the ultimate beach-life dream on a budget! Do this by staying at a guest house or boutique hotel on a local island. This ensures an opportunity to experience the island lifestyle whilst experiencing the Maldivian culture and heritage.
6. You won’t need a visa
A 30-day visa is issued on arrival for all nationalities. Just make sure your passport has at least 6 months validity remaining and that you have a valid ticket to return home. However, with current safety precautions in place, you will need a health declaration card as per the procedure.
7. You’ll travel by seaplane or speed boat
You’ll take a speed boat to visit islands that are in close proximity. Whereas a seaplane is the transport of choice for more remote islands and resorts. Traveling by a seaplane is a unique experience by itself – you can see islands and atolls as a whole and take lots of lovely pictures on the way!