Rediscovering the capital Male of the Maldives
|Festive election banners line the streets|
The day before we left the Maldives, we traded sands for cobblestones and shores for narrow alleyways – it was time to return to the city. Male is a particularly small island which you can fully explore in a day. Head to the east side to reach the small artificial beach, while at the west end of Ameer Ahmed Magu are numerous souvenir shops. Along this street lies the Independence Square (Jumhooree Maidhaan), a park marked by the Maldivian flag where flocks of pigeons come to be fed by the locals; and Traders Hotel Maldives, where you can avail of the MVR 299 (USD 20) dinner buffet at Lime, their international all-day-dining restaurant. Be sure to pass by Countline beside the hotel, which is a retail outlet of the local manufacturer offering their brand of authentic Maldivian chocolates as well as others. For some al fresco drinks and dining with a relaxing view of the harbor, proceed to The Sea House restaurant atop the Hulhumale Ferry Terminal, a great place to try Maldivian fish curry and their signature drink, Best Lemonade Ever.
GOOD TO KNOW: My biggest mistake, which nobody else has to repeat, was not spending all of my remaining rufiyaa before leaving. I soon learned that no money changer outside of the Maldives was accepting their currency. So although I was 54 rufiyaa richer, I was also 6 chocolate bars poorer. The lesson: use up all your MVR in Male to buy souvenirs and snacks and leave just MVR 10 for the ferry ticket back to the airport.
|Election paraphernalia written in Dhivehi, the local Maldivian language|
|Narrow stone streets evoke a quaint vibe|
|With India found to the north of the Maldives, the locals resemble people from India / Bangladesh / Sri Lanka|
|The edge of the entire city looks a little something like this|
|The Maldivian flag at Independence Square (Jumhoree Maidhaan)|
|...where tourists like to take photos, of the area and of the wonderful local children playing|
|Traders Hotel - the best hotel at highest hotel in all of Male|
|A few steps away and you can find Countline chocolate shop - you can't miss it|
|A delight for chocolate lovers and to some extent, people with OCD.|
Now, I wouldn't be thetravelguyshops if I didn't share what you could buy in Male City, would I?
Go for these authentic and inexpensive sweets rather than the overpriced island souvenirs.