A few things I learnt today:
1. Most of the excursions started before 8:30 in Hulhumale
2. Club Med Kani is a nice resorts, probably one of the nicest. However, one way transfer costs about US$200 so for the round trip alone is enough for me to have a small getaway to a nearby country. So I could only hope, in due time, I’ll feel comfortable to afford it. (Definitely not now)
3. Friday is the rest day for Maldives. Offices are closed. Ferry to Malé doesn’t run until 1:30pm
It seemed like i ran out of options when i reached the lobby by 8:50am, still dirty (the hot water wasn’t working in the room and I went to bed leaving sea water in my hair. Frustrated, I talked to my new travel mate, who was even more frustrated because the revolutionist forgot to book her diving trip, her sole purpose here. Running out of the normal options turned out to be a blessing in disguise.
We decided to go and Chillax at the nearby beach till the ferry ran and ventured into the city and toured around.
The Hulhumale beach is just stunning with clear water sectioned into difference colors thanks to the difference in depth. The view itself cleanse your mind and soul.
It’s a no bikini beach. So we had to wear shorts and t shirt on top of our bikinis. I didn’t expect to do snorkelling but my friend brought her own set and her fins. So I bumped up my courage and had a try. My first try wasn’t that successful due to my poor swimming skills and the corals were quite sharp and I barely stood. I returned quickly and buried myself into the world of Robert Langdon.
My friend came back from another dip in the water and encouraged me to use the fin and try again. This time was a lot better. I couldn’t quite control the fin but it floated. I could stand after first falling. I managed to see some fish. Well done me!
Tanning with my t shirt and shorts on weren’t too bad. I still managed to get some color and read my book. Slightly difference from what I envisioned – tanning in my bikini with a cold beer in one hand and a good book on the other. Did I also mention that alcohol was prohibited in the whole Hulhumale Island? Detox!
So we went back to the hotel and take a shower in out soaking wet attire. The second cold shower I had this trip. I couldn’t stand but wash my hair with the cold water. Quite an experience actually.
We took the bus to the pier (N2 – neighbourhood 2 to ferry). We waited for about 10 minutes at the bus stop along with a local family. The people here are so nice and kind.
At the pier, we just missed one ferry. A putter group of tourists (a mixed group of Chinese and german students) laughed at our disappointed looks. I overheard they spoke mandarin together. I must say I’m impressed. The Chinese guy spoke conversational mandarin to the other two white guys I. A reasonably normal speed. The two guys totally understood. One of the guys held the door for us and spoke something in Chinese. I retuned with a “xiexie”. When we took photos outside of the ferry. The same guy yelled “kuai dian Er!” (hurry!) obviously teasing our photo taking. When I walked past them, I said in Chinese “I speak Chinese too” as a return to their teasing. Too bad that we sat too far away and they went on to a taxi right after the ferry so we didn’t talk.
Apart from normal passengers, bikers with their motorbikes got on the ferry too.
With the idea “Malé is one of the most disappointing cities in the world” in mind, I had zero expectation. There was a guy outside of the pier asking for money scared me a little. Many of the restaurants looked dark and dodgy with only male patrons. We just walked and tried to go to a restaurant for lunch. After a few turns and asking the way, we stumbled upon a nice outdoor restaurant overlooking the artificial beach. Yay! One tourist attraction hit! Free wifi at the restaurant. We googled hard immediately on what to eat and where to go.
We tried the signature dish in the restaurant ( Blue thunder), which is a sandwich with meat and melted cheese.
With big urge of trying out local food, we picked two more Sri Lanka dish – Devilled Prawn (a spicy version of sweet & sour prawn) and kothu roti (similar to Indonesian stirred fried fat noodles with meat). They are really tasty with strong favours. We were the only female patrons there and other male patrons just stared at us.
My sense of direction was just bad. We were supposed to be 1 minute away from the friday mosque but we couldn’t find it. Instead we walked all the way to the tsunami memorial statue. The sea view along the wall was breath-taking. You could take photo from
All angles and they all look good.
There were surfers too, surfing in the city centre.
We also stopped by having a coconut. When we asked for a spoon to pick the inside. The seller just cut the coconut in halves and slide a small portion of the skin and asked us to use it as a spoon. It worked! How smart!
With views like this, who needs fancy dinning tables?
Somehow, I was still under the impression that we could find a mall to walk around with restaurants and clean toilets. We asked the way again and the guy seemed puzzled. It couldn’t be good. We followed his direction and found ourselves slowly moving to the shopping area.
The color cloth shop fascinated us. Touching the different fabric and imaging how there fabric can mix together to build beautiful clothes was nostalgic and new in a way. It reminded me of my mom bringing me to cloth shops back in mainland China when I was little and buying cloth to make clothes for me; new in a way was that I was never that close to so many different fabric and textures and colors.
After a few turns, we finally found the shopping street where we were supposed to go. It’s a lot busier than any others streets and festive. When we finally decided to walk back to the pier, we found the mosque. We were really close indeed. And we found an outdoor restaurant for an early and light dinner. To our great surprise, there were many other female patrons there and mixed tables of male and female. That was actually new to us in Malé. Our meal was delightful with a mix of spicy Thai salad and a calming spaghetti cabanara, finally something not spicy.
That concluded our relaxing day with a combination of beach and touring.