The Wonder of the World
Maldives with 1,190 islands, is world renown for its natural beauty and tranquility. The Indian Ocean and the atolls provide breathtaking view from above. I was fortunate to spend 4 days there which are too short, to soak in the stunning beauty of the island. It took 4 hours and 10 minutes flight from KLIA to Male International Airport, Maldives by Malaysia Airline. We arrived at night and I was struck by the shimmering crystal clear sea at the ferry terminal. We were transported to our hotel in Male by boat, an exciting venture.
Our tour started the next day with island hop to Himmafushi and Villingilis islands. Male is a small island city, congested with people and thousands of motorbikes. The city is bustling with colourful flag war, ready for the election on 7 September 2013. Since it was just after the celebration of Eid Al Mubarak for the Muslims, the fish market was not as active as any other normal days. 95% of Maldives popultion is Muslim and I like it as we could find halal food anywhere.
The island hop cost us US$30 for 2 islands and I loved these visits. We had fresh coconut water which of course similar to the ones we have in Malaysia to quench our thirst. Converting it to Malaysian Ringgit, one young coconut costs 3 times more here. The Annarah mosque is small but so clean and attractive. All the coconut trees at the beach leaned towards the ocean, maybe because of the winds. We were not able to see the big fish market here because it was late in the day already and everyone has packed up and the market was closed. You need to go there early in the morning to see the fishermen load the fish to the market and trading takes place.
Villingili island is so pretty, clean with gorgeous colourtful sea. I met Aminah, the manager of the Health Centre who was kind enough to let us use the washrooms. She did her master's degree in nursing management in University Hospital in Kuala Lumpur and is quite familiar with Malaysians and Malaysia. The day was really hot but the humidity is not as high as in Malaysia.
The walking tour of Male was interesting. I particularly like the Hakuru Miskiiy Mosque or Old Friday Mosque which is 350 years old built in 1656 by Sultan Ibrahim Iskandhar. The interior and exterior wall are intricately carved from coral stones. Door and window frames are made of teak, red sandalwood and redwood. It's a magnificent old architecture. The compound of the mosque is clean and you can see an old well with its long handle water scoops for ablution. The yard accommodates an old graveyard with big tombstones for the royal families. Suggestion was made to put this mosque as a World Heritage. I hope they do.
May Allah bless you Maldives and pray you stay gorgeous forever.