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05 Ways to Connect with the Traditional Side of Maldives

Traditional Boduberu being played to guests at Kanhura Maldives
If you're someone who wants to experience the Maldives in a traditional way, here are 05 ways you can do it!

Traditional features of the Maldives can be found in every corner of the country. Whether its a luxury resort or guesthouse in a local Island, the aesthetics of Maldivian culture is blended into every space while the sounds of tradition surround us. If you’re someone who wants to experience the Maldives in a traditional way, here are 05 ways you can do it!

Cuisine: try Mas Riha (Maldivian fish curry)

The Maldives offers a variety of tastes and cuisine distinctive to the island nation. However, one of the dishes that stand out is the Mas Riha (fish curry) of Maldives. CNN ranked Mas Riha among the Top 12 Curries in the World, with the dish coming in 6th place. Typically, ingredients in Mas Riha Include; coconut milk, tuna, fresh vegetables, and spices. Many Maldivian dishes use coconuts as a common ingredient in addition to tuna and veggies.

Activity: Embark on a fishing trip

Fishing holds a great significance to the livelihood of Maldivian locals. Likewise, the fishing industry is the second-biggest industry after the tourism industry in the Maldives. Most resorts and guesthouses offer fishing experiences on a traditional Dhoni. And don’t forget, night fishing on a traditional Dhoni is a not-to-miss experience in the Maldives.

Image: Angsana Velavaru

Historical: A Visit to Utheemu Ganduvaru in Haa Alif Utheemu

Utheemu Ganduvaru is the birthplace and home of Sultan Mohamed Thakurufaanu. The sultan is one of the most revered heroes in Maldivian history. Hence, the Ganduvaru (palace) holds great significance to locals since Mohamed Thakurufaanu saved the people from the Portuguese in 1558.

Art & crafts: A visit to the Maldives Discovery Centre at Crossroads Maldives

This unique attraction at Crossroads Maldives uses stunning designs and interactive displays, allowing you to explore the Maldives’ rich history. In addition to that, the discovery center exhibits marine biodiversity and how local arts & crafts have shaped the islands’ unique cultural identity. Furthermore, you can discover handicrafts showcasing the Maldivians’ way of life at the centre as well.

Image: Crossroads Maldives

Music: Listen to Boduberu

You don’t have to be in the Maldives to listen to Boduberu! Mainly played at traditional events, Boduberu literally means big drums. However, this catchy folk music is also played at weddings, events, and welcoming ceremonies as well. Furthermore, drummers, singers, and dancers perform Boduberu in large groups.

How would you connect with the traditional side of Maldives? There are many more ways to experience the rich culture of the Maldives. And you can also see the traditions of Maldives from decades ago practiced in the local islands even today!

Feature image by Kanuhura Maldives
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What to Pack for a Trip to the Maldives: A Complete Guide

From bikinis to sundress, let's uncover everything you need to pack for a short getaway to the Maldives!

Dressing for the Maldives is both about fashion as well as practicalities. This can make packing for the Maldives a little complicated for many. How many bikinis do I need to pack? Do I need an evening gown? Do resorts in the Maldives provide sunblock and sandals? These are all valid questions for a first-time traveller to the Maldives, or any tropical beach destination!

So, here is your guide on what to pack for your next trip to the Maldives.

How many Bikinis do I Need to Pack?

The answer to this question depends on a few factors. How many days are you travelling for? Are you planning to partake in lots of watersports activities? Regardless, the easy route to this answer is, that you can never pack too many bikis to a tropical destination. You can pack 10 bikinis for a 10-day vacation or 20 bikinis to switch things up more often. From experience, one thing about a trip to the Maldives is, that whether it rains or whether it’s scorching hot, beach day never gets cancelled. So you can never pack too many bikinis or beach wear.

It’s not just a practical choice, but packing more beach wear can also free up a lot of space in your travel bag for other essentials. If you’re going on a romantic getaway, we do recommend bringing a few sun-dresses for a nice dinner or cocktail party. Depending on the resort you book, white parties and themed nights are like small festive activities you can dress up for. You can either plan ahead and bring outfits coordinated for white parties or themed nights. But if you don’t have any space in your luggage to pack for these occasions you can always buy a brand new dress at the boutique shops. You can find these in most resorts in the Maldives. In addition to cute sun-dresses and evening gowns, guests can also purchase bikinis, trinkets and jewellery at these stores.

If you’re thinking of going island hopping, we do recommend bringing something more covered up. Unlike the resorts, in local islands travellers are not allowed to wear bikinis (unless there is a specified bikini beach). You can still wear shorts, sundresses and short-sleeved shirts!

Do I need to Pack Sandals for a Trip to the Maldives?

If you have any shoes packed into your luggage, we recommend switching them with your most comfortable pair of sandals. Or you could save more space by not bringing any additional footwear. In almost any resort in the Maldives, guests are presented with a pair of sandals and in-door slippers in the villa. In addition to this, resorts also provide beach bags and beach towels.

Upon arrival, you may also notice that most people just prefer to walk barefoot on resorts. After all, it’s all just sandy and beach in the Maldives! After a long day at the beach, you can always wash off in front of the villa before going in. So, sandals or flip-flops are the least of your worries here.

One addition you might want to make is a sun hat, sunglasses and beach cover-up. This is especially important for those who are new to tropical weather. It’s always best to keep yourself protected, even on vacation.

What are Some Essentials to Bring on My Trip?

Although you can find most things you need at resort shops, if you are someone who sticks to certain brands there are a few things you can bring. In addition to your cosmetics, we highly recommend bringing your favourite sunblock. You can always purchase them in resort shops if you forget. One recommendation when buying sunblock for the Maldives is to ensure it is reef-friendly. This way, you can keep yourself and nature protected at the same time.

Since a trip to the Maldives is often a long journey for many, we also fully recommend getting travel insurance. While this is not the most fun part of trip planning to the Maldives, it is essential. Travel insurance is the best way to safeguard your trip against any mishaps.

Another not-so-fun part of trip planning is thinking about an adapter. It is often a travel mishap that everyone faces. How many times have you been to another country and faced the struggles of not being able to plug your electronics into charge? Whether you’re going to Maldives or anywhere else in the world, getting a universal adapter is always a smart move to make.

Leave your Visa stress behind when you’re booking a vacation to the Maldives. In this country, it’s visa-on-arrival for travellers! As long as you have 6-month validity to your passport and a return ticket, you should be good to go!

If you’re not looking to have a Kim Kardashian moment, stop worrying about what accessories to pack for your trip to Maldives as well. Leave the luxurious pieces behind and embrace the island life. But if you really don’t feel like parting ways with your jewellery, most resorts provide safe boxes for your valuables.

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