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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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10 Things to Know Before Your Maldives Trip!

Maldives is a country that’s on every single person’s bucket list. Whether you’re trying to visit the famous glowing beaches or sit back and relax, Maldives is the perfect destination. This tropical paradise in South Asia is a dream come true for travellers. This destination is the go-to honeymoon spot, a haven for adventure travellers and families and a peaceful retreat for solo travellers. If you’re also looking to book your trip to the Maldives soon, here are 10 things to know before visiting the country.

01. Pre-Book Your Tickets

Maldives has been a popular destination for decades now, making it pricy to visit the country oftentimes. But if you’ve had this destination on your bucket list for a while now, there are ways to make it more budget-friendly. One of the major travel tips is to pre-book your flight in advance. You can explore some amazing fares to the Maldives through Batik Air, Singapore Airlines, and Virgin Atlantic. One of the best times to go to Maldives would be during the off-season, which falls between May and November.

02. Is a Visa Required for the Maldives?

A visa is one of the few things you would not have to worry about on a trip to the Maldives. Maldives is a country where an on-arrival tourist visa is issued to travellers from all corners of the world. Although there are certain measures you need to take to ensure the on-arrival tourist visa, you can book your flights without having to worry about this extra.

03. Flip-Flops 24/7

Just like any beachy tropical destination, make sure to pack flip-flops for your Maldives trip. This rule applies whether it’s rainy or sunny season. One of the biggest struggles people who forget to pack flip-flops is having to wear shoes in a beachy destination. Whether you’re going to Conrad, LUX* South Ari Atoll or the local island just 10 minutes away, packing a pair of flip-flops will be a game changer. If you forget, worry not as you can always buy a pair at a store for a fairly good price. If you’re booking your stay at a Maldives resort, you will most likely get a pair of flip-flops to wear during your trip for free.

04. Language

What language does Maldives speak? A lot of travellers might think that Maldives does not have its own language, but you could not be more wrong. Maldivians speak ‘Dhivehi’, but if you’re unfamiliar with the language you don’t have to worry. As the second language in the Maldives ins English, communication is fairly easy on the islands and resorts. One big traveller tip when visiting Maldives or any other country would be to learn the basics. How to greet people and how to say thank you!

05. Currency and Expenses

If you book your stay at a Maldives resort, you often do not have to worry so much about the currency and expenses. Oftentimes, as Maldives holidays are booked and pre-paid, you only need pocket money for emergencies. When you’re visiting the Maldives, one of the best things you can do is to bring US dollars as the currency form. As it is harder to tell whether every resort accepts pounds or euros, it’s better to not take that chance and bring US dollars. If you’re travelling to local islands, however, you would have to exchange the money for Maldivian Rufiya. You can easily do this at any money exchange, which can be located in the city area.

06. Best Way to Explore Maldives?

The best way to explore this dreamy destination is by foot and motorbike. As Maldivian islands are small and beachy, it is often times inconvenient to travel and explore by car. When you’re in the city area, you can also opt for public transportation. On most islands, you can also opt for renting bicycles. To travel between islands, you can explore speedboat transfers as well as domestic flights through Villa Air, Maldivian, Manta or seaplanes through TMA!

07. Local Customs & Dress Code

As the Maldives is a 100% Muslim country, there are some dress code rules to be wary of. If you’re visiting local islands, be mindful of covering up in local areas. Although more tourist-friendly islands have bikini beaches, this does not apply to all local islands. You can of course still wear sun dresses and shorts. Another important fact to know is that local islands do not serve alcoholic beverages. You can still enjoy amazing mocktails by the beach. These two rules, however, do not apply if you’re staying at Maldives resorts.

08. Protecting the Environment

One of the reasons why people love visiting the Maldives is because the islands look so untouched. As the island nation is vulnerable to climate change, sustainability is at the forefront when it comes to everything. So, when you’re visiting the Maldives be mindful of the environment. Some steps you can take include using reef-safe sunblock and making sure you do not leave trash at the beach.

09. What’s the Best Time to Visit Maldives?

Weather in the Maldives can be unpredictable. Although we all want sunny weather for beach days, it can get rainy at any time of the year. As the dry season is often between November and April, this time period is recommended for a Maldives trip. However, as it’s a tropical destination, you may still get lucky with good weather during the monsoon season as well!

10. Food Culture

Maldives might be a small nation, but there is an amazing food culture to explore. If your stay is booked at a resort or an island, one thing you must explore is the local food culture. Not only is it relatively healthy, but local food in the Maldives is hard to find anywhere else in the world. One thing to note is that if you have any dietary restrictions or allergies, inform your resort beforehand so they can cater to your needs.

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