Day 6

Speed Tourism Male in a Day

Paradise Found in the Indian Ocean: Day 6
Putting the poor weather in good use with a tour of Maldives’ capital city, Male in a day.

We started our 2nd day at Kurumba with a champagne breakfast at the Ocean Grill. The storm from yesterday did not yet pass so we enjoyed the view of the turbulent sea and darkened morning sky.

Champagne and freshly squeezed orange juice to sip on, a main of Eggs Benedict, with warm pastries, yogurt, and assorted fruits made for a delicious breakfast.

Champagne and freshly squeezed orange juice to sip on, a main of Eggs Benedict, with warm pastries, yogurt, and assorted fruits made for a delicious breakfast.

Beautiful purple orchids at Kurumba's Orchid Nursery

Beautiful purple orchids at Kurumba’s Orchid Nursery

After our meal, we were given a “Sun on Holiday” schedule of activities during the rain and reviewed the options. We decided it would be a perfect day to get some culture and see the capital of the Maldives, Male.

I called Myla to see if there were any options for a trip to the island as we already missed the morning tour boat. She later confirmed that we could hitch a ride with the staff boat to Male and arranged a tour guide to meet us and show us around. Wow, talk about meeting guests needs!

We went back to the room to get our things ready for the day trip. Then at 1:40 pm, we headed to the lobby where a staff member lead us to the boat.

Tranquil lagoon and turbulent seas...

Tranquil lagoon and turbulent seas…

View of Kurumba Island from the boat to Male.

View of Kurumba Island from the boat to Male.

Male

On arrival we had a guide, Sharif, greet us with an umbrella and a smile. He works at the Ministry of Tourism and has a lot of experience with daily tours of the city.

From the drop off point, we could see one of the Coast Guard’s bases. One of the main branches of Maldives military, the Coast Guard is in charge of security for a country that is 99% water, so they have quite a daunting task. Our guide mentioned that Somali pirates sometimes get lost and end up in the Maldives too.

President’s Office

Our first stop was the office of the President of the Maldives which is were the president gets his work done.

We saw this building in the movie “The Island President”.

We saw this building in the movie “The Island President”.

The tallest building in the Maldives is only 13 floors and due to less than ideal foundations, they can’t get much taller.

The tallest building in the Maldives is only 13 floors and due to less than ideal foundations, they can’t get much taller.

The legislative body of the Maldives, the People's Majlis.

The legislative body of the Maldives, the People’s Majlis.

Muliaage

We walked over to the Official Residence of the President. Built 1914-1919 on the site of the home of the Sultan Shamsuddeen. It is right next to the tomb, Medhu Ziyaari. Buried here is Abul Barakat Yousef Alberberi, who brought Islam to the Maldives in 1153.

The White House of the Maldives is rather colorful!

The White House of the Maldives is rather colorful!

Door to the tomb, which is a place that Muslims pay homage to.

Door to the tomb, which is a place that Muslims pay homage to.

Male’ Hukuru Miskiy

Across the President’s residence, is the oldest mosque of the Maldives also known as the Old Friday Mosque. Built in 1658 AD, the construction is mostly made of coral shipped over from around the Maldives. It was cut into bricks and each piece is meticulously carved. The teak roof is covered by a corrugated iron roof to protect the entire structure.

The tombstones in the graveyard were also carved out of coral.

The tombstones in the graveyard were also carved out of coral.

We stopped by the Bank of Maldives to get some Maldivian rufiyaa from the ATM. Then we walked over to Sultan Park, the main public park of Male. Adjacent to the park is the country’s museum.

National Museum

The museum wasn’t very impressive, besides some turbans, ancient Maldivian artifacts, and a small Maldivian flag taken by Apollo 11 on the first trip to the moon. This could be due to the destruction of the pre-Islamic artifacts in February this year by extremists.

The museum was built by a Chinese team sent over under a China Aid program. Once we were inside, it looked like we were in Beijing judging by the building and interior details.

The museum was built by a Chinese team sent over under a China Aid program. Once we were inside, it looked like we were in Beijing judging by the building and interior details.

We then walked by some other landmarks before browsing the fruit and fish markets.

The shiny metallic statue celebrates the independence of the Maldives in 1965. The flags on the memorial behind it are for the fallen Maldivian soldiers during a failed coup d'état in 1988, by Maldivians and mercenaries from Sri Lanka.

The shiny metallic statue celebrates the independence of the Maldives in 1965. The flags on the memorial behind it are for the fallen Maldivian soldiers during a failed coup d’état in 1988, by Maldivians and mercenaries from Sri Lanka.

Rainy <strong>Republic Square</strong> and the flag of the Maldives.

Rainy Republic Square and the flag of the Maldives.

The largest mosque in Male and one of the biggest in asia, the <strong>Grand Friday Mosque</strong> holds 5,000 people for service.

The largest mosque in Male and one of the biggest in asia, the Grand Friday Mosque holds 5,000 people for service.

A local market selling mostly bananas and some other exotic fruit from the region. We tried some of the bananas and tasted some spices.

A local market selling mostly bananas and some other exotic fruit from the region. We tried some of the bananas and tasted some spices.

Catch of the day at Male’s central fish market.

Catch of the day at Male’s central fish market.

Settled on this winning T-shirt for my tourism pictures. There was a small street lined with overpriced souvenir shops. They really cater to the Chinese market with Chinese signs posted all over!

Settled on this winning T-shirt for my tourism pictures. There was a small street lined with overpriced souvenir shops. They really cater to the Chinese market with Chinese signs posted all over!

When then went for a snack at a local café with our guide. We were getting hungry at this point but didn’t want to eat too much as we had a nice dinner planned at Kurumba.

Enjoying our mild fish curry and roti with our guide.

Enjoying our mild fish curry and roti with our guide.

We then went back to the pier to get a ride to Kurumba. We bumped into Leah on the yacht who also happened to be in Male. We briefly caught up a bit before arriving at the resort. Christina and I were both a bit tired from all the walking, but glad we finished the main sites of Male in an afternoon!

Dinner at Al Qasr, La Cucina, and Ocean Grill

For dinner, Kurumba arranged a really special and unique experience, a three course meal at three different restaurants! We met with Leah at reception at 8 pm and headed to our appetizer.

Al Qasr is the middle eastern restaurant with a fitting curtain-draped interior. We conversed over different types of hummus, falafel, vegetables and some excellent red wine.

Though the appetizer was ample enough to be a meal, we headed to our main course at La Cucina. The candle lit Italian restaurant was very romantic and filled with many couples. I enjoyed a succulent tuna steak paired with red wine.

We concluded our dinner at the Ocean Grill with a dessert sampler of white chocolate mousse, strawberry topped cake, chocolate fudge cake and a fruit compote. Dessert of course was served with rose champagne.

We continued to Beach Bar next door to watch the show of the traditional Maldivian dance. The exuberance of the performance spread into the audience and we enjoyed the show with champagne and a hookah.

The rhythm of the drums and vocals mixed with the lighting effects was mesmerizing.

The rhythm of the drums and vocals mixed with the lighting effects was mesmerizing.

We spent the remainder of the night lounging and immersed in interesting conversation. Both the dinner and company were perfect. The best part of traveling is meeting interesting people like Leah.

Getting back to our bungalow, we decided to make the best of the warm night and take a midnight swim. Our bodies in the lagoon water glowed with the phosphorescence of the plankton.

It doesn’t get any more exciting than a night swim in the Maldives.

It doesn’t get any more exciting than a night swim in the Maldives.

I can’t believe we are leaving tomorrow, but I’m sure we’ll make the best of the last day!

David De Clercq

About David De Clercq

Founder and writer at World-Adventurer.com, David is on a mission to travel to every country in the world and recently surpassed 100 countries! He loves new adventures, unique cultures, historic landmarks, and luxurious hotels. Follow along as David shares a journey of a lifetime!