Writes Kiev fotoblogger Alex Shepherd:
I love aviation theme, but this time the story is not just about airplanes, but also about the ocean. Airport in the Maldives - is located on an artificial island in the middle of the Indian Ocean.
We were transiting in the Maldives, so that under the cut advice how to spend your day in this sweltering country and whether there is a "paradise", as they say the rave reviews ?!
1. Located on the island of Hulhule next door to the Maldivian capital of Male. The largest airport in the country and the only international is different because it is located on a long and narrow island and the runway begins and ends right on the water. Two weeks prior to the departure attempt to get a good seat at the window was a fiasco, so the photo above the city and the airport, I took on the website airliners.net, © Mikhail Gorichev.
2. The airport was opened October 19, 1960. The first runway (914 by 22 meters) was paved with steel plates. In May 1964, the Government decided to replace Male coating on the asphalt. Removing the old coating was carried out in four groups of local residents, who competed for a cash prize of 1,000 Maldivian Rufiyaa. The new runway was opened on April 12, 1966. November 11, 1981 the airport was inaugurated, entitled "Male International Airport." July 26, 2011 the airport is officially called «Ibrahim Nasir International Airport» in honor of the second president of the country. The main terminal for international flights:
13. Maldives - a Muslim country, and the entry to the island with alcohol is strictly forbidden, all luggage is scanned on this occasion:
14. At the airport free Wi-Fi, a pleasant surprise very cute children's room:
19. How is organized transportation on the Maldives? You arrive at Male International Airport, then you will be transferred to the islands: if you sail close - it would be a boat.
21. Sam Male - a sea cargo port, cargo ships there too:
22. If the plane flies at night, the only way out - it's a hotel. Quite expensive right next to the airport and a low cost in Male and Hulhumale Island. This "Doni" - passenger boats, which go from the island of Hulhule itself in the capital Male:
23. If your island is far away - you have to take a seaplane one of two companies - Maldivian Air Taxi or Transmaldivian, domestic terminal is located on the other side of the island, near the international buses are expected here:
25. That the domestic terminal and parking seaplanes:
28. The road runs along the perimeter of the island at the edge of the runway during take-off and landing aircraft, blocked passage:
29. Our bus stopped ...
30. ... to skip the landing aircraft from Doha:
32. Maldives, officially the Republic of Maldives - a country in South Asia, located on a group of atolls in the Indian Ocean, located south of India. It's all taken very compact ... Male, capital of Maldives, is composed of 5 areas, four of which are located on the island of Male, and the fifth - on the island of Vilingile. Population - 100 thousand. Man. This is one of the most densely populated cities in the world by the ratio of the number of inhabitants to the total area:
35. Lack of land led to the removal of oil tanks in the individual island and prison, from which, naturally, will not be able to escape. The capital of the island and the resort - two big differences. The usual Muslim Asian city and the rule of luxury resorts on the islands. That view on the island of Male, the airport:
36. Private-island storage facility:
And now the lyrical ...
We were able to make a free stopover in the Maldives on the road (do24 hours) or $ 100 a stop for more than 24 hours. It is important that our main route was at a very good price, just to the Maldives so cheap not fly. And so I began to choose where to spend 1-2 nights, but found that the cost of the night ranged from $ 180-200 to infinity. Often only included breakfast and dinner, the restaurant will cost from $ 50 per person ... and there is no alternative - it's an island!
My search led to:
1. Surrounding the cheapest (!) Of the island resorts:
- Bandos Island (10min AIDS bot). Boat $ 50 round-trip, room with breakfast and dinner $ 180.
- Paradise Island (30 minutes by speed bot). Boat $ 80 room with breakfast $ 170. In the opinion of all the islands is very expensive, so "breakfast only" = another $ 50 for a dinner in the restaurant.
- Fun Island (40 minutes by boat) - for mediocre reviews and photos, 150 per room + 100 per boat.
BOTTOM LINE: This day have I poured of + 500-600 dollars. Option was dropped.
I do not beachgoers and what to do there more than 1 day on a small island - can not imagine. Personally, I will be sad and boring. But it IMHO.
2. Written off with three local tour agentsvo with the question "for 5-6 hours to drive to one of the closest ostorovov and return to the airport." A request from 150 to 300 dollars for that person.
3. deducted from Bandos ostorovom (next) for "just swim to them for 40 dolaarov." Very sluggish wrote "that the boat must be combined with the other passengers," etc. I understand that these customers do not need them. Although $ 40 for 10 minutes by boat !!!
4. As a result, we decided to go swim at the public beach on Hulhumale Island - is connected to the airport and nearby ostorov, he is now being built, there on the shore there are a couple of simple inexpensive hotel (ie not kurotnyh bukgalo). Minibus to cost $ 1 to ride 10 minutes.
37. Reception at «Fuanna Inn» on the island of Hulhumale, where we had dinner, room it costs $ 50, a great lunch on the terrace on the roof with 6 dollarov1
42. As a result, bought on the excellent beach. BUT! hot, scorching equatorial sun did not like it at all. And in the picture, yes, it looks nice. Maldives - a luxury brand, nothing more. I was in Southeast Asia, there is all the same, the same island, but for the right price to fit any budget. Here you can write that I was not "just-on-how-paradise-island-on-Maldives" ... yes, was not, but perfectly imagine that paying a lot of money, I get the same white beach with spiky bottom of broken coral, banal palm trees, scorching sun, boring pool, snorkeling questionable as at least some entertainment. The island is small, it is nothing but white sand, palm trees and turquoise sea. And friends will groan then ... "you were in the Maldives")) In general, the result of a mine - the world is so interesting and varied that all worth trying, but to idolize popular brand "paradise of the Maldives," hardly. Maldvy top nicely furnished failed because the flight was evening and the sun was already low enough for good aerial photography:
45. These are the Maldives 1 day