Southeast Asia might be filled with thousands of tropical beaches, but who’s to say that we can’t venture outside the region for more sun-soaked destinations? Enter the Maldives: an archipelagic country in the Indian Ocean, famous for its luxurious overwater bungalows, diverse marine life, and crystal clear waters that go as far as the eye could see.
The kind of place where you can forget all your worries, it has all the makings of an idyllic island sanctuary. Hence, it’s no surprise that travelling to the Maldives is on many Southeast Asians’ bucket lists. If you’ve already visited before, then you’ll probably know what we’re talking about. If not, then it’s about time you see what the hype is all about… soon!
1. Waking up to the ocean is nothing short of magical
“It’s the experience of staying in such a luxurious accommodation for me, along with the privacy of having ocean views.” – Tanya, Singapore
Of course, the overwater bungalows are a no-brainer when it comes to reasons to travel to the Maldives. After all, when one mentions the Maldives, they’re often the first thing that comes to mind. Think idyllic villas with open terraces and steps leading right to the ocean. Some even come with glass floors!
Watch the sunrise from the comfort of your bed, then spend your day lounging on your private deck. Don’t forget to take a dip every now and then! Also, who wouldn’t want to bask in a breathtaking seascape that you can have all to yourself?
Time to live out your vacation dreams and Visit Maldives! Experience the most epic ocean views from one of the many islands resorts around the archipelago.
2. There’s never a shortage of azure-filled sights
“I’m looking forward to the sight of water all around.” – Darren, Malaysia
Expect blue, blue, and even more blue — from the moment you arrive at Velana International Airport, to when you get to the beach of your choice. We wouldn’t blame you if you feel torn between stepping into the clear blue waters, or sitting back in a chaise to admire the scenery! The Maldives has always been known for its pristine shores that are equally stunning during the day and at night.
Speaking of nighttime, make sure to stop by Mudhdhoo Island, where you’ll find the famous Glowing Beach. The waves emit bluish light due to bioluminescence from planktons, creating a truly mesmerising effect.
3. It’s just as gorgeous underwater!
“It’s one of my favourite places in the world to go snorkelling and diving!” – David, Thailand
For the adventurous traveller, the highlight of any Maldives trip would certainly be exploring its aquatic life. The currents are often very mild, so you can float at your own pace and take your time admiring all the vibrant corals. You’ll also spot fishes that come in different shapes, sizes, and colours; some of which you can even find right outside your overwater villa.
For the more experienced divers, there are 158 liveaboards to choose from, so make sure to visit during the right season! This would be during the northeast monsoon from December to May, when the waters are calmest and therefore offer great visibility.
Not much for long-haul swimming? There are also several aquarium restaurants scattered around the archipelago! We’re talking all-glass, under-the-sea dining spaces topped off with a sumptuous gastronomic experience. This brings us to our next reason…
4. The local grub will keep you coming back for more
“I didn’t expect the food to be so delicious!” – Cindy, Indonesia
If you love seafood dishes from Southeast Asia, then you’ll definitely love Maldivian cuisine (otherwise called Dhivehi cuisine). It’s a smorgasbord of traditional flavours tinged with influences from neighbouring countries like India and Sri Lanka. The key ingredients for most dishes include fish, coconut, and starch.
From crunchy street food and tropical desserts to spicy curries, there’s a lot to treat your taste buds to. Some must-try eats when travelling to the Maldives include: garudhiya (fragrant fish soup); masroshi (chapati stuffed with smoked tuna and coconut); and mas riha (Maldivian fish curry).
Wondering what other aquatic and cultural attractions await you? Head on over to the Visit Maldives website to find out!
5. It’s quite accessible from the region
“It’s easy to access from Southeast Asia, so I don’t want to waste that opportunity.” – Joser, Philippines
We love underrated destinations, but sometimes, the problem lies in how to conveniently get there. Fortunately, this isn’t the case for Southeast Asians who wish to travel to the Maldives. There are direct flights to the capital Malé from Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, and Bangkok. So, if you’re looking for another sign to book that trip, then this is it!
6. They’re big on sustainable, eco-friendly tourism
“I noticed that they really make an effort to preserve its natural beauty.” – Alya, Philippines
Did you know that the Maldives is actually the lowest-lying country on the planet? This makes its islands more susceptible to rising sea levels, coral reef damage, and other effects from climate change. Hence, many resorts have stepped up their game with environmental initiatives that are every bit inspiring.
The initiatives range from eliminating the need for single-use plastic and diesel-powered electricity, to coral regrowth programs and educational snorkelling safaris with trained marine biologists. Find out more about these here.
7. It’s truly a safe haven for those seeking a tropical escape
The need for uncrowded destinations is at an all-time high, especially now that more and more countries are restarting their tourism. If you’re craving an island holiday that offers pandemic-safe leisure, then travelling to the Maldives is the way to go! For one, its geography features more than a thousand islands, scattered across over 870 kilometres. The country also has a unique “one-island-one-resort” concept, wherein each resort has its own private island.
So, not only are the islands naturally physically distanced, but each resort also has its own set of distancing protocols and hygiene standards. Hence, travellers are guaranteed social distancing on whichever island they choose! Aside from these, local health authorities have stringent health and safety measures in place that are sure to give you the peace of mind you need.
Don’t believe us? In 2020, the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) granted a ‘Safe Travels Stamp’ to the Maldives for its implementation of enhanced health and safety measures. And finally, it’s set to be the first fully vaccinated tourism sector; as of July 2021, 70% of local resort employees are fully vaccinated!
Thinking of travelling to the Maldives soon? Check out the Visit Maldives website to find out what else you can look forward to! Take your pick among resorts catering to every budget and spanning across more than 130 islands.
Now you get why many Southeast Asians enjoy travelling to the Maldives! Not only does it boast the most spectacular coastal sights, but it also immensely prioritises travellers’ health, safety, and wellbeing. That said, we hope this inspires you to #VisitMaldives for your next island holiday. See you there soon?
Brought to you by Visit Maldives.