Monday, December 3, 2012

Maldives Part 1 - Getting There

The opportunity to travel to Maldives landed on my lap over a year ago through during a lucky draw lottery at my company dinner. I had won a 4D3N accommodation for two at the award-winning Huvafen Fushi resort and I was thrilled (who wouldn't be?)

I am eternally grateful to God (and Blu Inc Media and Lady Luck) for this opportunity. As everyone knows, Maldives was expensive, what with everything being in USD for tourists! If it wasn't for the lucky draw prize, it would be another 50 years before I will have enough saved up for Maldives and by then it would be known as the next Atlantis thanks to global warming.

To me, the journey is just as important as the destination especially if it involves a long flight. So I was particularly picky with my flight choice; timing and services and so on. I opted to fly by Singapore Airlines (SIA) because other airlines flew only by night and SIA's timing to depart in the morning made more sense despite having to transfer at Changi Airport.

An ACTUAL Boarding Pass!!
Maldives is three hours behind Malaysia by the way so the best way to beat jet-lag would be to fly there in the morning and back at night so that you can sleep on the ride back (not that I got much sleep on the way back anyway)

He weighs 5kgs...
My 20kg check-in luggage allowance was taken up by snacks, tidbits, 3 swimsuits and bikini, 4 sets of clothes, sun block, toiletries, camera and phone chargers and an extra pair of flip flops. (I only ended up bringing 8kg worth of things...wasted 12 kgs...)

Because I did online check-in the night before, all I had to do upon reaching the airport was to just check-in my luggage, verify my printed out boarding pass and passport and collect my official boarding pass to Singapore. Because it was only 6am, things progressed smoothly as there was no queue.

Admit it: As a child, you thought the
plane can become a playground.
For a 4-5 hours flight, SIA was very comfortable. A pillow and a blanket was provided for everyone and each seat came with its own inflight entertainment system. You are given individual headsets and can play games, watch the latest movies and series or listen to music on it in order to kill time onboard. I spent the entire flight watching Big Bang Theory, Rurouni Kenshin and Ted. Rurouni Kenshin was especially a difficult movie to find online so I was pleasantly surprised to find that SIA offered it on their entertainment system with english subtitles. You can read my review of that movie here.

Watching Rurouni Kenshin onboard
For brunch, I went with the Ikan Rica Rica, an Indonesian dish that was so delicious! The fish was fresh and marinated well with spicy lemongrass sauce. My sister said it looked and tasted better than her fried chicken with noodle. With the sides of salad, bread roll, cheese and cracker, ice cream for dessert and coffee or tea, needless to say, by the time we landed at Maldives International Airport, we were stuffed.

Dining with a view and entertainment.

On the flight back to Singapore however, I was a little disappointed with their pan fried chicken with mashed potato because the chicken was dry. Then again, it was a late supper and we were too tired to eat. For dessert, they gave us a yummy chocolate cake with coffee sauce which we enjoyed. Wonder if I can order it to my house somehow...

Inflight cuisine.
Furthermore, SIA passengers can order all the wine, booze, cocktail, soft drinks, coffee, tea and juice that they want onboard since it was inclusive of the flight ticket. But as I didn't want to start or end my Maldives vacation with a hangover, I refrained from going overboard with the drinks (Hah! Plane joke!) Just coke and coffee for me, thank you!

My sister is pleased there is ice-cream.
As the plane prepared to land, we were treated to a preview of the pristine blue ocean waters from our seat windows and all the cameras were out in a flash (...must resist urge to do...lame camera joke....). Ibrahim Nasir International Airport, North of Male was an island of its own and to get to and forth from it, one would need to take a boat or an air-taxi.

Approaching Maldives.

Seaside airport. 
The resort had two representatives waiting for us at the airport and along with four other people, we were quickly whisked away to our holiday island resort by a luxury speed boat.

Our taxi is here.

First glimpse of Huvafen Fushi.
To be continued in Maldives Part 2.

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