It was the best of times (Private Island Eriyadu Resort). It was the worst of times (Capital city of Male). It was a time for lounging on white coral sand on a private island with a tropical drink in hand (Eriyadu Resort). It was a time for dodging across a street clogged with trash and motor bikes and definitely not having a delightful alcoholic drink because the punishment is life in prison (Male).
You see what I’m getting at here? There are two Maldives. There’s the tropical paradise of overwater bungalows and hedonism for the tourists and there’s the densely populated capital city of Male with the bulk of the country’s population, but with literally no discernible charm.
To get to your resort on a private island, leased for thirty years by a foreign luxury brand, you can and most likely will, bypass the capital city. After your speedboat or seaplane trip from the airport, you will be greeted with a cool towel and fresh squeezed juice.
You will probably don a mask and snorkel and scan the warm, shallow water for colorful fish and coral. You will discover that coral “sand” does not retain heat and burn your feet. You will lounge, dip, bask, dip.
Just when you think there’s no work to be done, you’ll remember to apply sunscreen and post to Instagram. With your chores finished, you’ll order another drink. You’ll be hypnotized by the ocean. It will be the most relaxing thing you ever do.
But for just a moment (two hours tops) you should break the spell. See where actual Maldivians live. Go to Male.