Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Maldives



I had actually wanted to blog about our honeymoon in Europe first but looking at the number of photos I need to sort, I think I shall share photos from our recent trip to Maldives instead! I still have vacation photos from Melbourne last year, Genting earlier this year, Hong Kong from earlier this month and I'd be heading to Tioman and Japan next. Oh my goodness, the sheer amount of backlog makes me wanna hire someone to go to work for me so that I can stay home and finish everything asap. Haha. Actually, it's just procrastination lah, I like blogging but I hate the part where I have to "select photos, correct and resize photos, upload photos, copy and paste photos in sequence"; It's such a hassle especially for photo-heavy entries especially the last part! Sometimes I wish I can get someone to do this for me. I just wanna write, let someone else settle the photos!

So anyway, Maldives.



My husband is a big fan of diving and during our dating days, he once mentioned that he hopes to dive in Maldives one day. So in the midst of our wedding preparations last year, I was also secretly researching for this surprise trip. To make it special, I decided it should be for his birthday and did it this year because it's the first time I'm celebrating his birthday as his wife! And also because I kan-chiong. I cannot keep it inside me for another year. Haha.

The surprise was not easy to plan at all!

1. Air Tickets
Early this year, Tigerair had a very very very attractive promo and I almost purchased the air tickets there and then. Luckily, I am the type that prefer not to book things too early in advance in case of schedule changes and the sale ended while I was busy contemplating.

In the end I booked Singapore Airlines which was more expensive but it was the right choice because a month after purchasing the air tickets, we somehow had a conversation which led to him mentioning that his diving gear alone is 20kg already. We wouldn't have sufficient baggage if I had chosen Tigerair!

2. Dates

Another good thing that came out of me missing the air tickets sale, was the dates! I initially chose to go on his birthday week... and one fine day, he suddenly mentioned that he was having reservist the next day right after his birthday! Wahpiang! Heng ah, I didn't purchase those air tickets early!

In the end, I chose another weekend on his birthday month and decided to reveal on the first day of the month. I cannot do it too last minute because he needs time to pack his diving gears too. I couldn't do it for him because I have no idea what they are!

Then, I had to make sure that he keeps that weekend free. So when he told me his friend asked him to help out at his solemnization, I panicked. This kind of thing cannot last minute cancel one leh! I had to message his friend the next day to tell him about the surprise, so that he can find someone else instead. I was very sad for him when his friend withdrew his offer because he was so excited about it the night before! I decided to not take the risk and quickly told him that a hotel is sponsoring staycation for that weekend so that he can block out the dates :x

3. Applying Leave
I got his colleague to help apply leave and almost didn't manage to get it approved because it's a busy year for him. Am very thankful that his boss eventually let him go!

On 1st June, I gave him an envelope and told him his dad asked him to help him read. Inside are the air tickets and accommodation booking confirmations. He really seriously thought that it's work stuff until he saw his name on the air tickets! Hahaha.

SURPRISE SUCCESS!

A week later, we set off to Maldives!

There are many different islands in Maldives and some resorts require guests to take the sea plane from the airport, which sometimes cost as much as the air ticket from Singapore. Am glad our resort was only a 20 minutes away by speedboat!




The beautiful view that greeted us upon reaching the resort.


Such a gorgeous background definitely calls for OOTD time.


I knew that the scenery was going to be especially pretty so I made sure to pack nice clothes for the vacation! I selected some pieces off Tobi.com (Free shipping on all orders to Singapore!) and brought along three which arrived just in time for me to pack into the luggage before we left for the trip! One of them is the teal floral dress above. Chose it because of the unique colour and pretty prints! Matchy with the pristine waters!



For our accommodation, we experienced two options!

What is Maldives without staying in a overwater villa? However, they are very pricey and one night can go up to a thousand dollars or more. Hence, to save money we stayed in a beach bungalow for one night before moving into a water villa for the rest of our vacay. I'm glad we did that because both accommodation had its own beauty.



Here are photos of our super nice water villa! I was actually surprised at the well-maintained condition inside... I thought it would be very "chalet" like most beach resorts but its definitely hotel standard. Extremely clean, comfortable, and modern!







Imagine waking up to this view right outside your bedroom. LOVE is the only word here.

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The walk back to our villa. Feels so peaceful and away from the rest of the world :)


*Warning* Massive photo spam below. I couldn't resist!



Seriously, anyhow take also nice! This is why I have so many repeated scenes in this entry. I couldn't decide which one is better so I just post all!






Okay lah insert one photo of the husband before continuing with more photos of myself. Haha.













Love how we could jump in for a swim anytime we want. We did that several times during our stay!



The only gripe we had was that the waters below our villa had a rocky sand bed and so it was painful to walk barefoot in it. The first time we went into the waters, it was almost impossible to swim without touching the rocks but after that we realize it's because of the low tide at that particular timing! Afterwards we swam during higher tide and it was better. Snorkeled a little and saw lots of fishes swimming around! 


Took more photos around the premises! Gathering more material for Instagram... I definitely took enough to last an entire month. Hahaha! Spent several thousands on this trip, must make full use of it!









The Superior Beach Bungalow was good too! Buggy rides are provided for all guests so we had no difficulty getting around even though our room is located a distance away from the lobby. Imagine our surprise when we got on a random buggy to go back to our room and the staff (i don't recall any prior interaction with him) knew our room number even before we said it! I asked if they remember all the guests and he said ya, most of them. Am very impressed!

I personally think the beach bungalows are perfect for couples who want some privacy. It's quieter here compared to the water villa area (we had a unit facing the back of the island).





Newly wed married offer~ Wine and fruits! We forgot the wine and left it there when we moved to the water villa the next day!


The bungalow has a spacious bathroom and an outdoor shower attached!


The back door leads out to the beach!



THIS VIEW. Imagine this right outside your back door. So pretty! Best thing is, this stretch of beach is very private because most guests use the main beach at the island front so it's like we had the whole beach to ourselves!


Very clear waters!



And if you prefer some shade...


Moving on to our main point of the trip - Diving for the husband! There's a dive center on this island and he booked almost every single diving session available during our trip.






Spent most of my afternoons on the rocky boat waiting for him to finish his dives. A diver's wife is no different from a fisherman's wife (except that I don't get to eat fish after that).

So to make good use of the time.... I took many many many photos. Haha.







Him going onto his night dive at the house reef~  This session didn't require us to boat out so I was able to roam freely on land~


Happy husband!


We also did other activities!

I didn't want to spend on Jetski because I already tried it in Bintan before. So, we used the money on this thing called Seabob, which is almost like Jetski but with our body in the water. It's around SGD 65 for 15 minutes so it's also quite pricey but new experience so quite worth it lah! The machine is slightly too heavy for me though, so it was hard for me to control. Purpose is to actually go underwater with it but I prefer to stay afloat. Hahaha. The husband had fun zooming around the waters with it!


Shark feeding time~! The crew threw in huge pieces of meat and the sharks came in to feast. Quite scary actually cos it's happening within the same lagoon as our water villa! They disappeared back into the seas after that.


My first successful attempt at snorkeling! Quite a feat considering that I can't even swim hehe. All thanks to the husband who was pulling me along in the right direction throughout! Happy to experience the underwater wildlife with him! Didn't bring my camera underwater, only have his video which is in the vlog above! Also, serves me right for wearing full makeup to snorkeling because both my fake eyelashes fell off inside my mask while I'm in the middle of the sea. Hahaha. It's quite enjoyable though... Looking forward to more snorkeling sessions in future!


Dolphin sunset cruise! Machiam sit on the dive boat for the entire afternoon not enough, still sign up for evening cruise! haha. Saw plenty of dolphins but they were so fast that it was impossible to capture on the camera. Caught it on video though, do check out my vlog above!





Children's playground which we played at for a little while~ There was also a tennis court, bicycle rental, and more which we didn't get to utilize. People say that Maldives is very boring, but our day was filled full with activities and not enough time! haha.


Swimming pool which we didn't care about because the sea was right at our doorstep. Hahaha.














Self-timer shot!


Add on some filter... is it got more feel?



Walked past this quiet beach at the side after our snorkeling session and it's so pretty that I went back just to take some photos!





Italian restaurant with an ocean front.




I was very happy to find fried chicken on the buffet line because I was craving for it!





In the day above and during dinner time below.



There was a performance while we had our dinner!


Another night we tried the restaurant at the lagoon.



This restaurant was much more quiet because its main diners are those staying in the water villa nearby. Food options are lesser too... But I liked it because they serve lamb chops!


We went back during the day and it's so pretty!









Tried this dish called "Mashuni". It is a typical Maldivian breakfast composing of tuna, onion, coconut, and chilli finely chopped and mixed with grated coconut. Oh I realize that they have ALOT of tuna! Almost all the fish I ate there was tuna. Even the fish and chips is made of Tuna meat!




We saw these set up along the beach.... Romantic leh!


On our final night at the resort, we stayed in our water villa and ordered room service.


The best thing about the meal besides the view, was the iced coke in our wine glasses. It's overpriced coke though, because we took it out from the mini bar. Haha. But we were in self-pampering mood at night so nevermind lah. Nothing beats ice-cold cola.



Am wearing this Haven Rose Crop Top from Tobi! Just thought it fitted the beach setting perfectly. Comes in Olive as well but I chose rose because I wanted the pastel feminine look. Took the opportunity to take some shots around the villa in this pretty off shoulder piece! Love how it pairs so well with denim.






The resort was more than awesome but I'm glad we also took some time to experience life in the city area! It's quite a huge contrast but a good experience because afterall, resorts are full of tourist and we don't really get to meet or interact with locals.

We stayed a night in Noomoo Hotel in Hulhumae, which is just a short drive from the airport. Although it's officially a 4-star hotel, honestly it can't compare with the 4-star in Singapore lah. It's just a simple and small hotel, but the rooms are clean and the service is professional (staff made the effort to learn mandarin and we were also served a welcome drink upon arrival). There is free wifi too! The walls are quite thin though, the kids next door were screaming early in the morning and we had no choice but to tolerate it.





Didn't notice there's a balcony till the next morning before we were about to check out. Haha.




Breakfast at the diner next door!



Simple breakfast food + freshly fried eggs.



Took a morning stroll around the vicinity! Am wearing another piece c/o Tobi.com - Layla Rose Floral Print Romper. I especially like rompers with this fitted cutting as it's very flattering. Not too tight, not too loose. I think it'd be a staple in my wardrobe because it's perfect for casual days when you don't want to look too dressed up but still want to look good! The fabric was soft to touch so it's very comfy too!









Was left with a grand total of USD5 so we tried to look for something that is USD5 at the airport. Happily looked at the wide number of choices on the cafe menu only to realize that all prices are before 6% tax. In the end we bought something that is USD4+ and received 5 dollars in Maldivian rufiyaa. USD5 in exchange for 5 Maldivian rufiyaa!


And... I'm finally done with this entry! Omg. Thought it'd be fast but I took so many days to finish this post. Hope you guys enjoyed it! :)

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