In Male, the cosy heritage atmosphere of Sala Thai Restaurant makes it the perfect setting for authentic Thai cuisine. There’s also Peak on the ninth floor of the Maagiri Hotel, which offers a view of the horizon as you pick from their diverse menu of Western and Indian cuisine. In the late afternoon, from 4pm to 6pm, the restaurant’s rooftop offers hedhikaa, a selection of must-try savoury and sweet snacks that are local to the Maldives.
History lovers should go and see the Hukuru Miskiy, also known as the Friday Mosque. Built in the 1650s, it houses well-preserved traditional Maldivian art, such as wooden carvings and lacquer works. There’s also the National Museum, showcasing artefacts and relics dating back to the pre-Islamic period, alongside regal attire and items associated with Maldivian royalty. Additionally, the region recently saw the opening of Crossroads Maldives, a multi-island fully integrated leisure destination just a 15-minute speedboat ride away from Velana International Airport.
You won’t find imposing malls with international brands here. Male has two main shopping lanes – Majeedhee Magu and Chaandhanee Magu. The former is where you’ll find the likes of textiles, clothing and accessories and even electronics, while the latter is a great place for tourists to browse for locally crafted goods – such as lacquer boxes – to take home as souvenirs.
For peaceful getaways, there are plenty of options in the Maldives easily accessible by speedboat or ferry. Kaani Palm Beach – located on the island of Maafushi, 25km south of the airport – is known for its fantastic locale and exceptional hospitality. If you’re looking for something even more remote, Plumeria Maldives takes you away from it all on Thinadhoo in Vaavu Atoll, where you can scuba dive in the crystal-clear waters.
Walking is the best way to get around. While here, you should also make time for manta ray and dolphin viewing if it’s the right season (November to April).
This article was originally published in the April 2020 issue of SilverKris magazine
Illustration by Esther Goh