Maldives is one of those places Indian Movie stars flit off to on vacation around new years.
Firstly, its proximity to the subcontinent is ridiculous. A fairly inexpensive 3 hour flight from Mumbai can get you to Malé, the capital city. Secondly, this archipelago is home to 26 atolls (coral reefs) giving you plenty space from prying paparazzi. It’s never quite clear if these vacations are sponsored or on their own dime. Either way, celebrity Instagram feeds make for a compelling case for blue waters, white sands and plenty of Vitamin D ☀️And who knows one might be in store for a celebrity sighting or two. (Remember our tryst with Paris Hilton in Paris? Trust me, i don’t make this stuff up.)
And thirdly, did i mention that Maldives is sinking. So that’s how we decided to spend new years eve in Maldives; on a water bungalow. A peek into the future. Irony much?
Getting there was your usual hop skip and a flight away, as glorious top shots invite you.
Make sure to jostle for the window seat with your partner to get the gorgeous views as you land on a coral reef.
Malé, (pronounced: “Maa-leh”) seemed like the most unassuming capital city you will ever visit. No pomp or show. n recent years, the island has been considerably expanded through landfilling operations. But sure signs of “tourist is king” vibes, given tourism makes up for ~30% of the GDP and ~60% of foreign exchange receipts.
As the sun sets, you are whisked off to one of the 26 atolls (clearly i like using this word very much). Also i hear coral reefs are dying.
As you de-board your speed boats, what welcome you are superlatives; the whitest of white sands. And of course the bluest of blue waters.
Why so Blue? And White?
Maldives waters surround coral reefs and “phytoplankton” which absorb blue and green from light, resulting in crystalline clear water due to reflection. The pulverized dead coral is the main reason for the pure white sand beaches. So we are literally walking on dead coral.
You really can’t go wrong with any resort you pick in Maldives. All properties will have the basics covered in an all inclusive deal and will cost you steeply. (#NoMoreVacationForAWhile)
But what you get in return — plenty of beach beds, coconut trees, and endless clam.
And yes, lots of orchids!
It truly is hard to get over how clear and crystalline the waters in Maldives can be. The blues get more electric and metallic as the sun ☀️ changes positions along the day.
It’s quite unbelievable. And a far world away from any commercial beach.
As you walk on the beaches be weary of plenty of sting rays. (And hammer head sharks)
Didn’t work for Steve Irvin. Won’t work for you either.
Watch out for the seriously sumptuous all inclusive buffet spreads for all three meals. You will truly tire of abundance of food choice by Day 3 and stick to eggs or just dessert (which is what i did). What the hell, it was the end of the year.
Now the truly special resorts will have what they call — the water bungalows.
You read it right. They are literally bungalows. on stilts. in the ocean. its nuts.
It’s hard to imagine sand in the warm bay waters being strong enough or civil engineers being able to drill deep enough to support an entire home on water.
But hey – humans are doing crazier stuff. We have drilled deeper into the deepest ocean for oil, mined half a continent of precious metals & minerals, and de-forested entire rainforests off resources.
So i guess engineering a room on a stilt in water is fairly rookie.
The Bungalow is meant to serve only one purpose — remind you that you are on vacation. Very far from reality. So you are not to think.
It’s every bit truly a fantasy. Walking out french doors, onto a sun deck, fitted with a granite bath tub and lounge, opening out into the Indian Ocean.
Nothing about this was ordinary or normal.
As you step down into the fuzzy bay waters floating on a giant coral reef, you can only wonder one thing – I hope that shark in the distance doesn’t come for me. After all, everything about this is wrongful encroaching.
True story: watch out for the jaws. It was shocking how calmly the resort staff tell you that there are sharks right below your bungalows and yet encourage you to go snorkel in the ocean. #ExtremeAdventureVacation #NoThankYou
I spent new year’s eve dreaming about sharks sliming and slithering up the stairs onto our deck through the french doors to get us. #MaldiveMares
All in all, as you sipped your cold beverages, clicked your pictures and looked out into the blue horizon, you couldn’t help but also wonder – How doomed are we as a species?
But these are not thoughts fit to be thunk in the middle of the Indian ocean. Far away from reality and normalcy. Or even responsibility as citizens of earth.
So, you sip on your beverage and feign compassion/activism fatigue.
After all we, just like celebrities, every so often need to run away from the realities of the world that is digging it-self into an abyss. Or worse still, sinking.
Live in our bungalows which float on water, experience experiences. And make merry. As a new year and decade dawns.
And maybe get used to the fact that the world is sinking; whether we like it or not, but as long as humans master the ability to build bungalows on stilts, we will all be just fine. #IAmBeingSarcastic
As the sun sets on our fabulous getaway, I am still trying to decide if i am hopeful or just resigned to the eventuality our world is headed in.
But the gorgeous whipped clouds whirlpool and fog up my mind on our flight back and i forget all about it. Just like i forget about every other unjust issue i should be outraged about at the moment. #ThisFlightIsAddingToMyCarbonFootprint #SuperFail # OhWell
So in all seriousness, water bungalows in Maldives are really something. You should experience living on some day.
Hopefully out of choice, and not when it might be the only choice to choose from one day.
Wow this one took a dark turn.
Check out my previous blog on 50 Things that Made the Modern Economy and the one coming up soon!