Hi there for a great start in 2023,

Choukouriya. Choukouriya [English: “ChooKuuReeYa”] means Thank you. Doesn’t that sound wonderful? The Maldives are just as wonderful and worth any trip and their luxurious price tag. Why? Because! And as follows now.

Wonderful like exactly the contrast of an international arrival via long-haul flight to Male airport called Venala. Followed by those transfers to the local islands on your very atoll usually via amazing sea plane or local propeller plane and connection by boat seems to be the modern Maldivian way of transport. Because there are no roads from island to island which is great as also many islands feature only scooter traffic. So connect with the waters immediately after leaving the airport building to continue to your island destination. A refreshing experience! Understand the vast field of many islands forming an atoll together with sandbanks that are enclosed by bigger atoll circles that can easily be spotted from the air. Be it more local on the propeller-powered plane flying island to island or be it atoll to atoll as per view from the jet. As my destination was found on Baa Atoll, the connection needed from Male was Dharavandoo, the capital of that atoll and so we walked over to the domestic terminal. Baa Atoll is an UNESCO Biosphere Reserve which also speaks for itself, I guess for a reason.

As most people around the world have at same time heard that the Maldives are this wonderful, it does not surprise much that also China is already here e.g. The Beijing Construction Company is the major construction firm around Male and displays China’s footprint also in this corner of the world. I could not enter the construction site near the airport and the gate keeper did not answer any of my questions. But a whopping five thousand workers at capacity are involved in construction activity here.
The contrast of Male main island/ atoll and the local islands is amazingly clear. Like zooming in until you reach your holiday island. And zooming out again for a fuller picture from island to bigger island, to atoll capital over both luxurious and rural or at least local islands to Male itself and thus the main island. On main island you can even find high rises which to me are misplaced somehow in this beautiful part of the world. Maybe the most beautiful part of the world by standards of an ocean- and sun- addict called myself. An addict who also celebrated his birthday on Baa Atoll’s Dreamland.

The world tries to unite in a relaxing way here on the Maldives. The Maldivians seem to succeed in setting a classy standard here, the luxury standard paired with bluest to turquoise waters, of water villas and beach bungalows, friendliest service and many smiles and attention to detail. Islam-driven but open to global visitors. Welcoming everybody and allowing for a sneak peek who on this planet seeks vacation relaxation on these dream islands. We were on Dreamland itself which turned out absolutely – wonderful 😊
And I am convinced that a nice beach bungalow does the job of fulfilling the dream getaway just perfectly. No need for a water villa. I have traveled the world intensely and enjoy a great waterfront and ocean as those of you know who follow me on Instagram or here on sirk.de
But the Maldives did deliver what I heard, maybe over-delivered from what I expected to see or from what people told me. It is paradise on earth. Yes. Surely other places on our sphere we call Earth can partially make up to it, but overall the Maldives hat set a new standard for me. In case you are the tourist with the mighty dollar, USD that is, which is that foreign currency that seems to rule paradise as well. The weather is always warm to hot and even though it is almost always partly-cloudy, I could tan quickly. Rainshowers are possible and will be monsoon-alike for a short while only unless you visit during the actual monsoon period.

On local to rural island of Kamadhoo, also on Baa Atoll like the island I spent most of my time on, I checked out local construction, a coconut palm tree plantation, restaurants and supermarkets, and the local school that is an Islamic school beautifully integrated onto the island. It seemed to be fun for the kids and both the houses and garden were colorful and charming. I am glad the kids here get to go to school. The adults that I met were all capable of having at least solid basic conversation in English, many actually somewhat fluently.

Besides the beauty of the ocean in its described dream colors portrayed by my many pics, the jungle vibe around the palm trees is simply fantastic, too. Our island even featured a natural pond of sweet water and small fish around sea roses which is unique on the Maldives from what they claim.
And every night flying fox bats were showing off their skills. And every day the sea life made up to it as well and showed off many species. In Australia, I saw flying fox bats for the very first time, where e.g. in Sydney many Sydneysiders were annoyed of their sounds.
On the islands I been to, they had become a cool guest in the higher trees and palm trees and were completing a cool set of animals in nature’s portfolio here. And one night by accident, bioluminescence became part of that portfolio, too. Algae washed ashore shining in bright blue at night providing for some Avatar-feeling.

Diving and or snorkeling are a must around the Maldivian atolls, of course. It doesn’t make full sense to visit the Maldives if you are not prepared to find yourself head under water in the Indian Ocean. Just to spot the wildlife around the many reefs: turtles, reef sharks or even bigger ones, octopus and squid, many fish at least as cool as Nemo;) are found fast. Take the time to slip in your fins and scuba or snorkel like a Sirk!
Dolphins were passing by our beach and cool birds sometimes seemed to chase the fox bat. Wonderful memories were made.

One checkmark on my life wish list had been the sandbank next to a fully natural island that we had for ourselves! No buildings, no other humans. Just a simple and hot and beautiful small island offering access to the sandbank. One of many around the atolls. A sandbank allows for walking on the water and perfect colors. The sandbank I chose was just beautiful and one of nature’s ways to amaze me.
A feeling of running on or max knee-deep in the middle of the Indian Ocean. Maybe the pictures do speak for themselves. The sun was super-intense, the views were making me happy so that I celebrated this personal milestone to the fullest.

It made me hungry and I got always lucky with great food offerings and chances to try local dishes like my favorite Roshi Mashuni..! For basically every breakfast. Or for dinner….
Lovely food for sure with all meals and always pork-free for a reason. Local Pandan Leaves are used here in order to make Crepes. Thus they come on your plate in a greenish color, but taste super light and delicious. Just as their rice cake. Thankfully the Jungle Gym was open daily..

Choice is big on the Maldives which are awaiting with many great hotels and resorts on almost all atolls. So choose wisely and make sure to not only hide or dream away in your resort. But also to soak in more culture and contrast of this country just above the sea level.
Some beach bungalows will be gone in like ten years from now is what they sadly expect. Water comes, but for now more and more tourists check-in again after the pandemic.

Thanks and have fun whatever you’re up to and where this year. Remember to understand and explore the planet as a global whole.

Best, Sirk

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