Maldives is a tropical country in the Indian Ocean. Even if the country isn't located in Southeast Asia, it still can be easily visited from Thailand. Maldives consists of more than 1,000 coral islands forming 26 ring-shaped atolls. Maldives is a perfect holiday destination known for its white sand beaches, blue lagoons and extensive coral reefs.
Maldivians are known for their hospitality. Together with country’s natural beauty these factors are the key for making Maldives such a popular place to visit. Currently Maldives is a 100% Islamic country.
Places to visit in Maldives
Male - the capital and most populated city of the Maldives. The city has a busy fish market, restaurants and shops, the old mosque made of carved white coral, national museum and even an artificial beach with the protected ocean pool.
Hulhumale is a man-made island nearby Male. Hulhumale is the home of the main airport in Maldives - Velana International Airport. On the island you can also find nice neighborhoods and artificial beach. Hulhumale is not the kind of islands that are Maldives famous for, but it’s still a nice place to visit when having to stay overnight not far from the airport.
Maafushi is the most popular local island in Maldives. You won’t find luxury resorts in Maafushi but the island is really charming. Here you will find local guesthouses suitable for budget travelers, gorgeous beaches with palms, calm sea with crystal clear waters and nice little coffee shops on the shore.
As Maafushi can get quite crowded during high season, you might consider visiting other local islands in Maldives. Another local island easily reachable from Male is Gulhi – a small island with a perfect white sand beach.
Resort islands are the thing that made Maldives famous as their overwater villas feature in most of photos and videos from Maldives and are widely regarded as a synonym for this popular holiday destination. At present, there are over 105 resorts located in the different atolls of Maldives.
You don’t need to get visa in advance before entering Maldives as a 30 day free visa is issued on arrival for all nationalities.
For getting your visa free entry to Maldives you need to have:
- passport with at least 6 months validity
- ticket to continue the journey out of Maldives
- funds to cover the expenses for duration of the stay in Maldives (100 + 50 USD per day) or a confirmation of reservation in a resort or hotel (at the time of our last visit they were not checking this requirement very strictly)
Getting to Maldives
Options for getting to Maldives from Thailand are limited to air travel. You can take a direct flight from Bangkok to Male, the capital of Maldives.
Almost all international flights to Maldives land at Male Velana International Airport (MLE). There are directs flights to Male from both Bangkok’s airports – Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) and Don Mueang Airport (DMK). From Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) you can fly directly to Male with full service carriers Bangkok Airways. Low cost airlines AirAsia offer direct flights to Male from Don Mueang Airport (DMK). Flight deals for this route can be found here:
As the supply of direct flights from Thailand to Maldives is quite limited, you can search for connections in Singapore, Colombo or Kuala Lumpur.
Weather in Maldives
The climate in Maldives is generally dry and offers nearly perfect temperatures all year round.
Maldives has only two seasons - the wet and the dry. The dry season in Maldives lasts from November to April, and the wet season takes place in the islands between May and October.
During the dry season the sun shines for hours each day with temperatures peaking around 30oC. Sea waters are calm and clear making Maldives a perfect place to visit during that time.
The wet season brings higher humidity and more rain to Maldives. However, the months from May to October are still a good period for traveling as the rain here usually is quite short and you can still get plenty of sunshine.
The best time to visit Maldives depends on your budget as the islands can be easily visited all year round. Maldives enjoys its best weather with little rain, low humidity and blue skies from December to February but these months are also the high season when prices in Maldives go up significantly. Out of these months you can still get plenty of perfect weather and not to break your bank in Maldives.
Useful tips for traveling in Maldives can be found here: Maldives Travel Tips.