Wednesday, October 29, 2014

A Morning in Maafushi Part 1 (Maldives Diaries)

Mornings in Maafushi are mild, and the colors are ever so vivid. I love these mornings. On my first morning during my second visit, I only had a short time to take in the calm surroundings of the promenade. There were puddles from last night's rain, but the sun graciously shone, rendering blues to the sky and the ocean. So early in the morning, there weren't anyone swimming at Bikini Beach, the island's only area where bikinis are allowed. After all, Maafushi, with its population of 1,300, is still a "local island", thus is governed by certain norms of behavior. Nowhere in the island can you buy alcohol too.


Kaani Beach Hotel is a great hotel to stay in, but if wifi connection is essential to your holiday, then look elsewhere. When I complained about the difficulty in getting through any of their half-a-dozen signals, the front desk man said, and I quote, "It's the same all over the island." Ugh. Not true. I stayed in "Stingray Inn", a delightful, well-enclosed hotel located inland - and it had excellent wifi signal and fast internet. In fact, if you wanted to download stuff, you could because of the speed - not that I went to Maldives for that. Internet connection, these days, is a travel essential when you need to connect to home or work without paying for exorbitant long distance calls. It is not "the same all over the islands". Unfortunately, there are no internet cafes in Maafushi (unless I missed them).

Breakfast in Kaani Beach Hotel was interesting, though it had limited options. The eggplant (aubergines) dish was particularly tasty. Rice had embellishments of vegetables, and didn't seem cooked the way we do fried rice (i.e. it isn't oily). My plate had paratha but heaven knows it doesn't belong with my rice.

The restaurant staff of Kaani is very attentive, and they know how to make their guests feel welcome. Meanwhile, I was gearing up for my excursion of the day.

This is the Eye in the Sky!

Concrete slabs are placed at Bikini Beach to help avoid erosion.

Part of the "sea view" from my 3rd floor balcony. If however you absolutely require a wifi connection, then you'd have to look elsewhere for this. Kaani's wifi is almost non-existent. There are bout 5 to 6 signals (and their corresponding passwords - including signals from the two other Kaani hotels in the island) but nothing worked. I almost lost hair out of desperation catching wifi during my 4-day stay.

My very limited buffet haul. I also had fried egg delivered to my table.

Eggplant dish

This was a tuna meal, I think. :)

Flan cubes

Fresh catch are on display at the bay, near the harbour. Mornings in the islands are always characterized by fisherfolk selling their fish. I haven't seen an officially designated "market" in Maafushi.

Rooms at Kaani Beach Hotel have a choice of either standard or deluxe - and a family room - and "sea view" or "city view". Above is the "city view" which is understandably cheaper than the beach-fronting rooms. To quite honest, the options don't make much difference. "Sea view" is shown below. - and has partial vie of the ocean because of the tall coconut trees. It has a better view - than the roofs - but barely. The family room is quite a catch though because of its space.

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