You can say there are 2 different worlds in Maldives – first is the famous one, visible in magazines all over the world. This world looks perfect, white sandy beach and changing blue waters full of life without tiny mistake, large pools, fully equiped bars and restaurants with all kinds of all and huge amount of employees taking care of your comfort. This is very expensive international face of Maldives resorts, that doesn’t have much in common with the real life of locals. Of course, those who can speak english work in these resort, mostly in the basic possitions. Of course it is a dream for many people to spend time in such a resort.
Than we have travellers, those people who travelled at least few countries themselves (without travel agency 100% organization). They realized already that there are wonderfull details of all the countries that are worth to discover and that this kind of adventurous traveling is even much cheaper. Those people prefer local island visit and this is the second, right face of Maldives.
Before you start to think about Maldives local island visit you need to know that it is a muslim country, that doesn’t allow alcohol consumation (you can not find it in shops, you can not import it) and request modest clothing (bikinis are allowed only on tourist beaches, that are arranged in most of the local islands where are some hotels or guesthouses). Anyway, you can visit resort for one day or evening and drink as much alcohol you want and about the bikinis – all the trips like snorkeling from boat, sandbank visit, picnick island visit etc. are out of the local island that means you are actually in your bikinis most of the time and it is perfectly OK.
The local island real world is different. You can enjoy in there almost the same wonderfull sandy beach (not so white as it is natural one), blue sparkling warm water and great food. You meet many local people, who are very friendly, love children and meeting new people. Yeah, they are muslims so the women are covered but you can see their smiling friendly faces. It surprise you when you will see them runing in the morning or swimming in the same clothes. Men’s clothes is normal and especially those who are interested in tourism are very open and love to discuss with you.
Of course not everything is so perfect in the real world as it is everywhere. Locals have troubles with waste management. As they are used to, they simply bring all the waste to one place and burn it, organic waste it thrown in the sea. Thanks to the tourism and people who try to help is the situation slowly changing. Of course everything has 2 sides of coin – tourists bring ideas but also more waste. When you realize all is imported in Maldives, in first place drinking water and food, you can imagine how many plastic waste it means. Especially with tourists who are used to unlimited income of water and a lot of food as well. Ideas are good but everybody should start with himself.
Please, in case you will be the next one discovering magic of local island of Maldives, think about it. Save energy, don’t waste drinking water and if possible take as much of your waste possible back home with you.