Sunday, July 31, 2011

Maldives: Six Days in Paradise Volume 1

~*Prelude*~

I know many of you, especially my friends and some of my long time readers (and many of kh's friends), have been waiting for my "so-called honeymoon" Maldives photo updates.

Anybody recall that the trip happened in January?

Whenever I meet with the various group of friends, they would never fail to ask me if I've uploaded the photos on Facebook or blogged about the trip as they don't recall seeing any album remotely similar to what I call heaven on earth.

That said, I'm currently in the midst of editing day 5 photos while attempting to start writing about this amazing last minute getaway. I've never tried blogging before I'm even done with the photo editing so cross my fingers that I don't get stalled halfway should I get caught up with some other more important matters than editing photos.

I've never felt so busy in my life. During work, I busied myself with work-related matters and out of work when I can't sleep, I'm always busy doing some research and making lots of decisions for my future plans which all of you would hear about in due time. =)


~*Before Day 1: Hulhule Island Hotel*~

After work on Saturday, kh went to pick me up and we headed for the airport to catch the night flight to Maldives, Malé where we stayed at Hulhule Island Hotel for the night.

The room was simple and clean.

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A rubber duckie was provided for the young and the young at heart. Kh actually floated the rubber duckie in the tub but it could not really swim well.

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I was rather tickled by their pillow menu.

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~*Day 1: Bye Hulhule Island Hotel, Hello Constance Haleveli Resort*~

When the new day dawned, we had complimentary breakfast at the hotel lounge. I could not really stomach the food well as my body wasn't used to eating so early in the day.

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After filling our bellies, we had to say goodbye to our humble abode at Hulhule and make our way to catch the seaplane at 8am which would take us to our resort.

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We were led to what they termed as a first-class lounge while waiting for the seaplane. It sure made us feel like some important personnel.

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Outside, the wind was really strong and the whirring of motor was deafening. However, we braved all unpleasant conditions as we simply had to take photos with the seaplanes.

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They call it an air taxi.

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I thought this shot would make a good outfit of the morning photo.

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Outfit of the day:
♥ Alano soft flowy fairy top
♥ Cotton On inner white spag top
♥ Coax denim shorts
♥ No label crochet lace booties
♥ No label fedora hat

Inside and outside of the plane

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Throughout the flight, I was mesmerized by the many atolls and resorts dotting and some splashing across the Indian Ocean. The turquoise lagoons around the islands which emerged from the deep blue ocean seemed so surreal.

Soon, the seaplane landed with a ginormous splash a distance away from our resort-- Constance Halaveli Resort, located in the North Ari atoll which is shaped like a curved dhoni (Maldivian boat).

Likewise, the turquoise lagoons amidst the deep blue Indian Ocean was a beautiful sight to behold. Together, the water and sand combined lay in contrast to the exuberant green of the foliage in the middle of the island. I could hardly wait to be enveloped in the heavenly air of paradise.

We hopped onto a ferry which took us to the jetty of the island and finally set foot on our very own heaven on earth!

The guests were each assigned a staff who introduced and got us familiarized with the island. The overly sweet welcome drink seemed to hint of an extremely sweet stay at Constance.

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Clambering onto the buggy, we soaked in the serene sights while strong wind flapped against our faces. I've never witnessed such beautiful shades of blue in the skies and seas before. At that moment, I fully comprehend the essence of the phrase "the azure blue sky" and "the sea glittered like myriad of diamonds under the dazzling sun rays". Both of which are phrases I teach my students to use in their compositions to describe the good weather at the beach.

This video would give you an idea of what I'm trying to word above. Scuse the noisy wind though; I don't know how to edit videos.



We finally reached our villa which was located somewhere near the end of the curved dhoni. It was a long ride from the main island.

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The open eye up there indicated that the room could be cleaned. The close eye worked the same way as a "Do not disturb" sign. I was rather intrigued by the brush turtle. I've always known such brushes as toilet brushes and never as a creative turtle.

kh and I were so impressed with our water villa. As usual, I went round snapping everything in and about the villa while exploring.

We had a surprise champagne to welcome us for our honeymoon stay.

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Peeking at the cozy bedroom in which we spent many hours at night watching movies and using the free wireless internet for we both packed our laptops for the trip.

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The bathroom is as big as the bedroom and I could only wish that I had a bathroom like that at home too.

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I NEED A WARDROBE LIKE THIS RIGHT NOW!

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I love the coffee maker in the room. It's the expensive kind which uses individual capsules. I'm more of a tea person and not exactly a coffee addict. However with this machine, I savoured rich aromatic coffee about twice a day and totally forgot about tea.

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For a video tour of our villa with amateurish commentary, click the play button. Some of you may have seen this video before when I posted it in January.



If you watched till the end, you would know that my camera battery died when I was about to conclude the video tour. What you didn't hear was me cursing and swearing like a drunken sailor after that.

I had wanted to get Canon S95 for this trip but it was OOS everywhere in Singapore at that time. Hence, I had to make do with my loyal but ailing pink bimbotic camera. It was fortunate that kh borrowed an additional point and shoot camera from his bro or we would be left with no beautiful photos for the rest of the day. That camera snapped quite decent day shots but I wasn't too pleased with some of the night shots though it sure beat having no pictures at all eh?

So after being so sore about my camera, I decided to join kh in the plunge pool while sipping champagne and soaking in the sun.

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Due to the obvious fact that I am a pig and that my tummy is often termed as the "bottomless pit" by some friends endearingly, I got really hungry and bugged kh to et out of the pool and to seek out some eateries.

While walking to the main island, we could not resist taking pictures coz seriously, having beautiful pictures to capture the beautiful memories superseded hunger at that time when we were still considered new inhabitants to the island.

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We decided to seek out Jahaz Bar by the poolside.

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We waited almost half an hour for the food but it was totally worth it! I ordered the Black Forest Ham while kh had the Haleveli Burger. We also had Fish & Wedges as sides.

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The hearty lunch at the bar actually prepared us for many more costly meals to come.

The above was considered bar food but quality items like parma ham and foie gras set us back by USD25, 28 and 26 respectively. Added to the price was the currency which was in USD. SGD25, 28 and 26 is definitely the norm for the prices of main courses in Singapore but USD is a little on the steep side.

As the Maldives updates progress, you would notice that we only ate 2 very full meals a day to save money. We are quite the poor peasants you know? ;P

I love how my bil's camera captured this shot of the public pool. There is no editing done to this photo except for the adding of borders and watermarking.

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Still the same day but a different outfit which calls for an outfit shot once more.

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Outfit of the day:
♥ No label tribal design spaghetti strap sundress
♥ Fendi sunglasses
♥ Diva ethnic beaded necklace
♥ Sheer Romance flower clip
♥ Pretty Fit embellished hooked on sandals

After the satisfying meal, we went to the diving centre to sign up for a scuba exploration dive. We also rented diving masks, snorkels and flippers for the rest of our stay.

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We called those creatures above "little sharkies". They are really sharks by the way.

I was excited yet a little apprehensive about signing up for the scuba exploration as I'm actually aquaphobic.

I can't swim with the correct strokes, I nearly drowned twice in my life and I have an immense fear for putting my head under the water surface for long. However, I figured that since I would have an oxygen tank with my mouth and nose blocked from water, I need not worry about not being able to burst out from the water surface to breathe in atmospheric air.

We led really lazy lives for the next 6 days. Sing the poem below to the tune of Bruno Mars Lazy Day!

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NOTHING AT ALL!
woo hoo oo woo hoo oo
*whistles in the background*

The rest of my day was spent lounging by and in the pool as for the hubby... guess what he did? He actually switched on his laptop and played WORLD OF WARCRAFT instead of doing his paper.

The first sunset in Maldives was a little disappointing due to the presence of clouds over the horizon. I was half expecting to see the orange ball sigh into the water and disappear beneath the horizon slowly.

It's alright though. The sun set was still beautiful as it seemed to have tinged the sky with brilliant hues of pink, orange and purple.

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We spent the rest of the night watching lots and lots of movies and called for room service for dinner/ supper at midnight.

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I would end this post with a description of our midnight meal.

Once again, the food completely wowed us. We ordered Maldivian Style Tuna Curry with fragrant rice, chapatti, curry leaf sambal and Angus Beef Sirloin with tomato cruise, chilli jam, truffled potato puree, asparagus and a light citrus vinegar salad. Whatever that was on top of the beef (tomato cruise or chilli jam) was truly delicious. It reminded me a little of raspberry or cranberry jam but minus the tart sting.

I'm dying of famine while looking at these delicious food photos.

Look out for Volume 2 in the meantime!

19 comments:

  1. I am JEALOUS!!!! Maldives..oh..Maldives, how cool that you and your hub got to experience this paradise on earth. From cyrstal clear water, white sand beach, beautiful accommodation to awesome looking food. You look cute in all your outfits and the bikini...sexy!!

    I was thinking about an LV Neverfull tote too but I thought Dior Panerea looks more luxurious and you don't see many of them. Mine is $1,150 before tax, I am sure it is more expensive there in Singapore. I will be happy to ship it to you if it is worth buying from the US.

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  2. OMG YOU HAD YOUR OWN PRIVATE OCEAN *faints*
    the room services look great, and the meals so yummy! you just made me hungry right now :p
    you guys look such a cute couple! so perfect together :3 i can really see the happiness all over your faces. I wish you all the love in the world! :D

    random question: what's papadum? sorry my ignorance but i never saw anything like that :o

    cheers for the just married couple! xoxo, Monstros no Armário

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  3. Honeymoon photos! Aww I am so jealous of you and your hubby Jolene! Maldives really does look like heaven on earth - the scenery is just absolutely breathtaking. The water is so clear and blue - I wish the oceans here were half as clean looking! And the villas are so cute! I love how they are built on top of the water - the resort looks exactly like the honeymoon spot I saw in a Korean drama. I think it may have been "Playful Kiss" :P

    I'm surprised you guys didn't go sightseeing or do more activities there. I don't know what I would do with my time if I just spent 6 days around my room or on the beach. I think I would get tired of tanning and sleeping after the first few hours haha. So I'm not really surprised to hear that your hubby started playing WoW :D

    P.S. All your outfits are so cute! And you look great in that yellow swimsuit :)

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  4. Amazing, amazing, amazing!!! What a great experience for you two to share. Beautiful location, beautiful food and even a pillow menu (which never knew existed). You two look great together. But my very favorite picture is th eone of you pretending (pretending?) to sleep in your sun glasses. It's such a cute picture. =)

    You gave great answers--I lick peaqnut butter off the knife too. So don't think we would annoy each other. 110F = about 43.5C

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  5. PS - I actually thought it was cute when my wife invited me out to dinner different times and then: paid with my credit card once (so really, I paid); took me to a place that didn't accept her Discover credit card (so I had to pay); and twice forgot to bring her wallet. Don't get the wrong idea, I always pay when we go out. But maybe 5 times she has offered to buy dinner--and those 4 times I mentioned above I paid.

    I hope you're not working so hard or as many hours recently.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hey Jo, I know you used to always have a lot of trouble commenting on blogs with disqus implemented, but it seems like lately, you haven't been having too much trouble leaving comments. Can I ask if you have done something differently since then? I had 2 readers email me today saying they were unable to leave a comment using disqus, but I can't seem to figure out what the problem is because it works perfectly fine on both computers I tried.

    Thanks! :)

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  7. By the way, I'm giving you an award on my blog :3
    here :3

    xoxo

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  8. Nelah,

    Thanx dear. Maldives is really a once in a lifetime experience and I recommend all to go if possible. I really learn a lot about the country and culture there even though it's a country so focused on tourism. I feel glad to have gone once and it was good but I'm not too sure if I would go there a 2nd time again.

    $1150 is in USD? In any way, it sounds a lot lesser than what I would expect to see in Singapore though I haven't checked out the price in Singapore. I seldom step into Dior as their stuff doesn't really appeal to me except for Lady Dior in red, pink or cream. =)

    Thanx for your offer, I would go check out the price and decide then. I just bought my Chanel a few days ago (yay...) so gotta budget a little (nay...).

    ~~~

    Skinny Love,

    Thank you dear for your sweet words. Oh we've actually been married for 2 years but we kept not being able to go for honeymoon due to our clashing schedules.

    Papadum is an Indian cracker. I love it lots! No worries about ignorance when it comes to different cultures, I guess it's more common in Asian countries with Indian communities. It's good to ask coz you learn something new every day.

    Thanx for the award. I'm ashamed to say I usually leave blog awards till they're quite overdue and I sometimes forget about them. You would soon realise that everything on my blog is always late. Nonetheless, I still appreciate your thoughts and would go check it out later.

    ~~~

    Rinny,

    Thanx dear. Maldives is really a once in a lifetime experience and I recommend all to go if possible. I really learn a lot about the country and culture there even though it's a country so focused on tourism. I feel glad to have gone once and it was good but I'm not too sure if I would go there a 2nd time. Not because I will get bored but I would wish to visit more countries or cities with the money. You can consider it as a future holiday destination! You won't regret it. =)

    I don't watch Korean dramas so I went to google "Playful Kiss". I can't find any honeymoon photos from that show. I guess it would be tough to find screenshots on the net.

    Haha this post only features the happenings on Day 1. The 6 days passed very quickly, much to my surprise. It was activity packed every single day that I didn't get enough sleep though I was on a holiday.

    On the disqus issue, I'm using Modzilla Firefox to view and comment on all blogs now. IE doesn't allow me to do lots of commenting since that time and I haven't tried if the issue has been solved since I would automatically use FF for all blog related stuff. However, Firefox couldn't display some plug ins. Maybe you can suggest for them to use a different browser? Hope this helps.

    ~~~

    Rick,

    That sleeping picture is so small since it's just part of the collage. You're so sharp to have spotted that.

    43.5C is soooooo hot! We would die of heatstroke here. Plus it is very humid over here. I think we would be perspiring buckets of water and die from dehydration.

    I will strive to learn from kh (your wife). Haha...

    Thanx for your concern. I'm using a lot of non-work hours to do lots of interesting stuff which I enjoy so it's fine to be spending lots of hours doing lots of stuff. =)

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  9. These are soo amazing - one of my absolute DREAM vacations are in the Maldives, what hotel did you stay at that had those huts/?

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  10. OMG I'm DYING looking through your photos maldives is one of those fantasy places i'm dying to visit!! your vacation looks AMAZING!! and that food looks SOO GOOD! can't wait to see more :)

    haha i wish those were vacation pics.. but we actually had to relocate to texas for my husbands work.. but we're only here for 2 more months before moving to europe. oh and the hotels we pick are always dog friendly.. they cost more than normal hotels.. but we have no choice.. can't leave the doggies behind haha!

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  11. Oh my goodness that place looks so amazing and all the photos are amazing! I am loving it all! wow i really want to go there for my honey moon now! hehe. Very Jelous ! You are so lucky and you look gorgeous in your photos too! :))

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  12. Wow the Maldives look SO amazing!!!! I wanna go tooo haha. Any beach location is a yes with me. Definitely travel while you can! It's always nice to experience different cultures and learn new things about the world :) Yup I was born & raised partially in Singapore, and spent the last 10 years in Vancouver. Still very much Singaporean at heart though!

    Yeah my dad always encourages me to explore, but work hard so I can spend the money on travels. Truth on the part where the people you meet are really nice, etc. Same goes for me :) But there are some who are just plain lucky.. but spoiled. Hopefully they learn to count their blessings in life!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog for a read! Will def check yours out as well :) Glad you enjoyed the post!

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  13. Katherine,

    Yes! I feel that everyone should go Maldives at least once in their lifetime. It's Constance Haleveli Resort. You might want to refer to their website for more information: http://www.halaveli.com/

    ~~~

    Lisa,

    You should make Maldives one of your pit stops among your many cities and countries visited.

    Ah, tt's ok. Interstate visits and relocation could be considered travelling too. One thing good about living in the States would be the road trips to the different states. If I were living in the States, I would make it a point to have road trips to various areas and I would consider that as travelling in my book. Unfortunately in Asia, most of us would always travel "overseas" as countries are too small for road trips.

    I never knew there are hotels specially catered for dogs. I learn something new from you.

    ~~~

    JelenaDoll,

    Thank you for your sweet words. Haha... Yes yes! Maldives is such an ideal honeymoon destination if both you and your future? hubby are the sun, sand and sea type.

    ~~~

    Tessa Tham,

    It's nice to stumble upon a fellow Singaporean-at-heart but living-in-another-country blogger. I will be checking out your blog more often for travel pictures and words that set one thinking. I absolutely love voyeuring in this way.

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  14. This is soooo awesome!!! I'm so jealous!! :)

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  15. omgosh! your trip looks amazing!!!!!!!!! so jealous!
    where eaxactly is this place? what is the resort called? I must go there!!!! lol nothing compared to my cruise
    speaking of cruise, yes i belive all cruises do the animal folding thingie every night. I have friends who went on differnt cruise lines and they all said they get towel animals, i think it's a cruise thing haha

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  16. mizzsandychau,

    Welcome here and thanx for dropping a little note here. Eh? Where as in where exactly in Maldives you mean? I'm a little confused here coz the title states Maldives so I guess you meant which part of Maldives? Maldives is made up of many islands and as stated, the resort is called Constance Haleveli Resort which is on Alifu Atoll.

    I will go on a cruise some day too. Just to see how it is like! =)

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  17. Hihi,

    May i know roughly how much you paid for the resort? Why do they charge by per person and not per villa?

    Also is there a need to stay at the hotel before you move on to halaveli?

    Thanks alot for answering my queries.

    Jas

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  18. Hi jas,
    Wow, I really can't remember but we booked everything from:
    http://www.atollparadise.com/

    The prices are all there and I really hope it helps. Hmm... We were not charged by person. It's per villa. I wonder where did you find that information from.

    Why we stayed at the airport hotel was coz if I remember correctly, SQ only has got night flight per day to Maldives. The airport is on their capital island and all the resorts are spread across various islands which could be reached by seaplane or by boat. The seaplanes and boats do not operate at night and hence we had to stay the night at the airport hotel.

    Hope this helps. =)

    ReplyDelete

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