Family trips

Our little princess Abigail has been traveling with us since 4 months old. Stay tune for more of our family trips!

Honeymoon in Maldives

A place where romance begins... And there is never a blue as beautiful as the waters of Maldives!

Sinchow Vietnam!

Go to Vietnam. Indulge yourself in the peaceful Hmong villages in Sapa, or experience cruising at The New 7 Wonders of Nature - Halong Bay.

Go West to U.S.

Napa Valley! San Francisco! And Monterey!.

Bali oh Bali~

We've done it 3 times!! Couple trip 2009, friends trip 2010, and family trip 2014.

Hello Macau, the oriental Portugal

Walking the oriental Europe. Remember to taste the most authentic Portuguese tarts!.

London

I was just a touch-and-go tourist in a short 3 days...

Babymoon in Boracay

Sea, sand, sun. And a new family member in my tummy!

Marrakech, a hidden jewel

Of palm groves, fire dancing, and dromedaries.

Siem Reap - day and night

Back to the ancient kingdom and find the tomb raider in you.

Home Cooking

Just some recipes and home cuisine for my family and baby.

Welcome to my blog!! 欢迎到访!!

No matter how you get here, I wanna say a big THANK YOU for visiting my blog. Do come back often for more! Blessed because we're given the chance to share. Thank you for visiting! 无论你是刻意或者不刻意的来到这里,都进来坐坐、聊聊天吧。幸福不是必然的,而是懂得分享人生的喜悦。谢谢到访!

August 28, 2015

How to choose a Maldives Resort - For first time visitor (Full resort list, almost)

We traveled to Maldives on our honeymoon back in year 2011, and if you could see, the price increases every year by almost 10% (the bed tax, T-GST, and worse now - our currency making it more than 10% with the currency exchange of USD to MYR higher than 4!!!), so if you would like to go to Maldives, do consider going there as soon as you can to avoid paying more and more after years. Since MAS has suspended flights from Kuala Lumpur to Malé, the other cheaper option now will be flying with AirAsia as it has resumed the route to Malé.

My post-wedding portraiture in Maldives

When I look back on our photos taken in Maldives during honeymoon, I am REALLY looking forward to do another trip with my 2 princesses soon! This round we are not going to stay at water villa (kids below 12 years old are not allowed, and some islands totally do not allow kids to stay in) but we are going to stay at garden or beach villa. Frankly speaking, after we experienced staying at the water villa, we think it's actually a better choice to stay at a beach villa (more spacious, some with open concept bathroom/jacuzzi, shorter distance to the restaurants, and easier access to the beach and sandbank). Furthermore, a lot of resorts have really nice beach villas with privacy and even private beach in front, overall a real bargain during low season!

The concrete jungle - Malé


Why travelling in Maldives makes so much difference from travelling other places?

1. There is no mountain - Expect the blue shades bluer than your Monday blues


2. One island one resort concept - Once you get into the resort, normally you will spend all your stay at the same resort because of super expensive transfers (especially seaplane or domestic flight) which can easily burn a hole in your pocket. Every transfer from one resort to another will be charged separately and you need to always go back to the terminals at airport first before boarding another seaplane/domestic flight to the second resort.


3. The water is as clear as your drinking water!


4. Alcohol and pork are restricted in Maldives, but available at the resorts.


5. Swimsuit and bikini is restricted and against the law in their local islands - meaning no booze and swimsuit at the guest houses and in Malé. So if you're staying at the local islands like Maafushi, forget about sunbathing in your bikini.



It's all about the money$$$$

Before arriving in the Maldives, we had done quite some information collection and then worked out the budget. It was such a big headache as every resort has different room type, meal plan and transfer mode!! In short, if you want to avoid running out of money when you're there, it's advisable to go for Full Board or All Inclusive meal plan package (only certain resorts). You can still use credit cards to pay, but it will incur charges of 4% of the amount. So bring your cash - USD. In the restaurants, on the local ferries and in the local shops, everything has to pay in Maldivian Rufiyaa.

And not all booking website or agent provide a full option of meal plans available plus the return transfer, so be wise to do your homework upfront and engage your agent to arrange for you. Then you can just pack luggage and enjoy your holiday there~

Expected rates for transfer:
Speedboat - USD $50 onwards for a return trip per person
Seaplane - USD $250 onwards for a return trip per person
Domestic Flight - USD $250 onwards for a return trip per person
*Seaplane and domestic flight fare are more expensive than air fare from Kuala Lumpur to Malé!!


How to define the seasons in Maldives?

Low season - May to July (early May is good to go, the wettest months should be June/July) 
*Cheapest throughout the year, and some luxury resorts offer free nights and free meal upgrade.

Shoulder season - September to October (shower/storm in some days but a good time to save money)
*Second cheapest room rate, the final 2 weeks of October are popular sold out period for resorts.

High season - November to April (the most beautiful weather)
*Room rates are back to 'expensive' and usually no offer except some resorts still provide early bird discount if you book few months earlier. Check with your booking agent.

Peak season - normally from 23rd December to 8th January
*Most expensive throughout the year but still fully booked. Resorts will enforce X-mas Eve Gala Dinner surcharge and New Year Eve Gala Dinner surcharge.

Each island has its own climate and the weather is hard to predict, so if it’s raining on one island, it might be sunny on another island that’s 20km away.

So, when to go to Maldives solely depends on the 2 factors: budget or weather
If you do not have budget constraint, then you can go around November/March/April.
If you have budget constraint, then you can go around May-July to enjoy the cheapest room rates.
FYI, we went in October 2011 for our honeymoon, out of the 5 days, it only rained 1 day during daytime, and 3 nights were short thunderstorms.

There are so many resorts to choose from!!!!

Here's a compact list of resorts/hotels that I've compiled for reference. I came up with this list as I did not want my own reference gone missing or I have to Google all over again when people ask for information. (Now only I completed the list with photos after so long... phew...)

You can see the meal plans available, transfer mode to the resort, and the room types available for each of the resorts.
*Beach categories = Beach bungalow/villa, Garden bungalow/villa, Standard/Superior/Deluxe rooms, etc..
*Water categories = Water bungalow/villa (with/without jacuzzi), Ocean bungalow/villa, Lagoon suits, etc..
*Bed & Breakfast = Only room and breakfast, normally without beverages
*Half Board = Only room + breakfast + dinner, normally without beverages
*Full Board = Only room + breakfast + lunch + dinner, normally without beverages
*All Inclusive/Platinum Plan = Room + breakfast + lunch + dinner, include beverages/alcohol, some resorts also include excursions and activities

CLICK on the resort names and it will link you to their official page for the complete information on everything else. Hope this list will help you to shortlist and decide which resort to go for.
*Photos are courtesy of the original photographers/websites/resorts (too many to mention, the photos are linked directly to their original page).

Pick a resort and enjoy your holiday in Maldives!

ADAARAN CLUB RANNALHI - All Inclusive, Speedboat (Beach + Water categories) *Budget*



ADAARAN PRESTIGE VADOO - All Inclusive, Speedboat (Water categories)



ADAARAN PRESTIGE WATER VILLAS - All Inclusive, Seaplane (Water categories)



ADAARAN SELECT HUDHURAN FUSHI - All Inclusive, Speedboat (Beach + Water categories)



ADAARAN SELECT MEEDHUPARU - All Inclusive, Seaplane (Beach categories)



AMILLA FUSHI - Bed & Breakfast/Half Board/Full Board, Seaplane/Domestic Flight (Beach + Water categories) *Luxury*



ANANTARA DHIGU RESORT & SPA - Bed & Breakfast/Half Board/Full Board, Speedboat (Beach + Water categories) *Luxury*




ANANTARA KIHAVAH VILLAS - Bed & Breakfast/Half Board/Full Board, Seaplane (Beach + Water categories) *Luxury*



ANANTARA VELI RESORT & SPA - Bed & Breakfast/Half Board/Full Board, Speedboat (Water categories)



ANGAGA ISLAND RESORT & SPA - Half Board/Full Board/All Inclusive, Seaplane/Domestic Flight (Beach + Water categories)



ANGSANA RESORTS & SPA IHURU - Bed & Breakfast/Half Board/Full Board/All Inclusive, Speedboat (Beach categories)



ANGSANA RESORTS & SPA VELAVARU - Bed & Breakfast/Half Board/Full Board/All Inclusive, Seaplane (Beach + Water categories)



ATMOSPHERE KANIFUSHI - Platinum Plan, Seaplane (Beach categories)



AYADA MALDIVES - Bed & Breakfast/Half Board/Full Board, Domestic Flight + Speedboat (Beach + Water categories) *Luxury*



BANDOS ISLAND RESORT & SPA - Bed & Breakfast/Half Board/Full Board/All Inclusive, Speedboat (Beach + Water categories)



BANYAN TREE VABINFARU - Full Board/All Inclusive, Speedboat (Beach categories)



BAROS MALDIVES - Bed & Breakfast/Half Board, Speedboat (Beach + Water categories)



BIYADHOO ISLAND RESORT MALDIVES - Full Board/All Inclusive, Speedboat (Beach categories) *Budget*



CENTARA GRAND ISLAND RESORT & SPA - All Inclusive, Seaplane (Beach + Water categories)



CENTARA RAS FUSHI RESORT & SPA - All Inclusive, Speedboat (Beach + Water categories)



CHAAYA ISLAND DHONVELI - Half Board/Full Board/All Inclusive, Speedboat (Beach + Water categories) *Budget*



CHAAYA LAGOON HAKURAA HURAA - All Inclusive, Seaplane (Beach + Water categories)



CHAAYA REEF ELLAIDHOO - Half Board/Full Board/All Inclusive, Speedboat/Seaplane (Beach + Water categories) *Budget*



CHEVAL BLANC RANDHELI - Bed & Breakfast, Seaplane (Water Categories) *Luxury*



CLUB MED KANIAll Inclusive, Speedboat (Beach +Water Categories)



COCO PALM BODU HITHI - Bed & Breakfast, Speedboat (Water Categories) *Luxury*



COCO PALM DHUNI KOLHU - Bed & Breakfast, Seaplane/Domestic Flight (Beach + Water Categories)



COCOA ISLAND BY COMO - Bed & Breakfast/Half Board/Full Board, Speedboat (Water Categories) *Luxury*



CONRAD MALDIVES RANGALI ISLAND - Bed & Breakfast/Half Board, Seaplane/Domestic Flight (Beach + Water Categories) *Luxury*



CONSTANCE HALAVELI - Bed & Breakfast/Half Board/Cristal Ultimate, Seaplane (Beach + Water Categories) *Luxury*



CONSTANCE MOOFUSHI - All Inclusive, Seaplane (Beach + Water Categories) *Luxury*



DUSIT THANI - Bed & Breakfast/Half Board/Full Board/Pure Indulgence, Seaplane/Domestic Flight (Beach + Water Categories)



EMBUDU VILLAGE - Full board, Speedboat (Beach + Water categories) *Budget*



ERIYADU ISLAND RESORT - Half Board/Full Board/All Inclusive, Speedboat (Beach categories) *Budget*



FILITHEYO ISLAND RESORT - Half Board/Full Board/All Inclusive, Seaplane (Beach + Water categories)



FOUR SEASON RESORT MALDIVES AT KUDA HURAA - Bed & Breakfast/Half Board/Full Board, Speedboat (Beach + Water categories) *Luxury*



FOUR SEASONS LANDAA GIRAVAARU - Bed & Breakfast/Half Board/Full Board, Seaplane (Beach + Water categories) *Luxury*



FUN ISLAND RESORT & SPA - Full Board, Speedboat (Beach categories) *Budget*



GANGEHI ISLAND RESORT - Bed & Breakfast/Half Board/Full Board/All Inclusive, Seaplane (Beach + Water categories) *Budget*




GILI LANKANFUSHI - Bed & Breakfast/Half Board/Full Board, Speedboat (Water categories) *Luxury*



HERATHERA ISLAND RESORT - Half Board/Full Board/All Inclusive, Domestic Flight (Beach categories) *Budget*



HIDEAWAY BEACH RESORT & SPA -  Half Board/Full Board, Seaplane (Beach + Water categories) *Luxury*



HOLIDAY INN KANDOOMA - Bed & Breakfast/Half Board/Full Board/All Inclusive, Speedboat (Beach + Water categories) *Budget*



HOLIDAY ISLAND RESORT & SPA - Half Board/Full Board/All Inclusive, Domestic Flight (Beach categories) *Budget*




HUVAFEN FUSHI - Bed & Breakfast/Half Board/Full Board, Speedboat (Beach + Water categories) *Luxury*



J RESORT ALIDHOO - Bed & Breakfast/Half Board/Full Board/All Inclusive, Domestic Flight (Beach + Water categories)



J RESORT KUDA RAH - Bed & Breakfast/Half Board/Full Board/All Inclusive, Seaplane/Domestic Flight + Speedboat (Beach + Water categories)



JA MANAFARU - Bed & Breakfast/Half Board/All Inclusive, Seaplane (Beach + Water Categories) *Luxury*



JUMEIRAH DHEVANAFUSHI - Bed & Breakfast/Half Board, Domestic Flight (Beach + Water Categories) *Luxury*



JUMEIRAH VITTAVELI - Bed & Breakfast/Half Board/Full Board, Speedboat (Beach + Water Categories) *Luxury*



KANDOLHU ISLAND - Bed & Breakfast/A la carte dining/AI, Seaplane (Beach + Water categories) *Luxury*



KOMANDOO ISLAND RESORT - Half Board/Full Board/All Inclusive, Seaplane (Beach + Water categories)



KURAMATHI ISLAND RESORT - Full Board/All Inclusive, Seaplane (Beach + Water Categories)



KUREDU RESORT - Half Board/Full Board/All Inclusive, Seaplane (Beach + Water Categories) *Budget*



KURUMBA MALDIVES - Bed & Breakfast/Half Board/Full Board/All Inclusive, Speedboat (Beach categories) *Budget*



LILY BEACH RESORT & SPA - Platinum Plan, Seaplane/Domestic Flight (Beach + Water categories) *Luxury*




LUX MALDIVES - Bed & Breakfast/Half Board/Full Board/All Inclusive, Seaplane/Domestic Flight + Speedboat (Beach + Water categories) *Luxury*



MAAFUSHIVARU MALDIVES - Full Board/All Inclusive, Seaplane (Beach + Water categories)



MAKUNUDHU ISLAND - Half Board/Full Board/All Inclusive, Speedboat (Beach categories) *Budget*



MEDHUFUSHI ISLAND RESORT - Half Board/Full Board/All Inclusive, Seaplane (Beach + Water categories) *Budget*



MEERU ISLAND RESORT & SPA - Full Board/All Inclusive, Speedboat (Beach + Water categories)



MIRIHI ISLAND RESORT - Bed & Breakfast/Half Board/Full Board, Seaplane/Domestic Flight (Beach + Water categories)



NALADHU MALDIVES - Bed & Breakfast/Half Board/Full Board, Speedboat (Beach categories) *Luxury*




NIKA ISLAND RESORT - Full Board/All Inclusive, Seaplane (Beach + Water categories)



NIYAMA - Bed & Breakfast/Half Board/Full Board, Seaplane (Beach + Water categories) *Luxury*



ONE AND ONLY REETHI RAH, MALDIVES - Bed & Breakfast, Seaplane (Beach + Water categories) *Luxury*



OUTRIGGER KONOTTA MALDIVES - Bed & Breakfast/All Inclusive, Domestic Flight + Speedboat (Beach + Water categories) *Luxury*




PALM BEACH RESORT & SPA - All Inclusive, Seaplane (Beach categories) *Budget*



PARADISE ISLAND RESORT & SPA - Bed & Breakfast/Half Board/Full Board/All Inclusive, Speedboat (Beach + Water categories)



PARK HYATT MALDIVES HADAHAA - Bed & Breakfast/Half Board/Full Board/All Inclusive, Domestic Flight + Speedboat (Beach + Water categories)



REETHI BEACH RESORT - Bed & Breakfast/Half Board/Full Board/All Inclusive, Seaplane/Domestic Flight (Beach + Water categories) *Budget*



ROBINSON CLUB MALDIVES - Full Board, Domestic Flight + Speedboat (Beach + Water categories)



ROYAL ISLAND RESORT & SPA - Bed & Breakfast/Half Board/Full Board/All Inclusive, Domestic Flight (Beach categories)



SAFARI ISLAND RESORT & SPA - Half Board/Full Board/All Inclusive, Seaplane (Beach + Water categories)



SHANGRI-LAS VILINGILI RESORT & SPA - Bed & Breakfast/Half Board/Full Board, Domestic Flight + Speedboat (Beach + Water categories) *Luxury*



SHERATON MALDIVES FULL MOON RESORT & SPA - Bed & Breakfast/Half Board/Full Board/All Inclusive, Speedboat (Beach + Water categories)



SIX SENSES LAAMU - Bed & Breakfast/Half Board/Full Board, Domestic Flight + Speedboat (Beach + Water categories) *Luxury*



SONEVA FUSHI - Room Only/Bed & Breakfast/Half Board/Full Board, Seaplane/Domestic Flight + Speedboat (Beach categories) *Luxury*



SUN ISLAND RESORT & SPA - Half Board/Full Board/All Inclusive, Domestic Flight (Beach + Water categories) *Budget*



TAJ EXOTICA RESORT & SPA MALDIVES - Bed & Breakfast/Half Board/Full Board, Speedboat (Beach + Water categories) *Luxury*



THE RESIDENCE MALDIVES - Bed & Breakfast/Half Board/Full Board/All Inclusive, Domestic Flight + Speedboat (Beach + Water categories) *Luxury*



THE SUN SIYAM IRUFUSHI - Bed & Breakfast/Half Board/Full Board, Seaplane/Domestic Flight + Speedboat (Beach + Water categories) *Luxury*



THULHAGIRI ISLAND RESORT & SPA - Half Board/Full Board/All Inclusive, Speedboat (Beach + Water categories) *Budget*



VAKARUFALHI ISLAND RESORT - Half Board/Full Board/All Inclusive, Seaplane (Beach + Water categories)



VELAA PRIVATE ISLAND - Bed & Breakfast, Seaplane (Beach + Water categories) *Luxury*



VELASSARU MALDIVES - Bed & Breakfast/Half Board/Full Board, Speedboat (Beach + Water categories)



VELIDHU ISLAND RESORT - Half Board/Full Board/All Inclusive, Seaplane (Beach + Water categories) *Budget*



VELIGANDU ISLAND RESORT - Full Board/All Inclusive, Seaplane (Beach + Water categories)



VICEROY MALDIVES - Bed & Breakfast/Half Board/Full Board, Seaplane (Beach + Water categories) *Luxury*



VILAMENDHOO ISLAND RESORT & SPA - Full board/All Inclusive, Seaplane (Beach + Water categories)



VILU REEF BEACH & SPA RESORTS - Bed & Breakfast/Half Board/Full Board/All Inclusive, Seaplane (Beach + Water categories)



VIVANTA BY TAJ - CORAL REEF - Bed & Breakfast/Half Board/Full Board, Speedboat (Beach + Water categories) *Luxury*



W RETREAT & SPA - Bed & Breakfast/Half Board/Full Board, Seaplane (Beach + Water categories) *Luxury*



ZITAHLI RESORTS & SPA - Bed & Breakfast/Half Board/Full Board, Seaplane (Beach + Water categories)


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