I choose Hulhumale Island, which is attached to the airport island, before my Liveaboard cruise started so I didn’t have to deal with my heavy dive bags on the ferry to Male. I was disappointed in the quantity of trash I found on the beaches. In fact there is quite a bit of trash even floating in the waters. It was disturbing because without the trash you would have felt like you had landed in paradise. I was surprised how clueless the native Maldivians were to the trash all around them.
The island is man-made and only about 5 years old. Because of the overcrowding in capital city of Male there is considerable building going on. Even though many natives do speak English, I was surprised that on Male many do not, including workers in the hospitality industry which is kind of strange. It felt more like a third world country. Prices tend to be cheaper than Male for lodging but there are very few restaurants available. Perhaps things will be changing in the near future. There was a new five star hotel being built by the Radisson Hotel Group that will bring in more transit customers. It appears that much of the hospitality business for Hulhumale and also Male is for transit customers who are either moving on to liveaboard boats or to island resorts. Many times travelers arrive too late or as in my case too early to move onto their eventual destination and hence the need for an additional lodging location. At the end of my liveaboard cruise I choose a hotel in Male and even though it was more money, I enjoyed that location much better.
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