Maldives Holiday - What To Do When I Reach Male Airport?
After booking your Maldives Holiday Package, time to think about what to expect when you touch down at Malé Airport. This blog will cover on what to do when visitors reach the Malé airport, internal transfers, dining options in the airport, amenities, what to do if you are arriving late in the evening and even cover on what are some banned items in Maldives.
Read on to find out more
Video Credit : Our customer – Siew Wei
1.) Buy a data sim card in Maldives
- In this digital age, everyone wants to be connected to the world and post live photos, videos or their dream holiday in the Maldives. There are 2 shops that sell local sim card for short term travelers (7 days, 14 days etc). Prices range from USD 15 – USD 40, some are data plan only, some comes with talk time etc. Sometimes the waiting time for a local sim card can be quite long.
You can also get a sim card from your hometown; for example for Singaporeans, you can get it from Changi Airport. Nowadays in most of the resorts, they provide free WiFi. In the airport, if you purchase some food items, they will give you a password to assess their WiFi. Our personal take is to forego the sim card, get away from the digital world and relax and enjoy the nature of Maldives with your love ones
2.) Stay in an airport transit hotel if you arrive late in the evening or late at night.
- There are many transit hotels near the airport. We partner with one local partner to provide overnight hotel stay as part of the Maldives holiday package for our customers – Plankton Beach. This transit hotel is clean and neat and their package includes daily breakfast. If you have time, do stay at least 2 nights here and do a visit to Male Island and immerse in the Maldivian culture. Check out our blog on the newly open Sinamale Bridge that conveniently take you from airport to Male city. Another note on the transit hotel, if for some reason you were not picked up by the transit hotel at the airport, do approach one of their counter and use their phone to contact the transit hotel staff for pickup.
Image Credit : Plankton Beach
3.) Money changer at the airport
- There is a Bank of Maldives in the airport that does money changing but do note that most resorts and even places at the local islands transact in USD. Rate at Maldives airport might not be as favourable as in your own hometown.
4.) Remember to arrange your internal transport to your dream resort
- For us in The Lazing Wanderer, we plan all the local transfer (be it seaplane, speedboat, domestic transfer etc) for our customers. The moment you step out of international custom, there will be someone or a booth to welcome you.
- The Seaplane terminal is just a short 10 mins car/van/bus transfer away from the international terminal. Some of the higher end resorts will have their private seaplane lounge where they serve hot meals and drinks. Quite a number of these lounges also have a nice overview of the seaplane docking area and the control tower.
Video Credit : Our customer – Jin Quan
- It tends to get hot in the plane especially for the afternoon flights, do get bottle of water from the individual resort seaplane lounge. If you have the chance to travel by seaplane (and you should !), do look out for the pilot’s feet ! YES, that’s right, the pilot’s feet. They fly the plane BARE FOOTED !
The domestic airport on Hulhulé island is just a 2 mins walk from the international airport terminal. This domestic airport connects you to all the other major domestic airport all around Maldives. Typically your resort guest officer will be at the international terminal to welcome you. They will bring you to the domestic terminal lounge to wait for your flight. There at the lounge, they serve some basic hot meals and free flow of drinks foc…. bon appetit!! There are lounge staff who will provide you with a free wifi password, and will inform you when your flight is ready. Simply just sit down and relax.
5.) Dining at Male Airport
- The international airport has many amenities now compare to 10 years ago. We used to recommend our customers to bring some snack from their home country but there is no need to do so now. There is a coffee club, burger king and even Thai express ! Some of the restaurant does open till late to cater to visitors arriving late in the night. Do note that food in the airport can be expensive.
6.) Banned items at the airport
Maldives is a strict Muslim country. To avoid the hassle, do not bring in pork products, alcohol etc. If you are making a trip to the local island:
- Wear appropriately, nothing revealing, no bikini
- No public displays of affection
- Do not bring in pork products
- Do not bring in alcohol
All the above rules do not apply on resort islands ! While on the resort island, there are restaurant that prepare pork dishes. If you are taking the Maldives honeymoon all inclusive package, usually it includes free flow of alcohol ! You can wear bikini, shorts on the resort island but do note that nude sunbathing is strongly discourage even at the resort island.
7.) Pre arrival visa is not required in Maldives
- Sometimes the custom officer might request to u for a copy of the resort confirmation. Visitors are required to fill up the immigration card like many other countries. The officer will return back the departure card in which you are require to produce when you are leaving Maldives.
Time To Begin Your Maldives Holiday !
Now that you have read on our tips for first timers to Maldives airport, its time to continue your Maldives holiday in the individual luxury resorts ! We have added one more bonus tips are you embark on your Maldives holiday:
8.) Don’t bother about bringing shoes to Maldives
- Bring a pair of flip flop instead! Roam your feet along the white geogrous powdery beach in Maldives.