As promised, I have now completed my own list of post-tour challenges of getting all of the research material consolidated, profiles updated, notes organised, and as promised, expanded information on the resorts’ House Reefs. I’ve added a row to the Resort Profile devoted to House Reef details (see below).
Mostly, I have broken down the very crude “House Reef Rating” into several more granular ratings…
- House Reef Rating (focusing on the “drop off”)
- Drop-Off Coral Rating (focusing just on the coral variety and density as opposed to fish life or ease of access.
- Lagoon Coral Rating (focusing on the shallow water coral croppings)
As a part of my enhancing the House Reef information, I’ve also added a second video link to the resort profiles of footage taken on the house reef. Very often, the TripAdvisor Maldives Forum refers to such videos for first hand documentation of the reef quality. I’ve gone through the videos on YouTube and selected the best I could find in terms of showing the most of the reef (ie. not all close ups of fish and other sightings).
Through my house reef YouTube research, I came across a whole range of quality from grainy camera clips to Hollywood-style editted GoPro productions. The one that rose above as “Best Picture” (among some very worthy competition I must say), was “Maldive – The Movie” 39 minute feature film of the Maayafushi house reef.
Other special mentions include…
I’ve populated the ratings based on my visits and information others have shared, but it is at best less than half complete and could have some inaccuracies. If you have any information to share, please comment or email me.
Con los terroristas. Ey Shake. Ey Shake. Ey, Ey, Ey, Ey.
I’ve enjoyed a number of the Harlem Shake renditions sweeping the net recently, but had to give a special nod to the Maayafushi dive centre at TGI Maldives for their underwater performance.
This month’s video has prompted me to add a ‘video’ tag to the Maldives Complete as the Blog now boasts 14 different video posts.
Shake, Ta. Ta. And do the Harlem Shake. Ey Shake, Ey.
The Reviewer’s favourite might be Cocoa Island, and the Forum’s favourite might be Vilamendhoo, but what is the Experts’ favourite?
The other thing I noted in my survey (looking at the past 6 months of Trip Advisor Maldives Forum posts) was responses by the Destination Experts (DE’s) to the question ‘Which Resort?’ (which is most typically followed by the response, “What is your budget?”).
First, I must say that I was impressed with the range and balance of their recommendations. After having visited 19 myself, I’m not sure I would be so balanced in my recommendations (we all have our favourites).
Despite the impressive balance of recommendations, there was a clear favourite…Athuruga. It was both the top 2 DE’s top recommendation as they suggested it 13 and 7 times respectively. Their next most recommended resorts were Maayafushi (11) and Mirihi (10) collectively. Curiously, most of the Maayafushi suggestions came in the first 3 months and the Athuruga one’s more recently (a shift of sentiment?). In total, 32 different resorts were proposed by the DE’s. Other favoured resorts include Dhiggiri (8 mentions), Vilamendhoo (6), Bandos (5), Kuramathi (5). The top DE recommended a total 24 resorts on 81 occasions (again, this is just counting those instances where a poster asked a very open ended ‘which resort’ question).
Also, a hats off to all the DE’s on Trip Advisor who do a pretty heroic job of answering the most repetitive and obscure questions with speed, expertise and often a bit of light-hearted fun.
Eeek a shark! One of the most prevalent sea creatures that you will encounter in the Maldives is the white-tipped reef shark. But for those who have gorged on too many Hollywood special effects, rest assured there is nothing to fear. In fact, one of the most prominent characteristics of these infamous fish is how skittish they are themselves. After a while of snorkelling and catching glimpses of them, you really start to want to see them closer and realise how apprehensive they are about getting anywhere near you.
The most prevalent are the bitty ones you see in the lagoons like the one our children Isley and Chase are admiring above. But they do grow up to several feet long, but those ones are just as harmless (in fact, the bigger they are, the bigger scaredy cats that they seem to be).
If you want to see as many of these popular and populous creatures, then the place to go is Maaya Thila, described at the ‘White Tip Reef Shark Capital of the Maldives’. While Maayafushi and Halaveli are nearby, the closest resort to this specially protected marine area is Bathala.
Tim Godfrey describes Maaya Thila in his book ‘Dive Maldives’…
“The smaller white-tips are the centre of attention, with dozens of them circling the reef. Maaya Thila is about 80 metres in diameter and can be easily circumnavigated in one dive – if the current is favourable – although it is not uncommon for divers to spend the entire dive in one area to digest the incredible diversity of marine life.”