Just hearing the word and it seems you’re already in paradise. Honeymoon, palm trees, immaculate beaches, cocktails and luxurious resorts.. The Maldives !
Except I was not on a honeymoon but on a surf trip.. not in a luxurious resort but in a surf camp. Yes, there are plenty of good, uncrowded waves in Maldives and surf can be really good over there. We were staying on Thulusdhoo, a little island of 2km², 50km north of Malé, just in front of “Cokes” a fast right-hander and “Chickens” a sweet left-hander. Though surf is not really for beginners because of the reef, the scenery is amazing, and surfing amongst the dolphins, sharks and rays is definitely a treat, but life on the island is really slow and evenings can be long as there is practically nothing to do. Hopefully, we had nice weather and waves nearly every day!
Thulusdhoo is one quiet island where tourists cohabit with locals, so you have to adapt to local rules, cover your shoulder when you walk in the island center and alcohol is completely forbidden.
Except for a few inconveniences, life on the island is pretty cool, locals are friendly and moderated and they will do anything to help you have a nice stay.
Unfortunately under these idyllic appearances hides the other face of the Maldives, the one you don’t want to endorse. A country ruled under sharia law, that still allows death penalty to children, lapidation to women, where equal rights is far from reality, where media are not allowed to express themselves freely, and where some islands (Thilafushi) are used as open-air bin to collect and burn the trashes of all the surrounding resorts. Though it’s far from the experience you will have as a tourist, it can’t be ignored.
Here are a few pics taken during this trip (some were shot by friends holding my camera, thanks to Sam, Diego, Chris):