Updated on January 26, 2016
After a unbelievable stay at the Park Hyatt Maldives it was time to start our long journey back home. As we talked about in our transfer post, we would now need to take a boat and a small puddle jumper Dash-8 just to get back to the capital island of Malé before continuing the rest of our trip home. Katie was not happy about leaving paradise…
Our trip so far…
Park Hyatt Honeymoon Trip Report:
We left the Park Hyatt and made our trip back to Kooddoo and their huge airport for our flight to Malé.
Once we arrived at the Malé airport we were again greeted by the Hyatt representative that had helped us on arrival. He again took us to the Maldivian Lounge and since we had about 5 hours before our flight he asked if we would like to do something different and fun.
It turns out that one of his co-workers who grew up in the capital of Malé and still lived there was willing to give us a free tour of the island if we were interested. Since we had a ton of time to kill we were all for it!
The Hyatt representative stored our bags and we were off to the docks!
Although the airport is technically the Malé International Airport, it is actually on a separate island from the actual capital city. So to get there we needed to take a boat. There were several options which included a ferry style transport which takes about 15 minutes and cost $1 and a taxi speedboat type transfer which takes 5 minutes and costs $2. We splurged and went with the faster option! 😉
Once we arrived we walked along the road with the waterway between us and the airport on our right. We saw the presidents island and parking spot, the national bank, the president’s office and then turned to venture deeper into the city.
We were then taken to the People’s Majlis which is the legislative branch of the Maldivian government and then on to an Old Friday Mosque with it’s accompanying tower of the munnaaru. This mosque is the oldest in the country dating back to 1656 with the tower next to it dating back to 1675.
Continuing along we saw the president’s old house, a memorial for soldiers and citizens who died in a 1988 terrorist attack, as well as the new mosque which is the main place for worship on this Muslim island.
After viewing the new mosque we were taken to a place that was clearly very special to our guide. He told us how Sultan Park used to be a beautiful park that he loved but in recent years it had been left open at night and this had lead to gangs, drug dealing and other unwanted guests.
The area of the park he was most excited to show us was a special tree. He said that the tree was said to have existed on the island before people ever came there and seemed to insinuate that it was spiritual. I tried googling this but couldn’t find much about it really.
After seeing this special tree we headed back towards the main road. Our guide told us that the vast majority of income was from either tourism or fishing, neither of which surprised me. He also told us how one of the soccer players on the national team of the Maldives had made it into one of the European soccer leagues and due to this was now the biggest star in the country. He pointed out at least 3 different advertisements with him as the spokesman.
Although he offered to take us to the fish market as well we were a bit anxious to get back to the airport since missing our flight would lead to HUGE problems. So we headed back over on a ferry to the airport. On the way we saw that a bridge is being built between the 2 islands which should be done in a few years making it possible to drive to the airport.
Arriving back at MLE we headed to the Maldivian Airlines lounge where we were again met by the Hyatt representative and taken over to the international terminal for check-in for our Cathay Pacific flight!
Next up: The Leeli Lounge and Cathay Pacific Business Class to Hong Kong!