365 Days Of Countdown For 10 Days…

Day -365 to 1 (Non-Diving) PART ONE

November last year, Tiger Airways fixed a new route from Singapore to Male. And here’s where the story starts.

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Me being me, flight promotion has always been my weakness and I just had to share this deal. Though I didnt expect my virus to spread like wild fire, I am honoured to say, in 3 days, flights were booked and our chartered boat was 90% full. And that’s where we started our 1 year count down.

By the way, my name is Michelle, or commonly known as Mitch and here is a story of my buddies and I in Maldives for 10 Days! 🙂

Starring a couple of divers from everywhere,

Maldives Sep 2014!

Back Row : (Left to Right) Tony Wun, William Lim, Ashley Tan, Joy Ling, Jackie Ng, Xiu Fang, Guo Qiang, Siew Hwee, Melody Chong, Florence Wang, Robert Tan
Front Row : (Left to Right) Mitch Chong, Thomas Yap, Eddy Moey, Roy Koh, Desmond Chew, Tan Vee Lee, Ng Ying Ran, Felix Chua, Jackson Ting
On The Floor: Nurul Huda

And the countdown starts! 365 days… 262 days… and finally 5 more days!

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The last 12 hours of any countdown is always the most agonising. 10 days worth of packing wasn’t fun at all (no laundry, mind you)! And finally, by 11 Sep 2014, we are all packed, ready to go and talking about breakfast at the Airport before leaving for Male!

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Seacsub Hero Mask – Checked
Seacsub Sea Flex Snorkel – Checked
Scuba Pro Thermal Tec Wetsuit – Checked
Scuba Pro Jet Fins – Checked
Sherwood SR1 Reg – Checked
Halcyon BCD – Checked
Reef Hook – Checked
Suunto D4i – Checked
Ladies Stuff – Checked
Bikinis & Clothes – Checked

The night crawled by as I constantly checked the time to make sure that it was ticking by. Before I knew it, my phone was buzzing at 0530 and it was time to wash up to get ready for breakfast!

Met up with the early folks at Singapore Changi Airport for Burger King.

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You won’t find me often, smiling at 0600. But I was genuinely excited to see everyone ready for Maldives.

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One last… before checking in!

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And that’s William, Roy, Jackie, Tony, Florence and Robert entering Gate E4. Tiger Airways TR2509 SG to MLE! Thank you Tiger Airways for this flight promo!

We were all seated separately, but first, let us take a selfie!

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And one more ultimate one. Spot the non-diver!

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The 5 Hours flight on Tiger Airways isnt the most comfortable one, especially if you have longer legs. Remember to get the extra leg room! Lucky for me, I was knocked out from the all the excitement the night before. I was sound asleep and woke up to a pleasant surprise…

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and…

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Photo by: William El Lim

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Photo by: William El Lim

YES! This is Maldives! It is true when they say, MALDIVES IS BEAUTIFUL! Our liveaboard dive wasn’t starting till 13 Sep 2014. So after clearing the Male customs, we made our way to check-in at the Hulhumale Inn.

Happy Tony arrives at Male!
Happy Tony arrives at Male!
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The transfer from the Airport only took about 5 minutes. We were a group of 21 Pax, so 1 mini-bus and 1 mini-van was arranged.

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Checking-In was a little delayed at Hulhumale Inn as they had a change of management 3 days before our arrival and there were rooms to be re-allocated. So everything took a little longer than we expected. But with everyone’s involvement in trying to get things done, we managed to finish 21 Pax’s check-in in 40 minutes, with lots of chitter-chatter and laughter.

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Hulhumale Inn is situated at Hulhumale (yeah, duh!), rooms are reasonable for the price we paid (Standard Triple is about S$30+ per night). A little small, but comparing to the posh hotels that costs 100 times more, I guess I am glad to not have rooms that are 100 times worse. If you are looking for somewhere away from the hustle and bustle for a transit night. It’s pretty good here. The resort manager Muaz was warm and helpful! He even offered to show us around Male town and made sure we paid the right amount for what we were buying. Just 1 Con – Melody the lucky woman slept too tight and got the bed bugs’ bite! #204 – Check out for the bugs if you are given that room.

So after checking in, we had lunch at Bombay Darbar, which was right beside Hulhumale Inn. They serve really good Briyani and Tandoori Chicken! I tried the Briyani but not the Tandoori Chicken though.

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Food took a while to be served. So if you are going in large group, pre-order your meal!

After lunch, it’s time for our search for 4G connection and we opted for the local way of travelling to town. We took a public bus, followed by their local water taxi to get to Male Town. Not that we blend in with the locals having 21 pax travelling together, but we tried.

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Photo by: William El Lim
Photo by: William El Lim

At Male town, we flooded every store that we went into , leaving our footsteps and laughter everywhere we went and that pretty much sums up our first day in Male. If it still does not entice you enough, everywhere in Maldives, around the 1,192 islands, the water looks like this.

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Stay tuned, for Part 2 to see more about our Liveaboard and Maldives diving!

P/S: For those of you who can’t wait to dive Maldives already, upcoming trip in 19 – 26 Oct 2014 and 20 – 27 Dec 2014. Book your slots, with our partnering Dive Centre today!