One thing to note is that the Maldivian rufiyaa is a non-convertible currency, that is, you’ll have to exchange those after you arrive in Maldives and not beforehand. Although USD is a legal tender in Maldives, the Maldivian government is obsessed with clean crisp notes and will categorically reject any old or defaced USD. This was evident when we tried to pay our bus with some old USD notes and the bus attendant refused! Also, if you do pay with USD, most likely you will get your changes in rufiyaa.
You can exchange rufiyaa at any Bank of Maldives branch. The process is simple: mention the amount of rufiyaa you want to exchange and present your passport. One USD is about 15 rufiyaa. We did this at the Hulhumale branch.
Elite Beach Inn
We spent two nights in Elite Beach Inn, a budget inn that served as a rest stop for us to acclimate, and also because we didn’t have enough points for Conrad (read here). The inn itself was nothing remarkable, but the local staff were friendly and helpful.
The street and the beach
We didn’t venture much due to heightened unrest following the state of emergency in Male. To our relief, it was really hard to tell that a state of emergency had been declared at all because everything seemed normal: kids playing in the housing compound, businesses operating as usual, people walking casually by the beach. Perhaps we were not in Male, the capital, but from what we heard, things weren’t that different there.
Manhattan Fish Market
According to the Embassy of Maldives in Malaysia, 23% of import goods in Maldives is from Singapore and 9% is from Malaysia. It was no wonder why we saw so many familiar brands from our home country ranging from Nestle Coco Crunch to Bata shoes. Another one was Manhattan Fish Market, a seafood restaurant franchise. We found the the food quality was fresher in Hulhumale than the ones in Malaysia, perhaps due to the proximity to fresh seafood sources. We were served about 30 fresh, huge scallops in my spaghetti.
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Source URL: Medium