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Category Archives: Maldives

HONEYMOON IN THE MALDIVES – goodbye, farewell…

I’m not usually someone to buy little souvenirs/knick knacks.. generally I find them really naff and steer clear from it all. But since it was our honeymoon and all, I was searching for all the cutesy Maldives paraphenelia in sight :P I would’ve bought more but they actually didn’t have that much. Wanted to get this painting of the Maldives on canvas, framed on a thin bamboo frame and string.. but Chris declared it ‘crappy’ and refused to let me buy it to hang up in the living room :P

Our departure was just as attentive as our arrival. We were served farewell drinks and nibbles as they brought over the bill, then they took our bags for us whilst we got into the speedboat to the main island of Gan. A staff member was with us the whole way, looking after our passports and checkin and ensuring everything was done for us – so all we needed to do was… umm… nothing :P

Then it was onto the plane to Singapore where we stayed for 5 short hours, so we could see Mum and Dad and show them our hundreds (!) of photos and videos, and also go for a quick bowl of prawn noodles (YUM!) and then it was back into the plane and home to Shanghai. Getting off the plane in Shanghai was one of the hardest things EVER. The dusty air, the pushy-shovvy people, the everything is just the exact opposite of the Maldives. I really resented it and got really hateful in the first 2 days back.. but I’m gradually getting accustomed to the major location change now :P

It was one amazing honeymoon. I know honeymoons ARE meant to be amazing by nature of the fact, but I honestly didn’t expect it to be THIS good. I just thought it’d be an excellent holiday, but didn’t imagine it would exceed my dreams and be something I would remember for the rest of my life. I’ve never felt so pampered and well looked after before, and really appreciated how the staff bent over backwards to make sure we were worry-free and perfectly happy throughout our stay :)

There are so so so many little things that I haven’t even mentioned, it would take up way too many pages to describe everything in detail :) But now that I’ve documented most of it, I know we’ll look back on these entries, many years from now, and remember our amazing and blissful honeymoon together.

Who knows? Maybe we’ll go back one day…

Succumbing to our touristy tendencies and bought souvenirs, hehe

The string of beads are magnetic – can be a necklace, bracelet or belt… see? So cute!

TOMS shoes – each pair purchased means they’ll
donate 1 pair to a child in need of shoes

Also also a baby pink pair of TOMS. These are so freakin’ comfortable!!

Our farewell cocktails

On the way home :(

The most wonderful honeymoon I could ever have imagined.
Thank you Chris for organising it all. I love you!

 
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Posted by on 4 September 2009 (Fri) in Honeymoon, Maldives, Uncategorized, Wedding

 

HONEYMOON IN THE MALDIVES – a private water villa dinner

The Shangri-La hosted us a private dinner whilst we were in the Maldives. It was originally meant to be a forest dinner – a table set up in the forest, complete with flowing canopy above and under a massive tree, with dozens of candles everywhere. It would have been the most enchanting and magical dinner ever, but unfortunately it seemed like it would rain, and they didn’t want to take their chances.

So we decided we would have the private dinner in our water villa instead, since the outdoor deck was sheltered in case it rain (by the way, it never did!!!). Chris was a huge fan of this idea as he wanted to be in our water villa as much as humanly possible, and he was also paranoid about mosquitoes in the forest (even though they said they have anti-repellent coils there).

There’s no other way to describe the private dining experience other than – it was like being a celebrity, or socialite.

Our waiter came and set up the table and candles for us.. transforming our deck into a glimmering dining experience – flickering candlelight and sound of waves lapping beneath. He popped open a bottle of champagne and we toasted our newly married status :)

The appetizers were an array of assorted breads, potato salad, green salad, assorted grilled vegetables and mushrooms. I actually filled myself up on the entrees alone! The waiter left after he served us the entrees, so we could have peace and quiet with each other. A very nice touch :)

20 mins later, he came back when we had finished, and was bearing a large tray laden with about 8 dishes. They were our mains. EIGHT dishes?! Yep.. you got that right! Because we didn’t have a menu to select from, the chef decided to cook up just about every meat and seafood they had, just to make sure we had something we liked, *LOL*!! Chris adored the lamb chops and wolfed them all done happily, whilst I was a huge fan of the massive tiger prawns – cooked to perfection. We obviously didn’t finish all 8 dishes, but we came verrrrry close to it – scary but true!

Half an hour later, the waiter came back to clear our dishes and came with our dessert. It was cheesecake! I normally don’t order cheesecake when I’m out, because I’m fussy with my cheesecakes. I don’t know how they figured it out, but they gave me the EXACT cheesecake that I love – soft buttery biscuit base, and very light fluffy cheesecake (don’t like the heavy/dense super cheesy type). It was like a cross between a Japanese cheesecake and an American NYC cheesecake – totally divine. We actually polished off our dessert, despite the state of our distended bellies ;)

Couples spend a lot of time together, but not often REALLY together – paying complete, undevoted attention to each other… talking about everything and laughing together with zero distraction. And that was why the dinner was so amazing… being able to feast on fine food, yet in total privacy so we could talk and laugh together under the stars. Even now, my skin feels all tingly when I think about that special dinner. How blissful we were. How happy, how content and how perfect it all was. The most perfect night to celebrate the last night of our honeymoon :)

Looking out at our deck

Taken from the other angle, as the waiter was still busy setting up

Happiness!

It was tres romantic :)

Tucking into our entrees

Yes, I actually had a salad ;)

Absolutely delicious cheesecake for dessert

Towards the end of our meal, our villa host snuck in to the bathroom (the villa is so huge that it’s at the other end and separated by 2 more doors, so we still had privacy during our dinner) and set up a “Romance bath ritual” for us. Masses of frothy bubbles in the massive stand-alone tub in the middle of the room.. and covered with roses. They lit candles all around the room and turned down the lights, so when we walked in, it just took my breath away. It was like something you see in the movies, not something you’d expect to see or have in real life!

Only one photo of the below… because the latter ones are not appropriate for public consumption. Bwahaahha ;)


 
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Posted by on 4 September 2009 (Fri) in Honeymoon, Maldives, Uncategorized, Wedding

 

HONEYMOON IN THE MALDIVES – paragliding!!

On our last full day at the Maldives, we decided what better way to celebrate the week gone by than having a birds eye view of the Maldives? :) And so we got a private paragliding trip out to sea. IT WAS WAY FUN!!!!!!!!

Was initially a little nervous because I am a total chicken and am both scared of water sports and heights. Considering paragliding is both, I was getting a bit skittish about it, though the sheer eagerness still made me want to do it. We had 3 staff (again!) manning the boat – 1 to drive, 1 to anchor, 1 to help with the paragliding. They were really lovely and very attentive, though I guess you could argue they were attentive because we were the only 2 :P

Once we sailed out to sea, they put us into the harnesses… and happily, they were crisp, new and CLEAN harnesses. Yes, I’m a little anal, I can’t stand anything old/ratty/dirty touching me, so I felt immediately at ease :P All strapped up, it was…. “Ladies first!” Um… OK.

So I went to the back of the boat where there’s a platform, and they already let out the canopy/parachute so it was flying in the wind, anchored by a string that I was then hooked on to. Before I knew it, it was UP UP AND AWAAAAAAY!

I was really surprised that it was so smooth and easy. I’d expected a big jerk, but because the string was tethered to the boat and simply let out gradually, it was like rising smoothly with the wind until I was high up in the air. The view, the wind, the colours…. it was breathtaking. Totally different than if you just sit in the boat and look at the view. You really do realise what a bird must feel like, gliding in the wind. It was really cool to see our resort island, and also the colours of the reef where the coral was.

We were each up for about 15-20 mins, but it felt like ages and ages. In fact, I was more than ready to come back down and was slowly winded back in, coming to a stop right on the boat. Again, was surprised as I almost expected flopping into the water, canopy and all – and that part would’ve scared me. But nope, it was easy peasy and I just plonked onto the boat, got un-harnessed, and it was all over.

Was feeling all flushed, breathless and amazed after the experience. I don’t think it’s something I’ll get to repeat again in my life. One of the most memorable experiences – flying high in the sky in the Maldives and looking at colour-perfection as far as the eye could see. Pretty mindblowing and I am so so so happy Chris decided to organise it, because it was THE best experience at the Maldives and totally totally recommended if you go!

And we’re off! It looks like I colour-saturated the photo, but it’s totally untouched!

I think these are my favourite colours in the world…

Getting all strapped in :P

Chris’ turn

Sailing out to sea

Copping a squat and looking like I’m about to take a big dump

Aaaaiiiieeee!

A video of me taking off and screaming like a little girl ;)

(Link for China visitors)

And a freakin’ AWESOME video that Chris took whilst he was taking off

(Link for China visitors)

Far farrrr away

Drifting with the clouds

The Shangri-La in the distance

I’m taller than you now. Bwahahhahaha!

The view from the top!

The ocean was so perfectly still and a deep blue

Looking up at the canopy

Picture perfect!

Another speedboat zipping along

The Shangri-La resort

Back down to the world

Video Chris took when he was coming back down

(Link for China visitors)

 
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Posted by on 3 September 2009 (Thu) in Honeymoon, Maldives, Uncategorized, Wedding

 

HONEYMOON IN THE MALDIVES – dolphins and manta rays

One of the highlights of our honeymoon in the Maldives was a private dolphin watching cruise in the Indian ocean. We were surprised to see, as we boarded the boat, there were 3 staff members (1 to drive the boat, 1 to anchor it, 1 to look out for dolphins).. outnumbering the 2 of us! But it also meant we were more than well taken care of – with cool wet towels, iced waters and coffees served aplenty. Boy, I could get used to this kinda life!

We sailed off across the blue, blue ocean and shortly afterwards, one of the guys yelled “DOLPHINS!!”, sending Chris and I into a frenzy. We immediately forgot our coffees and dashed outside on to the deck and true enough – TONS of dolphins jumping in the water! We sped up towards them and soon, they were swimming and jumping right next to our boat. Apparently you can’t do that in Australia, but in the Maldives, you can go RIGHT UP to the dolphins :P They were sleek and beautiful… a whole 300(!!!!) of them! I love how they leap and play in the water.. what a nice life to be a dolphin in the Maldives :)

Getting accustomed to spotting dolphins by now, I suddenly spotted some about 20m away. “Hey, there they are!”, I yelled. The guys rushed over to see and true enough, there were a few fins poking out of the water. But then the guys got really quiet and kept staring, and so did I, and I noticed that they fins were still and fluid in the water.. not moving in and out of the water like regular dolphins.

“EEEEEKKKKK…… SHARKS!!!!!!!!!!”, I squealed, suddenly irrationally scared.

Everyone was still quiet and staring out at those silent, moving fins.

Then, one of the guys smiled and laughed and said, “Oh! Noooo… I see them. MANTA RAYS!!!”

And they were! Giant manta rays, 3 of them, gliding through the water. It was the tips of their ‘wings’ that were breaking the surface, which was what I saw. These creatures are totally amazing to see in real life – so massive yet so graceful. They glide through the water so silently, totally unafraid despite coming right up close to us (literally 1 meter away). We looked around for some snorkel masks, so we could jump into the warm waters and swim with them… but there were no masks on board :( Such a shame, imagine being able to say you swam with and touched giant manta rays!!

What a trip :) What they should do is arrange a Dolphin-And-Manta-Ray-Snorkelling trip. Now how incredible would that be?!

On the boat for our private Dolphin Watching Cruise

My sexy man :)

Dolphins swimming right next to our boat!

And also jumping in the air

There were around 300 dolphins, was incredible!

Video of the dolphins swimming next to the boat

(Link for China visitors)

Video of them jumping in the water!

(Link for China visitors)

(Link for China visitors)

Elegant, gorgeous creatures

And then we saw……… Manta rays!

They were HUGE and so silent and smooth in the water

Video of the manta rays

(Link for China visitors)

We wanted to jump in and snorkell and see them up close,
but we didn’t have any masks on the boat, booooo

 
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Posted by on 3 September 2009 (Thu) in Honeymoon, Maldives, Uncategorized, Wedding

 

HONEYMOON IN THE MALDIVES – doing pilates in paradise

It mostly exists in people’s dreams… at least it did in mine. I mean, pilates on the beach? On a tropical island and surrounded by lush greenery and sparkling ocean? Stuff like that just doesn’t happen in real life! But it does in the Maldives :P

We had another one of those mega breakfasts that the Shangri-La is so good at, then headed over to meet our instructor for a 1 hour session of pilates. He chose a spot shaded by palm trees and facing the water, and we laid our mats down. It was quiet and peaceful, and it was here that we learned breathing exercises and performed some core exercises. I’ve done Pilates before, but doing it on the beach is completely different – a surreal and wonderful experience compared to doing it in a regular ‘ol gym.

After having done pilates in the Maldives, I have no more desire to do it anyone else now :P

Our daily itinerary of activities, pilates was one of them!

Pilates in paradise

Exercise just seems that much more fun when it’s overlooking the beautiful ocean ;)

 
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Posted by on 2 September 2009 (Wed) in Honeymoon, Maldives, Uncategorized, Wedding

 

HONEYMOON IN THE MALDIVES – dinner under the moonlight

The Fashala Lounge in the Shangri-La not only whip up some killer cocktails from an extensive menu, but also offer a fresh and cooked seafood buffet for dinner. The words “seafood buffet” often hold a sort of hesitation for me.. most places will scrimp on the food because it’s a buffet, or worse, the seafood isn’t perfectly fresh. Fortunately with the Shangri-La, it was spot-on and the perfect seafood buffet meal.

After a few (okay, many) rounds of delectable cocktails watching the sunset, we adjourned to the restaurant to tuck into dinner. The whole restaurant was lit up in the cozy glow of warm candle light, and they also placed candles on the beach outside – incredibly romantic. We selected a table right over the beach, away from the rest of the restaurant.

We first tucked into the cold seafood buffet, a stunning array of large crabs, big fresh mussels, king prawns, lots of sashimi, etc, etc.. My favourite were the ‘mussel shooters’ – a plump mussel nestled in a shot glass filled with a tangy, slightly-spicy sauce. Normally I stay away from musels because they’re a little tough for my liking, but these were totally tender and fresh.

Already full from our pig out with the cold seafood, we then proceeded to the hot buffet, which was a selection of seafood and meats. Chris’ eyes rolled backwards over the lamb chops, which I have to agree were excellent. I myself adored the fish – a whole fish baked in foil over the BBQ. The flesh was absolutely tender and slightly sweet, totally divine!!

Many rounds of food later, we staggered over to the dessert buffet and managed to stuff in more food ;) The best dessert were the mini fruit tarts!! I normally am not a fan of fruit and wouldn’t bother to have any in my dessert (I mean, it’s DESSERT, why eat fruit?!?!) but these little tarts were delicious – a flavourful biscuit base, light sweet custard, and fresh fruit on top.

It was an unbelievable amount of food and we ate ourselves silly under the night sky and moonlight… and surrounded by dozens of flickering candles. One of the nicest dinners we’ve had so far…. but THE BEST one of the whole trip was yet to come.. :)

On the pebbled beach part of the island,
Fashala is to the right of the photo

Fashala restaurant

Where we sat having our cocktails

Peace and quiet :)

Cocktails and canapes. YUMMY!!!

Giving my prettiest smile

Inside Fashala

Our little table for 2

So romantic at dusk

Pretty view! The sky that is, not Chris ;)

Cold starters – salads, mussells, oysters, crab, prawns, sashimi, etc…

The chefs cook your choice of meats/seafood then bring it to your table

A stunningly romantic meal :)

 
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Posted by on 2 September 2009 (Wed) in Honeymoon, Maldives, Uncategorized, Wedding

 

HONEYMOON IN THE MALDIVES – a private spa villa, you say?

OK so I know we were already pretty relaxed having spent half a week in Shangri-La in the Maldives… but still, you never say no to a massage. Especially when it’s the CHI spa! Despite already having their own private island here, the Shangri-La also has its own spa village in the resort – complete with spacious individual treatment villas and so offering “spa within a spa” privacy and luxury. Each spa villa is stand alone and has its own private gate and enchanting garden. The spa village is situated on the highest point of the island, and so offers ocean views as you get your treatment.

I can honestly say I’ve never had a spa treatment quite like this one, and don’t think I will in a long time ;)

It’s a surreal experience having your own villa dedicated to your treatment.. complete with a large changing room with incredibly soft cashmere robes and slippers, a private bathroom, a huge treatment room, and an outdoor bath with mini waterfall and overlooking the ocean. It’s pretty magical.

We were asked to fill in a form that helped our therapist determine what Elements we were. We are both Earth and Metal! My therapist was amazing, giving me the most relaxing and luscious massage I’ve had in a long long time. So attentive and I loved how fresh and clean everything was. It was beyond relaxing and we emerged from our treatment, we seriously wanted to just run back in there ;)

Only regret? Wish we’d booked in the spa at the very start of the trip, then we could’ve booked in a 2nd treatment a few days later. One was just not enough!!

CHI spa

Woody interior based on the 4 elements – Fire, Water, Earth, Wind

Chilled towels and cool lemon water

Walking towards one of the private spa villas

Chris had to wear this disposable g-string. Many LOLs ensued ;)

A photo of Chris taking his pants off :P

Outdoor bath in the spa villa, overlooking the Indian Ocean

 
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Posted by on 1 September 2009 (Tue) in Honeymoon, Maldives, Uncategorized, Wedding