Jacqueline Fernandez has a whale of a time in Maldives
Maldives is a South Asian island country located in the Indian ocean. It is composed of 26 ring-shaped atolls which are made up of more than 1,000 coral islands attracting around 1.2 million tourists annually. Male is the capital and the most populated city, traditionally called the “King’s Island” for its central location. Jacqueline Fernandez visited the picturesque island with her mother, Kim Fernandez, just after the release of the action flick Dishoom and came back mesmerised…
SWIMMING WITH THE SHARKS
I wanted a quick getaway from my hectic shoot schedule, and having persuaded my mum to accompany me, I zeroed in on Maldives. It’s a tropical island with plenty of sunshine throughout the year, so one can visit it anytime. The idea was to sit back and chill on the gorgeous beaches.At the same time I’m an adventure junkie and my new year resolution was to swim with the whale shark. This was the place for it! Did I swim with the whale shark? Of course, I did. And that is one wish off my bucket list.That apart the many tiny islands of Maldives have a lot to offer to those on a quick break from the breathless city. I would definitely like to go back there soon and explore many more of the adventure options.
The locals use boats for commuting. The day I went swimming with the whale shark, we took a boat ride. It’s memorable because these boats are luxurious with all the amenities on board, mini resorts of sorts. After my dip in the ocean, I was exhausted and fell asleep on the way back.
THE LANKAN CONNECTION
Maldives reminded me a lot of my home country, Sri Lanka. I used to think Lankan food is the spiciest, but Maldivian cuisine beats it hands down because they use a lot of green chillies. I’ll never forget the really spicy sandwiches available at the resort we were staying. Every time I’d bite into one, my insides would be on fire. But they were yummy.
I’m all for healthy food and the local Maldivian dishes were pleasing to my palate because you didn’t have ‘to worry about piling on the calories as they use a lot of healthy ingredients. And many of them were similar to stuff I had grown up eating.
Besides the beaches, the spas are a must-visit in Maldives. Mum and I indulged ourselves in a complete body spa that lasted a couple of hours and we came out feeling completely relaxed.Maldives is known for its fantastic spas and customised treatments that can be moulded according to one’s requirements and schedule. Interestingly, the world’s first underwater restaurant, under-water nightclub and underwater spa are all to be found here. The aquarium-style restau rant, Ithaa, offers diners the unique experience of eating five metres beneath the ocean, while watching sharks, stingrays and turtles.
Subsix, the world’s first underwater nightclub, is at 20 feet below the ocean, so you can see manta rays and parrot fish while grooving to the music while Huvafen Fushi which claims to be the world’s first underwater spa, has rooms made of a solidcast resin and set in the open ocean.
SHELLS AND CHARMS
Language is not a problem. The locals speak Dhivehi and English too. There are a lot of Indians and Sri Lankans there and many big Bollywood fans. It was lovely to know they enjoy our films.
Shopping wasn’t on my mind. I picked up a few charms and gathered shells from the beach. I loved the fact that the locals are extremely protective of their ocean and marine life.