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Maldives

Maddy's mad about Maldives

Radio 91.3 DJ says she could have remained there forever

Gerald Goh

LEAVE the kids behind and don’t stint on the expenses.

That was how chirpy Radio 91.3 DJ Maddy Barber, 37, spent her romantic jaunt in the Maldives, which cost about $10,000.

Describing herself as a “most laid-back person”, the local personality spent six days and five nights at the Hilton Maldives in February last year with her husband of nearly seven years.

Barber told The New Paper: “The Maldives was always a destination I’d wanted to visit in my lifetime.

“When my husband proposed a trip there, I just dropped everything straight away and put it at the top of my priority list.”

She added: “We managed to leave my two girls with my mother. It should be just you and that special someone in your life when you go to the Maldives.

“For one thing, your children probably won’t remember much of the scenery when they grow up. They must see it for themselves when they’re adults to really appreciate it.

“If we had our children around, we would also have had to fret about their safety constantly, given that we stayed in a water villa out in the middle of the ocean.”

Barber and her husband took a direct flight from Singapore to the Malé International Airport on Hulhulé Island beside Malé, the capital of the Maldives.

As they arrived after midnight, they stayed overnight at the only hotel on the atoll.

In the morning, they took a seaplane from a pier at the atoll, a 45-minute trip which cost about US$400 (S$525) to the Hilton Maldives ontheNoonuatoll. She said of their water villa: “It had glass flooring in certain sections so we could look right into the ocean and see the marine life.

“The bathroom is ... where you can take a bath with the windows open while looking out into the ocean, and not have to worry about your modesty at all. There was also a ladder in the middle of the villa that extends right into the ocean.”

She added: “The Maldives is unique in having your resort be your entire holiday destination. It’s very self-contained that way.

“After about four days,my husband was dying to see some urban architecture, but I could have remained there forever.”

Beach person

Being a beach person, Barber spent most of her time just swimming, snorkelling and tanning on the beach while listening to music and reading.

She said with a laugh: “It was a very lembek (Malay for laid-back) holiday for me! Each morning when I woke up in my water villa, I would look out the window and the view would never cease to amazeme.

“The water is crystal clear and the beaches look so clean. It looked as if it was straight out of a calendar (centrespread), no Photoshop needed.

“With such a picturesque view, I really appreciated the wonders of nature.”

Barber also mentioned that despite the high cost of wining and dining at the resort, she decided not to think about the costs.

She said: “My own travel philosophy is that you should just enjoy yourself wholeheartedly... When even a bottle of mineral water will set you back by about US$6, it’s not a time to be calculative.

“On the upside, the food there is very fresh. My husband and I attended this beachside barbecue dinner, where patrons can relax on chairs on the white fine sand beach and eat under the stars.

“We had king prawns, tuna and other succulent seafood. Along with a bottle of wine, the dinner for both of us cost about US$100. With the atmosphere and suchgood seafood, it wasworth every penny.”

Barber recommends that everyone should visit the Maldives once in their lifetime.

She said: “It’s heaven on earth.”

DID YOU KNOW

THE Republic of Maldives (also known as the Maldive Islands) is an island nation located south-west of the Indian subcontinent in the Indian Ocean.

It is the smallest Asian country in size and population, at about 300 sq km and about 280,000 inhabitants.

Famed for its white, fine-grained beaches and clear waters, there were about 935 million tourist arrivals in the Maldive Islands last year, said the Maldive Islands’ Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture.

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