Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Asia
Reload this Page >

Would we be crazy to go to the Maldives in December?

Would we be crazy to go to the Maldives in December?

Old Aug 7th, 2003, 03:50 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 682
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Would we be crazy to go to the Maldives in December?

We're trying to avoid the rain. Anyone have experience?
Ericka is offline  
Old Aug 8th, 2003, 12:40 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,689
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I have not been to the Maldives in December. They don't get a lot of rain overall, but December is one of the two rainiest months of the year. December is such a good time in other beach resort destinations like Thailand or the Carribean, the north African coast like Morocco and Tunisia, and places like South Africa and Australia. I don't see the point in going all the way to the Maldives where you are sure to encounter some. Esp if you are coming from the US, where getting to thew Malidives is a long hard slog.
Cicerone is offline  
Old Aug 14th, 2003, 04:22 PM
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 682
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks for the reply Cicerone.

However, I'm wondering if you might be confusing the Maldives with another destination. December should not be one of the two rainiest months for the Maldives - but it might get some rain. My research shows that the rainy season is May-Nov and the dry season is Jan-Mar. Its the "shoulder" months of Dec and April that are in question. In my case, December. But every Web site I check seems to have a different opinion about the rainfall amounts and some even refer to Dec as part of the dry season.

Anyone have any solid info? Or at least personal experience?
Ericka is offline  
Old Aug 16th, 2003, 08:14 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 75
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Ericka,

I just returned from my 2nd trip to the Maldives but the last time I went was at the end of November.

November - December is considered the dry season so I don't think you will have problems with rain. Even if it does rain, it usually is just in spurts and ends pretty quickly. actually, it's kinda nice for it to rain just a bit since it breaks up the weather, but that's my personal opinion. in any case, december is one of the better times to go. also if you do some diving, the bigger fish tend to be out in november (mabye december) according to Lonely planet.

have you decide on a resort yet? I just came back from filitheyo and liked it quite a bit.

where are you flying from? I flew from san francisco and it can be quite tiring.. if you need any more advice about maldives/male, pls post again
tarocake is offline  
Old Aug 19th, 2003, 02:15 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,689
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
As I said, I have not been to the Maldives in December. My comment to you was based at looking at weatherbase.com, a site I have used often and find to be accurate for other places. They list December as the second rainiest month for Male. Based on your comment, I have also checked for Gan, Maldives. According to weatherbase.com, they seem to have different rain path. The high rain months historically for both in descending order are:

Male: September, December, October, May, November
Gan: October, March January, June, Sept/Nov, December.

I found a site (www.sunnymaldives.com) a website run by a Maldives tour operator, and even they indicate that the rainy season is hard to predict:
"Wet South West monsoons lasts from the end of May until August. The dry North East monsoon is from September until April. Predicting the weather can be done in the following manner. Because there is not a lot of variation in relative humidity and if it is 85% or above there is a great chance of rain or showers. Humidity between 80% to 85% suggests a change in weather to wet. 90% and above means rains and storms. Humidity below 80% means generally fine weather
Wettest months in descending order: September, May, November, August, July, June, December.
Although the Maldivian rainy season is from May to November, it?s always different. As well we have experienced that at present, the rain starts at the end of June and goes through part of September. May to middle of June is very dry. As a matter of fact that with global changes, from the middle of September through the end of November it rains rarely but the sun makes it's duty providing sunshine.
Therefore, we could say, from the middle of January till the middle of June is the best time really dry and humidity. Middle of June to middle of September is raining where 80% will be good days and dry. As you should know that Maldives, being in equator, we have equatorial sixteen seasons. Each period will have 14 to 16 days, where the weather changes."

So the amount of rain you may encounter seems to depend on where you are going, and how the rain patterns for the two monsoon seasons are acting that year.

As you will be paying the highest hotel prices in the Maldives in December, you might consider Phuket which is also high tourist season but which for which December is (everyone agrees here) one of the best months in terms of little or no rainfall.
Cicerone is offline  
Old Aug 19th, 2003, 04:38 PM
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 682
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks for the great info!

The resort we are hoping to visit is the Four Season's Maldives, with a couple of days spent on their new "Island Explorer" yacht. The rates during December are not much different than the rest of the year, as long as we don't go over Christmas. We'd also have the opportunity to fly Singapore Airlines business class using miles, so that's a definite plus.

As for Phuket, I'd really love to go. I'm an Aman junkie and could find myself quite happy at their property there. But I'm not sure I'd be able to talk my husband into it. I've heard Phuket is a bit crowded - hardly the calm and silence of the Maldives. Cicerone, what's your take on Phuket? Are you a snorkeler/diver? Also, how are the beaches and water?
Ericka is offline  
Old Aug 20th, 2003, 03:53 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,689
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
OK, here is my two cents on your wonderful dilemma:

Four Seasons Maldives. I have not been to this hotel, but from all reports it is really wonderful. Very remote, the hotel is basically the whole island, lots of empty white sand beaches. The downside might be the weather, which no one seems to be able to predict. I used to live in Asia, so getting to the Maldives was very quick and easy and not that expensive. Therefore, if it rained a little bit you didn't worry. If you are coming from the US, that is a VERY LONG way to go to sit on a beach; esp if you have to transit through Singapore using FF miles. (The Maldives is more of a destination for Europeans and not for Americans as the flight time is very long, and there are usually 3-4 connections needed.) However, as you aren't paying for the flight, maybe you don't mind if you have some rain. The other issue with rain is that it is usually associated with wind, which will affect the currents and the clarity of the water, esp for diving. The diving in the Maldives is very good, but most of it is drift diving as the currents are strong, so if you aren't comfortable with that, you may want to stick to snorkeling. According to a dive site I found (www.diveglobal.com) February to April are the calmest months for diving and cruising.

Phuket. I am an Aman junkie myself, and have stayed at the Phuket property. I have also stayed at other resorts on Phuket. IMO, the Aman is the most beautiful and serene. It is on a bay that is quite secluded, so there aren't any hawker stands or people coming by to offer massages, cold drinks, etc which you will get in other resorts on Phuket. It shares the beach with the Chedi hotel next door but that is it. You do feel like you have a private beach here. The beach is a good size, but is not endless like the Maldives beaches seem to be, and curves out to rocky points at either end. It is a very pretty beach; however the white sand and turquoise color of the Maldives beaches are better. The Aman is set on a hill over the beach, so you get good views from various parts of the resort. The pool is really something. Moreover, December is probably the best month weather-wise in Thailand, which means no rain and little wind. To really get good diving and snorkelling, you would need to hire a boat or take a boat tour to the outlying islands, esp the Phi Phi area or the coast around Krabi. (The Aman has a boat, and I can also give you the name of a charter operator.) These are parts of the area you would want to see anyway, as they are very dramatic with high cliffs and tall carved limestone rocks shooting up out of the sea. The Maldives is coral and very flat, no vistas there. Phuket is quite developed, but at the Aman you would not know it. The advantage to Phuket is that if you wanted to go to a restaurant or shopping you can do that and go back to the quiet of the hotel. In the Maldives, you are pretty much isolated and all your meals would be at the hotel. There is very limited shopping. Finally, the Thai people and culture are wonderful, as is Thai food. Another advantage to Phuket is that you could combine it with 3-4 days in Bangkok and get the flavour of both city and beach and see the unique and wonderful country, or do a stopover in Singapore which is not quite as interesting but still worth a visit.

This would be a tough choice for me. You may want to do more research on weather. Part of the problem is that everyone's comments will be anecdotal: I am sure people will tell you they have been to the Maldives in December and it did not rain, and others will tell you it rained their entire trip.
Cicerone is offline  
Old Aug 20th, 2003, 05:56 PM
  #8  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 682
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Oh Cicerone. You really hit the nail on the head with your last statement...."I am sure people will tell you they have been to the Maldives in December and it did not rain, and others will tell you it rained their entire trip."

I agree we need to continue our research. Thanks for all of your great feedback and advice.

P.S. How is the Amanpuri? I've heard it is the 1st of the Amans. Does it feel at all dated?
Ericka is offline  
Old Aug 23rd, 2003, 10:58 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 6
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I have been to the Maldives and it was my favorite vacation. Wanted to let you know that the Four Seasons Maldives is one of the best resorts we have stayed in. I have recommended it to several friends and they raved about it as well.
prescott is offline  
Old Aug 25th, 2003, 02:16 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,689
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I was last at the Amanpuri in January 2002. I did not find it dated at all, they do an excellent job of maintaining the resort. The décor is in classic Thai style which to me never seems dated. It is not like a concrete atrium hotel which screams 1970s. . .I understand from people who have been there in the last few months that they are doing some additional refurbishing (to be finished by the end October) so I think you will find everything in pristine condition if you go in December.

The rooms are really huge, even the standard ones are over 1,000 square feet.
Cicerone is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
luvv
Europe
2
Aug 15th, 2019 12:28 AM
ssvw27
United States
4
Aug 3rd, 2006 12:40 PM
Toshi
Africa & the Middle East
4
Mar 7th, 2006 08:36 AM
mpkw
Australia & the Pacific
5
Jan 21st, 2004 10:58 AM
Kim
Mexico & Central America
4
Aug 13th, 2002 04:22 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 12:36 AM.