Spot Cool Stuff has a love of vintage travel guidebooks, the older the better. In one our finds, a guidebook to Afghanistan written in the late 1800s, the authors described the Buddha statues around of the town of Bamiyan as an over-crowded tourist trap. Contrast that with the whole of the last three decades, during which absolutely nowhere in Afghanistan could remotely qualify as an “over-crowded tourist trap.” That, sadly, includes the Bamiyan Buddha statues—they were mostly destroyed by the Taliban in 2001.
The point being: Things change. A place that’s uninviting now might become completely pleasant in the future. A great travel destination now could not be so much later.
The Dhoni has been a central feature of life in the Maldives for nearly as long as there’s been a recorded history of people living there. Traditionally, Dhonis were small sailing vessel built from coconut palm wood. Today, a Dhoni (pronounced: “doh-nee”) comes in a variety of sizes and is as likely to be powered by an engine as it is by the gentle trade winds that grace the Maldives. Travel around that archipelago of tropical islands south of India and you’ll see Dhonis everywhere. People fish in them. Children ride to school in them. Merchants sell their goods from them. And at one hotel, the Cocoa Island Resort, Dhonis have been turned into romantic, idyllic luxury suites.
Every villa is perched on stilts above calm, crystal clear waters, so you're never more than a few steps away from a refreshing swim
There are only two rules at the Soneva Gili by Six Senses in the Maldives and, trust us, after a few minutes at this honeymoon-oriented beach resort you won’t mind following either:
1) No shoes are allowed.
2) Do not discuss news from the outside world.
The food at the Ithaa Undersea Restaurant is quite tasty—we suggest the pan fried Maldivian white fish with fennel sauce and curry. But diners here don’t pay much attention to what’s on their plate. They are too captivated by this underwater restaurant’s 270 degree view of crystal blue water and vibrant marine life.