7 (Sat) July 2018
Grilled Y/F Tuna Steak
from The West Wing
in my room
Summer Solo Vacation in the Maldives, Day 1.
In Male. Here for my first liveaboard experience: diving from, eating on, and sleeping in – i.e., living aboard – a boat that takes me from site to site. I join a group assembled by my dive teacher DV, comprising his students and friends. For 7 days, we’ll be sailing through and diving amidst the central and northern atolls of the Maldives.
Flying in on AirAsia via Kuala Lumpur, I had an 8.5-hr layover in the airport. Having purchased a premium ticket package, I had access to the lounge. Though technically not a “business class” lounge because the budget carrier doesn’t have business class, it was nicer than lounges in most airports, with decent food.
As always, I am grateful for and respectful of the opportunity to travel, especially via business class, including lounge access. Any comments here, even the negative ones, are simply relative to other business class experiences, not complaints per se.
BEST IN LOUNGE – an on-going ranking of dining experiences in airport business class lounges:
- TURKEY: Istanbul Ataturk Airport – Turkish Airlines Lounge (8.052 Köfte + Piliç) (9.056 Pide)
- SINGAPORE: Singapore Changi Airport – Singapore Airlines Lounge (6.237 Coconut Panna Cotta)
- NETHERLANDS: Amsterdam Airport Schiphol – KLM Crown Lounge (6.311 Beef & Beetroot Meatballs)
- UNITED ARAB EMIRATES: Abu Dhabi International Airport – Etihad Airways Lounge (6.154 Shakshouka)
- AUSTRALIA: Brisbane Airport – Singapore Airlines Lounge (6.242 Scallops)
- JAPAN: Haneda Airport International Terminal (8.202 Clam and Spicy Tofu Stew)
- JORDAN: Queen Alia International Airport – Royal Jordanian Crown Lounge (6.159 Memories of Hummus)
- THAILAND: Suvarnabhumi Airport – Royal Silk Lounge (7.306 Fried Black Cod …)
- MALAYSIA: Kuala Lumpur International Airport – AirAsia Premium Red Lounge (9.183 Grilled Y/F Tuna Steak)
- GERMANY: Flughafen München – Lufthansa Lounge (6.307 Chicken in Cream Sauce)
- RUSSIA: Moscow Domodedovo Airport (5.286 Chili Mango Prawns)
- INDIA: Indira Gandhi International Airport (7.313 Braised Pork Balls)
- KOREA: Incheon International Airport – Asiana Business Class Lounge (Satellite Terminal) (5.363 Past + Sandwich for the Elite)
- KOREA: Incheon International Airport – Korean Air Prestige Lounge (Satellite Terminal) (6.090 Shin Ramyeon BLACK)
- KOREA: Incheon International Airport – Star Alliance Lounge (2.036 Shin Ramyeon…)
- UNITED STATES of AMERICA: John F Kennedy International Airport – Korean Air Lounge (7.039 Sauteed Cod Fillet)
- SWITZERLAND: Geneva International Airport
- CHINA: Hong Kong International Airport (5.182 Har Gao)
- PHILIPPINES: Ninoy Aquino International Airport – MIASCOR Lounge (4.272 Chicken Curry…)
- FIJI: Nadi International Airport (5.181 Sliced Roast Lamb)
We will board the boat tomorrow morning.
Tonight, we’re staying in town.
For dinner, I opted to stay in and order “room service” from the restaurant next door. Being my first ever meal in the Maldives, I chose what appeared to be the most local item on the menu. I’m assuming “Y/F” means “yellow fin.”
It was fine.
Maldives is strictly Muslim, so alcohol is tightly regulated. No duty free liquor allowed, even bags are scanned/searched upon arrival at the airport for contraband. Locally, booze is sold only in specially licensed hotels where only foreigners are permitted to stay. Before agreeing to join this trip, I was assured that our boat has a fully stocked bar.
I went to sleep completely sober – can’t recall the last time that happened.