Maldives Journal: The Maafushi Adventure

Maldives is 'A dream destination'. I have always put that on my wish list... & for years, it just remained there, until this April.

Tourist don't know where they've been; travelers don't know where they're going. - Paul Theroux

This Maldives adventure wasn't planned at all. A friend jokingly asked for it and I said yes immediately. After a week of checking promotions, browsing some reviews and "computing" for budget, we sat one afternoon for 3 hours to search for flights and accommodation and finally do the bookings.It was spontaneous. We are group of four, with different interest. Initially, as everyone else would imagine, we wanted to go to an exclusive island resort...

(Image from Google)
A paradise in the middle of Indian Ocean, just how we all imagined. The same way that it remains an imagination if we look at it this way.Exclusive is expensive. Most resorts and hotels costs $600 - $1000 per night. That alone is a big no! no! to our budget, right? Without the airfare and food, checking hotel rates alone will give us headache. I had a horrible migraine when I first planned a weekend in Maldives 3 years ago :)

Travelers never think that they are the foreigners. - Mason Cooley

While my friends wanted to make exclusive bookings, I checked and researched for an alternative option. Somewhere to relax without hurting your wallet so bad...

Then we found the MAAFUSHI ISLAND.

Maafushi (Dhivehi) is one of the inhabited islands of Kaafu Atoll and the proposed capital for the Medhu Uthuru Province of the Maldives. With the government regulation allowing opening of Guest Houses in local islands, Maafushi was the first to secure an investment in tourism accommodation.

Sounds exciting! And since we are not honeymooners who will stay inside the room with all the special amenities :) guests houses are just perfect for us. We went there for fun and adventure. We go for water, sun and sand, rather than bed and balcony...

Bookings made. 17-20 April 2014. All is set.
Let me take you to our first Maldives - Maafushi Escapade.
We left Dubai night of 16th via Sri Lankan Airlines as direct flights such as Etihad were fully booked already. It was a 6 hour travel from Dubai to Colombo and 1 hour from Colombo to Male. Airfare: $550/-

We arrived in the morning and this is how Maldives welcome its guests...

We landed at Ibrahim Nasir International Airport commonly known as Male International Airport. It is the main international airport in Maldives located in Hulhule Island close to Male, the capital island.

No pre-arrival visa is required. A 30-day visa is issued to all nationalities upon arrival.
The airport is on a separate island; one of the best airport I've seen. Not crowded; no traffic, no rush...

Just like what I've said on my FB account, there are 2 ways to enjoy Maldives; as tourist, you need thousand dollars or as traveler, its thousand rifiyaa...

There are 2 options for transportation:

A) Speed boat directly to Maafushi Island with average cost of $120 per person.

B) Public Ferry at less than $5.
- From airport to Male City, it costs 10 MVR (Maldivian Rufiyaa) or $ 0.75. Its only 10 mins ride to the city.
- From airport ferry terminal, you need to ride a taxi to Vilinggili ferry terminal at the opposite side of the island which costs: 20 MVR (fix) plus 5 MVR per luggage. For us, we paid 40 MVR or $2.67. The travel from one end to another about 20 mins (including traffic). It's an instant city tour to Male.
-Finally, from Male City to Maafushi Island, there is a Dhoni for 22.50 MVR or $1.50. We got the ferry schedule from MTTC -this is very helpful.

Maldivian Dhoni
A Dhoni is a multi-purpose sail boat, hand crafted and one of the oldest known sea vessels in Maldives. It resembles a dhow - traditional Arab sailing vessel.

These happy faces is for paying less than $5 compared to $130 speed boat :)

The ferry ride is about 1 1/2 hours. Time passed unnoticed on this open sea vessel with mostly local passengers who offered a seat, shared a food and even served as tour guide as they show some spots.

That was the quickest 1.5 hour travel time... before we knew it, we are heading to the Island of Maafushi.

When you Google the Maafushi Island, White Shell Beach Inn is on top of the list; it is the first Guest House to be granted license in a local island in January 2010.

White Shell is a simple guests house with basic amenities but it has the best spot among the other guest houses and hotels in the island. Aside from its breath taking beach front, it is close to the 'bikini beach' where tourists swim. Maafushi is an inhabited island and Maldives is a Muslim country, wearing bikini on other parts of the Island is not allowed; although the Maldivians are considerate, guests are expected to respect their culture. 

Room rate: $120 per night (tax inclusive) We got it through!

If you think that you are looking at a typical beach, then look again:

The beach and the water is the best... You will see different tones from clear - light blue - blue green - blue - dark blue. It's just amazing... and yes, it's salty :)
The island is surrounded by reefs; I can say that they may not be as beautiful as what we have in Batangas or Palawan, but each offers a different experience! Just keep your mask and snorkel with you and you can float the whole day!

Aside from lying on the sand bar or floating around Maafushi, White Shell offers some water activities to its guests and of course, we are ready for that! They have Kayak for $10 per hour :)

Guess what?!? We were able to go around the island Kayaking for about 2 hours. The best Kayak experience ever :) though the staff who accompanied us during this activity said they normally do that for 10 minutes! 

And we reached the beach front just before the sun kissed the horizon...

The sunset view is also superb! The colors during magic hour are awesome!

As the sun sets quietly and so as the beach. Maafushi is not party beach like Boracay, each hotels and inns have their own simple set up for dinner. There is only one restaurant that has live performer (not band). No alcohol in the island :)

When it comes to food, they offer international meal. We've tried several restaurants each meal and they were all good. We had seafood most of the time. Price? Around 50-60 MVR per meal = $4.

Maafushi Island is a haven. Its simplicity makes it special and the people were so hospitable. I have always been proud of the Filipino hospitality until I experienced the Maldivian way...

Read our snorkeling adventure and our visit to Maadhoo Finolhu Island on my next post: Exploring the Indian Ocean

Glory to God for His wonderful creation.

1 comment:

KALI said...

thanks for your comment...
i have tried Marina Cruise, you can check it here:

Should you need some video presentation, let me know and we can work it out :)


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