Have you ever thought about being the only guest in an paradise island where there are less than 500 people living? In the Maldives, this is possible by affordable US$60 daily for couples with breakfast included and meals for US$25 per couple (lunch or dinner).
Artists, businessmen, celebrities, etc. show photos on social networks leaving the envy of drooling personnel in this paradise in the middle of the Indian Ocean called the Maldives. In a quick online search, bad prices already scare away travelers/dreamers with no deep pockets. But wait! There are options much more affordable than luxury resorts and its entire structure.
WHEN TO GO
Monsoons affect the climate, but you hardly find a very bad weather that does not allow you to enjoy the beautiful beaches. Rains affect more from May to October. Out of this time, it is sun all the time, great weather. During the monsoon, the rain is constant, but the heat comes close to being unbearable. So not much worry about it because you hardly catch bad weather! 🙂
HOW TO GET TO THE MALDIVES
To arrive there, it is possible via India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and United Arab Emirates. Both times, we were via Sri Lanka, because the distance from Brazil is so great that the ideal is to join other Southeast Asian or Middle East routes.
Who has money comes, stays to honeymoon and go back direct to Brazil, but that’s another story… different airlines fly there: KoreanAir, Emirates, Etihad, Malaysian Airlines, etc. A tip to close your route is by Expedia website, but the American. The Brazilian charges many fees…
HOW TO GET IN FULIDHOO ISLAND
Landing in Male, it is simple but gives a relative work (and time). The international airport is an isolated island from Male capital. So, you must take the public ferry that goes to the capital and takes about 15 minutes to arrive there. It costs US$1 or 10 Rufyiaas.
Here’s the first tip: when we came, the US dollar was 15 to 1, that is, US$ 1 could buy 15 Rufiyaas at the airport. Directly across from the information kiosk at the landing area, there is an exchange place and they pay this amount: 15 Rufiyaas for each US dollar.
And the price of ferry to Male is US$1 or 10 Rufiyaas. With Rufiyaas, you would have saved 5 in that trip. The cool thing is that in the way back, if you do not spend it all, you can have the same 15 with no fees!
When going down on the mini ferry terminal, there will be many taxis. Find one around and ask him to take you to the Villingilli Ferry Terminal. The ride will leave no more than US$5 and will take about 10 minutes. Once there, buy the ticket to Fulidhoo Island.
The ferry does not come out every day or all the time (schedule). It leaves at 10 am and costs 53 Ryfiyaas per person, something around US$4. From this terminal, it will leave a wooden boat, yellow, towards Fulidhoo and will stop at 1130h on Maafushi Island, another beautiful island and much larger than Fulidhoo, but we have not visited, just pass through there.
Stops for about 10 minutes, most tourists drop off as it is where it gets the most amount of guest houses, and keep traveling to Fulidhoo. You will only arrive at the final destination about 1330h.
When we went there, the weather was rainy and the sea was very choppy. The boat rocked too and sometimes the commander had to stop the engines so that the waves would not undermine the vessel. It really shook! But we came alive and with good weather.
Khaleel was already waiting for us at the pier with a sign of Thundi Guest House and the wheelbarrow to take us to the guest house. Very close and the view is already the best, those indescribable sea colors. On the way we passed the mosque and arrived. All very clean and tidy, only 3 rooms, no lobby, but internet with great signal and air conditioning.
The government of the Maldives authorized, it’s been a few years, the operation of guest houses (equivalent to a pension or hostel) to improve/facilitate the access of tourists to this paradise. This opened the possibility of hosting at affordable prices, and an alternative to prohibitively expensive resorts.
There are several islands, but one in particular is quite tiny. About 300 meters between its east and west ends and about 150 meters between its northern and southern tips. Are less than 500 locals, and all Muslims.
There are only two guest houses across the island and when we arrived, one was completely empty and ours, Thundi Guest House, only had one couple of tourist: us. Thus, we were the only visitors/guests throughout the island! Fantastic!
They are only 3 rooms in Thundi and the other one has 4 bedrooms (we haven’t seen the name). It has no lobby, it is very simple, but very clean and, of course, both falling on the beach. The internet connection in our room was very good and Khaleel was super attentive and was soon showing us the whole island. After a deserved rest, of course…
Everyone is very friendly, always greet you when you pass them and take life very quietly, cleaning, cooking, fishing, living their routines regardless of the presence of tourists.
The island is well organized, has a main street that cuts east to west and in the center, another street that cuts north to south, this smaller. All these “streets” end at the beach and there are no cars on the island, only bicycles and wheelbarrows, and boats.
There are some small grocery stores, a cafe, a restaurant and just houses. Buildings, just one floor mostly. There are few buildings that have two floors.
Before we get at this point, you should know the following: the Maldives, although a tropical paradise, are a group of islands which is a Muslim country. There’s even a mosque on the island for practicing their religion…
What does that mean? That alcohol is completely banned, and punished with 24 years in prison for anyone who is caught consuming it. Until urinalysis they do. But this only if you are Muslim, okay? If not, you will not be arrested, but you can not get alcohol so easily because only the resorts have government permission to sell them.
It takes work, but the Russians always find a way to get vodka when they are here, according to Khaleel. If you buy in duty free or bring in your checked luggage, it will be confiscated in the country’s entry in Male.
HOW TO BEHAVE IN FULIDHOO
The behavior should be maintained and as good stranger, you must be willing to respect them. Only one beach can be got with clothing taken as normal for swimming: bikini.
It is the bikini beach. Beautiful, secluded, deserted! The locals do not frequent the beaches and then, they are always deserted. There are 3 shelters built with straw to give a friendly shadow and nothing but white sand, warm water and with infinite shades of blue.
Corals and fish are available to those who want to snorkel or just be relaxing on the sand. The swim is also very nice, because the water is warm.
There are other beaches surrounding the island, but to attend them, should go in shorts and shirt, no bikini. They are as beautiful as bikini beach and the chance to run into a stingray are quite large. At night, you can see them easily from the pier.
As you are very isolated, food is restricted because everything is based on fish: rice with fish, pasta with fish, fish risotto, fish with pasta for a change and so on. If there is no problem for you, here is your place because the cost can be very friendly when it comes to the Maldives.
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