Travel Dates: July 25 to August 2, 2015
By the time we arrived to Maafushi Island, we don’t have a prior hotel booking, but some staffs from nearby hotel were waiting at the port and offered their room to us. We followed them and stayed at Picnic Inn for 45 USD a night. This is for off-season rate, because it is 2-3 times higher during peak season. Then we moved to Dhonveli View and Narnia.
Staying in hotel in a local island will save you a big amount of money for accommodation and food. While a private island resort with beautiful white sand beaches and over water bungalows will cost you about 500-1500 USD a night for a room only. But we don’t want to get stuck in one island and will not get to experience the daily life of locals.
The next day, we went for snorkelling with a lunch at sand bank. Riding a speed boat with other tourists, our first stop was Banana Reef. Here we saw a forest of corals already bleaching due to global warming. We didn’t see some mantas, but we were happy enough to see some colourful fishes. The top of the reef is shallow and it is perfect for snorkelling. There’s a part where you can see the reef wall and where it goes deeper and darker.
Next stop is Biyaadhoo Reef and one of my favourite. Before we jump off the boat, a school of fish welcomed us. I was hesitant to jump when I saw a trigger fish, because this kind of fish is aggressive and has a tendency to attack swimmers or snorkelers. But this one is very friendly and loves to eat bread crumbs. I enjoyed feeding this fish so much because it has a big appetite.
While on our way to our next stop, we saw some dolphins swimming next to our speed boat. They even jumped to show off! They were cute and playful and we were all happy to see them in the ocean. The cost of this tour will range to 80 to 100 USD per person. But we experienced it for free! I guess we were just lucky that day.
Then we had our lunch at Sexy Beach. It is a sand bank and there are no trees at all; only a fine white sand in shape of a circle. Our tour guide planted a big umbrella and table and prepared our food for lunch.
Last stop, we continued to snorkel at Palm Reef. Here you will see that majority are flat corals. We saw school of small fish of different species. I snorkelled around the area, observed every marine species, and swam with the school of fish until I get tired.
When we returned to Maafushi Island, we strolled along the public beach and saw some locals feeding a bird with fish. This bird never leaves the island, so you will see this bird walking around or just resting in front of the beach. Everybody’s pet I guess.
Most of our afternoons, we spent it lying or sitting on the beach they called Bikini Beach. This is the only area in Maafushi Island where you can wear your swim suit, because it is covered with walls. Since Maldives is a Muslim country, you can’t wear revealing clothes in public places.
A typical house in Maldives
Lazy afternoon in Maafushi Beach