The Maldives is a chain of islands located in the middle of the Indian Ocean making it quite an isolated location. The country is still very well connected by plane and boat to the rest of the world.
The only reason we decided to go there was it’s really close to Sri Lanka which was our main destination. The flight between Colombo and Malé takes just an hour. We were in Maldives only for 4 days after our trip to Sri Lanka. I have seen many attractive advertisements of this popular holiday destination and I always wanted to come for a few days just to experience one of the many luxury hotels on one of the islands.
Before our departure to Sri Lanka, I spent a lot of time over weekends trying to find good accommodation within our budget. As soon as I saw the price options online I abandoned the idea of luxury hotel experience. Most of hotels have exceptional reviews on booking.com which has made it hard to choose. Considering our arrival time, the transportation options and its cost, we didn’t have much choice in terms of selecting our holiday island.
Transport options in Maldives…
Ferry – This is the cheapest way of getting around and to connect between islands but the timetable is extremely restricted. I found that just to obtain the right information for the ferry route itself is challenging enough.
Speed boat – Public but run by private company. This is probably the most time and cost effective way of getting around. There are also private speed boat options that each hotel may offer however they are usually expensive. Most speed boats in Maldives don’t operate after dark.
Seaplane – I would love to try it! It’s simply too expensive. Cost usually around USD 200 per person for an approximately 20 minutes ride.
If you are not in those luxury hotels and want to stay on a budget, I recommend to liaise with the guest house you choose to obtain concrete transport information. There are options out there and you don’t find them online.
Do you know…
Maldives consists of a chain of about 1,200 small coral islands and sandbanks, some 200 of which are inhabited, grouped in clusters or atolls. For those non-residential islands are usually built with luxury hotels, one island to one hotel.
It is suggested to select your island carefully as depends on your budget and what matters to you, so you have some flexibility to make a choice. However, I found to decide which island would be the best choice for us was rather difficult.
Do you also know…
Maldives is a completely Islamic country therefore no alcohol drinks are served anywhere unless you are on the privately owned island hotel. Swimming or staying on the beach near the residential islands require conservative dressing code unless the area is marked with “Bikini Beach”.
Day 1 – Arriving…
An hour after saying goodbye to Colombo we arrived in Malé international airport. The airport is located on the man-made Hulhule Island. It was very interesting experience as soon as we stepped out of the terminal exit, after purchasing the ticket, we boarded the ferry that took us to Malé. The ferry journey lasted approximately 10 mins and it runs every 15 mins between the airport and Malé. The ticket office is just a few meters from the boarding platform. Ferry costs US$ 1 per person one way.
We had chosen Huraa island, the reason is rather simple… We arrived in Malé late evening and there is a late evening departure speed boat to Huraa island. As mentioned above that most speed boat don’t operate after dark, so for late arrivals will have very limited choice of islands. Alternatively, people stay a night in Malé before transferring to other island.
Our trip in Maldives was only 4 days so we didn’t want to waste a night in Malé. We used our guesthouse to reserve the seat for us, unfortunately I forgot to write down the name of the company.
In Male we took the opportunity while we waited for the transfer boat to have a meal at a local restaurant, Thai Wok, just 2 minutes walk from the departure port. The food was great and authentic but a little expensive. Our speed boat for Huraa departed at 22.10 between Jetty Number 5 and 6 from Malé island.
Approximately 30 minutes later, we arrived in Huraa island. It was late and the island was quiet. The Sunrise Huraa Guest House where we stayed had sent couple of people to meet us by the port with a trolley for our luggage. What a nice gesture of the guest house, they put our large suitcase on to the cart and walked with us to the guest house which wasn’t far. I personally don’t think this would be the experience you will get from a big resort.