What do you imagine so hear the word “Beach”? Of course there is a shadow of the white sand beach with a clear clear blue color and coconut trees that leaves waving beautiful. The description of luxury resorts with bungalows on the water was certainly directly crossed the head. But from there the picture turned into tens of millions of dollars that must be spent to enjoy all the beauty of it. Is it possible to travel to the beach on a low budget? Oh of course you can! Curious to know how? We will tell you the secret because we have just visited the beach with a frugal budget.
Mandatory selfie with clear blue water background typical of the Beach
Before 2009, the beach is closed for foreign tourists who want to visit the country without going through the resort. That is, once all the tourists can only go to the beach and stay at the resort because there is no other lodging available outside the resort. And as we imagine, the cost of staying at the resort an average of 10 million and above. Yesterday I was browsing searching lodging on an island, it turns out there are resorts listed as part of the island. When looking at the tariff, nominal make headache, about 13-15 million per night, there are also 50 million for 2-3 nights.
Fortunately since 2009 there has been a new regulation allowing non-resort islands to open up and accept foreign guests. Therefore now many guesthouses have sprung up in various local islands. It seems like this situation will continue to grow more rapidly. Currently one of the local islands that we visited yesterday is quite crowded visited by tourists. So you guys who want to go to the beach must be immediately before the local islands invaded by tourists and so too crowded.
Visa, To enter the Beach does not need a visa, either citizens of another country. All citizens are entitled to enter the beach as tourists without having to apply visa and can be a maximum of 30 days.
Official language on the Beach is Dhivehi, but many also can broken English. In some popular islands and resorts, most of them speak English fluently, but on the islands that are still quiet visitors are rather difficult to communicate with local people because they can not speak English. Use body language only.
The decision should go up what the transport actually depends on your next destination. If you can direct the road to the island better just anyway. Yesterday we stayed overnight at Hulhumale due to mismanagement due to lack of meticulous look at ferry schedule. We thought the ferry we wanted to ride did not work every day so we had to wait the next day. In Hulhumale is quiet and there is no facility. Hulhumale is an artificial island that is still very new and is being expanded. We do not stay in Male, but from a glimpse of the time in Male, it seems that Male is too crowded too and not too much to see.
Because the coast is an archipelagic country, its main transportation is a ferry boat. Onshore transport of taxis and buses. Taxis in Male on average 25 Rufiyaa plus luggage charge 5 Rufiyaa You will have to take a taxi from the Male ferry terminal from the airport to Villingili Ferry Terminal to take the ferry to the local island, about 6 km distance.
The cost of inter-island ferry is very cheap. Ferry from Male to Villingili island on the other side is only 3.25 Rufiyaa one way. While the ferry to the local island that we visited (Maafushi and Gulhi) 22 Rufiyaa. The price is much closer to the same. Rutenya Male-Gulhi-Maafushi-Guraidhoo. So want to stop at Gulhi or Maafushi ya both pay that much. What matters is to match the schedule.
Most ferries to the local islands leave from the Villingili Ferry Terminal. From there there are many routes in the form of several island circuits. For example we mentioned earlier, the circuit Male-Gulhi-Maafushi-Guraidhoo then the next day back again Guraidhoo-Maafushi-Gulhi-Male. In addition to that circuit there are many more circuits to other local islands. For more details, just check the official ferry schedule on the Beach managed by the government on this website. So far, he said the most crowded local island visited by tourists is Maafushi, about 1.5 hours ride ferry from Male.
Recommended Local Island
After glaring and rummaging through the ferry schedule, it looks like the most friendly ferry schedule is the Gulhi-Maafushi-Guraidhoo circuit because its ferry runs every day (except Friday). And indeed the islands are located closest to Male so it does not take too long to ride the ferry. From our experience, Maafushi and Gulhi is a very pleasant local island. Both are recommended.
Everything is so blue
Maafushi has a beautiful beach tourist, the water is very clear and shallow beaches up to several tens of meters forward. Very fun especially for me who can not swim and just can play water for just a damp-damp dip. There are many hotel choices, all offering convenient room facilities, snorkel equipment, buffet breakfast and (some) can pay by credit card.
The dilemma is, if the high season Maafushi will feel quite solid. When we visited yesterday at tourist beachnya there can be about 40 people. Yet when our friend Dave and Lauren got there in September they said they only saw at most 10 tourists on the island. Glad to be able to enjoy the beach seemed to belong to priadi. The guesthouse price starts around 40 USD per night, and it’s a very good price because the rooms have AC, hot shower, cable TV, great breakfast and WiFi. We stay at Ocean Vista for 43 USD per night and are highly recommended! – Check the current rate here.
White sand beach with clear blue color in Maafushi
Gulhi is a very quiet little island and almost no tourists there. The local population is only about 800 people. We only saw another pair of tourists for 2 days there. The beach here is actually a cooler look compared to Maafushi. Here there is no such thing as tourist beach, maybe because not many tourists who come there yet no rule “Should not wear bikini than in tourist beach” as in Maafushi. But because it is still very ‘local’, if swim wearing a bikini ya reasonable if there are some eyes that look from a distance.
Since it’s still very new, Gulhi has not had too many lodging facilities and has no restaurant or souvenir shop. Gulhi Beach Villa (owned and managed by Singaporean / Chinese couple) has beach chairs that can be taken to the beach, but others do not. Actually there are only 3 accommodation options in Gulhi which means the choices are quite limited. We stay at the cheapest lodging called Silver Shade for 57 USD per night (includes breakfast, air conditioning, hot shower) – check current rate here. But they do not have wifi so we have to pay Rf 55 (Rp 45.000, -) per 24 hours to get internet access from local provider. If you prefer a quiet beach, Gulhi could be a good choice.
Lots of herons on the beaches on the Beach
Our friend Dave and Lauren visited Guraidhoo (about 30 minutes from Maafushi) and Fulidhoo (2 hours from Maafushi with different ferry circuit schedules and just 2 days walk). He said Guraidhoo beaches suitable for surfing but less beautiful for the spoiled dip. While Fulidhoo he said pretty good but facilities are minimal so the food is rather difficult, must depend on the hotel. Sounds like Fulidhoo’s situation is a bit like Gulhi. Anyway, our recommendation is first visit Maafushi, just from there decide again where to go next.
As the name implies, this frugal traveling requires us to stay on the local island and not in luxury resorts. Therefore please be understood that the standard of accommodation is certainly not as chic bungalow that is above shallow waters that if open the door directly to the room to jump into the water. Budget accommodation here is usually a small hotel whose capacity is only 4-20 rooms by offering a simple food menu and a staff of just a few people.
There are several ways to book accommodations on the Beach, two of which are via AirBnB and Agoda / Booking.com. If you have not list AirBnB, you can register now and can discount 20 USD for first use.