November 9, 2018
Flight: Colombo, Sri Lanka -> Male, Maldives -> Budapest, Hungary
Duration: 10 days
Starting point: Male, Maldives
Budget for 2 people: $1250 ($880 hotel, $200 transportation, $50 food, 120 other)
- Day 1: arrival to Male, staying the night in Male
- Day 2: boat trip to Ukulhas, arrival to the hotel
- Days 3 - 9: relaxation in Ukulhas
- Day 10: boat trip to Male, flight to Budapest
After 3 weeks in Sri Lanka we took a flight to Male. I’m not including our flight ticket price here since it is mentioned in the previous post. Due to safety reasons, boats connecting different islands operate only during the daytime. Since we landed in Male at 9 pm we took a ferry to Male island and stayed the night there. On the next day we took a speedboat to Ukulhas. All hotels provide a meeting service and reserve boats for you so there is nothing to worry about.
Vacation in Maldives is mostly about spending time on the beach and snorkeling so there is not much to tell about. This post will be lots of pictures split into different sections. If you don't like lazy beach vacation then this destination is probably not for you. But Maldives islands really look heavenly and you can snorkel (or dive) every day.
Male ferry terminal:
Maldives is a Muslim country. Women are not allowed to wear short skirts on the streets or have uncovered shoulders. However, all touristic islands have specifically dedicated bikini beaches where regular swimming outfits are allowed. For our vacation we decided to stay on one island and selected Ukulhas because of its reputation as not expensive, eco-friendly, and its proximity to Male. Ukulhas is one of the inhabited islands that has several guest houses for the tourists. They usually provide different meal plans. We had breakfasts and dinners included in our package price. There are several restaurants on the islands as well in case you prefer different food options, however, we found it very convenient to have our meals included.
Ukulhas Island streets:
This is how a typical bikini beach looks like:
I think the best activity on these islands is to snorkel with giant Manta Rays. We visited Maldives in September which is still considered a rainy season. Most of the days we were lucky as it rained during the night only. However, when we organized an excursion to see Manta Rays we were not in so much luck :) Typically you can clearly see the clouds where it rains but the area outside of the cloud perimeter is usually dry. So our fisherman boat had no doubts about this trip even though there were black clouds in front of us. As you can see on a second picture below, soon it became a hell. It was raining heavily that we couldn't see anything further than 10m from us. Our boat had no roof so we were completely wet and cold. We were making circles for approximately 30-40 min trying to get out of the rainy cloud and to find Manta Rays. At the end our suffering paid off as we stopped and jumped into warm water full of these massive creatures. Please scroll to the video below to see them in more details.
Since it was still a rainy season we had an opportunity to see these amazing clouds:
Ukulhas island is surrounded by a reef so you can snorkel there every day. Most of the guest houses provide snorkeling equipment for free. You can see plenty of reef fish very close to the shore. If you are lucky, you can see sea turtles and reef sharks. These are our snorkeling GoPro screenshots:
And of course, breathtaking Maldives sunsets unique every day:
On our last day we took a boat at lunchtime to Male from where we went back to Budapest to spend several more days there before going back to Los Angeles (and moving to our new home in Mountain View).