Maldives has always been a dream destination for us. So when Scoot announced that all flights that layover in Singapore will be 300aud off each way, we grabbed the opportunity and booked flights to Male! There is no option to waive the baggage allowance so we ended up with 20kg each included in the ticket price of 283usd RT per person (from Perth, WA). Still not bad!
We arrived on a Friday so there are no public ferries to take to the islands. We opted for the speedboat transfer arranged through the guesthouse in Huraa. By the way, we booked Beach Heaven Huraa through Airbnb (https://www.airbnb.com.au/rooms/4490934?s=noCZ). The owner of the guesthouse, Mustafa, was easy to deal with and quick to reply to all my queries through Airbnb. He welcomed us at the Ibrahim Nasir International Airport and led to the speedboat all the while explaining that we have a little problem and that we have to go to Male City first (10-min boat trip since the airport is on a separate reclaimed island) to get some fuel. He said we was not going to be with us through the whole journey, he’ll be staying in Male but his son will welcome us in Huraa. We don’t mind the slight inconvenience, we are in paradise after all!
We arrived after 30mins at sea. Huraa is one of the 200+ inhabited islands in Maldives (1200+ islands all in all!), situated in Kaafu Atoll and is between two luxury resorts (Four Seasons Resort and Club Med Kani). I couldn’t believe my eyes upon seeing the waters surrounding the island! Amazingly turquoise! Straight out of the movies!
Fazan, Mustafa’s son, walked us to the guesthouse and explained the amenities and schedule of meals (since our 100usd/night stay included breakfast, lunch and dinner buffet-style!). He also gave us directions to the Bikini Beach. Since the Maldives is a strictly conservative Muslim country, bikinis are not allowed to be worn in public beaches unless it is a designated bikini beach.
We spent the whole afternoon of Day 1 in bikini beach. Not so much swimming as just dipping in the waters and lying down in the lounge chairs provided. Exactly my idea of a relaxing tropical beach holiday.
Day 2 breakfast was scrambled eggs, sausages, roti with butter and jam, and this very tasty concoction of coconut, fish, chillies and curry. And then off we went to snorkeling. Fazan went with us so there were 4 of us in the boat including the boatman-navigator. We stopped in the middle of nowhere, the waves were huge and I thought to myself- ARE WE STILL DOING THIS? Fazan took out the bread and tore it to pieces before throwing it out to the ocean. Out came the fishes! It was a surreal experience, the water being so clear that you feel like you are already snorkeling without getting yourself wet. But of course we still jumped off the boat- we paid 20usd for this HAHA!
I WAS SO SCARED because 1.) the waves were out to kill me 2.) I don’t know how to swim 3.) the flippers were annoyingly difficult to use because of reason #2. Still the fishes were worth the effort. Fazan said we could swim to the coral tree if we want but I contemplated all the while approximating the distance from the boat to where I think he was pointing. If something happens I don’t have travel insurance! #ResponsibleYOLOing
We decided to live like a local that afternoon. We watched a football game (Maldivians love football!) and hung out at the local port. It was nearly 6pm by then so we got our cameras ready for that daily spectacle that is the sunset. Having seen the sun rise that day, we realize that it has been a long day. And that is exactly what we want- longer days in a tropical island worrying about nothing, simply wishing that all the other days will be as magical.
Note: USD is widely accepted. We didn’t exchange for Rufiyaa at the airport but paid in USD for snacks at the local minimart in Huraa and got our change in Rufiyaa. We were going to use the Rufiyaa for our ferry ride back to Male but Mustafa said we could take a speedboat ride for free! 80usd/person one-way normally and we got it for free!