We felt our few savings was better spent somewhere else.
But we chanced upon an airline company website glitch last year — thanks to a tip that circulated within the travel blogging community — which allowed us to book a cheap flight from Sydney to Kuala Lumpur to Malé for three. The total price, about $4. We took that as a sign. Cause really, we'd be stupid not to grab such rare opportunity. So we purchased tickets. Without worries whether we could fund the unplanned luxe getaway or not.
Public Bus Service On Hulhumalé Island
A bus service runs between Malé International Airport and Hulhumalé island between 6:00AM to 2:00AM, operated by Maldives Transport and Contracting Company. It leaves Nirolhu Magu's (neighborhood 1) bus stop roughly every forty minutes to one hour and is a mere 15 minute-ride. Station at the airport should just be outside the arrival hall. Ask around. In the evening, bus may run every two hours. Each passenger's allowed only a luggage each at the time of our travel (2013). Fare is MVR3 or about US$.20.
Hulhumalé Inn Review
It did its job well in giving us a comfy pod to sleep in. Our simple double room priced at UD$70 excluding taxes and fees (Yep, welcome to the Maldives!) has an en suite bath and a small balcony. It faces the main street which never gets too hectic. WiFi was a pain, hair-pulling slow during the few times we were able to connect. A simple brekkie is included in the room rates. Egg and toast and cereal. Coffee and tea. Kitchen opens at 6:30-7:00AM. There are cafes nearby, and the beach is just a couple of blocks to the east. The guesthouse offers package tours. Staff was as warm as the Maldivian sun's rays.
Hubby and Luna waded in the water while I watched a group of local women, all covered up, lie on/roll over the sand and chitchat and giggle like young girls. Islam is the official religion of Maldives. On inhabited islands, female tourists are expected to maintain a conservative approach to clothing. The thought of swimming in pants and shirt put me off (though I knew about this beforehand) since I didn't see any public changing rooms nearby. I'd have to saunter back to our guesthouse dripping. I don't know what's more unacceptable: Being in the water wearing a swimsuit, or being out on the street looking like a wet t-shirt contest participant. Nah to both.
Missed our guide to backpacking Maldives? Click HERE.
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