Wednesday, June 26, 2019

4D3N Maldives Trip On Budget Below RM2,000

Maldives, one of those countries I never thought I could ever travel to someday. The ultimate reason why holding me back from visiting Maldives is because of the luxury and overly expensive resorts and water villas which believed to reserve for the rich and famous only. Not until the boyfriend bought me a round-trip airticket to Maldives and he told me it's possible to travel to Maldives on a budget, I thought he was kidding at first. Only to find out he's been to Maldives for 4 times before, guess he's not fooling me. He was right - it's possible to visit Maldives without the worry of burning a big hole on your wallet, or maybe your bank account.


FLYING IN MALDIVES
From Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur), so far AirAsia is the only airlines flying directly from Kuala Lumpur and arrive at Male International Airport, located on Hulhule Island sits next to the capital city of Male. The flight duration takes approximately 4 hours and 40 minutes. Time difference wise, Maldives is 3 hours behind Malaysia. 

2019 Maldives AirAsia To Maldives Male

As for visa, don't worry about it cause visitors with valid travel documents will be given a free 30-day visa on arrival. Bear in mind being a Muslim country, Maldives prohibit and ban items like alcohol, pigs and pork products, pornographic materials and public observance of non-Muslims religions.

2019 Maldives Immigration Arrival Form

LANGUAGE & CURRENCY EXCHANGE
The official language of Maldives is Dhivehi but fret not, cause English is widely spoken in business and tourist sectors. We have no issue with the language barrier at all. As for the currency, their official is Maldivian Rufiyaa (MVR). However, majority of the resorts and most local islands accept US dollar as payment and because of that, we don't even bother to exchange for any MVR at all. 

US$1 = 15 MVR

We didn't buy any local simcard cause our trip is pretty short and brief. Plus, almost all the hotels, inns, and guesthouses and even eateries do provide free WiFi. In case you are interested to get their local simcard, you can buy at the airport once get out from the arrival hall.

ACCOMMODATION IN MALDIVES
Generally, there are two different type of islands in Maldives; the private and public. The private islands are mostly dominated by the luxury and expensive resorts whereas for the public islands, also known as inhabited island, there are local people living there. Being a budget-conscious traveller like me, I would rather to save up my money staying in the public island instead. Besides giving more affordable options for the independent tourists exploring the atolls, there are plenty of tour agencies, restaurants, shops available here. We chosen to stay in Maafushi Island in South Male Atoll - which I found quite popular among the budget travellers.

2019 Maldives Maafushi Island 01

In Maafushi Island, there are numerous hotels and inns within the island, ranging from USD50-USD100 per night. The popular one are like Arena, White Shell, Kaani and more. The boyfriend pick to stay in Kaani Village & Spa that cost RM260 per night includes free breakfast.

2019 Maldives Kaani Village & Spa

AIRPORT TRANSFER TO MAAFUSHI
I unable to share the info regarding the airport transfer to Male Island cause I don't have the chance to visit this main capital city. Right after we arrived Maldives at night (around 8pm), immediately we head to Maafushi by taking scheduled speedboat - one way takes approximately 30 minutes ride and costs USD20 per person. These schedule speedboats only run 4 or 5 times per day (normally 8am, 12pm, 5pm, 7pm and 10pm - it's wise to ask the hotel you book from regarding the latest timetable). You can also opt for public ferry which of course, it's more cheaper but then, it's kinda slow as it takes about 1 hour and 45 minutes, infrequent and no public ferries on Friday.

SUMMARY OF MY 4D3N ITINERARY 
Day 1: Arrived Maldives at night. Took speedboat to Maafushi and rest.
Day 2: Full day snorkelling
Day 3: Diving / Excursion to private resort
Day 4: Half day snorkelling. Leaving Maldives

Basically, the things to do in Maldives are snorkelling and diving - the primary activities. Besides these, you can also go for fishing trip, water sports like kayaking, jetski, parasailing and more, or even splurge on a private island excursion.

After scout here and there, I found that those water activities offer by Arena Beach Hotel is the cheapest one. So, here is the price list I got from the excursion desk:

Excursions
Details
Price
Fishing
(Traditional hand line fishing equipment and bottled water)
Morning Fishing Trip
Freshly caught fish will be served for lunch service
Time: 5.30am – 8am
USD35/pax
(min 6 pax)
Sunset Fishing
Freshly caught fish will be served on dinner service
Time: 5pm – 8pm
USD25/pax
(min 6 pax)
Half-Day Adventure
10am – 3pm
·     3-point snorkeling (turtle, colourful fishes)
·     Lunch at sandbank
·     Dolphin watching cruise
·     Underwater photograph
USD25/pax
(min 6 pax)
Shark Point Snorkelling
10am – 4pm
·     Snorkelling with buddle of nurse sharks
·     Visit one local island
·     Light lunch
USD50/pax
(min 6 pax)

As for our day 2 full day adventure, we booked from our hotel cause we found out the package offers is more interesting and fascinating where we got to snorkelling with manta rays (these can't be seen in Malaysia)

Full-Day Adventure - USD65 per pax (Booked from Kaani Village & Spa)
  • 3-point snorkelling (manta rays, nursge sharks and shipwreck)
  • Lunch at sandbank
  • Dolphin watching cruise
  • Free underwater photograph and video

2019 Maldives Snorkelling With Manta Rays
Snorkelling with manta rays

2019 Maldives Snorkelling With Nurse Sharks
Shark!!! Fret not, cause this nurse shark is actually very friendly and won't bite one

2019 Maldives Up Close With StingRays
Up-close with stingrays. Sorry but I can't help myself from keep thinking sambal

2019 Maldives Sandbank
50 shades of blue at the sandbank

2019 Maldives Snorkelling With ShipWreck
Shipwreck

Private Island Excursions 
Can't afford to stay on the water villas but would love to pay visit at these luxury resorts? Oh well, you can do so cause there are few private islands are open to non-guests who are not staying there. Since I unable to join boyfriend for diving, therefore I made up my mind to splurge myself on a full day private island excursion. To be honest, it's really hard to pick which resort/private island I should go cause almost all of them look exceptionally stunning and awe-inspiring. At the end, I chosen to visit Adaaran Prestige Vadoo, a 5 stars prestige luxury resorts. The package included a buffet lunch, unlimited drinks, as well as access to swimming pool and private beach. We even got to see fish and shark feeding by end of the trip before kiss goodbye to the resort.    

Excursions
Details
Price
per pax
Full Day Resort Visit
Inclusions:
Round trip boat transfers
Buffet lunch
Unlimited drinks*
Pool access*




*unless stated wise
Adaaran Club Rannalhi  
(No swimming pool access)
USD100
Fihalhohi Island Resort
(No swimming pool access)
USD 100
Embudhoo Village Resort
(Non alcoholic drinks during lunch time only)
USD 110
Olhuveli Resort
(Unlimited drinks during lunch time only
USD 120
Adaaran Prestige Vadoo
USD 125
Centara Ras Fushi Resort
USD 135
Club Med Kani
USD 165

2019 Maldives Adaaran Prestige Vadoo 01

2019 Maldives Adaaran Prestige Vadoo 02

2019 Maldives Adaaran Prestige Vadoo 03

2019 Maldives Adaaran Prestige Vadoo 04

FOOD IN MAAFUSHI
Since our breakfast are provided by the hotel as well as our lunch already included during the excursions (snorkelling and resort visit), the only thing we need to settle is the dinner. Be prepared that an ala carte meal costs as low from USD6 and the widespread of buffet at the price of USD15 (after tax). We didn't get to try the buffet dinner cause we felt not worth for us since we are not big eater and therefore, we settled our dinner at Hot Bite (the location is very close to the Bikin Beach)

2019 Maldives Hot Bite Restaurant
Not just Hot Bite serve both Western and Asian meals, they do serve Maldivian food too. 

2019 Maldives Arena BBQ Dinner Buffet
 BBQ Dinner Buffet at Arena Beach Hotel for the price of USD15 per person

TOTAL SPENDING 
This is my total damage cause I took the full day resort visit package on Day 3:
PARTICULARS
AMOUNT
USD
RM
Airfare
AirAsia KL – Male Maldives - KL

Accommodations
Kaani Village & Spa – 3 nights

Transportation
Speedboat airport transfer (USD20/trip)

Excursions
Full day snorkelling – Day 2
Full day resort visit – Adaaran Prestige Vadoo
Half day snorkelling – Day 4

Food and drinks
Hot Bite

Souvenirs
Postcards – 2 for USD1
Stamp (1 piece)
Magnet (1 unit)

-


-


40


65
125
25


13


1
1
3

390


390


165


269
517
103


54


4
4
12
TOTAL (RM)
1,908


And this one is the boyfriend's total damage since he went for diving:
PARTICULARS
AMOUNT
USD
RM
Airfare
AirAsia KL – Male Maldives - KL

Accommodations
Kaani Village & Spa – 3 nights

Transportation
Speedboat airport transfer (USD20/trip)

Excursions
Full day snorkelling – Day 2
Diving – 2 dives*
Half day snorkelling – Day 4

Food and drinks
Hot Bite

*Diving package he took from Arena Club - the package including diving equipments and lunch 

-


-


40


65
70
25


13

390


390


165


269
289
103


54
TOTAL (RM)
1,660
USD1 = RM4.135 as at June 2019

Conclusion, it's possible to realise your dreams to Maldives with the budget under RM2,000, as per what the boyfriend told me earlier. If not due to unfavorable exchange rate of US dollar, I think I might be spending less than what I calculated as above. 

2019 Maldives Male International Airport
Maldives, you are undoubtedly one of the most beautiful islands in the world but you also make me 50 shades darker. 

8 comments:

  1. You have such a great and smart boyfriend who whisked you off to this romantic and beautiful island. Thanks for sharing the scenic photos and budget details. The sea water is so clear and blue!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Definitely in my wish list!
    Anyway, can help ask ur boyfriend how much does the fun dive cost? I'd love to dive there.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Maldives is definitely in my wish list!
    Anyway, can help ask ur boyfriend how much does the fun dive cost? I'd love to dive there 😍

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Rara! Thanks for remind me of this. I want share this but too many things, I left out. One dive costs USD37 and my boyfriend took two dives cost USD70. He took the diving package from Arena, including diving equipments and lunch.

      Delete
    2. Thank you!! The price surprisingly not too expensive. Defo gonna add it in my itinerary 😊

      Delete
  4. wahhh ok wor the price!!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Wonderful holiday with boyfriebd.

    Snorkelling!! I love that.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Very informative, good job guys and thanks for sharing such a awesome blog.
    holidays in portugal

    ReplyDelete

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