Maldives on a Budget
Do you dream about a budget holiday in the Maldives? You do not need to be a surfer to discover Thulusdhoo, a beautiful island located in North Male Atoll in 30 minutes by speedboat from Male. The same ocean, clear turquoise waters, white sandy beach, waves, palm trees, amazing marine life and lots of fun in 25 kilometers from Velana airport, but much cheaper.
Only the 5.7km in length and 600 meters in width, Thulusdhoo is the capital of Kaafu Atoll with the population approximately 1400 residents. Budget tourism on Thulusdhoo started in the 1970s, when Australian surfers discovered a great surf spots. Fame to the island brought the big waves generated by the 2 most popular spots: Cokes and Chikens. Since then, Thulusdhoo has gained international popularity among fans of surfing, and new laws of the Maldives have brought to the island budget hotels and guest houses.
Thulusdhoo today is not just a surf. On the island there is a beautiful beach of white fine sand, part of that is called "bikini", and is designed specifically for foreign travellers. Snorkeling and diving (there is a diving school), water sports, exciting fishing or lazy beach experience - all this can be found in Thulusdhoo.
How to Get: Transfers
Upon arrival at the Maldives International Airport, you will find an ATM, a Pharmacy, a Telecommunications shop where local SIM cards can be purchased, hygienic toilets and a variety of small shops selling food, drinks, and souvenirs. Baggage storage is available and there is a very helpful Information desk if you need.
Ferries in the Maldives are an extremely accessible form of transportation. Time from Male (pier opposite the Marry Brown restaurant) to Thulusdhoo is 90 to 150 minutes. A low extra charge is levied for bulky luggage, but somehow it's an excellent price option. The ferry is equipped with very comfortable soft armchairs, a toilet and an open terrace at the top. The price for the trip is only $ 3.
Also the island can be reached by speedboat. The price is $ 250 / boat one way, so it's better to check the staff of your hotel to find companions, so it will be cheaper.
Ferry from Male to Thulusdhoo:
Departure at 15:30 on Saturdays, Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays; on Fridays the ferry leaves Male at 22:30. On Tuesdays the ferry leaves at 14:30, but stops on several islands, including Thulusdhoo.
From Thulusdhoo to Male:
at 07:30 on Saturdays, Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays;
Note: departure time may change without notice, due to public holidays or bad sea conditions.
The Tharika Ferry service does not run on Tuesday. Both the Tharika Ferry and fast shuttle services have different Friday schedules. Time your flight if possible so that you can coordinate your arrival with transfer services or your guest house's host.
Fast and efficient, these high-powered vessels can deliver you from the airport to Thulusdoo in just 25 minutes. “Speedboat ferries” now operate several times per day to our island at a set schedule, and private speedboats can be organized for anytime night or day.
The River Speed is $30 one way. It is a very quick way to get to Thulusdhoo at a very reasonable price. Please be aware that sometimes booking may be necessary. Feel free to contact us or River Speed directly to organise booking a seat.
River Speed schedules are subject to frequent change. We advise you visit their facebook page or contact them direct for up-to-date information.
There is a local currency Bank of Maldives (BML) ATM located on Thulusdhoo island directly opposite the jetty. A dollar BML ATM can be found in the airport with a short walk to your right as you exit arrivals.
Dollars and Maldivian Rufiaah are widely accepted with some locations accepting EURO (at a very bad rate) as well. Credit and Debit cards are accepted in most outlets offering card payment facilities. For guesthouses, it is best to check in advance on the payment methods available.
The Maldives is the leading tourist destination and Thulusdhoo Island is one of the best surfing sights, located close to Male with a some excellent surf spots: Chicken and Cokes. The big wave, stable quality of riding and beautiful environment generate high excitement among surfers who are looking for unforgettable surfing adventures in Maldives. Read More...
Diving and Snorkeling
SCUBA diving is becoming increasingly popular with guest of the island. Feenaa Diving provides honest and friendly advice for the best dive site and welcomes new comers to discover SCUBA Diving. Locations such as Aquarium and Colosseum can offer the chance to see Eagle Ray, Reef Sharks, Turtle, countless reef fish. If very lucky there is a chance to spot Manta Rays and the big sharks.
The house reef, accessed by shore entry via the lagoon, can offer a decent dive throughout most of the year. There are usually a variety of Morays and other critters hiding away in the reef and as always the chance for the bigger fish to pass on by. It is a great way to start SCUBA diving Thulusdhoo.
However, for a qualified diver, the SSI/PADI dive center can offers a variety of dive sites, ranging from gentle wall dives to bracing the channel currents in search of the ‘big fish’.
Let's go for a walk with the fishes! Snorkeling in the Maldives is an unforgettable experience with marine life is one of the best in the world. The abundance and diversity of the underwater world is a source of attraction not only for diving fans, but also for those who are keen on snorkeling. About 70 different types of colorful corals form reefs around Thulusdhoo which are home to over 700 species of fish and other marine creatures.
To fully enjoy snorkeling, you should carefully choose snorkel spots. Reefs are the best places to drift. On Thulusdhoo the best place for snorkeling is Thingiri Point house reef. On the edge of the reef, you can find interesting features like crevices, terraces, caves, and of course currents (do not forget to use fins). As the waters become deeper, the differences in coral and other marine life are clearly distinguishable. Snorkeling becomes more risky when small fish disappear, and their place is taken by much larger marine animals coming here to hunt.
Rays and peaceful whale sharks eat plankton while numerous schools of reef fish of various shapes and colors play among the bright corals. Larger coral reef fish are usually friendly and curious. Snorkeling offers many opportunities: from deep hollows, where groupers and riders live, to sunny shallows with more miniature and more colorful species.
Usually guest houses on Thulusdhoo island provide their guests with snorkeling gear, but sometimes the quality of the mask and the tube leaves much to be desired.
For such a small island, Thulusdhoo has a surprising amount of recreational and Industrial activity to see and enjoy. Many hotels offer tours aim to show just how the local Maldivian lives, the best, and the more difficult aspects of life in these isolated atolls. Check out the industry including fish drying factories, boat building yards, sea cucumber processing, the Maldives sole Coca-Cola factory and the agricultural section. You can visit the school, the power house, and learn of the islands history. Enjoy the freedom to wander round the island and discover the sunset beach spot as well meeting locals and fellow visitors.
There are a some mini-markets on the island where you can buy food, snacks, sunscreen and beach wear, all at reasonable prices. In some places there are souvenir shops sell an unique and beautiful gifts for the memory of the island of Thulusdho, most are made by local artisans. In each guest house you will also find a gift shop.
Thulusdhoo experience can be compared with the nearest luxury resorts: Club Med Kanifinolhu or Dhon Veli. Excursion for a full day, all-inclusive cost about $ 120-130. What is included: transfer, food on the islands-resorts, unlimited access to a bar with drinks, show programs, cultural events and, of course, beautiful sea, palm trees, sun, sand and deck chairs on the beach.
Maldives are a very active nation, and sports events take place on the island regularly. Football, volleyball and netball are the most popular sports.
Local Maldivian games are also very popular activities on the island. Watch the traditional Bashi game in which only women participate. Bai bala is a full-contact sport for men, involving direct contact when a player of one of the teams tries to break into a circle, touch the opponent and then jump out of the circle before he is caught and possibly injured by his opponents. Participation of tourists in evening sports competitions, as a rule, is welcomed and gives chance to have fun with locals.
On Thulusdhoo Island you have the unique oportunity to see dolphins just in front of the beach. Keep your eyes open while relaxing at the dining area to catch a glimpse of these friendly creatures. If you want you can go on a boat tour to see the dolphins even closer and experience the sounds of the highly intelligent mammals that seem to smile at you while jumping out of the water.
Mingle and chat or play games with the locals, see what's on at the islands sporting grounds, ride bikes, go for a jog or simply relax in the shade. A fire on the beach cooking some fresh fish while enjoying the rising of the moon is a recommended way to spend the evening.
Considering that almost every hotel or guest house has its own restaurant or a snack bar - you will not remain hungry in Thulusdhoo! The "bed + breakfast" scheme works perfectly well, and in the evening dinner on the beach with barbecue seafood! The menu of many restaurants has popular international cuisine and traditional Maldivian food. With the phrase ‘Global’ in heart, the local chefs trained at Internationally recognized institutes who can prepare you delicacies of your desire. Be it, Continental, Italian, Chinese or local; you name it, we serve it at the finest perfection. We recommend restaurants: Casadana, Farista, RSR, Ginger, Gulhi and Madi Restaurant (according to the latest data it's already closed). In addition, here you can find several local eateries. Expect to pay for lunch or dinner about $ 20-30 for two.
Authentic local cuisine is a must for those wishing to soak up the Maldivian life. A personal favourite is Mashuni, this is a delicious combination of coconut, tuna, chilli as well as a few other ingredients served with Roshi (flat bread).
A short walk from Feenaa and you will find a small restaurant called Short Break which has recently opened serving a variety of dishes with local dishes being the speciality. Make sure you pop by and order a Mashuni; the family that owns the restaurant are super friendly and will be happy to tell you about other local dishes you could try during your stay.
Where to Stay
All Thulusdhoo Hotels offer an affordable accommodation that will allow you to enjoy the Maldives and save money for relaxation and other pleasures, including excursions, fun diving, food or surfing. Expect comfortable rooms with air conditioning, TV, clean linens and sincere hospitality, and in general all guest houses leave high marks and good reviews. Do not forget to book in advance in order to get the best deals and discounts. Check out list of Top 10 Best Thulusdhoo Hotels
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