Category Archives: island

Maldives part 4. Maafushi and Arena beach resort

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Today is the last day of our holiday and both of us are sad..Maldives is the destination which suit us. When we were in Bangkok, we enjoyed bustling town with lots of activities to do plus good food. But Maldives gives us complete rest of our mind and soul which everybody needs. If you are aware, we are in a rat race competing each other and trying to outdo each other. Our mind wander and worry endlessly. A place like Maldives which has nothing much to do apart from swimming and relaxing make our mind rest for awhile. We also have to accept that sea and ocean promotes our mental wellbeing.

Yesterday I went into the ocean and floated with the slow waves in shallow water, my face looking towards the sky. There was a half full moon and many stars . There was a halo around the moon and the wind was gentle..The water was warm and soathing. I was so much comforted by the ocean that I said aloud thank you. I was born in a restricted country called Burma and not allowed to have a passport till 28 years of age. Our previous government regarded all doctors as the country’s property and we were not allowed to have a passport unless they wanted to send us to another country for semina and courses etc. So at the age of 28, I ran away from Burma after getting a passport illegally. What I mean is I was able to travel abroad only at the age of 28 with the awareness  that I might not be able to go back there without facing legal actions. I have visited 19 countries since then and I am thankful to this tiny achievement and my travel diaries more than my academic achievement. Nowadays we have democracy and young generations of doctors have more opportunities and freedom compared to our time.

Before my mind wanders again, I want to continue about Maldives , especially Maafushi. Maafushi is a relatively large island ( 1.2 km)  and there is still room for infrastructure and development. Its not instagram perfect place but I am so glad to see real lives of people living here. I can see women take part in building up economy as a lot of them were driving motorbikes and trucks. I also saw local girls dancing , shaking their ass in front of public enjoying themselves . They are more outgoing than I thought in spite of a myth that women are suppressed.

So this post is about real life and you will not see many perfect pictures here. Its about Maafushi with migrants, ongoing buildings , scaffolding and sweaty construction workers.

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Most of them are from Bangladish and some are from India. But they seem happy to be here. Initially I cannot differentiate between Maldivians and Bangali but they pointed us that Maldivians have  darker skin.

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local girls enjoying and dancing with live music
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women on bikes, there is no car in Maafushi
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pretty local girls smiling at us

 

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owner of local arts shop

I talked to the local shop owner called Suja who witnessed Tsunami in 2004. He owns a shop which sells paintings on the wood, glass and coconut.

According to Suja, on the day of tsunami, water rushed inside his house and he was non chalant about it and did not worry. But then he saw trucks were drifting among big waves and then only he ran towards the mosque holding his young child. The family took refuge on the attic of the mosque. The water came in only a few minutes and the tide went down. He needed to waddle in the muddy water to find his sister who was with another family and found to be safe. Luckily there was no death nor injuries in Maafushi. Only 82 people died out of whole country in 2004 tsunami although damages to houses and infrastructure cost millions. In Maafushi, only 14 houses were destroyed.

Suja refuse to label himself and his staff as artists. But the paintings they made out of wood and coconut are quite impressive and unique.

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As I really wanted to buy authentic Maldivian product, I bought a key chain from him made of wood and painting.

Maafushi is also very self sufficient with school, mosques , health care centre and sports centre etc. When I was walking around I saw school children coming out from school with their cute green and white  uniforms.

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Maafushi school
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school fence painted with slogans
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Maafushi health centre

There is also a local bank where you can exchange money. But everywhere you can purchase with USD.

 

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the mosque

Regarding food, you can have local as well as European and Chinese food easily. I have noticed that a lot of tourists are from mainland China and India. To cater them, a lot of restaurants have display of chinese advertisment and hotels offer vegetarian diet as Indian tourists are vegetarian.  I overheard some Indian tourists complaining not enough vegetarian food from hotel buffet and next day, almost every dish became vegetable. Then some of us are like 😫. Indeed, its difficult to satisfy human. But I have to say honestly that Arena beach resort surpassed my expectation ( I did not get any commmission out of hotel )..First of all, they take customers as priority. Their chefs are excellent and even simple meals like pasta is delicious.  All vegetarian cusine are tasty like dahl curry , fried rice with vegetable even for non vegs.They also cater lots of salad and fruits for European tourists and their bakery and puddings are yummy.

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And Arena resort did not break our bank and only charge considerable price for excellent service. All the waiters are always wanting to help us , even just now we are waiting for the boat at public lounge and one staff came and opened fans and aircon for us. Rooms are clean and provided with coffee , water and toiletaries daily. There is also a place to hang wet clothes at balcony with drainage system.

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our room with balcony and sea view
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view from room. A boy climbing tree and a crowd was encouraging him
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dining area just in front of beach

Entertainment ( acoustic guitarist and singers ) are good and can be equivalent to  vocalists from Boracay ( exceptionally musical beach destination ) although they do not sing everyday.

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artists playing baby shark song for a toddler who was spinning and dancing
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we met new friends during out meal time

 

As the island is small, franchise food like KFC and McDonald do not esist here. But if you look around, there are a lot of European food and Chinese restaurants.

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Chinese sea food restaurant

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20191007_174327A cafe which mimic Hard Rock

We did not have chance to explore the local food as we booked hotel with meal plans. Even breakfast and dinner alone is enough for big eater . Afternoon is our siesta time and we prefer to rest in our room .

Regarding activities, there are a lot of water sports you can do such as kayaking, banana boats, jet ski, fishing, paragliding , water skiing and boarding. Arena beach also has scuba diving courses and activities for both beginners and experienced diving. They have been operating diving excursions for 30 years. You can do night diving and also wreck diving . I feel like going to nearby sandbank with kayak. But my boyfriend complained of backache and decided not to do any of those. Instead, we spent lots of our time swimming or simply sitting in the ocean. We just now found out there is a swimming pool on 8th floor only after we checked out. But we still do not regret our preference on the ocean. To be frank, its the priviledge of warm countries. While in Isle of Man, water of the sea is always cold and I still cannot swim where I live. I also miss my time in Kuantan, Malaysia where dipping in South China sea was my weekly activities.

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By the way, please read Maldives part 2 and part 3 to know about excursions to shark bay, turtle watching and swimming with manta rays.

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Maafushi with wild flowers
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a bird resting on the boat
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public beach with rubbish lying around
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a shop for watersports
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beaches near hotels are cleaner

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a relaxing place near water sports shop

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Recreational activities like spa and massage are too expensive to try. Usual price is 58 USD for an hour which is almost the same like Europe..So we did not try it but if you want it, you can easily get massage in Maafushi as I saw 3 spa lounges and 1 gym.

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For souvenir , there are many local shops. I was even joking every house opens a shop. Maldives do not produce garment and all are imported from other countries. So prices are above other Asian countries and you need to haggle to get correct price. But we found a shop where we get reasonable price witout hassel of bargaining. I will upload photo of that shop here.

20191007_172807.jpgif you want good price, Eloda is ok  personally..But ask around before you buy..

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wall of local shop displaying Indonesian ornament

 

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The best part is sunset. Its very beautiful to watch it. I am going to miss it very much.

 

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We are grateful to Maldives, its people for their hospitality . We will come back again one day.

Thank you

Hnin

 

 

Maldives part 3. shark bay and chasing Manta Ray

Today 6th Oxctober 2019 is the mile stone of my life . Its because I have swam with hundreds of sharks in Maldives. I am someone who is obsessed with sharks since I was a child. I remember my parents took me to cinema to watch Jaws which was very popular that time. That instilled me with fear of sharks .

But I know there are many harmless sharks and I trust tourist industry will never do anything risky. So I and my boyfriend booked a tour to see Manta rays and sharks.

The tour starts from 9am and it cost 50USD per person. As usual we gathered near  Arena resort office and collected our life jackets and snorkelling gears. At first I was disappointed as the boat for today was quite small and my favorite tour guide whom I met yesterday was not in today. Yesterday we went for another tour and many tour guides followed us. So we had luxury of being looked after by many tour guides and I was worried about safety of small boat as well as number of staff ( only one tour guide ) for our group. But we eventually found out our group have so many friendly people and we began introducing to each other.

The first place was for watching dolphins. If you read my previous post, I have already mentioned about watching a dolphin pod in Maldives part 2. But today, dolphins decided to show us their acrobatic skill. They started to jump in the air one after another and I believe they wanted to entertain us. What intelligent and friendly creatures! I cannot even imagine why anyone should harm them. Some of photos are shared by Alex and Merry who are from China and Indonesia. They are very nice couple and we only met them today .  We clicked on camera and not sure whether we could get good pictures as dolphins appeared in the air unexpectedly and rapidly .  But I believe I did capture some of good photos although images are small.

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dolphin jumping

After dolphin sighting, the guide searched for the mantas to swim with. Both Manta and sharks are nocturnal animals and usually sleep during day time. I am amazed at the way tour guides can see manta from very far. He warned us that Manta rays can swim fast and we need to ready to jump in once he sees one. With that instruction, I decided to give up on it. Haha. First of all, I cannot swim well. Secondly, I need someone to push me back to boat if I drift away from boat. With one guide juggling everything for whole group, I do not trust I could get help . So I watched from the boat. Most of our group did well and managed to see Manta very shortly. Manta ofcos swam away very swiftly like a celebrity chased by paparazis. The tide was very strong and my boyfriend was exhausted after chasing Manta. He could not see very well without his glasses and he ended up swimming without seeing manta.

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For awhile, our tour guide kept on searching mantas but we could not find anymore at that moment after first manta disappeared.  So we decided to go to shark bay to swim with sharks. Our tour guide advised us as follows ” please do not touch sharks. do not pull their tails and do not ride on them”. I was amazed and wonder whether tourists have done that to poor sharks.

When we arrived at shark bay, I was surprised it was very near to resort. We could see big sharks from the boat and they were swimming leisurely. One of our group jumped from the boat and accidentally hit one shark. These sharks are nurse shark and now only realized they are not harmful . They eat squid, stingray and small fish .So they are incapable of killing any human beings.In fact they does bite humans ( most are human fault as men think they are very docile) , 52 times recorded but none of the bites are lethal. They have small mouth with small teeth attached to a large pharynx. Nurse sharks can suck the prey into the large pharynx after swallowing.  nurse shark can live up to 20 years  for female and 15 years for male. . The largest recorded is 302 cm  and average length is 8 to 9 feet  .So the sharks we saw were both young and mature nurse sharks. Our guide brought some food for sharks and once feeding started, all sharks swam towards the boat as if they were used to feeding.

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shark bay

20191006_175512above photo is courtsey to Nim who brought his new drone to the trip. He kindly shared these precious pictures with us and also took group photo for us at the end of trip.

20191006_175704These sharks were not agressive at all although people accidentally touched them while swimming. Now I live to tell sharks can be friendly.

 

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After we swam with the sharks  , we went to the sand bank to have our lunch. It was sunny and quite hot on the sand bank . Thanks to our tour guide, we could sit under parasols and had our lunch. The water was shallow and we could dip in and took photos. Thanks to Merry , we could get some couple photos as well.

At that time, I became warming up to the tour guide and realized he is such a nice person. Izay  made sure all of us photos were taken by him.. But I need to see his photography skills when I receive my pictures. Its amazing that tour guide can do multitasking.

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the sand bank

 

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the sky was dark at that time

I went into the sea and tried to see some fish while my boyfriend tried to recover from sun burn..His scottish skin is very vulnerable to sun burn as he is not used to tropical weather.

After lunch, we took group photo with Nim’s drone and the video was lovely.

20191006_175612After departing Sandy bank, we headed towards another island to drop off two of our group.

Then on the way back , we found a big manta ray unexpectedly. This time only one of us volunteered to swim with Manta ( no need to say that it cannot be me ). Kayleigh from Netherland jumped into the water gracefully although she was aware the water was cold under the drizzles. I went to the front of the boat to see manta from afar while Izay jumped in with her to take picture of her with Manta.

Manta swam very fast to get away and it was fascinating to see as Kayleigh and Izay are very good swimmers.

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Kayleigh chasing Manta
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can you spot Manta?

I did my usual cheating part. Taking selfie with Manta which probably is 10 miles away from me. 😅

20191006_134418.jpgThe sky was very dark on the way as if storms were coming.

The water was turbulent and my boyfriend complained his bums were sore due to bumpy boat ride. But the boatman and tourguide were so chill that it reassured me in a way.

 

I also saw a lot of flying fish and even thought they were waterbirds forawhile.

Finally we safely arrived back to Maafushi and said good bye to each other. I was very glad that I met new friends during this trip.

 

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water challets under construction.

 

On the way back , my boyfriend advised me 100th time to reduce weight and to go to gym so that next time, I will be able to chase manta. Haha. I might need to write another blog about our failing diet plan. Right now, I need to go and have my buffet.

Thanks for reading.

Hnin

Edit. One of my friends told me we should wear wet suit to protect wild life from catching our diseases and we should not wear sun cream before jumping in. I did not find suitable wet suit for me. But I will avoid wearing sun cream next time

Maldives part 2

We decided to do some activities and Arena beach hotel gave us some options of day tours. There are many varieties and we can go to other resort islands where we can drink alcohol unlimited and use swimming pool. We decided not to go other resort islands as we both do not drink alcohol and tours are expensive ( 120 to 160 USD per each from 8 am to 5 pm ).  We chose day tour from 10 am to 3 pm as it is not so tiring and not related to alcohol.

First of all, today morning was an excellent weather.

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morning view in Maafushi

 

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excellent weather

 

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morning view of Maafushi

After breakfast we gathered at the office of Arena resort and collected our life jackets and snorkelling gears . Then we went to the boat to start our journey.

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harbour of Maafushi

October is already rainy season but we are extremely lucky that we almost got away without rain. There was a short rain only at the end of trip.

We paid 25 USD for each to see turtles , dolphins , snorkelling and lunch at uninhabitated sandy beach. It was really a good deal and the boatmen are skillful and attentive to the tourists.

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our tour guide giving briefing at the start of journey
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very happy Hnin
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island on the way
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a shed on the isolated island, a dream place to live

Then the boat stopped at the coral rich place to snorkel and see fish. A considerate mother brought bread pieces for the fish and we had a chance to see many fish from boat upclose.

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20191005_105214.jpgThen we got off from boat one by one to snorkel. We were advised not to snorkel at shallow water to avoid injuries due to friction with coral. If you look at photos, turquoise water area are shallow and dark blue means deep water. I would recommend wearing water resistant shoes to protect your feet and wear wet suit to protect your body.

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our group snorkelling

20191005_112304.jpgwe found so many colorful fish, blue and yellow, yellow striped with black, purple and pink. I am always awed at mother nature. One thing I notice in Maldives is I hardly see plastic and rubbish floating in the river , unlike other countries in Maldives. The reason is government charge each tourist environmental fee 3 USD per day so that there is budget to clean actively. We saw a ship which was collecting rubbish from sea and all the rubbish go to India for disposal. I hope Maldives keep on doing this and as a tourist, I make sure I do not leave any rubbish behind at any public places.

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After we finished snorkelling for 45 minutes, we headed to another area to see dolphins. In fact one of our tourguides found dolphin with a speed boat and informed our boat man.

I have seen some dolphins in Spain. But this time , there were so many of them at least 30. It was fasinating to see them.

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dophin sighting
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dolphin sighting

After dolphin sighting, the boat stopped at the area where turtles live. We got off the boat and found turtles . They are very lovely creatures and leisurely eating some coral under water. Two of them were quite big. I was curiously looking down to find turtles while a small one was swimming beside me. He even touched my arm with his flippers. I went nuts and I was laughing and screaming out of pure ecstasy. I was advised not to touch any turtle but as it was him who touched me accidentally and I was so happy .

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The current was strong and I could not swim back to the boat as we needed to go further to see turtle. One of our tour guides had to drag me back to the boat.

At the end of the trip, we had a lunch in the boat as it was raining and unable to have lunch on the sand beach as planned. Then  a small boat sent us to a uninhabited island fron our large boat. At the sight of island, we all smiled as it was perfectly beautiful.

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our final destination
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perfect sandy beach

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For me I think uninhabited islands are required for the turtles to lay eggs. We humans encroach into their lands selfishly for centuries. We also notice crabs running around . My boy friend was totally fascinated with behaviour of crabs. He kept on reminding me not to scare them off. In the end he got multiple videos of crabs.

20191005_140914.jpgsome of crabs are very big and you can imagine their size based on the size of holes they created on the sand in below photos.

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We walked around the island and walking finished in 5 minutes time.

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After walking around the island,  I sat on the sand in shallow water and tried to absorb everything around me. My heart was filled with gratitude as usual  ..In fact , leaving that tiny island was difficult.

As soon as we got on the big boat, all of us were very tired . Small kids fell asleep on the boat on the way back. It was a bit tiring under the sun for 5 hours with swimming in the ocean. It was totally worthit.

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water challets on the way back

Thank you for reading.

Hninn

How to travel to Maldives with a budget

First of all, everybody knows Maldives is a luxurious destination and peole spend 800 to 1500 USD per night to stay at a private island resort in the middle of Indian Ocean. But if you have read my previous posts, you must have noticed I am a budget traveller. The reasons are

1) I do not earn a lot to behave like a celebrity

2) I do not believe in extravagant life style and trying to be a minimalist.

First of all, you need to know which flight directly goes to Maldives. For us, we booked air asia 6 weeks earlier which fly directly from Bangkok ( Dan Meong airport ) to Maldives ( Male ) .It cost us 300 GBP for each return ticket including luggage fee and inflight meals. Like I said earlier, its difficult to get cheaper as a lot of people cannot go to Maldives.

 

Secondly, I combed through each and every website for cheap and clean accomodation in Maldives. Maldives have total 26 atolls which are combination of 1192 coral islands  and the largest named , Gang island is merely 14 km long . Some of islands are very far from main airport and needs private jets. So if you want to travel with a buget , please do not choose islands which are middle of nowhere and choose the ones which are accessible with public transport.More than that you might not want to be in a boat for many hours to reach your destination island. The islands which are quite near to Male ( capital of Maldives ) can be found below map.

 

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For us, we choose Arena beach resort at Maafushi island. Maafushi island is 1.5 hour boat ride from Male.The island is only 1.27 km long and can finish walking in 20 to 30 minutes from end to end. Its the second destination if you catch public ferry from Male. To make it clear, I will use the description made by the hotel.

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If you want public transport ( I assume you do as you are reading my article ), you need to know time tables of ferry from Male to your destination. Usually public ferry have vacancy although you need to book 1 hour earlier. Its not possible to book public ferry via internet. If only cost 2 USD per person . Please see below time table.

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Please take note that there are two ferry boats departing from Male’ on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. If 10:00 ferryboat is missed in any of these days, 15:00 ferryboat can still be taken. On other days, only 15:00 ferryboat is available from Male’. There are also two ferryboats departing from Maafushi on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday. Guests can choose either 7:30 or 12:30 ferryboat in any of these days. On other days, only 7:30 ferryboat is available from Maafushi.
Step-By-Step instructions to reach Arena Beach Hotel & spa Maldives by Ferry Boat

1. All the tourist to Maldives will be arriving to Male’ international airport (Ibrahim Nasir International Airport), so you are too.

2. Catch a ferry to Male’ from the Airport (every 5 minutes there will be a ferry to Male’). It takes just Ten minutes to reach Male’ and will cost USD 1 or MVR 10 per person.

3. Once you arrive to Male’ take a taxi to go “Villingili ferry terminal”. The taxi fare should be about MVR 30 to MVR 40.

4. There will be a scheduled ferry to Maafushi which leaves Male’ at scheduled times (please refer to the above table) on daily basis (except for Friday) from Villingili Ferry Terminal. Guests are required to buy ferryboat ticket from the ticket counter at Villingili Ferry Terminal. Tickets could be bought few minutes before the scheduled time of departure.

5. Guests will enjoy a 1.5 hours Journey with a beautiful scenery of chains of islands and surrounding coral reefs.

Bear in mind, above instruction is intended for people who stay in Maafushi island but your destination might be different. Other instructions are very accurate and helpful. Airport to Male transfer is very efficient and fast. Once you arrive Male, you can go to ferry terminal by getting a taxi. Taxi anywhere cannot be expensive as the islands are very small..Make sure you change USD to MVR at airport to pay for public transport. At our time, we got the rate of 1 USD to 15MVR. Most places accept USD too.

From Male, it took 1 hour for us to get a taxi as they could not understand me. So you might need to show written words Villingilli ferry terminal to them as the taxi drivers can be confused. Eventually the staff from information counter came out and helped us to get a taxi. The taxi driver only charged us usual rate 35MVR and I gave him 50MVR as I like his honesty.

If you like franchise food , Burger King and secrete recipe is at Male. European food is available anywhere although original Maldavian food is similar taste to Indian food. They like dahl and  chick peas with some masala for meat.

After we arrive at Villingilli ferry terminal, we got tickets and needed to wait 2 hours for our ferries as our flight arrived at 12 noon and our ferry was at 3 pm.  It was Wednesday and there were plenty of vacant seats although Wednesday has only 1 ferry for whole day . There are shops nearby Ferry terminal although their hygiene is questionable. Irritating thing is flies are everywhere due to hot weather. We decided to take only bottled water or drinks .

You might be sort of person who like luxury. But I want to urge every traveller to take public transport for environmental reason. We should do our part while younger generations are trying their best to reduce consumption of energy and resources.More than that, these public ferries are safer. Staff are very considerate and willing to help with big luggages. They do not even expect tips.

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me very happy on public ferry
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Maldivian commute with lots of good

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scenic view from ferry

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When we arrived at Maafushi  , we do not need to take further transport as everywhere is reachable on foot. We are lucky that Arena beach resort staff was there waiting for us to help with luggages. Bless them.

If I have not told you, we booked Arena beach resort with sea view and balcony 2 months ago. As we include two meals per day , the price was 100GBP per day with tax and environmental fee , I gave 760 GBP for 7 nights. Ofcos you can say its not cheap but compared to what other people spend 13000GBP for 7 nights, our budget is an achievable goal.

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our room with sea view and balcony

I will always suggest to take hotel with meal plans as restaurants are not cheap in Maldives. Even water bottles are expensive 1USD for 500 ml water bottle. As Maldive is islamic country , alcohol and bikinis are prohibited in most of public islands like Maafushi. But mind you , we also have bikini beach in Maafushi and you just need to know where you can wear your bikini. There is a floating bar which usually come to island to sell alcohol. But they can ne expensive and one can of beer is 6 USD.

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bikini beach

 

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our buffet at beach

Maldives is beautiful everywhere and even if you stay at public beaches, you cam see shark and some beautiful fish. Its sad to see corals are damaged extensively due to building . some of my travel buddies saw sharks near our resort and I hope I can spot them soon. Today is my day two in Maldives.

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However if you want to go drop dead gorgeous islands, resort can arrange for you to be there whole day with 150 to 180 USD per day. You can also see dolphins, sharks and turtle day trip with 50USD per person. All these arrangement of watersports such as jet ski, para gliding and canoeing can be arranged everywhere.

Here are some of our photos in day two and I will write part 2 later.

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fishing is one of the main income of Maldiviand

 

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lots of resorts in MaaFushi

 

water sports are available anywhere

 

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for foodies

 

souvenirs shops are many where you need to haggle

 

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I really like our meal arrangement at beach with live band. It is totally worth it .

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Love

Hnin

Maughold well, Isle of Man

I went to the Maughold well in Isle of Man which is regarded as a famous destination for pilgrims in British isles. I have been in Isle of Man for almost 2 years but did not realize there are some religious sites and a holy well in Maughold. Maughold  is situated in Northern part of island where there are beautiful scenic beaches surrounded by mountains. It is 3 miles away from Ramsey ( one of major towns in Isle of Man )

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photo credit to the author of https://www.isleofmanfilm.com/location/maughold/

 

I went to Maughold with a couch surfer named Alexy. Alexy has been travelling all over the world and as he was coming to Isle of Man for a few days, I decided to give him a tour around the island.  I was searching website of isle of man called Visitisleofman and found out a short video regarding a holy well.

Please click this link to watch the video.

https://www.visitisleofman.com/things-to-do/kirk-maughold-church-p1312271

In 5th century, an Irish prince called Maughold arrived isle of man. He was mentioned as a leader  who recruited a group of men to do unlawful things . He challenged St Patrick to cure a dead person. Later St Patrick made a dead person to become a live and also baptized Maughold and his crew. Later Maughold was accepted by isle of man people to become the bishop of the island for his effort in religious transformation.

Maughold well was formed by carving of streams of water collected from mountains to drain into the  Irish sea. It is a bowl shaped hollow protected by slabs of stones around. It is not man made well although some amendments were done around to protect the original well  . There are legends that some people cure their illness by drinking water from well or applying holy  water on their body . A woman eye sight was restored by drinking Maughold water and another woman grew her hair back by applying the water on her scalp.

To go to Maughold well, you need to arrive St Maughold church which is 30 minutes drive from Douglas ( capital of Isle of Man ) . You need to take coastal road to Ramsey and on the way, turn to right side to drive towards Maugold village.

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Once you arrive Maughold church which is dated back to 11th century, park the car outside.

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the church has some collections of 5th century celtic heritage if you can go inside and see

 

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Note: this photo is not mine as well and it was obviously taken by a photographer called Peter Killey. ( thanks to Peter in case if you read this post )

The trail to Maughold is on the north eastern part of the church. You just need to follow the trail or foot path. At one point you need to climb down steep .  You don’t need to worry as the trail is covered by a thick grass and even if you fall, you will not get injured badly.

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you go straight ahead and then we turn to the left to go to the well. You need to pass through a small gate.

The pathway is surrounded by beautiful and blue bells and some wildflowers. And the view is not bad at all.

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It was a hazy , rainy day and I could not capture the good photo.

 

 

The well is just immediately above the sea . You do not need physical fitness to arrive there. One the way back will be a bit tiring to climb back. Overall it is less than 15 minutes walk from the church. Even if not for the holy well, the view is worth it. You  just need to be careful and do not walk very close to the cliff as it is nearly 20 feet from the rocky ground .

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beginning of steep decent

 

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The well is immediately just above the sea

 

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The well or cistern covered by stone slabs

 

Normally I am not very good with navigation. But I am glad that I went there with a traveler who likes exploring. The world is an open book and you need to turn the chapter everyday to find out more. As usual,  I picked up energy whenever I can be with nature. I said a little bit of prayers at Maughold well and I felt like I am healed both physically and spiritually to some extent. I want to encourage anybody out there not to lose faith, especially on yourself.

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Discovering new beach near Niarbyl

It has been almost a year I published in my blog. I have not been busy but simply just been lazy. I am also too content and happy with my life right now.

I travelled a few countries when I was away from blogging. I hope I can write all about them later. Right now, I live in an island called Isle of Man..Its a tiny island between uk and Ireland in Irish sea. Mountains and beaches are everywhere. I have been almost every beaches which are well known. But I always prefer going to the places which are off the beaten track.

Yesterday I went to Northern part of island and a friend told me her favorite beach is a pebble beach near Nirabyl. So I requested her to show me the place. We drove to Nirabyl and parked the car near Nirabyl cafe. I asked my boy friend to drive down to the beach instead of parking the car at the restaurant. He said ” no. it will spoil the road”..My boyfriend Steve will never declare himself as conservationist , but he loves nature and tries to keep things the way as they are.

We needed to walk up and down on the hills to arrive the hidden beach..It was windy and a bit cool but tolerable. I always love to see wild flowers on the track.

Some lanes are very narrow and you have to be a bit careful . When we reached the beach, I laid down the picnic mat and thought of sitting down. But we did not have the chance to sit down as the clouds came up on the sky and my boy friend warned us to go back ahead of rain.

There was a small waterfall and a tiny house in the middle of nowhere. It was picture perfect. I wonder whether I could live like that one day , in a tiny house near a beach, but a bit closer to civilizatioon. I would be scared if I had power cut off in that kind of situation if the storm comes.

  1. I love discovering new places and believe life has so much to offer us.  Here are our photos

love

Hnin

Isle of Man part IV ( Cregneash village )

Cregneash
Cregneash village

The Cregneash village lies near Port Erin which is south part of island called Isle of Man .

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The entire village was left as the way it was since 200 years ago just to attract tourists and to preserve the life style of villagers in peaceful nature. Cregneash has become an open-air folk museum. The surrounding fields are now once more in cultivation and visitors can again see the landscape of old time again. Cregneash is also a living village where people live and work.

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very pretty white houses of Cregneash with thatch roof
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Cregneash area surrounded by grazing fields and hills

Visitors can see traditional rural skills and crafts being practiced. They can learn new things and remember some old skills such as milking cows, reaping and ploughing using ox wheel carts  etc.

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the shed storing some equipment used by villagers

The Cregneish folk were just like a great fisher-family entirely left to themselves and a little disturbed by the outside waves of modern life with its rush and hectic pace. They were frugal, hardy and sea-toiling men, whose lives were divided between mackerel fishing and the harvesting of their little oat and potato crofts. ( Charles Reader-1901)

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When you walk inside the small village, you can instantly fee the ease and peaceful surroundings. You can browse inside the displayed houses and sheds which store tools for agricultural and construction. You can see the small cozy bedrooms with weaved fabric on the bed and little cots for babies etc.

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the bed room of typical Cregneash family
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the living room with fire inside

When we met the guard of cregneash village, he explained that the floor of the cottages are made of clay mixed with oxen blood. Sometimes, when you wander barefoot, the soul can become pink color because of oxen blood.

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like other parts of Europe, collection of Chinaware show wealth of family
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Living room of another Manx house

Some houses displays the social status of the owner. For example, there is a double storey  house which is much wider and have some luxurious furniture.  Most houses are very low ceiling to keep warmth and it is also not surprising that many members used to live in a tiny cottage.

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Continue reading Isle of Man part IV ( Cregneash village )