Saturday, August 12, 2017

D-2 Male City, Maldives 2017

Day 2 Monday 7th August 2017 - our main focus for today is to explore Hulhumale town, the Eastern beach & a ferry ride to Male city for an overnight stay. It is also convenient for us to take a public ferry from Villingili Ferry Terminal, Male City to Radshoo Atoll as we had booked a hotel for our overnight stay on the 3rd Day.

The hotel we stayed, House Clover Guest House, is an apartment building right in the center of Male City. The hotel is within 20 minutes walking distance from the Hulhumale Ferry and Airport Ferry Terminal, Male City and also the Villigili Ferry Terminal  ! 

As there is little agricultural & food production in Maldives (most of the basic & essential processed food are imported), food prices here are generally 2-3 times higher than our home country, Malaysia ! 

Image result for male city tourist map
Male City Map

1) Free Breakfast at Newtown Inn, Male, you will get a decent morning breakfast in most hotels you stay in Maldives ! 

2) Morning stroll near our hotel in Hulhumale town, 6 km via main road from Male Airport. Most of the local people are housed in government built low rise apartments. The local Red Wave supermarket chain dominates the retail industry here. 

Mini market in Hulhumale
A double storey shops & cafes building in downtown Hulhumale
Government owned apartments
Red Wave Supermarket in Hulhumale town - a popular supermarket chain in Maldives
Nirolhu Magu is the main road in Hulhumale

3) Eastern Beach behind the Newtown  & UI Inn, Hulhumale. August is a low season month so the beach is quiet with fewer tourists, mainly from China & nearby countries ie Sri Lanka & India. Ideal for a morning or evening walk on the sandy beach or take a swim or indulge in water sports. 

4) Maldives government levies a Green Tax of US$3 per person per night for hotel stays, collected in advance on line booking or paid cash when check-in

5) Hotels along the beach front & main streets at Hulhumale - US$70-150 for a double room during the off peak season in August. During the peak season from Sept > March (dry months), expect to pay a higher room tariff and we were told  that the rate is quoted on a day to day basis so make sure you have a secured booking prior to your arrival. 

6) Local travelling agencies offering various services in water sports, speed boat rides to nearby atolls or villas, snorkeling, food & beverages, casual dining etc at the Eastern beach, Hulhumale. So pick your choice to suite your budget ! 

Seafood dishes - Chinese style cooking 

7) Local hotels offering day tour packages to tourists in Hulhumale - day tripper prices (08.00>17.00 varies) to nearby atolls or popular resorts or villas ranging US$100-150 per person inclusive of a speed boat ride (return transfer), resort entry pass, buffet lunch, access to beach & swimming pool, beach towel  etc

8) Street art on a walking path in Hulhumale near the garden & ferry terminal

9) Morning tea at a cafĂ© in Hulhumale - KC loves drinking teh-tarik - Malaysian style ! But he ended been served a glass of milk tea, not the cup of tea he wanted - so near yet so far in taste ! 

10) Hulhumale Ferry Terminal - taking a public ferry to Male City (MVR5.50=US$0.37=Rm1.60 one way), a 15 mins ride. Ferry rides are a way of life in Maldives. A new bridge is now under construction linking Hulmale airport to Male City and hopefully by the end of 2018, the link road is ready for use by the public. 

Dark cloud hanging over the sky - heavy rain in the late afternoon in Male City 

11) Arrival at the Hulhumale Ferry Terminal in Male City 

12) A standard taxi fare notice for passengers,  a surcharge for peak hour from 12pm to 6am, additional charge for more than 1 luggage (10MVR). Our group of 3 paid 35MVR (US$2.33) with 3 pieces of luggage for a tax ride to our hotels but expect to pay a little bit more if you encounter a driver who does not stick to the standard pricing ! 

13) 2nd night stay at Male city - Due to an afternoon shower as the roads were wet & narrow, our group decided to flag a taxi (US$5) near the Ferry Terminal to House Clover Hotel, Ma. Anaarukalee Shaheed KTM Hingun, Male City; our apartment room unit (Rm483=US$112 for a triple beds) is located on the 9th floor but the reception counter is at the 5th floor. An additional US$3 per person per night was collected by the reception as payment to Green Tax imposed by the local government. This was one of the best hotels we had stayed in Maldives. Online booking via

14) Late afternoon walking tour around Male city - free & easy with the guidance of a hotels' city map & an offline GPS Male google map, frankly it is not that easy to get lost in this smallish city ! 

Male City street names - difficult to spot on ! 

15) Rasfannu Artificial Beach, Western Male City - very popular for locals to picnic & for family recreation 

16) Tsunami Monument

17) Villingili Ferry Terminal - public ferries to Rasdhoo Atoll, Maafushi, Guihi & Villingili Public Beach depart from Villingili Ferry Terminal, important to check the timetables for departures to various destinations serviced by this terminal.

18) The Local Market - same area as Fish market; selling mainly local fruit & vegetables grown in Maldives, yams & betel nuts homemade pickles etc

19) The Fish Market - just west of Independence Square; mainly Tuna varieties eg skip-jack tuna & yellow fin tuna bought by locals

20) Time for a dinner (19.00) at a local restaurant called Athama Palace; KC spotted this restaurant when he was scouting for a good place to dine tonight. So we found it and had our first Maldivian dinner in Male City; yummy yummy fried rice (using the best quality extra long grain Basmati rice) with tuna & eggs plus a plate of half grilled spicy chicken for us to savor ! This dinner meal for three comes with mineral water costs 205MVR (US$13.67=Rm58.50). What a highly satisfying meal before we retired for bed after a long productive day exploring the Male city ! 

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