MALDIVES | Affordable Lodging at the Whale Shark Inn Maamigili | Lakad Pilipinas

Ferry Male to Maamigili

It was not the perfect weather to be sailing for eight hours to one of the farther atolls in Maldives, but we really have no choice. With only eight days—now seven—on our itinerary at this beach paradise of a country, we made do with what we have. So, without hesitation, we left our lodging in Hulhumale, boarded a bus, then a ferry to Male, took a quick cab to the port and set our bags on another ferry. We’re bound for paradise.

Rainy Maldives Sea
NOT REALLY THE MALDIVES I WAS HOPING FOR

There are two types of islands in the Maldives, local islands and resort islands. The former is where Maldivian people actually live and the latter is where tourists frolic—yes, those expensive resorts with water bungalows you usually see on postcards. Our destination is a local island located at the South Ari Atoll, Maamigili.

Gloomy Maldives Sea
A RANDOM SANDBAR WE PASSED BY EN ROUTE FROM MALE TO MAAMIGILI

The good thing about staying on a local island is that lodging prices are way more affordable compared to a full blown island resort. Compared to the hundred plus US dollars a night, our actual lodging only costs USD150.00 for four days, inclusive of transfers to and from Male, breakfasts, and daily tours—good for two persons. A real steal. Another thing is that during your stay, you get to see the real Maldives, a place where people actually live their daily lives.

Ferry Male to Maamigili
OUR EIGHT-HOUR, THREE-DOLLAR, RIDE FROM MALE TO MAAMIGILI

The downside, of course, is that you don’t get that full Maldives beach vibe that you actually came for. It was just our luck that there are two resort islands that are literally just a swim away from Maamigili. Two birds with one stone!

Maamigili Port Maldives
MAAMIGILI PORT ON BETTER WEATHER

And so, after eight full hours of gazing into nothing but the frothing sea aboard the wooden MTCC public ferry, we finally arrived at Maamigili. We actually have the option of taking a local flight, but it costs a hundred American dollars more than the ferry, which was just at USD3.50, so eight hours it is.  It was almost dusk and it was drizzling when our feet touched land, and there was really nothing much we could do then than head straight to our inn, unpack, and order a hot dinner.

Maamigili Island Maldives
THE STREETS OF MAAMIGILI ARE PAVED WITH FINE WHITE SAND

With a population of just a little over 2,000 people, Maamigili Island is quite small. Being a provincial atoll, the roads are unpaved. But that isn’t really a bad thing, the whole island is carpeted with white sand and the streets are literally paved with it too!

Maamigili Island Maldives
A TYPICAL STREET IN MAAMIGILI ISLAND

The Whale Shark Inn is located on one of these sandy streets, an unassuming bungalow fenced inside a yellow wall. A garden of white sand set with recliners greeted us as we entered its gate. It was like we’re right on the beach!

Whale Shark Inn Maamigili Maldives
WHALE SHARK INN LOBBY WITH OLD AND NEW FRIENDS

The structure itself looks like a regular house converted into an inn. There’s a living room—that’s now a common room—and adjacent to it are the sleeping quarters, now made to house guests. The atmosphere is cozy, like you’re gonna spend a night at your friend’s house.

Whale Shark Inn Maamigili Maldives
OUR ROOM HAS A VERY HOMEY FEEL

Whale Shark Inn Maamigili Maldives
EN SUITE TOILET AND BATH

Our room [CHECK ROOM RATES & AVAILABILITY] is spacious, has a flatscreen cable television and more importantly, an en suite toilet and bath. Linens and toiletries are all provided for. The inn has Internet wi-fi too, thank goodness, and we can connect even within the confines of our room. You can just imagine how glued everyone was on their phones after eight hours of no connection while navigating the Maldivian sea.

Whale Shark Inn Maamigili Maldives Food
A TYPICAL MALDIVIAN BREAKFAST OF MASHUMI, ROSHI AND FRIED EGG ~ FREE FOR GUESTS

Whale Shark Inn provides free breakfast for guests, but since it’s way past breakfast, we asked if we can also order dinner. And, surprisingly, even though they don’t have an in-house restaurant, they do allow guests to order food via their partner restaurants within the island.

Whale Shark Inn Maamigili Maldives Food
MEE GORENG DINNER FOR ME! ~ MVR80.00 (USD5.20)

Their menu offers mostly Maldivian food with a few familiar dishes. We eventually settled on chicken fried rice with egg, nasi goreng and mee goreng. These arrived about an hour later with a bowl of crunchy papadam, a kropek-like side dish typical in Maldives. And as with all local islands, pork is also prohibited in Maamigili, the food is quite good, nonetheless.

Maamigili Maldives People
LOCAL SCENES THAT YOU WON’T REALLY SEE ON RESORT ISLANDS

Part of our packaged stay at the Whale Shark Inn are the daily Maamigili tours. We went out island hopping, hunting for whalesharks, snorkeling, having picnics on almost deserted islets, sunset fishing, and we even had a walking tour of Maamigili itself—which we found to have its own bikini beach. Since the Maldives is a devout Muslim country, walking around in bikinis at local islands—including Male and Hulhumale—is not allowed. But they do allow it on places within these so called bikini beaches.

Maamigili Maldives Bikini Beach
MAAMIGILI’S BIKINI BEACH. NOT THAT PRETTY AT THE MOMENT DUE TO THE WEATHER

Our host, Ahmed, was also kind enough to connect us to the nearby Holiday Island Resort and its sister resort, Sun Island. The former for an overnight affair and the latter as a day trip destination. The nice thing about it was that we didn’t have to pay for expensive transfer fees, which are usually set at around a hundred dollars, since it is literally close enough to swim from Maamigili Island!

Whale Shark Inn Maamigili Maldives
BARBECUE NIGHT AT THE WHALE SHARK INN

Whale Shark Inn Maamigili Maldives
OUR CATCH, OUR DINNER

Local Beer Maldives
ZERO ALCOHOL BEER AT THE WHALE SHARK INN

On our last day at Maamigili, we went out to sea for an afternoon of fishing. And those same fishes we caught, we brought home with us for an evening barbecue party at the Whale Shark Inn’s garden. It was like a house party sans the beer—although our host did provide us with a non-alcohol alternative, lol. It was quite a way to end our Maldivian vacation—and without breaking the bank too!

~ WHALE SHARK INN HOSTED OUR PACKAGED STAY IN MAAMIGILI ISLAND. ALL VIEWS & OPINIONS ARE MINE.

 

Whale Shark Inn
Address: Neelufaru Magu Street, Maamigili Island,
              South Ari Atoll, Maldives
Contact Numer: (+960) 779-6188
Email: sales@whalesharkinn.com
Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter
GPS Coordinates Map: 3.478282, 72.836724
►►► CLICK HERE FOR DISCOUNTED ROOM RATES


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Posted by Christian Sangoyo on Saturday, April 8, 2017

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