He once promised to bring me to Maldives. I thought it’d be unattainable until I really reached this dream place, like a paradise.
So how much do you need to spend to travel in Maldives and stay in the Maldives Water Villas? RM5k? Or even RM10k? Some would say going to Maldives must be very expensive. I even have a friend telling me I’m rich to visit Maldives.
In fact, you can travel to Maldives on budget, while getting to enjoy staying in the Water Villas!
Without further ado, I’ll show you my itinerary and expenses to 5D4N Maldives trip.
Day 1 (24/01/2018)
AirAsia Flight Ticket (Kuala Lumpur – Male): RM810 including 20kg luggage fees shared by two persons
Male is the capital of Maldives. Normally Airasia flight will reach Male at night so it’s kinda shame I didn’t get to catch the bird’s-eye view of the beautiful Maldives from top. Flight ticket for RM810 is neither expensive nor inexpensive. During off season you can get the flight ticket for around RM400 but there’s high possibility you will encounter the rain season. So take note of it, otherwise the rain season would spoil your trip to this wonderful tropical nation.
* My friend who traveled twice to Maldives with Scoot from Singapore has never experienced delayed flight while my AirAsia flight from KL (6:55pm) to Male (8:10pm) was delayed for around 45 minutes. So it eventually affected the timing we’re supposed to take the boat. This is what I personally encountered, so it really depends on your luck.
Transportation from Airport to Maafushi Island
The transportation fee in Maldives is rather costly because you will have to take seaplane or a boat on charter most of the time. Therefore, you can say transportation is as important as accommodation in Maldives. We reached Maldives at ten past nine at night. Initially the Inn manager said he’s able to manage a Share Speed Boat for us to reach the Inn that would cost 25 USD a person.
But then we’re afraid our flight would delay (which it really happened), and that would possibly make us late to the Share Speed Boat. Eventually he suggested us to get our own chartered speed boat to transfer us from the airport to Maafushi Island. A single trip costed us 140 USD (for 4 persons) so it raised the transportation expenses to 35 USD a person.
**Fun Fact: No matter which nation you are to travel, there’s always a possibility that you can negotiate the price with the local service provider. What happened was, my friends were able to lower down the chartered speed boat price to 20 USD per pax when returned to the airport from Maafushi Island.
Ever since the accelerating development of budget airline company, Maafushi has become the earliest developed residential island. Consequently, a lot of apartment hotels accompanied with water activities have been developed on the island. There are also many 5-star hotel pricing at around 120 USD = 158 SGD = 465 MYR per night.
I had 3 nights at the Equator Beach Inn – Maldives and its rate was 70 USD per night. I contacted the Inn host directly so the rate I got is lower than you can get from Agoda and Booking.com (no extra charges). The hotel included simple breakfast everyday, mainly some bread, fruit, eggs, dogs, coffee and tea. It’s not elegant nor fancy but simply and nice. Not only did we enjoy the free breakfast everyday at the Inn, the inn manager also gave us a dinner treat in Day 3.
He was so kind to prepare a fish head hotpot, fried fish fillet, Malay style fried noodles, white rice and fruits. It was so scrumptious that we didn’t manage to finish all of them. Being able to have a fish head hotpot in Maldives is really an unbelievable experience for us. We sincerely appreciate what he’s done for us. Not to mention that he helped us to save a meal in the expensive trip to Maldives.
Day 2 (25/01/2018)
[Dolphin watching, Turtle watching Sandbank Chilling, Snorkeling]: 30 USD per person
Malaysia time is 3 hours ahead of Maldives time. 7:30-9:30 am is the breakfast time in the Inn. After the breakfast, we started off a half-day journey in the sea. We were lucky that most of the other tourists joined the resort tour so during the journey it’s only 4 of us who would be on the boat. It felt like we got a chartered speed boat of our own. And we had much joy! The first stop was the snorkeling. The tour guide has already prepared the snorkeling equipment for us so we didn’t have to rent from others. We were beyond fortunate that we witnessed the giant octopus swimming in the sea at the moment we immersed ourselves into the sea.
The second station we went for turtle watching in the sea. The boatmen went in search of the turtle before us and we followed his direction to look for the turtle. We basically had to act real quick because the sea creatures would disappear in a blink of an eye. In fact, my travel buddies actually saw turtles swimming twice or thrice in the sea but I wasn’t that lucky. But guess what? I was able to see a turtle swimming in the sea when boarding the boat, like finally.
Next, we travelled to the Sandbank, a sand island in the middle of the sea. A white sand island like this, of course became a perfect place for our photo session. If you have been to Krabi, you would know how beautiful it is in the sand island, but it’s pretty crowded there. But in Maldives Sand bank, it’s not very touristy so we felt cozy not being sardined. Respectives person-in-charge erected a tent for his own tourists to get chilled, so did our tour guide. He also prepared a simple lunch to fix our hunger.
It’s notable that the locals in Maldives really love and take care the sea, beaches and the environment. Not only did the locals and the tourists pick up the cigarette buts to the dustbin, but they also helped to collect the rubbish from us and then threw. So, it’s totally clean and spotless in the beach in Maldives. Taking care of the ocean environment is on everyone!
After the lunch, we headed to watch the dolphin. It’s said everyone most probably would be able to see dolphin. But it’s shame of us that we didn’t manage to catch a glimpse of it after searching around its habitat.
It was already 3:30pm when we got back to the Inn. After we took a bath we went to the town of Maafushi and got some chill sea breeze. At night, we had a dinner buffet at a restaurant that costed only 10 USD = 13 SGD = 40 MYR per person. We’re not familiar with what was served in the buffet but the local cuisine really tasted good. We enjoyed it. The service tax in Maldives is very high so check the price whether it’s before tax or after tax first before you enjoy a service or food in somewhere else, to avoid any misunderstanding.
Day 3 (26/01/2018)
- Scuba diving: 60 USD per person
- Snorkeling with Shark & Dolphin: 50 USD per person
On Day 3, my friend didn’t feel like diving so we actually went separate ways. Therefore, I would briefly introduce 2 different activities we had.
Due to lack of diving license, I actually asked for the diving price online before the trip and it would cost 75 USD = 300 MYR = 100 SGD per person. But then I realized there’s so much diving shop in Maldives so I randomly asked a diving shop and it quoted me for 60 USD only. Therefore, without hesitation, I took the offer simply because it’s cheaper than the quoting I got online.
In the scuba diving activity, we’re lectured about the simple knowledge and some techniques for 25 minutes, then we went for practical session in shallow water. The scuba diving experience was in a group of six. I feel so secured because every two person are attached with a diving coach. I have actually longed for scuba diving for a while. Having your body diving into the sea and imagination of it are absolutely different things. Maybe it’s because I haven’t got a diving license. I was unable to speak in the deep ocean and it made me so scared. In response to that, the coach urged me to breathe slowly until I got used to the air from oxygen tank.
The view was uniquely amazing when we got down to 12 metres below the ocean. The views from snorkeling and scuba diving are different kinds of wonder. If I had a chance to go scuba diving I would definitely go again without hesitating, though it’s kind of scary.
My friends, on the other hand, opted to go to an island and join a snorkeling tour. It’s too bad we had no enough time to go snorkeling with them to see the dolphins and shark. They first departed to where the sharks usually gather. It’s not like watching the sharks on the boat, but to go snorkeling in the sea with the sharks around you. Pretty cool experience!
Then, they went for dolphin watching as planned in the tour. So eventually they made it to see the wild dolphin swimming and playing in the sea. Lucky! Therefore, if you don’t feel like going scuba diving, I really recommend you to join this tour because it’s really a very unique experience!
The third night we had the fish head hotpot as dinner treat by the Inn manager as I mentioned above.
Day 4 (27/01/2018)
- Adaaran Club Rannalhi Water Villa: 650 USD per night (Transportation included)
- International Dinner Buffet: 25 USD per person
On Day 4, we started our journey to the ‘legendary’ Water Villa. In fact, nowadays, most people travel to Maldives just to stay in the residential island and pay to visit the Water Villa Resort Island for whole day only to use all of its facilities.
If you know me you would know I’m kind of calculating person, so you may wonder why would I still choose to stay in the Water Villa for RM2600 a night. This is because it costs around 110 USD – 140 USD just to visit the Water Villa.
Initially the Water Villa Resort Island I wished to visit would cost 120 USD a person, but we still needed to take the residential island accommodation fee and Transport fee to Airport into account, which would be 70 USD and 40 USD respectively. So at the end I decided to pay 300 USD more to enjoy the once-in-a-lifetime night at the Water Villa.
In fact, I requested a Honeymoon Suite, so the hotel management actually prepared us a very romantic king size bed and sent us a cake and a bottle of red wine. The water villa resort we stayed had more than 80% of its customers from overseas and some Indians (Maldives is located in the Indian Ocean). It became obvious when we’re the only couple with yellow skin at the dinner until we hardly saw a few Chinese in the next morning.
Our breakfast was included in the hotel but the dinner wasn’t. Maybe it’s because it’s 5-star resort, so the dinner buffet was really scrumptious and wonderful. I suggest anyone of you to select the full meal package with unlimited alcohol refill if you’re gonna spend a night at the water villa resort. Fortunately, we were gifted a bottle of red wine so my husband didn’t whine for it.
Without any light pollution, the night sky at Maldives was stunningly starry but too bad my husband didn’t have the camera tricks to photo the wonderful night sky, but the scene was imprinted on my heart. Laying ourselves on the balcony while enjoying the night view and the sea breeze really made me feel so touched. I thought I must have done something good so I got the blessing from to God to have this.
Day 5 (27/01/2018)
It’s time to say goodbye on the last day. After we’ve done the check-out procedures, we departed to have a stroll in Male. Before the trip I actually saw a travel blog by a blogger saying that he was led by the tour guide then forced to make consumption. In response to that we decided to go to the city by our own.
However, my friends, who did not stay in Adaaran Club Rannalhi Water Villa with us, had a tour guide bring them to go around the city, unlike us who wandered around the city without a target. In the end, I find it’s better to have a guide because they, at least, had a person to introduce the place and its history for them.
So, how much did I spend in the whole trip?
Expense (per person)
|Transportation (AIRPORT – Maafushi Island)||35.00||140.00||46.67|
|Accommodation (Equator Beach Inn – Maldives)||105.00||420.00||140.00|
|Accommodation (Water Villa Resort) & Transfer||325.00||1300.00||433.33|
|Miscellaneous (Food & etc)||100.00||400.00||133.33|
- Equator Beach Inn (Day 1, 2 & 3) – Maldives: 70 USD X 3N for 2 persons
- Water Villa Resort (Day 4) & Transportation: 650 USD for 2 persons
- Scuba Diving: 60 USD
- [Dolphin watching, Turtle watching, Sandbank chilling, snorkeling]: 30 USD
Of course, the luckiest thing we had during the trip was that the conversion rate of USD to MYR was 1:4.
Therefore the total expenses for my 5D4N trip to Maldives with a luxury night at the Water Villa resort is not more than RM3500 (= 1145 SGD) per person.
**Currency Rate – USD:MYR:SGD = 1:4:1.3