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First Time in Singapore: Perfect 4 Days and 3 Nights Travel Itinerary

First Time in Singapore: Perfect 4 Days and 3 Nights Travel Itinerary

Alternative Singapore: Unique Things to do in Singapore

If you are planning to explore Asia I would definitely recommend to include this 4 days and 3 nights Singapore itinerary. After your first time in Singapore you will understand why this melting pot of cultures is doubtlessly a hit-list destination for every traveler. The vibrant, colourful city is one of 3 city-states in the whole world. It’s also one of the smallest countries with 682.7 square kilometres and 63 additional islands. Because of it’s size it’s very easy to travel around. The national language is Malay but there three more official languages that are used on a daily basis: English, Chinese and Tamil.

Perfect 4 Days and 3 Nights Travel Itinerary to Singapore
Perfect 4 Days and 3 Nights Travel Itinerary to Singapore

I love Singapore because it offers numerous modern and unique things to do. Additionally it’s just extremely beautiful. Singapore is not only well-known for being the cleanest and safest city in the world but also for a great and successful mix of Eastern and Western cultures. As a result we can see that a diverse range of architecture, delicious food and entertainment has been created. The name of the country means “Lion”, that’s why it’s probably transformed into an economic powerhouse within recent decades.

When is the Best Time to Visit Singapore?

Singapore has wonderful weather all year around which makes it a perfect travel destination. Nevertheless there is a period from January to February, from June to July and September to October when most of it’s holidays are happening and when it gets most crowded.

Where to Stay in Singapore

Singapore is famous for it’s infinity pool at the rooftop of Marina Bay Sands. But if your intention is to swim there and take amazing pictures in the pool then you need to book a room. But the view from there is spectacular!

If you are planning a budget trip to Singapore then it would be better to stay at areas like Chinatown or Little India. I recommend The InnCrowd Backpackers’ Hostel or The Hive Singapore Hostel. Both of them are very tidy, the staff is friendly and they even offer a lovely breakfast gratis.

How to Get Around Singapore

Public Transport in Singapore, MRT
Public Transport in Singapore, MRT

Singapore has amazing and efficient public transport system which is very easy to understand. MRT is the most common one because it’s fast and cheap. If you use an EZ-link card you will pay even less and within a few minutes you will reach all main tourist destinations in Singapore. Bus is also a good option to get from A to B, additionally you will get a view of the city while travelling. However if you are not planning to stay very long in Singapore but you still want to see the best of it then Hopper Bus will be the best solution for it. In this case I would suggest to buy the SINGAPORE CITY PASS (2 or 3 days pass) that includes 2 ticket attractions plus hop on and hop off bus.

There is also a cheap version of taxi available, Uber. Just remember to download the app.

What you Need to Know before you visit Singapore

Alternative Singapore. Unique Things to do in Singapore
Alternative Singapore. Unique Things to do in Singapore

16 Things that are banned in Singapore

Before you plan to visit Singapore you should go through the list of things and activities that are not allowed in this city state:

  • Chewing Gum
  • Recreational Fireworks
  • Smoking, including E-Cigarettes
  • Shisha
  • Being naked at home
  • Owning or trading exotic animals
  • Eating on public transport
  • Gathering in a group of more than 3 people after 10pm on a public space
  • Purchasing alcohol after 10:30pm
  • Cats in residential flats
  • Spitting
  • Homosexual relations
  • Jaywalking, illegal crossing of pedestrians on roads
  • Drugs
  • Kissing
  • Connecting to another person’s Wi-Fi

What to do in Singapore for 4 Days Itinerary

How to Get to Singapore City From Singapore Airport

Most travellers arrive in Singapore Changi International Airport. And yes it’s one of the most spectacular and beautiful airports in the world. You can spend a lot of time in it but we need to get to the city. There are three main options to get to your hotel. One of the cheapest is by airport shuttle, which you can buy at the Ground Transport desk in the airport for $9. Within 25 minutes you will be able to check in to your hotel.

From Changi Airport you can take MRT to Singapore City. It will take you around 30 minutes to reach the city centre. The cheapest possibility to get to Singapore city is by bus but be prepared to spend 1,5 hours on it. And of course there are airport taxis that will cost you around $20 to get to your destination.

4-Day Singapore Itinerary: Top Attractions and Places to visit

Day 1

Marina Bay Sands, Singapore
Marina Bay Sands, Singapore

Marina Bay & The Gardens

Start your day with Singapore’s most popular walk along Marina Bay. It’ the best way to get the first impression of the vivid metropolis. Just follow the Marina Bay Waterfront Promenade around the perimeter of the bay. Visit the iconic Marina Bay Sands and enjoy a drink from the rooftop with an awesome view over the city next to the infinity pool.

Another fabulous highlight of Singapore is the Gardens. It’s a 10 minute walk from Bayfront MRT station, it offers the ideal venue for a lovely afternoon in the nature. The Gardens span over 101 hectares and has 3 sectors: Bay South, Bay East and Bay Central.

Supertree Grove

The Gardens and Supertree Grove in Singapore
The Gardens and Supertree Grove in Singapore

In the evening you will be able to experience the Super Tree Grove light up. The futuristic, gigantic almost 50 metres tall trees glisten and glow in the dark. Interesting fact is that these artificial Supertrees have photovoltaic cells to harvest solar energy during the day so they can light up during the night. In the Gardens you will also find OCBC skyway, a 128-metre long bridge that connects the Supertrees with the Supertree Grove.

Spectra – a Light & Water Show

In the late evening around 9:30 take a walk to Marina Bay Sands and enjoy spectacular and free entertainment: Spectra – a Light & Water Show. It’s a 13 minute long synchronised show presents Singapore’s story of a multicultural society and cosmopolitan city as we know it today.

Day 2

Chinatown

Chinatown, Singapore
Chinatown, Singapore

One of the cult places to visit in Singapore in your 4 day journey is Chinatown. It’s a tremendous area where you can immerse into the authentic world of Chinese history and culture. It’s a perfect place to stroll around, buy some souvenirs and try exotic but at the same time delicious food. Don’t forget to visit Sri Mariamman Temple, Thian Hock Keng Temple, Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum, Chinatown Heritage Centre and Hawker Food Center.

Little India

Little India, Singapore
Little India, Singapore

Afterwards go and visit another cultural district, Little India. I love to explore cities by foot but of course you have always an option to jump on a bus or train. I would recommend to walk to Little India it might take you 45 minutes but you can go through the beautiful Fort Canning Park or visit National Gallery Singapore. If you are a cat lover stop at the cat cafe Café Neko no Niwa.

Little India is a small but extremely colourful district in Singapore. There are various temples and Singapore’s famous 24-hour shopping centre – Mustafa Centre. Head to Tekka Centre for Indian cuisine – interesting to try and perfect for the budget travellers.

Haji Lane

Haji Lane, Singapore
Haji Lane, Singapore

Don’t wait to long and go to the hip neighbourhood of Haji Lane. Haji Lane is famous for it’s vibrant street art, cool shops and cafes. There you can also find a fun place, Selfie Coffee. They will print your selfie on your coffee and you can drink it while you are looking at your beautiful self. Furthermore it’s affordable too, coffee prices start at $5.

Clarke Quay

Singapore is a glamorous city which is famous for it’s lights blooming at night. On the first day you could witness the magnificent show at the Bayfront. Now you can visit Clarke Quay and stroll along the Singapore river to watch another glowing wonder.

Singapore Night Safari

Another great way to spend an evening is to visit the Singapore Night Safari. It’s a unique and exciting way to experience the home to over 1000 different animals. It gives you a great chance to explore the mysterious nightlife of the wildlife and enjoy a wonderful journey. Definitely worth a visit.

Day 3

Top Attractions and Places to visit in Singapore, Sentosa
Top Attractions and Places to visit in Singapore, Sentosa

Sentosa

On the third day of this 4-day Singapore itinerary you will discover another unique must-visit attraction, Sentosa. It’s a small island resort which is famous for being called “The State of Fun”. Sentosa is also home to a world class aquarium, beautiful beaches and Universal Studios Singapore. You can purchase Sentosa Fun Passes to bundle various activities and save some money.

How to get to Sentosa? Take MRT and get off at Harbour Front Station (North-East Line or Circle Line). From there you can walk to Sentosa via the Sentosa Boardwalk. You can also take a taxi or bus to reach the island. I recommend to take the cable car so you can enjoy the stunning views over the metropolis and it’s harbour front area.

Universal Studios Singapore

Universal Studios in Singapore offers a good time for everyone and it’s one of the top family attractions. It’s a theme park which features movie-themed rollercoasters and numerous attractions. There are 7 different zones: Hollywood, Madagascar, Far Far Away, The Lost World, Ancient Egypt, Sci-Fi City and New York. There you can also find entertaining shows, shops and restaurants.

S.E.A. Aquarium

S.E.A. Aquarium, Singapore
S.E.A. Aquarium, Singapore

Just 10 minutes away from Universal Studios you will find the famous S.E.A. Aquarium. It’s not only a home for 1.000 underwater species but also a Maritime Experiential Museum. Moreover it is possible to enjoy attractions and visit scenic photography spots which are perfect for an instagram shoot.

Singapore River Cruise

After 3 long days of walking around this beautiful city it is time to have a relaxing boat ride so you can explore Singapore also from the river’s perspective. Within 40 minutes you will see the best sights and highlights. The tour starts at the following ports: Clarke Quay, Read Bridge, Boat Quay, Fullerton, Merlion Park, Bayfront South and the Esplanade.

Day 4

Shopping Paradise

If you are asking yourself what is another thing you can do in Singapore in 4 days I would say shopping! After you’ve seen the best highlights that Singapore can offer it’s time to bring something nice and memorable from this vibrant city. The best place to immerse into retail heaven is to go to Orchard Road. Begin at one of Singapore’s oldest department stores, TANGS. Afterwards make your way to ION Orchard, to Singapore’s unique shopping complex. At Far East Plaza will be the epitome for street fashion enthusiasts and bargain hunters.

Orchard Road is also famous for it’s world-class international cuisine and coffee lovers. Stop by Oriole Coffee and Bar and recharge your batteries with an aromatic cup of in-house roasted coffee and tasty breakfast. If you are really hungry then don’t wait too long and drop by Wild Honey in Mandarin Gallery. This is where you can find various nations under one roof. After all this it will unfortunately be time to drive to the airport.

Where to Eat in Singapore

Singapore has not only impressive architecture to offer but also an impressive dining experience. It’s doubtlessly one of the greatest culinary destinations in the world where you can taste something completely new. If you want to try authentic Eurasian and Peranakan dishes then don’t miss Folklore. Everything is made the old-fashioned way from scratch basically by one person so it might take some time but the experience is phenomenal.

Where can every traveler have delicious local food for a good price? Of course in hawker centres also well-known as food courts. It’s hard to believe but street food stalls in Singapore have been awarded the coveted Michelin star. There are a few hawker centres in Singapore but the most famous ones are Chinatown Complex Food Centre, Old Airport Road Food Centre and Maxwell Road Hawker Centre.

Amò, Instagram
Amò, Instagram

If you prefer sophisticated yet casual then try some delicious sourdough pizzas at Amò. There is even an open kitchen where every visitor can observe the pizza chef tossing dough into the air. Amò is also famous for it’s spaghetti with Boston lobster and tarragon. Might be a bit pricey but worth to taste it!

The Best Tips for the cheap Maldives Holidays

Maldives is an epitome of heaven on Earth with it’s whiter-than-white powder sandy beaches, luminous crystal clear water and tranquil lifestyle. No wonder that this archipelago of 1,192 coral islands in the Indian Ocean is a popular destination for honeymooners and glamorous tropical getaway seekers. But this heaven on Earth is not always extremly expensive and you can also enjoy wonderful cheap Maldives holidays. The beautiful water of the Maldives with it’s astonishing underwater world and magnificent sea life has been a magnet for everyone with an interest various water sports like snorkelling and diving.

Dhiffushi Island

How to get to the Maldives?

There is a great trick how to get to the Maldives on a budget. You can fly with Air Asia from Kuala Lumpur. It will take around 3-4 hours to get there but it will save you a good amount of money for the awesome tourist attractions and beautiful resorts in Maldives. You’ve never flown with Air Asia? Check my review here.

The local culture of Maldives

Can you drink alcohol in the Maldives?

Not so many know that these incredible islands are inhabited by a friendly Muslim population, who will help you with every need. Maldivians speak Dhivehi, but English is widely spoken especially in areas frequented by tourists. Important to mention that in relation to Muslim religion pork and alcohol are forbidden on the islands. That’s why not all resorts provide it’s customers with liquors.

The floating unicorn

The best time to visit Maldives

The tropical Maldives spoils it’s locals and visitors with plenty of sunshine and temperatures around 30°C throughout the year. Good sun protection like SPF 50 is required. However, the chance of rain shower increases during the April-October months.

Thulusdhoo Island

Although the Maldives hides a big secret: it’s one of the world’s biggest rubbish collections. You might be shocked about the huge amount of plastic bottles floating in the beautiful crystal-clear Indian Ocean and strewn across it’s idyllic beaches. On our flight to the Maldives we got to know a group of people from different countries who flew there to help clean the islands. Which is surprising because locals could easily take care of their magical paradise themselves.

Airport and currency in Maldives

Practically all tourists arrive at Malé International Airport  located on Hulhulé Island just right next to the capital Male. The Maldives have a remarkably easy visa policy: Everybody gets a free 30-day visa on arrival, provided with travel tickets, duration and place of stay. Going through the Maldivian customs doesn’t take too long: We left airport roughly 15 minutes after landing.

The monetary unit is the Maldivian Ruffiyaa (MVR). Change the currency in the airport because there are not many opportunities to exchange money or find an ATM machine. Maldivians prefer USD so make sure you don’t bring anything else to the country, otherwise you will be running around with monopoly money. That happened to me with my superfluous NZD.

Doubtlessly you can use your international credit card in the resorts but they will charge extra fees, usually around 3%. Most of the restaurants additionally charge you 12% GST + Service fee. Be sure you read the menu carefully. Prices in general are not low, you pay around $10-$15 for a meal per person. Depends on the establishment and how touristic the island is.

The majority gets an organized pick up from the airport. But if you need to reach Male, there is a ferry that will bring you to the other island in just 1o minutes.

Transfers between the islands in Maldives

Ferry from Male to Ukulhas

We associate the Maldives with expensive luxury hotel properties and unpayable beverages but I have great news for every traveler: The Maldives offers ideal holidays for budget travelers as well as big money spenders. It’s also very easy to travel between numerous islands. It can take hours to have a ride on a public ferry but it will cost you only $2-$5. Impatient visitors can easily arrange a speed boat for around $50 per person or a sea plane for $200-$500 with a pick up from the airport. Nevertheless the transport won’t be able to pick you up any time you want. Most of them are available until 5pm. And again don’t worry, there are great possibilities to spend the night on the beautiful main island before your reach your cherished final destination.

Where to stay if you arrive late in Maldives, Plankton’s Beach

Plankton’s Beach Lobby

We arrived at the airport at 8pm so we couldn’t get any transfer to our first resort. I discovered a brand new modern hotel on Hulhumale just 10 minutes away from Male International Airport, Plankton’s Beach. I read only positive reviews about it, describing it as an ideal place to for short stays or transit guests but also for those who love to experience the city life of the Maldives.

Delicious Welcome Drink

It’s very easy to reach the hotel on your own from Male International Airport via the Airport Shuttle Bus from the Arrival Terminal to Airport Bus Stand at Hulhumale. You can also take a taxi or ask the hotel manager to organize one.

Deluxe Terrace Room with Ocean View

From the very beginning when you step into Plankton’s Beach Hotel cute small lobby you will receive your refreshing welcome drink from the friendly staff to immerse into the perfect holiday. You will be surprised by the spacious and tastefully designed rooms! There are only 9 of them which makes you feel cozy and at home at this hotel. We stayed in the clean and stylish Deluxe Terrace Room with Ocean View and we couldn’t wish for anything more than that. A comfortable king size bed, lovely bathroom with free toiletries and a hair dryer, TV with satellite channels and of course the essential: free High-speed Wi-Fi. We also had 2 bottles of water and instant coffee in the room. Both of them we consumed in the morning on the terrace with the magnificent ocean view.

Delicious breakfast on the beach

Another highlight of this highly recommended hotel is the breakfast on the beach. They begin to serve these delicious starters of the day between 8-9am, but we needed to leave the hotel earlier so Plankton’s Beach manager organized a more suitable time for us! Enjoyed every bit of the sumptuous breakfast and picturesque scenery with the funky unicorn water float.

Happy us!

There are nothing but positive vibes at Plankton’s Beach with smiley and most important extremely helpful staff! We loved that place and would recommend it to everyone.

   

The Best Resort in Maldives for Honeymoon

Why is the island of Ukulhas one of the Maldives’ hidden treasures and a top location for the best resort in Maldives for honeymoon? It’s an ideal destination for couples and families who prefer diving, fishing and swimming without a crowd of tourists. Furthermore it’s a best island for budget traveling. It’s one of the most inhabited island’s of North Ari Atoll which will help you to immerse into a relaxing paradise and an authentic, friendly Maledivian culture.

White sands of Ukulhas

Transfer to the island in Maldives

It’s very easy to reach the island with the public ferry from Male’s Villingili Ferry Terminal. It leaves every Tuesday and Thursday at 9am and cost around $5 one way. It takes 4,5 hours to reach the white sands of Ukulhas. Departure from Ukulhas to Male is three times a week at 10am. The schedule of the ferry can change so confirm the dates with your hotel.

Ferry from Male’s Villingili Ferry Terminal to Ukulhas

No doubt there are other faster options to reach the island like a scheduled speedboat. Hotel Sea La Vie Inn can help you to organize pick up from the airport. It will cost you $50 per person and within 90 minutes you will be able to set foot on the heaven on Earth.

If you really don’t want to waste your time then a sea plane will be a great alternative for you. The 20 minute flight operates during the day time between 5:30am and 5pm for $365 per person round trip.

School in Ukulhas

Climate in Maldives

Like the rest of the Maldives, Ukulhas has a tropical monsoon climate with warm temperatures around the year. April is the hottest month and December is the coolest. We visited this beautiful island in August and it was very hot especially around midday. You will definitely need sunscreen with SPF 30-50. Due to the salty ocean water it’s advisable to put lotion on every 2-3 hours. Advisable also to pack sum bug spray, little cheeky mosquitos love foreign blood!

Warm temperatures and amazing view of Ukulhas

Beautiful & affordable resort for a honeymoon in Maldives

Sea La Vie Inn is a affordable honeymoon resort/guesthouse in Maldives which is a stone’s throw away from the ferry terminal. It offers a great environment to spend an unforgettable holiday with it’s 5 exclusive rooms, all fitted with air-conditioning and free Wi-Fi at all areas. We were staying in a modern Deluxe King Suite furnished with an enormous and comfortable king sized bed. It’s not only equipped with a tv, satellite channels but also has tasteful decoration and an appealing colour combination. Another highlight is the spacious bathroom with the rain forest shower head facilitating hot and cold water.

Having a shower is great here!

Restaurants, shops and service of Sea La Vie Inn

Welcome coconuts

It’s hard to put into words how kind the people and staff of Sea La Vie Inn are. On our arrival we were welcomed with fresh coconuts decorated with beautiful flowers. Exactly what we needed after a series of exhausting long flights. Fazeel, the owner of this great place, helped us with all our questions!

My favourite: passion fruit ice cream

If you are hungry then definitely eat at the Sea La Vie Inn cafe which offers a delicious Thai cuisine. My partner and I have tried everything on the menu and enjoyed every single meal. My favorite is Pad Thai and passion fruit juice.  The highlight is the traditional Maldivian breakfast with tuna salad, vegetables and roti bread: Refreshing, hearty and at a very good price! There is nothing over $8. My other tip is to try the home made passion fruit ice cream, nothing can top this cooling sorbet!

Good morning paradise!

Sea La Vie  Cafe is closed every Friday but not to worry, the town has other alternatives. Nevertheless you can always ask Fazeel, the owner, to organize some breakfast. There are also a couple of kiosks on the island when you can purchase cookies, drinks, toiletries and baking goods at very low prices. For example a big package of Oreo cookies costs only $1. Besides the magnificent  guesthouse, the island also has a health care center and a drugstore.


 The staff took brilliant care of us, invited us for a dinner at the beach with them, where we enjoyed plenty of delightful food, they took us for a nighttime walk on the beach to watch the shooting stars and during the day around the village, so we could get to know the local culture and lifestyle. We had lovely conversations with them and felt very welcomed. They even helped me to surprise my boyfriend with a chocolate lava cake and birthday candle.

Friday’s dinner party

Maldives Tourist Attractions

Access to one of the beaches

Sea La Vie Inn is located just next to the dreamy Maldivian beach with it’s turquoise waters. It even offers a tiny private beach area. Important fact to mention is that tourists are welcome on the island which means bikinis are totally acceptable. The white sandy beaches have good entry into the water, though occasional broken corals can be met. You can enjoy various water sports on the island. Sea La Vie Inn provides it’s guests with snorkeling equipment and it’s the best free activity that you can enjoy in Ukulhas. The water is crystal clear and you can explore the glory of the reefs with it’s exotic sea life. If you are an early bird you can observe whale sharks from the shore. For those who love sunsets, you can sit on the beach with an army of peaceful crabs to keep you company.

Snorkeling equipment

Things to do in Maldives on Honeymoon

Various activities including free snorkeling and Manta Ray safaris can be arranged at Sea La Vie Inn. There is a coral reef located near the island, where you’ll frequently see turtles, giant rays as well as reef sharks and Zebra sharks. You can also enjoy a Sand Bank Trip, the miracle of nature with powdery beaches and crystal clear water. Traditional Beach BBQ’s with fresh and juicy meals or a romantic Sunset Dinner can easily be organized for you with views out to the sea.

Sea La Vie Inn

Fishing enthusiasts will adore Ukulhas because it’s a great place to catch Yellowfin Tuna and Blue Marlin. You can also just spot majestic dolphins in the sea jumping around the boats. And don’t worry if you didn’t take enough money with you because it’s always possible to ask for a discount!

If you are planning to continue explore the islands and you are wondering where to go in Maldives check my article about Maldives surfing resorts.

Everything you need to know about Surfing in the Maldives

The Maldives is the perfect surfing holiday destination. The best time to surf Maldives is from April until October on the island Thulusdhoo. It’s a beautiful quiet island with white sandy beaches, turquoise water, an amazing aquatic life and ideal spot to learn surfing for beginners. The Island is located just 28 km north of Male, which you can reach easily by speed boat or even the public ferry. It is the capital of the Kaafu Atoll with a population of over 1400 people, mainly consisting of Muslims. That’s why alcohol is strictly prohibited on the island. Ideal to detox your body!

The beach side of Thulusdhoo

The great Maldives island Thulusdhoo

Thulusdhoo  is especially popular between tourists because it’s considered the best Maldivian surf. The coral reef surrounds the island and protects the crystal clear lagoon providing unlimited surfing conditions almost the whole year. The local surfers named this surfing spot “Coke” because of the Coca-Cola factory which was built here in the 80s. The island even offers Maldives surf camp.

The distance between Malé & Thulusdhoo

If you are planning your Maldives surf trip then Thulusdhoo is an ideal destination. It’s not only a surfing paradise but it also offers plenty of various water and adventure sports. Just by walking along the shore you will discover exotic fish, rays and turtles. Some are even lucky enough to see dolphins from their hotel rooms. Snorkeling is one of the must does in Thulusdhoo if you want to explore reef with turtles, skates, sharks and other unusual underwater species. Additionally it has a good infrastructure: There are several grocery shops, a pharmacy and even a hospital.

Thulusdhoo is very a touristic spot that’s why they love $USD$ here. Every guesthouse except it nevertheless if you go to the little shops to get some snacks or toiletries it’s better to have Maldives’ Rufiyaa in your wallet.

Transport to Thulusdhoo in Maldives

You can reach Thulusdhoo within 25 minutes from Male by speed boat.  The easiest way is to ask your guesthouse to organize it for you. It will cost you around $50.

Public ferry from Malé to Thulusdhoo

A Public ferry is available from Male at 15:30 every day, except Friday (To be sure ask your guesthouse because they love to change their schedules at Maldives). The ferry’s name is Tharika-2 and it leaves from the jetty terminal between the fruit market and the presidential jetty on Male. Tickets cost $3 one way and it takes 1,5 hours to get to your dream destination.

Maldives Surf Resort & Guest house

Thulusdhoo offers various guesthouses where you can spend your memorable honeymoon or active surf vacation. We stayed at the modern Maldives surf resort located just next to the incredible crystal clear water with heavenly beaches, Canopus Retreat. It has 12 trendy rooms with lovely furniture, TV with cable channels if you get bored and of course the essential air conditioner. There is free Wi-Fi access throughout the property, which works pretty good considering the fact that Thulusdhoo is a small island in the middle of the Indian Ocean.

The hotel staff picked us up from the ferry terminal at Thulusdhoo and welcomed us with delicious fruity drinks at Canopus Retreat. We stayed 2 nights in a Standard Double Room and then moved to the Deluxe Double with Sea View. In my opinion you shouldn’t try to save some pennies and get the room with the private balcony and gorgeous sea view. The Standard Double Room is not as cozy, doesn’t have windows and is pretty cold at night because of the AC. It’s fine if you want to stay for just few nights and then continue traveling but for a longer period the spacious Deluxe Double will be the best choice. You will immediately feel the perfect getaway vibes, especially if you are with your loved one. Tip from me; take your own toiletries with you, the guesthouse doesn’t provide with any shampoos or hand soaps. Furthermore there is only one towel per guest.

Deluxe Double Room Canopus Retreat, Thulusdhoo

Food and service at Canopus Retreat

in Thulusdhoo

In the morning you don’t need to think about breakfast because it’s included in your booking. Meal servings are from 7:30-9am, you will be presented with a simple but lovely plate served with eggs, sausage, toasts, jam, butter and fruits. As a beverage you will get delicious fruity drink and coffee or tea.

There is also an indoor and outdoor restaurant in this small guesthouse where you can enjoy lunch or dinner. The Canopus Retreat staff can even prepare a romantic dinner on the beach next to the calm water. The trick is that you never know what they will serve you because there is no menu. The only way to figure it out is to ask the staff. Sometimes it was complicated to make an order and we didn’t always get the precise information on what was available. Nevertheless portions were very magnanimous and every meal was delicious. We were very happy to see pasta and fries again after consuming only rice and noodles for one week on the other island. Definitely taste the pasta with tomato sauce, tuna fillet and refreshing salad.

One of the dishes at Canopus Retreat Restaurant

My personal highlight of Canopus Retreat is it’s spa on the second floor. I was surprised when I went there and discovered the tranquil oasis with relaxing music and odor of essential oils. The room was spacious and decorated in a traditional but modern Indonesian style. It’s possible to have a couples’ massage or a private one. I experienced the private Traditional Massage for 60 minutes which I would highly recommend to everyone who wants to enjoy the deep relaxation of a full body massage. I was laying on the comfortable massage table next to the balcony enjoying an amazing colorful ocean view.

Water Activities in Thulusdhoo

There are various water activities in the area. As I already mentioned before snorkeling is must do in Thulusdhoo. You can get snorkeling equipment from Canopus Retreat and explore the calm bays full of reefs and exotic fish. We decided to book a proper snorkeling and sandbank trip to explore the deep underwater flora and fauna of the Maldives. Snorkeling is always fun wherever you go, you might even see peaceful sharks, manta rays and turtles. The sandbank looks as beautiful as you know it from all the spectacular Instagram pictures. The ideal location to immerse into the surreal Bounty advertisment and take a couple of new Facebook show-off photos. To keep us strong and wealthy the tour operator provided some sandwiches and drinks for us, to make our trip more enjoyable! The only tip from me make sure that the weather conditions are good and the ocean is calm. The whole adventure on the speed boat was not very pleasant for me. Furthermore our team of three couples was very scared on the way back because of the very strong wind and choppy waves.

Sandbank trip

Adventure Sports

If you want something more than just swimming with a mask and a tube, you can try diving in Thulusdhoo. Canopus Retreat cooperates with Sea Retreats Dive and Sports Center located just next door to their guesthouse. They offer different diving opportunities and have good diving equipment for both beginners and advanced.

No filter needed

I was looking forward to experience kayaking on the magical turquoise waters of Thulusdhoo but unfortunately due to heavy rain and wind during our last day it was not possible. So maybe next time!

Read my article about 2 weeks in Sri Lanka to get inspired for the next trip!

The Best Island to enjoy Maldives Family Holidays

Dhiffushi Island is part of the Kaafu Atoll and it’s ideal to experience relaxed Maldives family holidays. It is located 36,6 km northeast of Male, the capital of the Maldives. It’s a compact island with a strong community spirit of 1200 people. It’s not large enough for agricultural activities but it has plenty of greenery, coconut and fruit trees. Not to forget to mention, there is a beautiful white sandy beach  with calm turquoise waters on the one side. The other side is ideal for wind surfing due to strong but consistent wind between Dhiffushi and it’s neighboring resort island.

Dhiffushi Island, Maldives

Budget Maldives Resorts

The island has a great infrastructure and facilitates a few restaurants (definitely visit Faruma Restaurant with it’s delicious, big portions and acceptable prices) and local shops. On the island you will find a couple of guesthouses. The touristic industry is growing so more and more hotels are being built. Which actually doesn’t make sense because there is only one lovely beach situated just next to the cute guesthouse Bibee. The guesthouse is located next to the beach with plenty of lounge chairs and parasols. It’s the perfect location for snorkeling: The water is warm,  extremely calm and shallow so you can explore the sea world filled with colorful fish of all different sizes and even manta rays, you can also go kayaking or be a bit wild on the jetski.

Dhiffushi

Don’t be surprised that the island might be dirty and full of plastic bottles on the other side of the touristic beach. Like every other Maldivian island it contains huge amounts of rubbish washed up on the island’s pristine sands.

Maldives Transportation

There are various options on how to reach the island. For budget travelers the ideal choice would be to take the public ferry from Male. It departs at 2:30 PM every day except Friday. It also goes back from Dhiffushi to Male’ at 6:30 AM every day except Friday. It will cost you MVR 22 ($1.5) and within 3 hours you will reach your destination.

The impatient tired travelers can take a speed boat for $25. It operates every day except Friday from Male at 4:30pm. Departure from dhiffushi to Male is at 7:30am and it takes 40 minutes.

Bibee Guesthouse can also arrange a speedboat transfer directly from Malé International Airport for a steep $295 per trip, it takes around 40 minutes.

Review of Budget Maldives Resorts

Guesthouse Bibee, Dhiffushi

The best guesthouse to stay on Dhiffushi island is Bibee which translates as butterfly fish in Maldivian. It offers 12 well-equipped modern rooms with good Wi-Fi, air conditioning, TV with plenty of various channels in English, hot and cold water shower. We were staying in a Deluxe Double Room with an amazing queen size bed, 2 towels each, toiletries, complementary coffee and tea powders and a bottle of water. There is a mini bar with small bottles of water too.

Double Deluxe Room at Bibee, Dhiffushi

We also had breakfast included in our booking at Bibee. There are two options: The Maldivian breakfast which of course includes tuna fish and the continental breakfast with sausages and one egg. Both of them are simple but lovely. We also had a grape juice and powdered milk coffee.

Complimentary tea & coffee

The hotel also offers some fun activities like for example the very popular Sand Bank Trips where you can walk on crystal white sand surrounded by tempting turquoise water. Nevertheless it can happen that the tiny island will be full with other curious tourists especially during the high season.

Maldivian breakfast at Bibee

Water activities like canoe riding, fishing, dolphin cruises are other possibilities to enjoy your vacation. In my opinion Dhiffushi is most suitable for a family vacation. We saw many happy families with kids who felt safe and could let their toddlers have fun in the water.

If you want to expand your Maldives family holiday I would suggest to visit Ukulhas too. Find out here more about it.

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