Koh Mak Island Thailand

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I loved visiting the Thai island of Koh Mak. My friends and I couldn’t decide between Koh Mak or Koh Kood so we did both! We spent 4 nights on each during a week’s holiday from working in Bangkok in February 2022 so Thailand during covid times.

Is Koh Mak worth visiting?

Absolutely yes. I loved this tiny island full of beaches and chill island vibes. It has a long pier with a bar at the end, perfect for sunset and photos. Everyone was extremely friendly and it’s small enough to walk or cycle to most places, if you don’t mind a couple of hills! The only issue was the sandflies so I recommend not lying on the beach too much as they can be vicious and very itchy.

Where is Koh Mak?

Koh Mak is a tiny island near Koh Chang and Koh Kood and not far from the Cambodian border.

How to get to Koh Mak from Bangkok?

Boonsiri sell package tickets from Bangkok to Koh Mak from Khao San or Latkrabang (near Suvarnabhumi airport) which include a bus ticket to the pier Laem Ngop, ferry ticket from the pier to Koh Mak and it also includes the transfer to your hotel. The cost of getting to Koh Mak from Bangkok was 1000 baht per person. To find a cheaper ticket you can book a government bus, then pay transfer to the pier and then approx. 400-600 baht for the ferry or speedboat. From Koh Mak back to Bangkok you can also do the same deal with Boonsiri. The bus journey from Bangkok is approximately 5 hours. Buses do a stop in the middle and have a toilet onboard. They also provide food/snacks and water.

How to travel from Koh Mak to Koh Kood?

At the time of writing (February 2022) there is a daily ferry between these two islands which takes approximately 45 minutes. You can book tickets easily through your accommodation and no need to book much in advance.

Where to stay on Koh Mak?

As a tiny island, doesn’t have loads of accommodation options but I would 100% recommend where I stayed which was By the Sea Koh Mak. Run by the friendly Silke, this Koh Mak hotel has a beautiful pool and a beach, and it was an absolute delight. I’m very obsessed with the interior design and it has a café with delicious food for breakfast, brunch or lunch. I have been recommending this place to all my friends and would definitely stay there again. In February 2022 the cost of a three person room was approximately 1500 per night making this perfect midrange accommodation. The staff were really friendly and helpful too.

The beautiful pool at By The Sea Koh Mak
The beautiful pool at By The Sea

What to do on Koh Mak?

Spend time at the beach, go snorkelling, rent bicycles or motorbikes and explore the island, go scuba diving, eat delicious food! There are plenty of things to do on Koh Mak for a small island.

Where to eat on Koh Mak?

Koh Mak restaurants that I love:

By the Sea Koh Mak: We loved the food at By the Sea as previously mentioned with smoothie bowls, granola and sandwiches.

Head in the Clouds: We enjoyed lunch here one day with ocean views

Thai Sabai – great Thai food on the beach

Riverside: Not actually next to a river but more of a big pond. Really delicious Thai food and also Italian food with an Italian chef!

Little Red Oven – a chain of pizzerias that are now all over Thailand, really great pizza, can get it delivered too

Food Art Hut – I had a great breakfast here with avocado and bread

Koh Mak bars: where to drink in Koh Mak

My absolute favourite place was Blue Pearl Bar at Koh Mak Cococape Resort. It’s a long pier so you basically are drinking in the middle of the ocean with amazing views and great Koh Mak sunsets.

Photo of the best bar in koh mak
Sunsets from Blue Pearl Bar Koh Mak

Best Beaches Koh Mak

One warning about the beaches on Koh Mak – the presence of sand flies. In February when I visited they were abundant and we all got bitten. Don’t lie on the beach for too long or consider a sunbed or water leggings.

Ao Soun Yai Beach – is one of the biggest stretches of beach and has Thai Sabai restaurant on it. I found this to be the best snorkelling with a reef just in front of Thai Sabai where I saw a lot of tropical fish, some healthy coral and a few string rays!

Koh Kham Beach – This is an island you can see from Ao Soun Yai beach. You can take a little boat to it and it has gorgeous white sand.

Ao Kao Beach Koh Kood – this is the beach in front of By the Sea and Head in the Clouds. It’s decent but I didn’t find any good snorkelling there.

Scuba Diving Koh Mak Island

I did two divers while I stayed there and both dives were in the marine national park nearby. The coral reef was healthy looking and I really enjoyed my dives even though the visibility was not great. I dived with Koh Mak divers who were great at communicating and I ended up with a private divemaster as the boat wasn’t busy.

Thinking about nearby islands? Also check out my post on visiting the nearby island of Koh Kood Thailand

Looking for more scuba diving in Thailand – read this post here about the best diving in Thailand.

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Koh Kood Island Thailand

My always honest Thailand island reviews. I wrote this Koh Kood review after visiting the island in February 2022 as I know this is important information to be aware of if you are visiting Thailand in the pandemic.

Please note: this post contains affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a booking I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Is Koh Kood worth visiting?

Absolutely. Koh Kood is worth visiting because it has some of the best beaches in Thailand and is a lovely, quiet island, not too far from Bangkok. You can pair visiting Koh Kood with Koh Chang or Koh Mak.

Koh Kood or Koh Kut? You will see various different spellings of English words in Thai as there is no standardised way of spelling words. Therefore you will sometime see the word for island as ‘ko’ or ‘koh’.

Where is Koh Kood?

Koh Kood is an island towards Cambodia, found near Koh Chang and Koh Mak.

How to get to Koh Kood from Bangkok?

Boonsiri offer a package deal from Khao San or Latkrabang (near Suvarnabhumi airport) which includes a bus ticket to the pier Laem Ngop, ferry ticket from the pier to Koh Kood and it also includes the transfer to your hotel. The cost of getting to Koh Kood was 1000 baht per person. To find a cheaper ticket you can book a government bus, then pay transfer to the pier and then approx. 400-600 baht for the ferry or speedboat. From Koh Kood back to Bangkok you can also do the same deal with Boonsiri. The bus journey from Bangkok is approximately 5 hours. Buses do a stop in the middle and have a toilet onboard. They also provide food/snacks and water.

There is also an airport at Trat which is the nearest airport to Koh Kood. However, I personally feel by the time you have flown it is the same time it takes to get on a bus and it’s better for the environment!

Koh Mak vs Koh Kood

I visited both these islands during a one week trip from Bangkok and recommend doing the same. Koh Mak is smaller and has more of a chilled, island vibe. Koh Kood is bigger, has more resorts and stunning beaches.

Is Koh Kood open?

Yes, as of 2022, Koh Kood in Thailand is open and ferries are running. Restaurants and bars are open but at the time of writing still closing early at 11pm. I visited Koh Kood in February 2022.

Where to stay in Koh Kood: Accommodation Koh kood

Koh Kood has resorts and hotels but few budget hostels. I stayed at mid-range accommodation and one of the best Koh Kood hotels at Pink Kangaroo Bungalows run by Dick and Wan and would definitely recommend staying there. I paid approximately 450 baht a night and this was a covid price in February 2022. They have clean, well equipped Koh Kood bungalows surrounded by a lot of nature. There was a mango tree just outside by terrace. I stayed at the one bedroom chalet and would definitely recommend as it had a kitchenette, fridge and outdoor seating area. Wan cooks a great breakfast (coconut pancakes anyone?) and Dick arranged a scooter for me and even gave me a mini lesson because he knew I was nervous.

My friends stayed at one of Koh Kood’s resorts Sunshine on the Rocks, which is a great Koh Kood beach resort as it has a stunning beach, Ao Phrao beach, just in front of it. This resort is also called Sunshine Koh Kood. I snorkelled there and spotted an octopus! I recommend getting a motorbike as the area is a little far from the more ‘central’ beaches and restaurants.

For luxury resorts on Koh Kood, consider Soneva Kiri in the North which is Koh Kood’s most expensive resort and probably the best resort in Koh Kood if you can afford it! Just check it out for some luxury travel inspiration if you are more into budget to mid-range accommodation like me!

Koh Kood Resort booking: I always use Agoda to book accommodation or I go directly with the hotel. I often compare with the hotel prices on Booking.com but find that Agoda is very often cheaper.

Where to eat: Koh Kood restaurants and bars

A lot of Koh Kood restaurants are on the road near Bangbao beach, also a few restaurants are near Peter Pan resort Koh Kood. I recommend eating at Black Banana which does yummy Thai food, beers and smoothies. I also had delicious Italian food at Heaven Sense and recommend their pizza and pasta. I also recommend Pizza and Pasta further in the North across the bridge. Both places are run by Italians. Ngamkho Restaurant did a really good fried rice and I stopped there on my surface interval when scuba diving nearby. Kood Vibes Bakery also does yummy bread and sandwiches. Viewpoint Café I would recommend for a drink with an ocean view and the waves just under your dangling feet. Please note at the time of writing (February 2022) many of the restaurants and bars near Viewpoint Café were closed.

Koh Kood restaurants on the beach

What to do in Koh Kood: Best beaches in Koh Kood

Does Koh Kood have the best beaches in Thailand? Yes, potentially. I went in February so dry season and the sand is white, the water pretty clear and calm.

Ao Phrao Beach Koh Kood – long stretch of beach, where the jungle meets the sand. Lovely and calm when I was there and had a snorkel. Bad visibility but I still spotted an octopus!

Bang Bao Beach Koh Kood – Definitely recommend this beach, a few restaurants and bars to eat and drink on it which is perfect. It’s still very green with white sand and clear water.

Million Beach Koh Kood – Million beach is a smaller beach with two resorts on it. At the time I went it was extremely quiet. It has a little pier and a small rock island nearby which has some decent snorkelling and you can dive a bit deeper. We had the best sunset view here.

Beach in front of Peter Pan resort near the river – lovely long stretch of beach and mangroves nearby, busy in the evening with people taking sunset photos

What to do in Koh Kood Thailand?

Visit some of the best beaches in Thailand, experience a quiet island, snorkel some nice reefs, go scuba diving, visit the waterfalls (I did not do this as it was dry season and they will always be better in rainy season!)

Scuba Diving in Koh Kood

I did two scuba dives with Koh Kood divers and really enjoyed the scuba diving experience. The reef was much healthier than I imagined (as someone who has seen a lot of dead and damaged coral reefs in Thailand). I saw a decent diversity of marine life and spotted the usual tropical fish, nudibranchs and was lucky enough to have a private dive instructor, Jessie! I strongly recommend diving with Koh Kood Divers as they really tailored the dives to me as an experienced diver.

Koh Kood Weather

Writing this in the year 2022, the weather in Koh Kood and also the weather in Thailand is being more unpredictable than usual. Usually we have a dry season from October – April and rainy season from May-September. However, it has still been raining in dry season in Bangkok lately and the same for some of the islands!

For a complete island guide, check out my quick summaries for each Thai island here

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Whale Watching Thailand

One of the best ethical animal experiences you can have with marine life in Thailand is to go whale watching. Wild Encounter Thailand run amazing boat trips to experience whales just an hour from Bangkok. This makes it one of the top day trips to do from Bangkok and a must do for anyone who loves the ocean and seeing marine life in Thailand.

Information about seeing whales in Asia – Thailand

Where to see whales in Thailand?

You can see Bryde whales in the Upper Gulf of Thailand. The boat leaves from Samut Sakorn province, approximately one hour from Bangkok, making this one of the best day trips from Bangkok to experience.

When to see whales in Thailand?

The best time of year to go whale watching is between the months of August-October when the whales are feeding regularly in the Gulf of Thailand. They come here for the anchovies and mackerel.

What kind of whales can I see in Thailand?

Bryde whales are some of the biggest marine mammals in Thailand and can be seen here every year. Bryde (pronounced Bru-da) whales can reach up to 16metres long and live up to 60-70 years old. They are generally solitary animals but may come together for mass feeding events. Mothers and calves are seen together fairly often.

Why are they called Bryde whales?

They are named after a Norwegian man who used to hunt them. No comment on why he gets a whole species named after him.

What are the whales doing so near Bangkok?

The Bryde whales are often feeding, which is an awesome sight to see. You can also see these Thai whales swimming and on both my trips I was lucky enough to experience mothers and calves.

Where is the pick up spot?

Pre-covid Wild Encounter Thailand would run minivans  from Bangkok to Samut Sakorn but during covid times we took a taxi there independently.

Who runs the trip?

Khun Jirayu with Wild Encounter Thailand. He is extremely knowledgeable about the whales and many other animals and birds too. I am looking forward to my next trip after December to see Irawaddy dolphins!

Practical Questions about Whale Watching in Thailand

What is the boat like?

At the time of writing, Wild Encounter Thailand use a medium size boat. It has an air conditioned cabin in the middle with seats and coffee and water facilities. Two toilets at the back of the boat and viewing areas from the front and on the upper deck in front of the captain’s cabin.

What are the timings of the trip?

Our day trip to see the Bryde whales started from 8am in the morning and we arrived back at the pier at 3.30pm approximately. This did not include getting from Bangkok to the pier in Samut Sakorn.

The whale watching day trip includes lunch on the boat, we were offered various choices a few days before our trip, including vegetarian and vegan options.

Is the whale watching in Thailand child friendly?

Yes, there were families on our boat.

Are life jackets provided during the boat trip?

Yes we were informed during the boat briefing where life jackets were stored, including for children.

Can I swim with whales in Thailand?

Short answer, no. The whales are some distance from the boat and the visibility in the water is extremely poor so there would be no point  in swimming with the whales as you would not see them!

Might I get seasick on the boat?

While I personally did not feel seasick, one of my friends did when it was a little choppy. The water generally is calm but if you are prone to seasickness then this could affect you. The boat often stops to observe the whales so can rock during this time. Seasick pills were provided on board.

How much does whale watching cost?

At the time of writing we paid 2500 baht per person with a discount for being vaccinated. We also took an antigen covid test before boarding which was 200 baht. It was a DIY kit and we had the option to do before arriving if we wished to source our own test.

Marine Life Thailand: Irawaddy Dolphins

The third time that I did this whale watching trip from Bangkok I was lucky enough to see the very rare and endangered Irawaddy dolphin. We saw two pods of these adorable marine mammals on the same day as the whales!

What to wear to go whale watching?

The boat is comfortable and does have AC if needed. I would wear appropriate clothes for hot, tropical weather and take a light jumper as it can get windy. It can also be very sunny and hot so I recommend a cap and suncream.

I think whale watching is the best activity to do in Thailand and encourage others to experience the whales too!

You can find more information about Bryde whales here.

To reserve your spot on the trip then please contact Khun Jirayu via Facebook on Wild Encounter Thailand.

Visit the Maldives: Everything You Need to Know

Thinking about visiting this paradise destination? Here is everything you need to know before you go on your Maldives holiday. I have included a Maldives island guide with all the islands I have visited with island reviews and suggestions. I have written down all the information and facts  I know about travel in the Maldives after a year and a half of working there.

Here is everything you need to know about your Maldives holiday whether it’s a luxury resort or a budget Maldives trip to experience local islands in the Maldives.

How many islands are there in the Maldives?

There are 1192 islands of which approximately 200 are inhabited. It is the smallest country in Asia! The islands are grouped into 26 atolls.

Maldives on the cheap Thulusdhoo Local Island Maldives
Local Island or Resort?

Where is the Maldives?

The Maldives is in the Indian Ocean and a short flight from both Southern India and Sri Lanka.

How to get to the Maldives?

The main airport that you can fly into is Velana International Airport near the capital city and island of Male (pronounced Maa-ley). Visiting the Maldives from India or Sri Lanka is cheap way to find budget flights to the Maldives. Flying from other countries in Asia like Thailand or Malaysia is also a budget option to visit the Maldives.

Do you need a visa for the Maldives?

The Maldives offer a one month free visa on arrival to almost every nationality. Check with your government website to make sure.

What’s the weather like in the Maldives?

The Maldives is a tropical country in the middle of the Indian Ocean. It therefore has hot, humid weather and experiences monsoon seasons.

What temperature is it in the Maldives?

It is usually around 30 degrees Celsius in the Maldives and it rarely changes much over the year.

When is the best time of year to visit the Maldives?

It depends which islands and atolls you are planning to visit on your Maldives holiday. For most atolls the rainy season is between May to October. However, this definitely doesn’t mean that it will rain every day and the weather is extremely unpredictable. Rainy season also brings ocean adventures and is the best time to see manta rays in Hanifaru bay.

What is a resort island?

A resort island refers to an island which is owned by a hotel. Resort Islands in the Maldives range from luxury travel destinations to cheaper, affordable resorts like Kihaa and Bandos Maldives. Resort islands can serve alcohol, guests can wear any clothing and the whole island is the resort and staff usually live on the same island in staff accommodation.

Photo of the picturesque arrival jetty at Kihaa
Kihaa Resort

What is a local island in the Maldives?

A local island is where Maldivians live and work and local islands are different to resort islands.

What is the difference between local islands and resort islands?

You cannot legally drink alcohol on a local island and you will not be able to buy alcohol on local islands in the Maldives. There are no bars or places to drink on local islands. Another main difference is that you are expected to respect the local customs and culture when visiting local islands in the Maldives, whereas resort islands are merely a holiday destination and guests are rarely expected to adhere to local customs and laws.

Can I stay on a local island?

Yes! I strongly recommend experiencing and staying on a local island in the Maldives. I love visiting local islands and I think it is a great way to experience the real Maldives. Read all about local islands on this post.

Photo of local island Thulusdhoo
Visit Thulusdhoo: One of my favourite local islands only 30 minutes from Male airport

If I stay at a resort can I visit a local island?

Yes. Many Maldives resorts will offer local island tours where you are given a tour around a nearby local island.

 What religion is the Maldives?

Many people are surprised that the Maldives’ only religion is Islam. Maldivians must be muslim by law.

Is the Maldives only a honeymoon destination?

Absolutely not. During the 1.5 years I spent living and working in the Maldives, I travelled with friends, family and lovers. If you are a diver or love being in the water then the Maldives is a perfect holiday destination for you because of all the things you can do in the Maldives.

Staying in Gulhi with my family and beach walks with my Mum

Can I travel solo in the Maldives?

I am a huge fan of solo travel around Asia, particularly travelling as a solo female. However, the Maldives has certain challenges when travelling solo, mainly the cost of rooms and there are limited ways to meet other travellers.

Can I backpack solo in the Maldives?

There are no hostels and therefore you cannot find budget accommodation like in India and Sri Lanka. The cheapest guesthouses have double rooms starting at $40 per night.

Can I travel solo and stay in luxury resorts?

Yes, you definitely can if you can afford the expensive resorts in the Maldives. Generally speaking, the cheapest resort is around $300 US dollars per night so travelling with someone and sharing the cost of a luxury resort makes it more affordable.

Can I travel solo in the Maldives and stay in a guesthouse on a local island?

Yes. Guesthouses start from around $40 per night so staying on local islands is a much more affordable option for solo travel than staying in a luxury Maldives resort. If you are a diver or join other trips such as dolphin watching or snorkelling trips, then you are likely to find other like-minded travellers as well.

What is the cheapest time to go to the Maldives?

For staying in luxury resorts the cheapest time will be rainy season so between the months of May- October. The most expensive season is over Christmas and New Year and many resorts experience full occupancy.

How many days do you need in the Maldives?

I think this depends on what activities you are planning to do on your Maldives vacation. For honeymooners staying at expensive resorts, many stay for around 4-5 days to experience a luxury resort. For me personally, I could easily spend a month island hopping around different islands.

Cheap diving in the Maldives with tiger sharks
Big fans of our dive boat

How to travel around the Maldives?

Boats and airplanes. If you are staying at a resort then the resort will usually arrange a speedboat transfer or a seaplane or a domestic flight for you at an additional cost. If you are staying on local islands then you can take a speedboat transfer from the airport or from Male. Ferries are the cheapest way to travel around the Maldives as domestic flights can still be expensive (around $200 return).

What are the cheapest resorts in the Maldives?

The cheapest resorts will be resorts that are near to Male  and near to the airport because you will not have to pay for expensive seaplane transfers or domestic flights. Kihaa Resort is one of the best budget resorts although it is not near Male, it is in Baa atoll.

What are the cheapest local islands in the Maldives?

Many local islands offer budget accommodation and cheap diving and affordable excursions. Here I have written about the local islands of Gulhi, Maafushi, Dhiffushi, Thoddoo , Fuvahmulah and Thulusdhoo.

How to plan a Maldives trip on a low budget?

The best budget Maldives trip will be to local islands. I’ve written blog posts about all the different local Maldivian islands I have visited here for you to choose which island to visit and what activities you can do on each island. On this blog post I have suggested a perfect Maldives itinerary.

What to bring to the Maldives?

I have written a separate blog post about what items to bring to the Maldives and an important packing guide for your Maldives trip.

Maldives on the cheap Thulusdhoo Local Island Maldives

What to wear in the Maldives?

This depends if you are intending to visit local islands. In resort islands anything goes and you are welcome to wear whatever you like, including bikinis. Most local islands that welcome tourists now have bikini beaches so you can wear a bikini and swimsuit on these beaches on local islands but should cover up when walking around the rest of the island.

Can unmarried couples visit the Maldives?

Yes definitely. Both resorts and local island guesthouses welcome unmarried couples and this is no problem at all. Guesthouses can refuse to accept an unmarried couple where one of the members is Maldivian and I have heard of this happening to friends. However, I have never personally experienced this and all guesthouses and hotels that I recommend I was able to stay at in a mixed nationality couple.

Is it safe to visit the Maldives?

I have always felt safe travelling in the Maldives and staying on different islands.

How much does it cost to go to the Maldives?

This definitely depends on how much you are willing to spend! Resorts start from $300 per night and can rise to $40,000 per night for private islands. Guesthouses on local islands usually range from $40-100 per night.



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Maldives Local Island Guide: Thoddoo

With over a 1000 islands, it can be difficult to decide which Maldives island to visit so when planning where to stay in the Maldives, consider a visit to the beautiful Maldives island of Thoddoo. Thoddoo is the best local island to visit if you like a Maldives island with long beautiful white sand beaches, snorkelling with turtles and if you want to visit the authentic Maldives and not just stay in a luxury resort. You can read here about the differences between local islands (or Maldives public islands as some people call them) and resort islands in the Maldives.

 

Thoddoo beach views with palms
Thoddoo Island: greenery!

Thoddoo: Local Island Guide- Island Overview

Thoddoo is in North Ari Atoll and is a speedboat ride away from the main international airport in the Maldives near Male. It is an island with lots of agriculture meaning it is very green and full of plantations. It is well-known for its watermelons as there are huge fields growing watermelons specifically for Ramadan in the Maldives. They also grow papaya and coconuts. It is the best island to snorkel with turtles in the Maldives (I saw turtles every time I went in the water!) and Thoddoo has some of the most affordable hotels in the Maldives.

Thoddoo in the plantation fields
Under the palms in Thoddoo

Top things to do in the Maldives: What to do in Thoddoo

What are the best things to do in Thoddoo? I spent 4 days there and it’s very hard to say which was my favourite activity to do in Thoddoo. Snorkelling with the turtles, walking along the beautiful Maldivian beaches, cycling around the island, taking photos with the palm trees and eating delicious local Maldivian food and sipping fresh coconuts were all high on my list of what to do in Thoddoo.

Thoddoo sunset
Thoddoo sunsets – definitely some of the most beautiful sunsets in the Maldives

Snorkelling in Thoddoo

My favourite Maldives activity is snorkelling. Thoddoo is a great place to snorkel in the Maldives mainly because you can snorkel with turtles right off bikini beach. The marine life in the Maldives is absolutely amazing and one of the reasons why I love living there. In Thoddoo, you can see hawksbill turtles feeding on algae growing on some boulders near the beach. They were so relaxed, not bothered by humans and continued swimming and feeding as if we weren’t even there! Out of all of the local islands I have visited so far, Thoddoo is the best island to see turtles in my humble opinion. Every time I went into the water, I saw turtles and you can even see them coming up to breathe when walking along the beaches.

Is there a bikini beach in Thoddoo?

Yes! Thoddoo has a beautiful, large bikini beach which when I went in February was not particularly busy. The rest of the beaches around the island were completely deserted and a great place to stroll around and swim. On other beaches around Thoddoo, it is not permitted to wear a bikini or swimsuit, so take a rash vest and shorts or water leggings to experience these beautiful quiet Maldives beaches away from the other tourists. For advice on what to pack in the Maldives, read my ideal Maldives packing list here.

Bikini Beach in Thoddoo
Hell yes to the bikini beach in Thoddoo. It has no other islands visible and no boats zipping around either, which probably explains why it was such a great island for turtles!

Scuba Diving in Thoddoo Local Island

During my time in Thoddoo, I unfortunately did not scuba dive but enjoyed the snorkelling the island has to offer. I have heard that the diving here is great as is nearby Rasdhoo (also on my list to visit) and staff in my guesthouse saw dolphins and a whale shark while on a fishing trip at the time I was staying in their guesthouse.

 Where to stay in the Maldives: Thoddoo

As one of the best budget local islands in the Maldives, Thoddoo island is perfect if you are looking for a cheap stay in the Maldives and affordable accommodation for the best Maldives holiday.  We stayed at this awesome guesthouse which included a yummy vegetarian friendly breakfast every morning of orange juice, pancakes and watermelon. There were many affordable guesthouses in Thoddoo and I am very glad that I selected the one we stayed in. The rooms were big, clean and the staff were very friendly, letting us use bicycles and a motorbike for free to explore the island. They had tea and coffee available at any time of the day and a cute courtyard where we ate breakfast. The room rate was very cheap and we received a discount as a local/work permit holder rate.



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Restaurants in Thoddoo: Where to eat

Thoddoo has various restaurants where you can eat yummy local Maldivian food and one Russian owned restaurant called the Black Anchor which serves more international food. I recommend enjoying kottu roshi, my favourite Maldivian dish that can be made vegetarian.

Transport: Getting to Thoddoo local island

Getting to Thoddoo from Male or the airport. The best way to travel to Thoddoo is by speedboat. It takes approximately 1 hour 20 minutes from the airport to Thoddoo island. The speedboats are safe, will provide life jackets but as it is quite far don’t expect an entirely unbumpy ride! There is a toilet on board.

The speedboat goes from the airport & Male to Thoddo every day at 11:00 AM and 16:00 PM every day. Return time is 7am and 1pm from Thoddoo back to Male/airport.
Cost is $35.00 per person per one way for tourist price. For locals and work permit holders we paid 250 rufiya one way.

Thoddoo Island Location

Thoddoo island is in North Ari atoll and about an hour and 20 minutes from Male and from the airport. To get to Thoddoo island you can take a speedboat from the airport. You can ask your guesthouse in Thoddoo to arrange this for you as they may even offer you a discount!

For more about the best islands to visit in the Maldives, check out my local island guide with all you need to know about staying on and visiting Maldives islands.

Check out Fuvahmulah island for the best diving in the Maldives and my entire life!

For more budget islands closer to the airport and near to Male, try Maafushi for cheap watersports, Thulusdhoo for surfing and diving, Gulhi for the best beach in the Maldives or Dhiffushi for the tiniest island!

For help with what to pack when visiting the Maldives and staying on local islands, read my Maldives packing guide what to wear and what to take to a hot Islamic country!

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Disclaimer: This page may contain affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

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