After our amazing six nights stay on Fulidhoo Island, we left on the local ferry for a 3.5 hour boat ride back to Male and then another 1 hour local speed boat to our third island of Ukulhas.The local ferry is actually awesome and a lovely boat ride!
The reason why we wanted to visit Ukulhas was because it was the Maldives first eco-friendly local island. We had only heard great things about this place, so how did it sum up? One thing I learnt about the local islands were they were changing all the time. Tourism was really taking off so what might have been amazing a few years ago, might be drastically different now and it was something I kept in mind throughout the trip.Arial view of Ukulhas Island
How to get to Ukulhas
Waiting for the local speedboat to Ukulhas from Male
Firstly, how does one get to Ukulhas? You have the option of the following:
Local Ferry from Male:
Unfortunately for us, the local ferry left at 9am and our boat from Fulidhoo left at 11am so we had to get the local speed boat instead.
I found this screen shot below from another guest house site stating the ferry times:Local speed boat from Male: Our guesthouse in Ukulhas sorted out our speed boat tickets and we paid them when we got there. After we arrived from Fulidhoo, we caught a cab for 30R around to the other port, at Ferry 6 opposite the Bank of Ceylon. The boat was an hour and a half late, something that’s apparently the norm in Maldives so we just waited with the other locals until it arrived. The speed boat cost $50 and the guys working on the boat had our names down for the boat so it was super easy.
Private speedboat from Male: I’m not too sure how much it would cost but I’m guessing it would be something like $200. Your guest house can easily arrange this for you.
So, where is Ukulhas? See on the map below!
Where did we stay in Ukulhas?
Our guest house was Holiday Haven in Ukulhas
Probably our favourite thing about Ukulhas was the accommodation we stayed at. Because we were travelling on a budget, we picked one of the cheaper options on airbnb and stayed at Holiday Haven which was AU$116 a night. Our host, Afzal picked us up from the boat and with the typical but awesome trailers, our heavy backpacks were taken to the guest house.
Afzal and his colleague picking up our backpacks for us!
When we arrived at Holiday Haven, it had a beautiful outside area with the name ‘Beyond Your Dreams’ which was actually pretty spot on. When we walked inside, it was like we had entered an oasis den of a gorgeous outdoor area. And our room, it was a gorgeous room with a massive bed, TV and table and chairs with our own bathroom. The bed was the comfiest bed we had both ever slept in. Our room at Holiday Haven
Afzal gave us a mobile phone with his number in it so if we needed anything at all, he would be our man to sort it out. Like anything from having our umbrella moved on the beach (they had their own umbrellas and sun loungers on the beach for us to use) to ordering us takeaway from a local restaurant. It was like we had our own personal assistant and we were in awe of this service for a budget friendly guesthouse.
The dining area at Holiday Haven
I loved the detail Holiday Haven provided for us, from giving us a torch if we wanted to go and watch the stars on the beach at night because my god, the sky was incredibly clear, it was one of the first things we noticed when we arrived.Breakfast at Holiday Haven
Their plan was to be like a resort, from having an amazing bed, pillows and duvet in the room to just remembering the finer details like how Steve asked for more butter one morning for his toast and the next day he then had an extra butter. It’s these small things that really made a big difference for us.
We even asked to go to a resort one day and Afzal was there to sort it out for us. He even came on the boat to take us there and picked us up only to be soaked during the entire journey. He still had a smile on his face throughout all of the trips he had to make that day for us.Steve and Afzal completely soaked after the boat ride to the resort.
We were in awe of him and so glad we decided to stay there, because this guy is the person that made Ukulhas memorable for us. We realised almost straight away that Afzal was the best host we had ever experienced anywhere in the world. His dedication to his guests was mind blowing and so were the other people working at Holiday Haven.Afzal and his co-worker dropping us off at the ferry
Things that stood out for us in Ukulhas
Loads of keep Ukulhas clean signs everywhere was inspiring
We loved how clean this island was. After staying on Fulidhoo which was such a small island, coming to Ukulhas seemed massive, but it actually wasn’t. Only 200 metres wide by 1KM long, this island was still classified as small but to us, it seemed big at first.We loved the brightly coloured walls in Ukulhas
After eating at our lovely guesthouse every night in Fulidhoo, we now had various options in Ukulhas and the food was good too. A standard meal was US$5 for a curry and rice and one night we splashed out and went to the most popular tourist restaurant, the Thai place at the guesthouse See La Vie. It was a beautiful restaurant by the water and had a holiday vibe with seating on the sand with fairy lights everywhere. Who would have thought there would be a thai restaurant on a local island in Maldives? But there was. FYI the spring rolls were to die for.Thai restaurant, See La Vie in Ukulhas
Our host Afzal took us around the island at night when we first arrived and we were loving it straight away. He spent a good hour showing us everything from the beach to the area where boats are made to down the main street.
Huge boats in the making on Ukulhas
As we woke up on the next day, the weather wasn’t on our side and it started to rain not long afterwards. Luckily we managed to go out when the rain cleared to see a beautiful beach, the biggest and most beautiful we had seen in the Maldives yet. There were sun loungers everywhere but it seemed to lose its authenticity with this inclusion. The water was clear and most of all, the sunsets were absolutely stunning!A standard sunset on Ukulhas Island
Along by the beach, we found loads of eco gardens which were absolutely beautiful and because they were shaded by the trees, it gave a lovely coolness from the heat because this island seemed a lot hotter than Fulidhoo. Steve even found a meditation garden off the beach which was like finding a little gem, we loved it.The hidden eco parks near the beach were amazing!
The following day we managed to go to a resort at the last minute, thanks to Azfal’s amazing organisation skills! Before we knew it, we went on an hour’s bumpy ride on a fisherman’s boat to the Ellaidhoo Resort. One thing about this ride is, it was wet, like seriously wet. Azfal came with us to make sure we got to the resort OK and he got completely wet and took the brunt of it. Imagine waves splashing on you constantly, this is what we went through for us and yet he still kept smiling. I couldn’t believe it. At Ellaidhoo Resort
More on the resort and what we thought of it here. When we returned from the resort, Azfal dropped us off at the beach in Ukulhas so we could watch the sunset and boy, what a beauty it was.Watching the sunset was such a great end to the day.
But the main thing about Ukulhas was the cleanliness. All the streets were super clean and there were reminders all over the island to keep it clean. It seemed obvious Ukulhas was forward thinking with the environment, something I noticed on the other islands that hadn’t quite got up to date with although Thundi Guesthouse in Fulidhoo was well aware of the situation and were trying to educate the kids. A mother picks her children up from school in Ukulhas.
Afzal told us how the local fishermen campaigned for a school for the local children. Once it was approved, more children started coming from other local islands. There was also a women’s farm on the island, a place where the local women could grow their own fruits and vegetables. We were in awe of this place.We also noticed how friendly everyone was on Ukulhas. Every single local person we met was absolutely lovely to us. From passing hello’s and smiles on the street, to chats in the local shop, everyone was so nice.Three young local children enjoying their photo being taken.
We did notice that the majority of tourists were either Russian or Italian, something I’d not seen in Maldives until we got to this island and unfortunately they weren’t the friendliest which was a let down, especially after we made some awesome friends on Fulidhoo. They again also didn’t dress appropriately, something I found a bit sad that they either had no idea or just didn’t care about the culture here.A Western family standing out on Ukulhas.
We loved this island, not only because Afzal made it great for us but because the vibe, the food and the actual care and passion the local people had for the island really made it a great place to visit.
How much did we spend?
We spent three days on Ukulhas and although we spent much more money than planned due to the speedboats and resort, here’s our breakdown:
AU$348 – on accom
US$100 (approx AU$125)- local speedboat to get to Ukulhas
US$300 (approx AU$375) – on the resort
AU$60 – on food ($20 a day)
Ideally we would have taken the local ferry to make it cheaper but the ferry times just didn’t add up without us staying the night or two in Male. Going to a resort was also a one off as well.
Why you should go to Ukulhas
The gorgeous beach on Ukulhas
- If you’re looking for an authentic local Maldivian experience
- Looking for a decent beach
- Decent food with quite a few restaurants to choose from
- Friendliest people
Things to remember before you arrive
- There’s no ATMs on the island, bring both local and US$. You’ll probably be able to pay by card at your guesthouse but there’s like a 3% charge on top.
- Make sure you dress with shoulders and above the knees covered, this goes for both men and women
- Wifi was pretty good at our guest house but worked better early in the morning.
- Don’t expect it to be like a resort becuase it’s far from it. I loved that Ukulhas had some very cool eco aspects mixed with a tourism vibe.
- Don’t stay on neighboring island Rasdhoo as there’s no beach so make sure you go to Ukulhas.
- Get in quick as tourism is changing the Maldives at a very fast rate!
Have you been to Ukulhas? I’d love to know in the comments below.
Here’s some of my other Maldives posts below:
Thanks for reading