Choosing a local island in the Maldives: Gulhi Maldives

There are over 1,000 islands that make up the Maldives, with such a huge number of resorts to chose from. When I was planning my trip I knew that in addition to doing a week long liveaboard, I wanted to also relax and enjoy island life for a few days. In the beginning of the trip I wanted to choose an “easy” island to get to, that doesn’t require another flight just in case I had delays getting into the country. I used to find a resort, and unsurprisingly I just wanted to make sure I could stay in a private room, close to the beach, that was cheap. I actually first booked a room on Gulhi Island, I looked on their Instagram account and saw they had a beautiful private beach, so I booked it.

Unfortunately, when the plane landed everything was so slow. The bus took forever to come to the plane and transport people to the customs line, maybe it took us a litttle less than an hour to de-plane. Then the customs line itself took forever to get through, but eventually I made it. Unfortunately I had missed the speed boat transfer I was supposed to take to the island so I had to wait 2.5 hours for the next one. I went to the food court and grabbed some veggie pad Thai, bought a SIM card so I would have internet, and started blogging.

Eventually I got the boat at 7:30 pm and headed to Gulhi Island, which was about a 20 minute boat ride away. the seas were a bit rough. So I moved seats so I could be closer to fresh air. It actually reminded me on my rough boat ride back from Redang Island in Malaysia after my month-long turtle research. The waves were big and we were all crammed into a boat with pretty massive waves. Anyways this boat ride wasn’t actually that bad fortunately, and when I arrived to the island there were people from my hotel there to drive my luggage to the hotel which was nice.

That first night I arrived I was so excited to be in the Maldives, that I decided to walk around the island and do some exploring. I started off at the beach next to the hotel, it was maybe 10 PM and obviously very dark out. I was only shin deep in the water when I saw a pretty big shadow swimming, I turned on my light and saw a 5-foot long black tip reef shark uniting in the shallows. It didn’t really like my light so it swam away, but when I turned my light off I realized I could see loads of them, maybe 10, all swimming around in the shallows. As I was wading around like an excited child I also came across some large stingrays that were feeding on crabs in the shallows. They weren’t very scared of my light so I got quite close to them which was awesome. Afterwards, I decided to take a quick walk around the island, since it really isn’t that big. I quickly discovered that there are flying foxes (a large bat) that lives in the trees, and they were swooping near my head, and they were extremely cool to see.

On the other side of the island I found a restaurant that had a bright light shining into the water, and there were so many tiny baby blacktop sharks. They were so cute and there were like 20+ of them which made me very happy. I was again ankle deep in the water chasing sharks as people in the restaurant were looking at me weirdly. But that is what I love about solo traveling, there is no one to judge me and I an truly be myself- which ends up as me acting like an excited small child. I don’t think I ever will get bored of the sea, and I could truly spend so much time in and around the ocean chasing sea animals. I finally stopped watching the sharks after 45 minutes and decided it was time to go to bed. I was honestly exhausted and I slept so well through the night.